Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 20, 2008
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am

The Fifth Sunday of Easter

      “Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”
                    (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)
  Prelude                             "A Monestary Evensong"                              Calver

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                               "Christ is our cornerstone"                                   43

*Opening Prayer

  Affirmation of faith                adapts 1 Peter 2:9-10

We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that we may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once we were not a people, but now we are God’s people; once we had not received mercy, but now we have received mercy.

  Word in music                           "Living Stones"

  Scripture                                    John 14:1-14

  Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
                                 (please be brief, and aware of God’s listening presence)

  Hymn                                      "Obey my voice"                                       163

  Pastoral Prayer

  Tercentennial Minute
                "The End of the World is Rescheduled for April 19, 1875"

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                                "O Loving Savior"                                Gounod
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Scripture                                    Acts 7:55-60

  Message                                    "Not cheap" (mp3 audio)

*Hymn                         "Strong, righteous man of Galilee"                            540


*Postlude                        "Christus, Der Ist Mein Leben"                        Vulpus

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
1 Peter 2:2-5

1 – "Like newborn infants…"

2 – you know, cuddly cute, but then, squirming and squawking, and later, antsy and distracting…

1 – "Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk…"

2 – not from some plastic container, but direct from the source…

1 – "so that by it you may grow into salvation…"

2 – Spiritual nutrients make a body strong!

1 – "if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good."

2 – Yes, “Taste and see that the Lord is good."

1 – "Come to him, a living stone…"

2 – "He is not dead, but has risen and has gone before you to Galilee…"

1 – "a living stone, though rejected by mortals…"

2 – How often we bite the very hand that feeds us!

1 – "rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight…"

2 – The Messiah, the Christ – lift up your eyes and see.

1 –  "and like living stones…"

2 – Not dead, but alive in Christ!

1 – "let yourselves be built into a spiritual house…"

2 – Remember what truly makes a house a "home."

1 – "to be a holy priesthood…"

2 – Not just some old preacher up front, but everyone, you included!

1 – "to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God…"

2 – God doesn't want pretend people, but folks who come as they are: at times cuddly cute, but also squirming and squawking, antsy and distracting, broken and mending, doubting and believing, dying and living…

1 – "through Jesus Christ."

2 – Through Jesus Christ!

1&2 – Through Jesus Christ!

Opening Prayer

            Like newborn babes we come to you, Lord God. As we feed upon the pure, spiritual milk of your Word, bonding to your voice, may we grow into what you have birthed us to be in Christ. When we are tempted to bite the hand that feeds us and turn from you, O God, mentor us in all your tough and tender ways. Sharpen our abilities as disciples and inspire us to use them for good. Remind us that we are your people and not merely a collection of individuals, a spiritual house resting upon your solid foundation, a living body with Christ as our head.
            May the words of our mouths this day, and the inner workings of our being – prayers, thoughts, feelings, all woven together – being pleasing to you, O Lord, our rock and redeemer. Amen.

Living Stones
I Peter 2:4ff

         Living stones, living stones, we are holy, living stones,
         built upon the firm foundation that is Jesus.
         And as we cling to that Rock who became a stumbling block
         we remember we are living stones

See, in Zion He is known, a chosen precious cornerstone.
And the ones who come to trust in Him will never know the shame
that He bore on that Cross when it seemed that all was lost.
He’s a Stone that makes men stumble, the Rock that makes them fall.

By the Word of his mouth we are made one holy house.
Though we live as scattered strangers, we are not homeless, we are free.
We are one family, one fold, one Overseer of our souls;
Says we are His own possession, we are living stones.

Written by Michael Card
© 2002 Mole End Music (ASCAP)

clips of this song can be heard at artistdirect.com
These words are for learning only (the song is copyrighted).
Commit the tune & words to memory, then sing from the heart.
Be thankful for the musician's gift, and bless the Lord.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Tercentennial Minute
The End of the World is Rescheduled for April 19, 1875

            On September 27, 1868 a small group of Brethren climbed a haystack to be closer to heaven as they waited for their Lord to descend from the clouds.  Despite their fervent prayers, and their belief in the biblical calculations of William C. Thurman (c.1830-1906), nothing happened.  Eventually some local rowdies set fire to the hay, forcing the Brethren to come down, severely disappointed.

It wouldn’t be the last time.

Thurman was a Virginia Baptist who joined the Brethren in 1862.  That same year he wrote a book on biblical nonresistance that helped many Brethren in the south win exemption from the military draft.  However, he was eventually expelled from the Brethren because of his contrary stance on the subject of feetwashing. 

            But he was best known for his views on the end of the world.  In Sealed Book of Daniel Opened he set the date for the return of Christ on September 27, 1868.  Many Christians, Adventist, Brethren, and others, were attracted to his ideas.  Undeterred by the failure of his calculations he rescheduled the end of the world for a month later on October 28.  Then October 17, 1869.  Then April 19, 1875.

Even though his recalculations proved to be just as flawed, over a hundred Brethren left the church and joined him.  Some of these Thurmanites, as they came to be known, later rejoined the Church of the Brethren and the Brethren Church in the 1880’s

            It is said that when one Brethren elder was offered one of Thurman’s books he declined, wryly noting that he already had enough kindling.  Thurman continued to predict the end of the world until he died, penniless, in 1906, by which time he had recalculated the end of the world for 1917.

And that’s the Tercentennial Minute for April 20, 2008.

by Frank Ramirez, pastor of the Everett, PA Church of the Brethren
posted by permission                        
The Everett church graciously makes available these weekly vignettes from Brethren history
to all who are interested during this 300th anniversary year of our denomination.
Frank will be the guest preacher for our Homecoming on October 26, 2008
(this is our congregation's 100th anniversary year)

Returning our Tithes and Offerings
(Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16)

As we turn toward collecting our morning offering, let's turn toward Psalm 31, and listen to this prayer of the Psalmist:

In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me. Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me. You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name's sake lead me and guide me, take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God….

            Allow me to fast forward through several verses of this prayer, where the Psalmist says this:

My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors. Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.

Our times as in God's hand. Even if money is tight, or things are just not going right. Whether the suns shines or the clouds rain on our parade, our times are in God's hands. Even if it seems like the end is near, let's commit ourselves to the One who is our refuge, our rock, our fortress, our redeemer. Placing our offering in the plate doesn't earn us heaven. It's just a tangible way of putting our hand in God's and remembering, “My times are in your hand.” … Ushers?



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


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

International Lesson:
Adult Bible Studies
from The United Methodist Publishing House
(click "supplemental resources" and "current events supplement" under both the "Student" and "Teacher" sections in the left hand column)

While one of our adult classes follows the International lesson above (see also), 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)


©2008 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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