Worship Order for Sunday

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

      "O taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are those who take refuge in him." (Psalm 34:8)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Call to Worship             "Here, O my Lord, I see thee"                              (465)
                                                    (solo, vs. 1-2)

  Scripture                                   Psalm 34:1-8

*Hymn                              "Wonderful grace of Jesus"                                 150

*Opening Prayer
                     (Pre-school thru 2nd grade children leave for Sunday School,
                                    to return for the dedication of our new church sign)

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

  Hymn                          "Jesus, the very thought of thee"                             588

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                               Ephesians 4:14-24                    (from The Message)

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings


  Chorus                            "The Messiah has loved us"                      (see insert)

  Scripture                               Ephesians 4:25-5:2

  Message                                  "God's best ad"

*Hymn                                            "Awake"                                    (see insert)
                            (move outside and surround the new church sign)

  Service of Dedication

  Song                                   "This little light of mine"                         (see insert)


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
"Here, O my Lord, I see thee"
vs. 1-2

Here, O my Lord, I see thee face to face. 
Here would I touch and handle things unseen, 
here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace, 
and all my weariness upon thee lean. 

Here would I feed upon the bread of God, 
here drink with thee the royal wine of heaven. 
Here would I lay aside each earthly load, 
here taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven.

words by Horatius N. Bonar, 1855
Music (tune: Kingsboro) ©1991 M. Lee Suitor
Harmonization in hymnal ©1990 Marilyn House Hamm and M. Lee Suitor

Opening Prayer

         God, whose grace is indeed matchless - deeper, higher, and more than sufficient for each and every one of us and all of us together - we count on the wonder of it all. You know that we stumble and fall so quickly and easily. You know that we Ďblow ití more than we care to admit. Whatever happened to sin? Well, we confess it is all-too-active in our lives, pulling us away from you in ways that are both subtle and obvious. And when it comes to forgiveness, Lord, we often fail to see the connection between you forgiving our debts and us forgiving the debts of others.

         God, whose grace is indeed a wonder, we count on your mercy being greater than all our sin. We may not be on our knees at this moment, but we bend ourselves to your will, knowing that in your Son Jesus, we behold not a frown but a loving, smiling face. We lay aside each earthly load, and taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven. Itís your Holy Spirit that lifts us up and gets us singing your praise and walking your way. Thank you. Throughout this worship and this week, nudge us to keep tasting and seeing that you are good.

In Jesusí name we pray. Amen.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         Yes, God wants us to grow up into an entirely new way of life -- a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into everything we do. As you return your offering just now, look back over the past week. How have you been growing? How has God been fashioning your life? Have you allowed him to do so? How is this entirely new way of life working itself into everything that you do? Just food for thought. Take a big bite and chew on it as the plates are passed. Will the ushers now come forward to serve.

Service of Dedication

         In the New Testament letter to the Hebrews we find these words: "Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2)

         "Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses...." I mentioned a few of these witnesses this morning in my message. There was Carl Simmons, whose passion for sharing the good news - not hiding the light of Christ under some bushel basket, but reaching out with it - continues to prod us today. And Verlin Tombaugh, whose integrity as an elder continues to speak, nudging us to make room in our fellowship for others - changing how we do things if need be. And Debbie Huber, whose face many of us still see when we look at her husband and daughter, continues to teach us about courage in the face of adversity.

         I had a purpose in lifting up these witnesses. You see, money given in memory of them was used to put up this new church sign. Add to this list our dear sister Beatrice Currens, who was a beacon of light in her little corner of the world, someone to whom people came to speak their troubles and receive a listening and loving heart. I will remember her "do nothing window," the daily encouragement to just "be still and know that I am God," says the Lord. Like Verlin, she went to be with the Lord last year. Furthermore, funds also came from Anna Claytonís memorial. I remember visiting her to find out what was really happening in this congregation. What a wry sense of humor, and a strong faith! Both these Christian women continue to influence who we are.

         Right now, we want to dedicate this sign, and in the process to remember this "cloud of witnesses" who encourage us - even today - to be "witnesses" ourselves. This sign is one way we reach out and invite with some good news, and we are thankful for it. Remember, though, that you are Godís best sign. Continue to reach out, like many of you did with our dear neighbor, Boots Reichart, who joined our fellowship before she went to be with the Lord - because of your caring. By the way, from her memorial fund will hopefully come some landscaping around this sign - flowers to brighten the eyes of passers-by and to remind us of that "fragrant offering" pleasing to God that we are called to be in this world (Ephesians 5:1-3), drawing people to the One who offered himself for all.


All - "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Ephesians 5:1-2)

One - We thank you, Lord, for this sign, and for the "cloud of witnesses," these "saints triumphant" who continue to point the way to you. May your Holy Spirit empower us to live such that people know we are Christians by your love in us, and are drawn to you.

All - "O taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are those who take refuge in him." (Psalm 34:8)

One - May the words placed upon this sign increase the appetite of those who drive by to taste more deeply of your goodness and mercy. Bless them, O Lord, and bless us as we seek to be your "signs" in this world, pointing the way to you.

All - "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalms 27:1)

One - Cast away our fear of reaching out and sharing your news in Jesus Christ. May our light, the light of Christ, shine out in the darkness like this church sign.

All - I dedicate myself to being the best "ad" for Jesus Christ that I can be, everywhere I go.

One - Amen?

All - Amen!

"This little light of mine"

                 listen to the music

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. (3x)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel? NO! I'm gonna let it shine. (3x)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Everywhere I go, I'm gonna let it shine. (3x)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

All through the night, I'm gonna let it shine. (3x)
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.


From the prophet Isaiah, listen:

         "For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." (Isaiah 55:12-13)

                  Brothers and sisters,
                           as you live in the love of Christ,
                                    you are signs pointing toward God.
                                             Go out with joy.


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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