Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
May 18, 2003
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Health Promotion Sunday

      "The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap, showing that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him."
                                            (Psalm 92:12-15)

Aging is a Journey

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Call to Worship                       Jeremiah 17:7-8

*Hymn                             "Sing to the Lord of harvest"                                  98

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                      Colossians 1:3-8 (The Message)

  For Children              "Live well for the Master"

  Scripture                      Colossians 1:9-12 (The Message)
                               (children then leave for choir practice or pre-school play)

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings


  Response                             "God, whose giving"                                       383
                                                                (*stand on verse 3)


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

  Call to Prayer                          (join in softly)                    reprise from Godspell
Day by day
, day by day, O dear Lord, three things I pray:
to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly,
follow thee more nearly, day by day.
(words by St. Richard of Chichester, 1197-1253)

  Pastoral Prayer

  Hymn of the Month         "Lord of our growing years"                                479

  Scripture                                    John 15:1-8

  Message                       "The Wisdom of the Vine"

*Hymn                              "Thou true Vine, that heals"                                 373

*Closing Prayer (in unison)                                                                          752

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Opening Prayer

O God, who blesses those who trust in you,
             who plants the seed of good news in all who would receive it, and
             who gives the water of life to those who thirst,
                      we sing our praise to you.
       Will we bear good fruit? ... 
                Only as we depend upon you
                          and 'work out' the salvation you have 'worked in' -
                                   taking root, growing, flowering
                                            where you have planted us.
         Forgive our sinful self-centeredness,
                     our failure to realize our place within your seasons of life,
                     our pride when we consider our fruit better than all others, or
                     our sloth when we think we have no more room to grow.
                                 Bless these moments of worship, O Lord,
                                          that we might continue to learn your wisdom,
                                                   and grow in your grace and truth.
                                                            This we pray in Jesus' name. Amen

For Children
"Live well for the Master"
Colossians 1:3-12 (The Message)

         Call the children up front before the scripture reading. When they are settled, invite them to listen to these special words from the Bible, written to all the people of the church in the town of Colossae.  Worship leader then reads Colossians 1:3-8 (from The Message).

         "The Message," Paul said, the seed of God's good news from Jesus, "doesn't diminish or weaken over time... it bears fruit and gets stronger, just as it has in you."

         All of you stand up. Now, let's line ourselves up from shortest to tallest. See how quickly you can do this.  What do you notice about this line? For the most part, the youngest among you are the shortest, and the oldest are the tallest. Is that true in every case? No. However, the older you get, the bigger you grow. You're not "diminishing" as you grow, are you?

         Everyone turn around and face the congregation. I'm going to ask several other persons to stand right where they are (choose them in general order of age, from teen to eldest). What do you notice here? Are the youngest the shortest, and the oldest the tallest? No. Do you think that the older people in our church have stopped growing, especially if they are shorter than someone who is younger? Well, maybe in some ways they have. Sometimes you do get shorter as you grow older. But you don't stop growing, especially on the inside - in the things that really matter?

         Thank you. Why don't you sit and face me. The Bible says that when the good news of Jesus is really a part of our lives, it "doesn't diminish or weaken over time... it bears fruit and gets stronger." Even when our bodies may stop growing tall, we continue to grow in Jesus. All of us. Even the older people in our church. What Jesus has planted in them is still growing, just as it is in you. At every step on our journey through life, from when we are very young, all the way to when we are - how old are you now, Papa Lewie (our oldest member)? All the way to age 92 and beyond - God is still growing us in the faith and love of Jesus, so that we can live well.

         Okay, now there's more to this scripture I want you to hear. So open your ears and listen. It's sort of like a prayer. After ______ finishes reading it to us, I want you to quietly go to preschool playtime or Alleluia choir. But right now, listen carefully.

Worship leader then reads Colossians 1:9-12 (from The Message).

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         It's time to return our offerings. Let's not do so, however, with "the grim strength of gritting your teeth but (rather with) the glory-strength God gives," an enduring strength that "spills over into joy" and thankfulness to the Father...   Will the ushers come forward to serve.


         God, our prayers spill over in thanksgiving as we remember all the ways in which your good news grows in and around us. You never stop growing us, even when we mistakenly think we can grow no more. Your message does bear fruit and does get larger and stronger, through all stages of life, from age to age, through good times as well as bad.  It doesn't diminish or weaken. Thank you! We pray that, like the church in Colossae to which Paul wrote so long ago, we will - in you - be able to say that your good news is "as vigorous in (us) now as when (we first) learned it..."   To your glory, we pray. Amen.

Pastoral Prayer


written closer to the time (if not at the moment)


Closing Prayer
(in unison)

Gracious God,
         grant that the words we have heard this day
         may be so grafted within our hearts
         that they bring forth fruit
         to the honor and praise of your name,
         through Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN.

Hymnal, #752
adapted from "Order of Worship," Worship the Lord.
1987, Reformed Church in America & Eerdmans Pub. Co.


Interested in Sunday School?
Below is a growing list of possible sites to visit. As you discover others, please let us know.

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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