Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
March 26, 2006
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am

The fourth Sunday of Lent

      "Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right." (2 Thessalonians 3:13)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)
  Prelude                                  "Lenten Sequence"                      Cruger, Bach

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                         "My hope is built on nothing less"                           343

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                               Hebrews 10:19-25

  Receiving a new member
                    Reaffirming Baptismal Vows
                    Congregational Reaffirmation                                                777

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

  Hymn                             "In the bulb there is a flower"                             614

  Pastoral Prayer

  Drama            "The Seven Deadly Sins, part 4: Sloth"
                            (Pre-schoolers then leave for Bell Ringers & Sunday School)

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                                 "Quiet Prelude"                                    Benoit

  Scripture                            2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

  Message                           "Not growing weary"

  Planting Seeds of Hope

*Hymn                                  "Beyond a dying sun"                                  323


*Postlude                                "God be with you"                             Williams

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
(1 Peter 1:3-7)

1 - "Blessed be!
2 - Blessed be!
1 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
2 - By his great mercy
1 - great mercy
2 - great mercy he has given us a new birth
1 - a new birth into a living hope
2 - through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 - By his great mercy
2 - great mercy
1 - great mercy he has given us an inheritance that is imperishable,
2 - undefiled,
1 - and unfading,
2 - kept in heaven for you,
1 - you who are being protected
2 - protected by the power of God through faith
1 - for a salvation ready to be
2 - revealed
1 - disclosed
2 - uncovered
1 - in the last time.
2 - In this you rejoice,
1 - celebrate
2 - delight
1 - even if now for a little while
2 - just a little while
1 - you have had to suffer various trials,
2 - so that the genuineness of your faith-
1 - being more precious than gold
2 - gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire-
1 - so that the genuineness of your faith may be found to result
2 - in praise
1 - and glory
2 - and honor
1 - when Jesus Christ is revealed."
1 - Our hope is built on nothing less... #343.
      As God makes you able, stand in this hope and sing.

Opening Prayer

         Holy God, it has been a busy week for many of us. We have been hard at work at our jobs, we have attended meetings, we’ve shuttled our children to friends’ houses and extracurricular activities, and we have wondered, "Where has all the time gone?" At certain moments, it has been comforting to know that at least we are being productive, but such comfort has been fleeting. As productive as we have been, there has not been much time left over for leisure, for deepening relationships with those we know and love, or for deepening our relationship with you. And yet, we have carved out a little time this morning to come here to spend with you and the people gathered in this place. We have found the time because we have learned, over and over again, that when we make time for you, you always seem to make time for us. Help us, holy God, to be as unhurried as you seem to be, at least in this hour. Help us to be as interested in connecting with you as you seem to be in connecting with us. And teach us what busyness in our lives we may let go of, not that we may have more time to kill, but more time to live abundantly. We pray for abundant life in relationship with you and the ones we love. We pray these things in Christ s name. Amen.

Eric Elnes, Igniting Worship Series: The Seven Deadly Sins, p. 73.

Receiving a new member

1. Introductions

         (After this person is "introduced" to the congregation by a church member, highlighting a bit of their walk with Christ up to this point):

         Today you are being received into this community of faith and into the Church of the Brethren. As part of the whole church of Jesus Christ, we offer you our rich heritage and invite you to share fully in our life and mission.

         As you are received into the Long Green Valley Church, we intend to be a true family of faith to you. We commit ourselves to be for you a loving fellowship, to be a means of grace in your life, and to offer opportunities for worship, study, and service. One of the happiest times in our life as a church is when new people choose to become members. We welcome you with joy.

2. Reaffirming Baptismal Vows

         Do you still believe that Jesus is God's Son and do you continue to receive and trust him as your Savior and Lord? (I do.)

         Do you still seek to turn away from all sin and endeavor by God's grace to live according to the example and teachings of Jesus? (I will.)

         Will you be loyal to this church, upholding it by your prayers and your presence, your substance and your service? (I will.)

3. Congregational Reaffirmation

As we now receive you into the fellowship of the church, 
     we make this covenant with you 
     as we renew our own covenant with God: 
          to bear each others' burdens, 
          to assist in times of need, 
          to share our gifts and possessions, 
          to forgive as Christ has forgiven us, 
          to support each other in joy and sorrow, 
              and in all things to work for the common good, 
          thus making known Christ's presence among us 
              to the glory of God
As we unite with each other now, 
     may we all be joined with Christ, our Lord.

Hymnal #777
Adapted from The Mennonite Hymnal,
©1969 Faith & Life Press/Mennonite Publishing House,
based on Anabaptist baptismal vows, 16th c.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         Listen to these words from the apostle Paul to the young man he was mentoring, scripture from which, by the way, the theme of our denomination’s annual conference this summer is derived: "Exercise daily in God." I’ll be reading from "The Message," a paraphrase by Eugene Peterson, with a slight addition from the New Revised Standard Version. All who have ears, let them hear.

         "You’ve been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the Christians there, and you’ll be a good servant of Jesus. Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God--no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on - we have set our hope on (NRSV) - the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers."
                                 -1 Timothy 4:6-10 (The Message)

Pray with me.

         Living God, help us to take to heart the message of the faith which we have received over the years. Lead us away from silly stories and toward the greatest story ever told. Following Jesus together, help us to get in shape, spiritually. Bless these offerings we are about to share for the work of your church, and open our hearts and minds to receive what you have to share with us this day. In Jesus’ name, amen.


Planting Seeds of Hope

         After the message, the 11 readers come forward to one of the two microphones on stands in front of the organ or the piano, and read the quote that is highlighted below in the order listed. After they read the quote, each also reads the name of the author or the scripture reference, saying nothing more than what is written. While these statements are being read, people (the invitation extended during the sermon) will be coming forward, as they feel led, to plant a literal seed in a planter up front as a symbol of hope. Before or after a particular reading, depending upon where it is in the order, the readers are also invited to plant a seed if they feel so led. They should just be in place to begin reading their segment as soon as the person reading the segment before is done. Then they return to their seat.


1. "Every thing that is done in the world is done by hope."
                      —Martin Luther

2. "Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God..."
                      —Psalm 146:5

3. "Hope has a thick skin and will endure many a blow; it will put on patience as a vestment, it will wade through a sea of blood, it will endure all things if it be of the right kind, for the joy that is set before it. Hence patience is called "patience of hope," because it is hope that makes the soul exercise patience and long-suffering under the cross, until the time comes to enjoy the crown."
                      —John Bunyan

4. "Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."
                      —Romans 5:1-5

5. "The very least you can do is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under its roof."
                      —Barbara Kingsolver

6. "For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."
                      —Romans 8:24-27

7. "Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don’t give up."
                      —Anne Lamott

8. "I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.
                      —Ephesians 1:17-19

9. "As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is a mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength. Like all the Christian virtues, it is as unreasonable as it is indispensable."
                      —G. K. Chesterton

10. "For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
                      —Hebrews 6:10-12

11. "I’m such an optimist I’d go after Moby Dick in a rowboat and take the tartar sauce with me."
                      —Zig Ziglar


         "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)

(para traducir a español, presione la bandera de España)


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International Lesson thoughts
from the
Mennonite Publishing House

"Jesus is all"
commentary on the
International Lesson

Living Web Sunday School Project


©2006 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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