Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 16, 2007
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am

Third Sunday of Advent

      “When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’”
                                                  (Luke 2:15)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)
  Prelude                              “He shall feed his flock”                              Handel

  Advent Wreath – Lighting the Candle of Invitation

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                            “Bless'd be the God of Israel”                               174

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                    Luke 2:8-20

  Hymn                            “Hark! the herald angels sing”                               201

  Message       “Witnesses of the Nativity: the Shepherds”

  Hymn                          “Good Christian friends, rejoice”                             210

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                   Isaiah 35:1-10

  Time to Give - a unison prayer                                          (back of the bulletin)

  Offertory                                   “Shepherds”                                           Held
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

*Hymn                                   “While by the sheep”                           (see insert)


*Postlude                     “Christ, whose glory fills the skies”                     Gounod

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Advent Wreath - Lighting the Candle of Invitation

         (Two persons, new to our congregation, process forward toward the end of the Prelude – look for a sign from the Pastor as to when. Bring a lit candle and a microphone from the back. Stand on either side of the worship table, facing the congregation. Begin when the Prelude is finished.)

1 – Today is the third Sunday in Advent.
2 – Previously, we lit the candle of preparation,
                          (re-light the first candle)
1 – as well as the candle of anticipation.
                          (re-light the second candle)
2 – It is time now to light the candle of invitation.
                          (light the third candle)
1 – Buried within the busy-ness of this season is “joy
2 – “Joy to the world,” we sing.
1 – “Behold, I bring you good news of great joy.”
2 – Can you hear the sound of a heavenly host?
1 – Christmas comes to us as a joyful invitation.
2 – “Come to Bethlehem and see him whose birth the angels sing.”
1 – Open your eyes, your mind, your heart.
2 – The greatest advent-ure awaits.
1 – How will you respond?
2 – Will you be like Mary, the mother of Jesus?

         (Candlelighters remain up front, while worship leader reads the scripture, then recess during the first hymn – giving the candle and mic to the ushers.)

Call to Worship

46   “And Mary said,
          ‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
47              and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48              for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
           Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49              for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
                      and holy is his name.
50        His mercy is for those who fear him
                 from generation to generation.

51        He has shown strength with his arm;
           he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52        He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
                 and lifted up the lowly;
53        he has filled the hungry with good things,
                 and sent the rich away empty.
54        He has helped his servant Israel,
                 in remembrance of his mercy,
55        according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
                 to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’” 

If you are able, please stand and sing #174, “Bless’d be the God of Israel”

Luke 1:46-55, New Revised Standard Version

Opening Prayer

Restorer of the distracted and world-weary,
ever faithful to Your promises
and ever close to Your people,
the whole Earth rejoices
in the hope of the Savior's coming,
and looks forward with longing
to His return at the end of time.
Prepare our hearts
and remove the sadness
which stops us being
the people of joy and hope
which His presence gives -
- for He is Lord, always. Amen.

by Bill Fletcher, New Zealand

Pastoral Prayer


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


A Time to Give

                     (After reading Isaiah 35:1-10):

The land shall be restored,
         human suffering will come to an end,
                  hope and justice will no longer be empty words,
                           and joy will surround the journey home.

That was the promise of God through Isaiah long ago;
         a promise repeated by Mary, the mother of Jesus;
         a promise implied in the “good tidings of great joy” extended to the shepherds;
         a promise that became the very purpose of Jesus, our Messiah.
As we prepare for his Advent, we allow this promise to color our lives now.

Please turn to the back of your bulletin and join me in the prayer printed there.
                                       (pause briefly until it seems all are ready)

congregation in unison:

It is time for us
         to see our sisters and brothers who are hungry, O God -
                  hungry for food,
                  hungry for safety,
                  hungry for peace.

It is time for us
         to look into their soul-full, wondering eyes and see,
                  really see,
                           what is behind the ragged clothes
                                    and news stories
                                    and our own fear.

In this season of parties and gatherings,
         remind us
                  that you did not break into this world
                           for lavish feasts and extravagant celebrations.

You break into our world for those who are hungry.

Maybe we are scared of our own hunger,
         and certainly
                  we do not want to be uncomfortable in our own privilege.

But you, O God, burst into this world in unexpected circumstances,
         in a strange land,
         hungry and in need of shelter,
         relying on the mercy of strangers.

by Melissa Bennett, pastor for worship and youth
Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren
Fort Wayne, IN
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Worship Leader: And all God’s people said,

                People: Amen.

Worship Leader: It is now a time to give... Ushers?


The invitation has been extended to you, so
      Don’t be afraid.
            Be an advent angel to others.
                  Bring good news of great joy.
                        Remember the promise.
            Yes, Christ is born.
                  But there is more to come.
                        The reign of God is on its way.
                              Messiah is coming!
            Glory to God and on earth peace.

People: Amen!

(para traducir a espaρol, presione la bandera de Espaρa)


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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