Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 20, 2003
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Easter Sunday

      "We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear..."
                   - Peter, the apostle (Acts 10:39-40)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Responsive Call to Worship                                                                       668

*Hymn                           "Christ the Lord is risen today"                               280
                                            (vs. 3 - no accompaniment, watch leaders)

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                   Isaiah 25:6-9

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  For Children                    "The Easter Balloon"

  Scripture                        1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 21-22

  Special Music                             "Hallelujah"                        Handel & Beethoven
                                          Alleluia Choir and helpers
                                               (Preschool children then leave for play)

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings


  Hymn                                "Low in the grave he lay"                                   273
                                                  (sit during verses, stand on refrain)

  Scripture                                    Mark 16:1-8

  Message                     "He is going ahead of you..."

  Litany - "Wipe away the tears"                                                (back of bulletin)

*Hymn                        "Christ is alive! Let Christians sing!"                          278


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Responsive Call to Worship

Leader: This the day that the Lord has made.
                 Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
People: This is the day that the stone is cast aside
                 And the mantle of darkness is torn away.
Leader: God has swallowed up death forever
                 And brushed our tears away.
People: This is the day of salvation.
Leader: Be glad and rejoice -
                 The Lord of light has come and reigns forever.
             Christ is risen!
People: Christ is risen indeed!
       All: Alleluia! Alleluia!

Hymnal #668. Altered from
All the Seasons of Mercy, by Diane Karay,
John Knox Press, © 1987 Diane Karay.

Opening Prayer

         Gracious Source of Life, on this morning we gather and sing hallelujah, for the sadness and fear of Good Friday have been replaced as we rejoice in the life and power of Easter Sunday. From death rises new life; out of despair rises powerful hope.

         O God of wonder and surprises, rise in our lives this Easter morning, that divine grace and human love may spill forth from each of us and our lives may witness to your resurrecting power. In the spirit of the Risen One we pray. Amen

by Carol A. Wise
taken from pg. 44-45,
For All Who Minister, ©1993, Brethren Press

Pastoral Prayer

composed closer to the time


For Children
"The Easter Balloon"

Theme: Easter promises that all people will come back to life.
            Easter celebrates the day when Jesus overcame death and was returned to life. According to Paul, this event was a demonstration of what will happen for all people. All will be raised to life, just as all will die.

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:22

Device: A balloon; a marking pen

Goals:  To communicate the meaning of Easter
            To affirm that all people will die
            To affirm that all people will come back to life

Technique: The balloon will be used to symbolize people. This is best done by choosing one child to identify with the balloon.
         Ask the children, "Who makes us alive?" They will know that God does this. Affirming their answer, ask the children to pretend the balloon is a person. Suggest that they name the balloon after a particular child, choosing one from volunteers. Blow up the balloon and make the child alive. After the balloon is inflated, draw a face on it, letting the children tell you what to draw. Shall you draw eyes? Shall you draw a nose? A big one? Do anything that makes the balloon more like a person. If you've named the balloon after a girl, for example, take someone's Easter hat and place it on the balloon.
         After the balloon has been transformed, ask the children what happens to all people who have been made alive by God. They all die. All of us here will die. Let out the air and show them the deflated, wrinkled balloon. The face on the balloon will look deathly. But what happened to Jesus after he died? The children will, we hope, know this. Do they think they will come back to life too? God made Jesus alive again, and that is also what God will do to all of us. After we die, God will make each one of us alive, just like Jesus. Blow up the balloon again. This time, tie a knot at the end of the balloon. Easter promises us that we all will come back to life after we die, and never die again.

Notes: You can tie this lesson to the description of God breathing life into a human being in Genesis 2:7.
         After this lesson, all the children wanted balloons. If you want to go to the expense, you may give each child a balloon.
         If you have time, each child may draw his or her face on a balloon and go through the lesson together.

by Bucky Dann,
pp. 64-65 in Better Children's Sermons.

special music
(incorporates "Hymn to Joy" by Beethoven,
and "Hallelujah Chorus" by Handel)


Hal-le-lu-jah! Hal-le-lu-jah!
He is risen! He is risen!
Christ is risen today!

1. Hal-le-lu-jah! Christ is risen! Sing your praise on Easter day!
    Hal-le-lu-jah! Shout with gladness! He has triumphed o’er the grave!
    Ring the bells and sound the trumpet. Death is banished from the tomb.
    Hal-le-lu-jah! Christ is risen! Celebrate and spread the news!

2. Mortals, join the happy chorus which the morning sun began.
    Love divine is reigning over us, joining all in heaven’s plan.
    Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife.
    Joyful music leads us sun-ward in the triumph song of life!

3. Joyful, joyful, we adore You, God of glory, Lord of love.
    Hearts unfold like flowers before You, opening to the sun above.
    Ring the bells and sound the trumpet. Death is banished from the tomb.
    Hal-le-lu-jah! Christ is risen! Celebrate and spread the news!

Hal-le-lu-jah! Hal-le-lu-jah!
He is risen! He is risen!
Christ is risen today!

Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

         "We are witnesses." That’s what the disciple Peter said long ago. As you return your offering this morning, ponder how you are doing as a witness of Jesus Christ. What evidence do you present that He is alive and active in your life?

Will the ushers come forward to serve.

"Wipe away the tears"
A Litany of Grief and Despair, of Resurrection and Hope

A congregation praying for a family whose six-year-old son has been shot and killed, caught in gang violence, only 1˝ blocks from the church.
                      Lord God, wipe away their tears.

A young mother-to-be, grimy from her work on the landfill, asking for prayer and anointing for herself and her unborn baby as she stands on that mound of trash.
                      Lord God, wipe away her tears.

The church of Jesus Christ struggling to find unity in the midst of fear, mistrust, arrogance, brokenness, hopelessness
                      God, receive our tears of grief; heal our broken lives.

The women coming to the tomb very early in the morning to anoint the body, and hearing words of terror and amazement and hope...
                      "He has been raised. He is not here." Tears are wiped away.

The family of a beloved saint of the church gathering round his bedside, singing him "home" at the close of a life well-lived.
                      Death, swallowed up forever.

The Church, becoming the Body of Christ, broken for one another in love and hope — wiping away the tears from all faces.
                      For Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!

by Harriet Finney, moderator
Church of the Brethren Annual Conference
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"


         As Christ burst forth from the tomb, may new life burst forth from us and show itself in acts of love and healing to a hurting world. And may that same Christ, who lives forever and is the source of our new life, keep your hearts rejoicing and grant you peace this day and always. Amen.

by Carol A. Wise
taken from pg. 50,
For All Who Minister, ©1993, Brethren Press


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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


©2003 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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