Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
February 20, 2005
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am

The Second Sunday of Lent

      "How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!" (Psalms 133:1)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)
  Prelude                                  "Everlasting Love"                             arr. Rouse

  Call to Worship                                                                             (see insert)

*Hymn of Praise                    "To God be the glory"                                   102

*Opening Prayer

*Hymn of Affirmation               "God sent his Son"                                      345

  Membership Celebration

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Reflections on our visit
                                         (Pre-schoolers then leave for playful worship)

  Scripture                                      Psalm 133

  Message                                   "Like the dew"

  Hymn                                 "How good a thing it is"                                  310

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                              "Brother James' Air"                           arr. Wood

  A Prayer of Transformation                                             (see back of bulletin)

*Song for the Journey                  (sing 3 times)                                             538

Lead me, Lord, Lead me in thy righteousness.
Make thy way plain before my face.
For it is thou, Lord, thou, Lord, only
that makest me dwell in safety.

*Benediction                                 Psalm 133

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
(John 3:16-17)

One - "For God so loved the world..."
All - Real love, not some glossy imitation!
One - The world, not just us!
All - "For God so loved the world"
One - "that he gave his only Son,"
All - Jesus!
One - Jesucristo, Hijo de Dios!
All - "so that everyone"
One - Not just a few, but everyone!
All - "who believes in him may not perish"
One - a meaningless existence, and a death without hope
All - "God gave his only Son" so that, instead of perishing,
One - Yes! Amen! Say it like you mean it!
All - so that those who believe "may have eternal life!"
One - "Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world"
All - that means us, too!
One - "to condemn the world,"
All - Shame on you! Shame on me!
One - Instead, Jesus was sent "that the world"
All - Not just a few, but everyone!
One - "might be saved through him." Amen!
All - To God be the glory!
One - Sing it like you mean it!

Opening Prayer

         We give you the glory, Lord God. Itís yours to start with. Itís yours to end with. In the middle, in this here and now, you share it all with us. Steadfast love! Goodness and mercy! Justice and righteousness! Amazing grace! Eternal life! Peace! What all you have done - itís a marvel! What all you continue to do - awesome! Weíre gathered with expectation over what lies ahead.
         Just now, forgive us for how we often quickly tire of glory, treading this ground as if it were anything but holy, littering what you freely give us with ungrateful hearts, forgetful of how precious it all is, and that this life is worth living - really living - just because Jesus lives! Amen!

Membership Celebration

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." (John 3:16)

That verse is one of the most memorized scriptures in the New Testament. This morning, we want to celebrate the anniversary of a decision based in that love. Over the years, several persons among us made a public statement of faith during the month of February. Perhaps it was the initial step of baptism. Maybe it was a re-commitment to Christ and his church, coming from another congregation. Whatever the case, you joined your life with ours in Christ. You know who you are. I invite you now to come forward.

We thank God for you, for bringing you into this fellowship. As your badge says, you are a "special person" to us. Whether or not you were raised in this family of faith, it was your decision to follow Jesus with us. Thatís a joy, evidence that God has been moving in your life. Thank you for the ways in which you have responded to his call. May you keep walking with Christ! Itís our desire as a church to keep walking beside you along his way. Forgive us when our steps falter, as we seek to do the same with you.

Brothers and sisters, let me extend the opportunity just now to renew the vows you once made, that today might be, for you, a fresh beginning to another year of faith. Here goes.

Do you still believe that Jesus is Godís Son. 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 freely live according to the example and teachings of Jesus? If so, say, "I will."

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

Praise God! In the letter each of you received was a pledge form, an opportunity to respond with some vows specific to you, involving your time and talents. If you have felt moved to pledge in this way, I invite you to place it in the offering at the end of worship. For now, let me just say that you are a blessing to us from God.


Pastoral Prayer


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


Psalm 133

First, in Spanish, then in English.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         I know none of us brought a jar of anointing oil to return to the Lord just now. I wonder, however, if we might see our offerings this morning through that image from Psalm 133 of "precious oil" poured out as a blessing. Yes, sometimes our giving is messy. We pour out what we have into the plate, praying that the check wonít bounce, or that it is what God wants us to give. Remember this as you respond with your tithes and offerings - God multiplies the blessing. Pray with me.

         Thank you for your goodness, O Lord. It overflows. Your blessings pour over us. With grateful hearts, weíre just passing it on. In Jesus, Amen.


A Prayer of Transformation

One: For God so loved the world.
All: Help us, 0 God, to believe in Jesus' transforming love.

One: For God so loved the world.
All: Help us, 0 God, to extend this love and care beyond our comfort zones.

One: For God so loved the world.
All: Help us, 0 God, to create supportive communities that are welcoming.

One: For God so loved the world.
All: Help us, 0 God, to be examples of unity and peace.

One: For God so loved the world
All: Help us, 0 God, to have hearts for justice and compassion.

One: For God so loved the world.
All: Help us, 0 God, that through Jesus transforming love, we may have eternal life. Amen.

- Barbara Sayler, co-director On Earth Peace
Westminster, Maryland
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"


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


©2005 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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