Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 25, 2004
Worship 10:00 am Sunday School for all ages 11:15 am

Third Sunday of Easter

      When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs."
                                 (John 21:15)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Call to Worship                            Psalm 30

*Hymn                           "Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee"                                71

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                 Colossians 1:3-6

  For Children                          "Bearing fruit"
                                         (Pre-schoolers then leave for playful worship)

  Song                         "Every Morning is Easter Morning"                 (see insert)

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                   John 21:1-19

  Message                  "Continuing the work of Jesus"

  Hymn                         (vs 1-2) "For Christ and the church"                           416

  Celebrating and Renewing Baptismal Vows

  Hymn                         (vs 3-4) "For Christ and the church"                           416

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings


*Hymn                          "I know that my Redeemer lives"                            279


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
Psalm 30 (CEV)

1 & 2 - I will praise you, LORD!

1 - You saved me from the grave and kept my enemies from celebrating my death.

2 - I prayed to you, LORD God, and you healed me, saving me from death and the grave.

1 - Your faithful people, LORD, will praise you with songs and honor your holy name.

2 - Your anger lasts a little while,

1 - but your kindness lasts for a lifetime.

2 - At night we may cry,

1 - but when morning comes we will celebrate.

2 - I was carefree and thought,

1 - "I'll never be shaken!"

2 - You, LORD, were my friend, and you made me strong as a mighty mountain.

1 - But when you hid your face, I was crushed.

2 - I prayed to you, LORD, and in my prayer I said,

1 - "What good will it do you if I am in the grave? Once I have turned to dust, how can I praise you or tell how loyal you are? Have pity, LORD! Help!"

2 - You have turned my sorrow into joyful dancing.

1 - No longer am I sad and wearing sackcloth.

2 - I thank you from my heart,

1 - and I will never stop singing your praises,

2 - my LORD and my God....

1 - God has, indeed, "turned (our) mourning into dancing."

(pause briefly)

2 - Christ is risen! In him shall all be made alive!

1 - Therefore, brothers and sisters, take off your sackcloth and be clothed me with the joy of the Lord.

2 - "Joyful, joyful, we adore thee," #71, stand if you are able, and sing!

©1995 by American Bible Society

For Children
"Bearing fruit"
Colossians 1:3-6

         (Sit down with the children and start cutting up an apple. Take a bite, and savor the taste. Try to get the children to salivate over it. Then:) Iíve got two questions for you this morning. Interested? Hereís the first one: How many seeds do you think are in this apple? (Have them guess). Well, I suppose there is just one way to find out. Letís finish cutting this sucker up and see. (Divide the apple into sections - one per child plus yours - and cut out the center of each, counting up the seeds as you go.) Here, would you eat this piece for me? (Give the slices away, one by one, as you go). There, we have an answer to my question. How many seeds are there in this apple? ____.

         I said that I had two questions. Hereís the second one. (Pick up one of the seeds) How many apples are in this seed? Thatís a hard one to answer, isnít it? We canít cut it up and count, can we? We donít know how many. Why? Thatís right. First this seed needs to be planted. No apples will come from it if it doesnít get planted. However, it is does get planted, and does take root and grow, and if it becomes an apple tree that produces fruit - why, only God knows how many apples could come from this seed. Bushel basket upon bushel basket, year after year. Wow!

         Each of us is like this seed. All sorts of possibilities exist for us down the road as we grow. Who knows what good fruit will come out of us as we follow Jesus! Well, God knows. All the good stuff in you, for instance - things that are special about you, the things that make you unique, your abilities and opportunities as you grow - all of this comes from God. And God wants you to grow and become that special person only you can be.

         Did you like that apple? I did. And I like you. Okay, itís time for some of you to plant yourselves back in your seat, and you younger ones to head off to a different garden - I mean your preschool room - to do some growing. God loves you. Bye.

adapted from Harold Steindam, Growing Together, p. 64.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Celebrating and Renewing Baptismal Vows

         The wealth of a congregation is not measured in terms of the size of its meetinghouse, nor the amount of money it has in the bank. The true treasure of the church is found in persons who respond the call of Christ, trust in Godís promise, and live out their love of the Lord. Jesus said, "follow me," and the greatest blessing in life is to do just that. Do understand, sometimes we walk with the Lord full of energy, ready and raring to go. While at other times, we drag our feet or stumble and fall. Along the way, we may wander from the path set before us, but then we hear again the call, "follow me." Our Lord is always with us - leading, empowering, sometimes carrying, but always near, as promised.

         Right now, we want to celebrate an important anniversary. Standing here are some of the treasure of this congregation, persons who - during the month of April down through the years - said "yes" to the Lord by joining their lives with ours in this body of Christ. Some were baptized in this sanctuary or in a nearby stream. Others transferred from another Christian church, affirming their faith as they joined. If our records are right, and all sixteen active members we want to recognize are here today, they altogether represent 419 years of faithful service, following Jesus in this congregation. That is something to celebrate! Amen?

         Thank you for responding to Christ call and joining this church - many years ago, or just a few. We value your presence among us. You are very important to us, whether you serve in some leadership capacity or are just one of the unspoken heroes in our midst. Every part of the body of Christ, as the apostle Paul once wrote, is important.

         This is a time to celebration, and a time to recommit. Traditionally, there are three questions asked on the day of our baptism. Letís revisit them, giving those who are up front now the opportunity to renew these vows. Since I am among those who joined in April, Iíve asked one of our deacons to lead us at this point.

         Do you still believe that Jesus is Godís Son. Does your door remain open to him that you may receive him every day? Do you still trust him as your Savior and Lord? If so, say, "I do."

         Will you turn away from all sin and endeavor by Godís grace - today! - to live according to the example and teachings of Jesus? If so, say, "I will."

         Will you continue to be loyal to the church, upholding it by your prayers and your presence, your substance and your service? If so, say, "I will."

         Praise God! Each of you received a letter which included a pledge form, an opportunity to respond with some concrete vows specific to you, involving your time and talents, as well as your substance. If you have felt moved to pledge in this way, I invite you to place it in the basket on the worship table while we sing the last two verses of the hymn - your special offering "for Christ and the church" on this day of celebration. Then return to your seat. Hymnal - #416.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         He died to save. And he lives! In Christ shall all be made alive. Not just those whose April steps of faith down through the years we have just celebrated. All shall be made alive! How about you? Your redeemer lives! Respond - today - to his invitation to follow, his call to "feed my sheep," whatever that may mean for you. Your monetary offering is but one way of responding. How else might you live for Christ this coming week? Aim high. Let your faithful imagination soar as the ushers receive our offering.


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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