Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
June 17, 2007
Worship 10:00 am

Fatherís Day

      He also prepared savory food, and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, "Let my father sit up and eat of his sonís game, so that you may bless me."
                                   (Genesis 27:31)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Responsive Call to Worship                                                                        821

*Hymn                             "For the beauty of the earth"                                    89

*Opening Prayer (f-7)

  For Children                        "A parentís help"

  Womenís voices united   "Help us to help each other"                                  362
                          (Our younger children, ages 3-7, then leave for Sunday School)

  Scripture                                Genesis 27:30-40

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

  Responsive Prayer                                                                                      721

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory              (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

*Hymn                  (sing all verses) "We give thee but thine own"                      384


  Scripture                                  Luke 15:25-32

  Message                 "Seeking your fatherís blessing"
                                         Jeannie Schwartz, preacher

*Hymn                       "Take my hand and lead me, Father"                            601


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!
        Serve the Lord with gladness!
        Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord is God!
It is he that made us, and we are his;
        we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
        and his courts with praise!
        Give thanks to him, bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
        his steadfast love endures forever,
        and his faithfulness to all generations.

Hymnal #821   (Revised Standard Version)

For Children
"A parentís help"

         Connecting to our month's Wellness theme of "Home Safety," our resident children's storyteller, Ed Lewis, shares another vignette from his childhood, hopefully making a tie-in to Father's Day. In preparation, he wrote:

         I am going to talk about accidents that can happen and things that can be done to prevent them. The opening of the story is about when I was five I was going around the house with a ruler in my mouth. I put the ruler up against my mother (while it was in my mouth). My mother backed up and the ruler sliced open the back of my throat and I was rushed to the hospital. I could honestly say she never told me not to put a ruler in my mouth, but now I can tell others. We are all given good advice from those who love us and we learn from mistakes and the rest is logic. I will share things in the house that can be dangerous and ask the children what kind of things do they think is unsafe (to get their minds working in that way).


Genesis 27:30-40


         Our two Bible stories this morning revolve around fathers and sons, which is appropriate for a day like today. Whatís different, perhaps, is that later on we have a mother reflecting on these scriptures. The first is from Genesis, and the father is Isaac. Thereís a whole other story that could be spoken of him, about when his father - Abraham - took him up a hill for a sacrifice, at Godís command. But thatís a tale for another day.
         In this chapter, the 27th, we find Isaac on his deathbed. The time has come for him to give his blessing to his oldest son, Esau. The only problem is, his younger son, Jacob, has beaten Esau to the punch. Jacob came to his nearly blind dad dressed as his brother, complete with the right smell (talk about guys and their own unique aromas!). Isaac blesses Jacob, whom he thought was Esau. All is well with the world in this fatherís darkening eyes as he prepares for death. Until the real number one son comes along. Itís enough to give you heartburn. Listen.

Read Genesis 27:30-40

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


         Itís a good thing the women sang "Help us to help each other" before that scripture from the book of Genesis, for the very next verse speaks of Esauís hatred of Jacob. In fact, he went so far as to threaten, "I will kill my brother." (pause) Families are not always warm and cozy places, you know. Supporting one another through life is sometimes the hardest thing we can do. We definitely need the help of our heavenly "Father."
         Now is the time to share our "joys and concerns" with each other. However, as we speak up, we do so in the presence of God. We canít bear each otherís burdens without the Lordís help. Just ask Jacob and Esau and their father, Isaac.


Responsive Prayer

           Almighty God,
                    from whom comes each good gift of life,
                    we remember your loving kindness and your uncounted mercies
                             as we join in grateful praise.
           For all your gifts to us and to our human race;
                    for our life and the world in which we live,
                    we give you thanks, O God.
For the order and constancy of nature;
                    for the beauty and bounty of the world;
                    for day and night, summer and winter, seed-time and harvest;
                    for the varied joys which every season brings,
                    we give you thanks, O God.
For the work we are enabled to do,
                    and the truth we are permitted to discover;
                    good there has been in our past,
                    and for all the hopes which lead us on toward better things,
                    we give you thanks, O God.
For all the joys and comforts of life;
                    for homes and families;
                    for our friends;
                    for the love, sympathy, and goodwill of persons near and far,
                    we give you thanks, O God.
For all cultures, wise government and just laws which order our common life;
                    for education and all the treasures of literature, science, and art,
                    we give you thanks, O God.
For the discipline of life;
                    for the tasks and trials which train us to know ourselves
                    and which bring us to accept one another,
                    we give you thanks, O God.
For the desire and power to help others;
                    for every opportunity of serving our generation in ways large or small,
                    we give you thanks, O God.
For the gift of Jesus Christ, and everything which is ours as his disciples;
                    for the presence and inspiration of your Holy Spirit throughout our days,
                    we give you thanks, O God.
For the tender ties which bind us to the unseen world;
                    for the faith which dispels the shadows of earth
                    and fills the closing years of life with the light of hope,
                    we give you thanks, O God.
ALL:  God of all grace and love,
                    we have praised you with our lips
                    for all the richness and meaning that life holds for us.
           Now send us into the world to praise you with our lives,
                    through Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN

Hymnal #721, taken from
The Hymnal of the United Church of Christ, ©1974.
United Church Press, 700 Prospect Ave., E.,
Cleveland, OH 44115-1100

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         Illinois Bell reported not long ago that the volume of long-distance calls made on Father's Day was growing faster than the number on Mother's Day. The company apologized for the delay in compiling the statistics, but explained that the extra billing of calls to fathers slowed things down. Most of them were collect... (pause briefly)

(illustration borrowed from here)

         The truth about our relationship with our heavenly Father is that we all call "collect." In fact, everything has already been paid - ahead of time. When we pray, God has already accepted the charges, and says - "I was waiting for you to call. Whatís up?"
         Our offerings are not a payment to the phone company..., for ourselves, that is. What we give is for others. Weíre just trying to pass along the blessing that is already ours. We give because we have received. When we pray over our offerings, God says, "Okay, letís see what we can do with what Iíve given. Are you ready?"
         Itís time for the ushers to pass the plates. Are you ready?


         Itís us calling once more, Lord ... collect. Thank you for being so generous. Indeed, what we bring to you just now is what you have first given to us. From your hand back to your hand, however, it has passed through our lives. Weíve tried to do whatís right, though we confess we have not succeeded as much as you or we would like. Weíve sinned along the way. Thanks for not holding that against us, for giving your Son to pay the debt we owe. Okay, now about this money that we are in this moment placing back into your hands - we know that you toss it back into our hands as a church to wisely and responsibly put to use. We need your help in doing this. Bless our church board which just reorganized itself last Wednesday night with the faith we just sang: "And we believe thy word, though dim our faith may be, whate'er for thine we do, O Lord, we do it unto thee." Amen.

Luke 15:25-32

         Our gospel lesson this morning is taken from the fifteenth chapter of Luke. The selection, however, comprises the second part of a familiar story. The parable of the prodigal son (or should we call it the story of the waiting father?), is well known and loved. In it, the younger of two brothers decides to take his inheritance or run to Vegas, or wherever it was the bright lights beckoned back in Bible times. Eventually, his money and his luck ran out, and he was forced into a job nobody else wanted, lost in that wilderness called "consequences." Finally, he turns his feet back home where, surprise, his father receives him with open arms. You know the story, I hope - rings, robe, fatted calf, party!
         The second part of the story involves the older brother. Itís an unfinished tale - Jesus purposefully left it open ended. Letís listen. Perhaps weíll hear something in these words weíve never caught before. Scripture does that, you know. We think weíve heard everything there is to hear in a Bible story, and then God knocks on our door with something new. Ready?

Read Luke 15:25-32


         "And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

(Colossians 3:15a, 16a, 17 NRSV)

(para traducir a espaŮol, presione la bandera de EspaŮa)


Interested in Sunday School?
Below is a growing list of possible sites to visit. As you discover others, please let us know.

International Lesson:
Faith and Life Resources
Mennonite Publishing House

International Lesson:
Mennonite Weekly Review

(scroll down on left to "Sunday School lessons)

International Lesson:
Christian Standard
(one week ahead)

International Lesson:
Living Web Sunday School Project

While one of our adult classes follows the International lesson above, using
A Guide for Biblical Studies,
published quarterly by our denomination,
another class often uses one of the
Good Ground series,
also published by Brethren Press.

For children and youth, we use the new
Gather Round curriculum
(developed jointly by the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonite Church)


©2007 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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