Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 26, 2004
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am
The Sunday after Christmas

      "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                          "Good Christian friends, rejoice"                             210

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                Matthew 2:11-21

  Hymn                                       "The first Noel"                                         199

  Drama                             "One foot in heaven"

  Hymn                                "Infant holy, infant lowly"                                  206
                                              (Pre-schoolers leave for playful worship)

  A Christmas Confession                                                                 (see insert)

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

  Unison Prayer                                                                                          734

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings


*Hymn                                     "Joy to the world"                                      318


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

One: Arise! Shine! For your light has come.
The glory of the Lord has been revealed
and all people shall see it together.

All: We come to see for ourselves what God has done.
We come to know the One
for whom the angels sing.

One: Come! Worship the everlasting God, the creator of the universe,
who strengthens the powerless and brings forth justice for all people.

All: We long for Godís presence and power among us.
We hope for Godís just and loving reign.

One: Come! Receive the gift of life offered to us in Jesus Christ
and offer your own gifts of wonder and praise.

All: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth,
 peace among all
with whom God is pleased!

by Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm, ©2004.
from the 2004 national Christmas Eve broadcast on CBS
©2004 Church of the Brethren General Board

Opening Prayer

Holy and loving God,
         your coming is the hope of the world
                  and a light to the nations.
You came as an infant to show us love that is born of humility.
You came amid times of conflict and crisis
         to show us love that pursues peace and the well-being of all people.
Come to us now, Lord Jesus Christ.
Come to us as we gather to hear the story of your birth
         and the good news of your love alive among us.
Come to us as you did to Mary and Joseph,
         and startle us with the announcement of your coming
                  so that we may receive your gifts of life
                            and make room for you in our lives and in our world.
Come to us as you did to the shepherds,
         and awaken us in the midst of our daily routines
                  so we may hear your new song and sing it with joy to others.
Come to us as the prophet Isaiah foretold,
         and empower us to be your people
                  and to respond to your goodness among us.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
         And all your people say, amen.

by Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm, ©2004
from the 2004 national Christmas Eve broadcast on CBS
©2004 Church of the Brethren General Board

A Christmas Confession
(congregation reads regular print, worship leader reads words in italics)

We were heavy with sorrow, but joy interrupted.
We were deep in the night, but a star appeared.
We were silent with sadness, but the heavens rang.

And the splendor shone around them
When the time had fully come.

We were hardened by conflict, but love intervened.
We were frightened by shadows, but light took them away.
We were haunted by fears, but a child brought us hope.

And she laid him in a manger
When the time had fully come.

We were dismal and defeated, but faith set us on fire.
We were weary and complaining, but our hearts discovered praise.
We were doubtful and confused, but a door to life was opened.

And the guiding star went before them
When the time had fully come.

We were arrogant and angry, but his innocence disarmed us.
We were cruel, crude, and clumsy, but his grace made all things new.
We were selfish, narrow, greedy, but his joy we had to share.

And they offered him their treasured gifts
When the time had fully come.

We were sheep who had lost their way, but the shepherd knew our names.
We were strangers without a country, but our kingdom came to us.
We were children far from home, but God sent his Son to guide.

And the Word was flesh among us
When the time had fully come.

written by the late Kenneth I Morse,
taken from In Straw and Story, by Joyce Miller,
 ©1977, Brethren Press, p. 80.

Unison Prayer

Savior of the earthís children,
         you came as a little child
         to lead us to wisdom and love.
When you grew up,
         you welcomed the children
         and told us the kingdom belongs to them.
Call us to a childís tenderness,
         humility, energy, and love,
         for Jesusí sake. AMEN

Hymnal #734, adapted from All the Seasons of Mercy,
©1987, Diane Karay, Wetsminster/John Knox Press

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

Read Psalm 148

Please pray with me:
         Gracious God, we have seen you as you truly are in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We know your name. Give us the grace to praise your name with all that we have and are. Amen.

Will the ushers now come forward to receive our offerings?

prayer by Bob W. Dell, pastor
Codorus (Loganville, PA) Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"


May the gift of Godís love
in the light of Christís life
shine brightly around you,
warmly within you,
and boldly beyond you
today and forever. Amen.

by Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm, ©2004, adapted.
from the 2004 national Christmas Eve broadcast on CBS
©2004 Church of the Brethren General Board


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

"Jesus is all"
commentary on the
International Lesson

Living Web Sunday School Project


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


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