Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
September 22, 2002
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

      "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name."           (Psalm 103:1)

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                             "O bless the Lord, my soul"                                    80

*Opening Prayer

  Children’s Time                           "Like a Rock"

  Unison Prayer of Confession                                                                      698

  Special Music                            "How Beautiful"                             Twila Paris
                                                   lyrics  - music-midi
                             (after song children leave for choir or preschool play)

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings                Matthew 18:21-22


  Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise

  Prayer Song                           "Teresa’s Prayer"                              (see insert)

  Pastoral Prayer

  Responsive Scripture Reading                      Psalm 103:1-18                     822

  Message                                "Bless the Lord!"

*Hymn                             "O bless the Lord, my soul"                                 600


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

         The 103rd Psalm "gives voice to the thankfulness of sinners that the Lord is a God of mercy and grace." This scripture provides the focus for worship this morning. The first and last hymn we will sing are, in fact, derived from its riches.
         To be a bit different, let’s begin with the last few verses of this Psalm, which fling the doors of blessing wide open to embrace heaven and earth, and make us aware that worship is not just about "us." Listen, and be ready to "Bless the Lord."

"The LORD has established his throne in the heavens,
                             and his kingdom rules over all.
                 Bless the LORD, O you his angels,
                                               you mighty ones who do his bidding,
                                                           obedient to his spoken word.
          Bless the LORD, all his hosts,
                                                 his ministers that do his will.
          Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion.
                 Bless the LORD, O my soul." (vs. 19-22)

         Please stand, and let all that is within you, bless his name. #80

Opening Prayer

         Under the wings of your grace and mercy, O Lord, we have gathered. Bless this hour, that it might overflow into the coming week. Help us to release our burdens into your hands that we might know the power of your forgiveness, and walk in newness of life. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray. Amen.

Children’s Time
"Like a Rock"

Synopsis:  A backpack filled with heavy rocks shows how hard it is to carry around something too weighty for us to keep shouldering on our own - sin. 1 John 1:9 provides the promise. A volunteer is chosen from the children to wear the backpack throughout the lesson, with the periodic question asked - "Is it getting too heavy?"  Talk about sin in our lives comparing it to this backpack. We do wrong and it weighs us down, especially if we don't let it go - confess it. When we confess/tell our sin to God, the huge load is lifted from us. God forgives us. "All we have to do is ask."

         (the children remain up front while the congregation prays the following prayer, and then listens to "How beautiful the feet that bring the sound of good news, and the love of the King..."  After this song is finished, they leave for Alleluia choir or preschool playtime)

For the complete lesson, see pp. 15-16
of  Children's Sermons to Go,
by Deborah Raney and Vicky Miller,
©1998, Abingdon Press, Nashville.

Unison Prayer of Confession

Forgive me my sins, O Lord.
Forgive me the sins of my youth 
                  and the sins of my age,
         the sins of my soul
                  and the sins of my body,
         my secret and my whispering sins,
         the sins I have done to please myself
                  and the sins I have done to please others.
Forgive those sins which I know
         and the sins which I do not know
Forgive them, Lord;
         forgive them in all your great goodness,
         through Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN

Hymnal #698
by Lancelot Andrewes, ca. 1600
from The New Book of Christian Prayers, © 1986 Tony Castle, ed
Crossroad/Continuum Publishing Company.

Responding with our Tithes and Offerings
(after children have left:)

         "How beautiful the feet that bring the sound of good news, and the love of the King..." We are forgiven by God. Of course, this good news has some interesting side-effects. The disciple Peter once asked Jesus, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?" Jesus replied, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times." (Matthew 18:21-22)

         Ponder this blessing known as "forgiveness" while you return your offering to the Lord.

Responsive Scripture Reading
Psalm 103:1-18

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
         and all that is within me,
         bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
         and do not forget all his benefits - 

who forgives all your iniquity,
         who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
         who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

who satisfies you with good as long as you live
         so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The Lord works vindication
         and justice for all who are oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,
         his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
         slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

He will not always accuse,
         nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
         nor repay us according to our iniquities.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,
         so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
         so far he removes our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion for his children,
         so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
For he knows how we were made;
         he remembers that we are dust.

As for mortals, their days are like grass;
         they flourish like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
         and its place knows it no more.

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
         on those who fear him,
         and his righteousness to children's children,
to those who keep his covenant
         and remember to do his commandments.

Hymnal #822 (New Revised Standard Version)


         "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."                                         (1 Peter 1:3 NRSV)
         Sisters and brothers, walk this week in the blessing of this new birth!


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International Lesson thoughts
from the
Mennonite Publishing House

International Lesson
Commentary by
Richard Hughes
(posted on Saturday)

International Lesson
Commentary by
Edwin Elliott


©2002 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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