Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 27, 2008
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am

The Sixth Sunday of Easter

      "Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence."
(1 Peter 3:15b-16a)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Song                                            "Breathe"

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                              "For the beauty of the earth"                                 89

  Scripture                                   John 14:15-21

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

  Hymn                             "Joys are flowing like a river"                               301

  Pastoral Prayer

  For Children

  Scripture                                  1 Peter 3:13-22

  Tercentennial Minute         "The Gospel Visitor Makes Its First Call"

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                                   Acts 17:16-34

  Message                          "To an unknown God" (mp3 audio)

*Hymn                         "He comes to us as one unknown"                          498



#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

One:  God, we gather this day as your offspring.

All:    You have given us life and breath and all things.

One:  And still we search for you, even grope for you.

All:    There is so much of you, God, that is unknown to us.

One:  So often we look for you in all the wrong places.

All:    In gold, silver, or stone images, or any other one we can
         dream up.

One:  But you are always near to us.

All:    Indeed, you are present in the whole universe, a redemptive
         presence in our lives. In your love may we live and move
         and discover meaning.

- by Nancy F. Knepper, Winter Garden, Florida
Coordinator of District Ministries Church of the Brethren General Board

Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Pastoral Prayer


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



For Children

      Our resident children's storyteller, Ed Lewis, is back following extensive surgery. He thoroughly enjoys sharing sitting with our little ones, remembering tidbits from his own childhood, and trying to connect it all with the good news in ways they can understand.


1 Peter 3:12-22

1 - The following comes from an Australian paraphrase of the Bible called "Laughing Bird."

2 - It's named after the “Kookaburra,” an ornothological symbol of the Holy Spirit's "power to spread joy and laughter, to remind people not to take themselves too seriously, and to confront and overcome forces of evil."

1 – Let's listen to 1 Peter 3:12-22 through this “Laughing Bird.”

                                (brief pause)

2 - It is unlikely that anyone will be out to get you because of your enthusiasm for doing what is good.

1 - But even if some do set out to make you suffer for doing the right thing, you are still on a winner.

2 - Don't be afraid of them, and don't let them get you down.

1 - Stand your ground, and give your allegiance and obedience to Christ before all others.

2 - Be ready to explain yourself to everybody who questions why you live with such confidence.

1 - Don't be pushy or aggressive, but never hesitate to give them a quiet and respectful answer.

2 - Keep your nose clean so that if things turn nasty, and somebody starts misrepresenting your commitment to doing what is right as followers of Christ, your record will speak for itself.

1 - If you have made sure that the mud won't stick to you, those who throw it will end up wearing it themselves.

2 - There is no shame in suffering if it is a consequence of doing the good that God asks of you, but if you suffer because you are involved in corruption, you have got only yourselves to blame. After all:

1 - The Messiah copped the consequences of human corruption and suffered them all in one hit.

2 - He who had done only what is right suffered for those who had done wrong in order to bring you home to God.

1 - He was killed by human hands but made alive by the Spirit.

2 - In the spirit, he went and preached freedom to those who refused God's way in past generations and whose spirits have remained in prison ever since.

1 - In their own day, God had given them every chance.

2 - While Noah was building his boat, for example, there was plenty of time for people to realize why and change their ways, but in the end a mere eight people were saved from the waters by getting into that lifeboat.

1 - Their experience was a bit of a preview of the way baptism saves you.

2 - It is not just a bath to clean up your appearance.

1 - Rather, you are pulled from the water to a new life so that you can stand before God with a clear conscience.

2 - You are raised from death to life with Jesus the Messiah, who has since taken his place in heaven as God's right hand man, and he has the last word on everything and everyone.

1 - There is no authority or power, human or angel, that can overrule him.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Tercentennial Minute
"The Gospel Visitor Makes Its First Call"

            Henry Kurtz (1796-1874) moved to Ohio in 1826, hoping to found the perfect church.  Instead he found the Brethren, and that proved good enough.

            Kurtz was born in Germany and immigrated to Pennsylvania in 1817, where he became a schoolteacher.  Two years later he began to study for the Lutheran pastorate.  Within six years he was dissatisfied enough to leave that church behind and move to Starke County, Ohio where he planned to create a Christian utopia.

            That venture failed.  However in the process Kurtz discovered the Brethren.  He was attracted by their desire to live according to the dictates of the New Testament.  It is said that when he was baptized he wore his Lutheran robes, which he allowed to slip from his shoulders as he rose up from the waters.

            Kurtz served the Mill Creek congregation in Mahoning County from 1842 until his death.  He became the clerk of the Annual Meeting in 1837 and also served on the Standing Committee.  But it was as a printer that he is best remembered.  He published a German language hymnal that went through many printings, the writings of Alexander Mack, as well as a compendium of Annual Meeting decisions he called The Brethren's Encyclopedia.

            Change came slow for Brethren in the 19th century. Many Brethren leaders were opposed to the idea of sponsoring any other reading material than the Bible, but ordinary Brethren were reading magazines published by other denominations.  Henry Kurtz began to wonder in the late 1840's if a Brethren magazine would help counteract the influence of these other publications, help provide advice and assistance to church members, and keep Brethren in touch with other Brethren who were beginning to spread across the continent. 

            The 1850 Annual Meeting tabled his request to consider such a magazine, so he decided to print a few issues to demonstrate what he had in mind.  The April 1851 Gospel-Visitor soon found its way into many homes.  "Peace be unto you!" Kurtz wrote in the first issue. "Not the peace, which the world may give, but that peace, which cometh from on nigh.  With this salutation we send the Visitor in the midst of you.  Will you bid him welcome!"

            Within a couple of years the Annual Meeting gave permission for the endeavor to continue.  The Gospel-Visitor is the direct ancestor of Messenger, the current magazine of the Church of the Brethren.  Hopefully you welcome that visitor in your home as well.

            And that's the Tercentennial Minute for April 27, 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

Before the ushers pass the plates to receive what we have to share, let’s pray:

Patient God, we reverently offer these gifts so that others may be made alive in your spirit. Continue to guide our hearts and minds so that we may reflect Christian discipleship. Help us to overcome any personal conflict that may impair our ability to be more like Jesus. In your sanctifying name, we pray. Amen. (Based on I Peter 3:13-22.)


Prayer from Center for Christian Stewardship worship resources
Copyright 2008
David S. Bell



Through the encouragement of Jesus, let the Spirit of truth be the abiding reality
in your sleeping and waking, working and relaxing, praying and laughing.
For in the God of Christ we live and move and have your being.

May the love of God be the strength of your mind and heart.
May the grace of Christ be the salve for your bruises and wounds.
May the friendship of the Spirit be the joy of your resilient soul.
Now and ever more.
Yes, now and evermore.


by Bruce Prewer, Uniting Church in Australia.

(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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