Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
November 9, 2003
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

      "Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain." (Psalms 127:1)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Call to Worship

*Hymns                 (vs. 1 & 5) "My hope is built on nothing less"                     343
                                             "My life is in you, Lord"                              (insert)

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                  Mark 12:38-44

  For Children                            "Generosity"
                                              (Pre-schoolers leave for playful worship)

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Choral Response                    "Hear My Prayer" (mp3)                           Hogan

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings


*Response          (vs. 1 only) "Brethren, we have met to worship"                      8


  Scripture                                      Psalm 127

  Message                             "Unless the Lord..."

*Hymn                                "How firm a foundation"                                   567


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

         God has led us to this place and time. We have come into the Lordís house. Make no mistake, however. Our true sanctuary is not make of brick and wood, unlike this building. In this place we sing our praise. Here we listen and respond to Godís Word. Here we offer ourselves to the Lord. As we do so, though, we are looking through eyes of faith toward another holy place, one not made with human hands. Listen to what it says in the letter to the Hebrews:

         "Christ didnít mess around with replicas and enactments. He was for real. He went into the real Holy Place ó not our home made model, but heaven itself ó and there he is now, in the presence of God, appearing on our behalf. It is not that Jesus has to offer himself to God over and over again. The old high priest had to go into the Holy Place in the temple again every year to offer a sacrifice of blood ó not his own, but that of an animal. If Jesus had been required to follow the same system, he would have needed to come back and suffer on earth over and over again, from the day of creation to the end of time. It is not like that though. Jesus waited until time was almost up and then appeared once and for all. He came to remove sin, permanently, and he made the ultimate sacrifice to see the job through. Everyone has to die once ó thatís just part of being human ó and after that we face the music. Christ died once too ó he absorbed into himself all the guilt and grief of the whole dysfunctional human race and sacrificed his own life to save them from it. Having done that once, he will appear again, but not to do the same thing all over again. This time he will appear for the grand finale ó the great liberation of all those who have been eagerly anticipating his promised arrival."
Hebrews 9:24-28, ©2000 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net
                                                                    compare to
         This is the hope upon which we build our lives. This is why we are gathered here. So, then, letís sing our praise. Letís open our ears to Godís Word. Letís offer ourselves to the Lord.

Opening Prayer

         Lord, hear and accept the praises we sang to you, acknowledging our faith and trust in you, and appreciating all you have done for us. We strive to live for you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

(written by Eva Simmons, worship leader)

For Children

Theme: Jesus wants us to give generously from what we have.
         It is never too early to learn stewardship, and not just of money, but of all the things God has given us. Many children witness their parents giving to the church grudgingly, sparingly, after all other expenses and luxuries have been provided. This is not what Jesus teaches. He teaches us to give generously, dedicating all we have to God s use rather than to ourselves.

Scripture: Mark 12:41-44

Device: A piece of bubble gum for each child

Goals: To educate about unselfish giving
           To experience being given to
           To be rewarded for being in the church

Technique: Have enough pieces of bubble gum so you can reasonably expect to give each child a piece. The object is to have enough so that no one gets left out. Have the gum in your pocket, giving the impression that there is just enough to go around.
         Explain briefly what Jesus meant by what he said in this story. The poor widow who gave only a few pennies offered more than the men who gave $100, because she gave from the money she needed to live on; the others gave from their bank accounts. Jesus teaches us to give generously, not simply to provide for ourselves.
         Tell the children you have some bubble gum which you were looking forward to chewing, but you are willing to share. Ask those who would like a piece of bubble gum to raise their hands. Give gum to those children whose hands are raised, encouraging the others to take some also. Children will be shy about asking, or they may have been taught not to take from other people. However, I have yet to meet a child who dislikes bubble gum and who truly doesn't want any if it is offered. Try to leave no one out. Most likely, as you begin to hand out the gum and the children see that you are serious, they will start to raise their hands. As you hand it out, comment upon how many of them want gum, asking out loud if you have to give all of them gum. Would Jesus want you to give all of them gum? It s amazing how quickly children can answer yes. As you near the end, begin to grumble a little about having given away so much. When you are down to the last child, ask if Jesus means that you must give that child a piece too. Do we have to share and give generously? The answer is yes.
         This is what Jesus teaches us: to give generously from what we have. We are to share with all people.

Notes: This is a good example of church being fun, and providing fun is as important as communicating the message. When children enjoy themselves and come away with something tangible and good, other children, reluctant to participate, may be encouraged to come.
         Be sure to stress that the pieces of gum are to be taken home unwrapped and unused.

by Bucky Dann,
pp. 72-73 in Creating Children's Sermons.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         (after referring to write-up on back of bulletin) God accepts gives from our wealth and also gifts from our poverty. Let us give.

(written by Eva Simmons, worship leader)


         Our Father, accept these gifts given to you from our hearts. May they be used to further Thy kingdom. Amen.

(written by Eva Simmons, worship leader)

Pastoral Prayer

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



"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord,
         continue to live your lives in him,
                  rooted and built up in him
                           and established in the faith,
                                    just as you were taught,
                                             abounding in thanksgiving."

(Colossians 2:6-7)


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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