Worship Order for
Rock of ages,
hold us now.
Be the road beneath our feet.
Be the foundation of our faith.
Be the strength of our very lives.
As the sands of life shift all around us,
help us remain steadfast and true.
As the winds swirl and blow,
help us hear your Spirit's breath.
As we worship,
help us rebuild our faith.
Shore up those places
where doubt has crumbled our faith
or shifted our priorities.
Center our focus on the foundation you offer,
that we may live with Christlike love
and rock-solid faith. Amen.
author not listed or copyrighted
Thanksgiving for Teachers
How many times do
we need to hear something before it sinks in? Once? Twice? Ten
times? Twenty? The words we just heard from the eleventh chapter
of Deuteronomy are a repeat of a refrain written earlier in this
Torah, this law handed down through Moses. In the sixth chapter
we find what our Jewish friends call the Shema. “Shema
Yisrael,” it begins. “Hear, O Israel,” followed by statement
that only God is God, and then the commandment to “love the Lord
your God with all your heart, soul, and might.” It goes on to
talk about keeping these words, reciting them to your children,
talking about them everywhere (at home or away, in bed or out),
binding them on your hand, fixing them on your forehead, writing
them on your doorpost. In other words, repetition is no small
matter. Even twenty times is not enough for something this
important to sink in. It takes a lifetime. And we begin as
Today marks the beginning of
our summer break from Sunday School. Week in and week out, from
September until last Sunday, many persons in our fellowship have
answered the call and devoted themselves to teaching. They have
taught in a variety of ways. There is no “one-size-fits-all”
method, you know. Some are very systematic, and we benefit from
seeing how things fit together. Others are good at starting a
ball rolling and allowing those they teach to arrive at
conclusions themselves. Some work well with young children,
others with youth, still others have the knack for teaching
adults. We have been blessed by God with these teachers.
This morning we want to
celebrate and thank them for the time and effort they spent
during the past year. Let me read their names, and as I do I ask
each to stand if they are here this morning. If I have missed
any, please say so at the end, so we might recognize these as
(read list of teachers)
In sign language, applause is shared visually, with
hands shaking above your heads. Let’s do so in this way, thus
raising our arms to the One who provides the gift of teaching.
Thank you. Now notice, doing this, like applauding, requires
repetition for all of us. Once is not enough. It’s sort of like
learning. We participate in the lesson week after week, here and
at home, at work, at school. Hear, O Long Green Valley church.
That’s how we “love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul,
and might.” Again and again and again. Amen?
"A one eyed owl, the most perfect
based 2 Corinthians 8:12 (CEV):
"It doesn't matter how much you
What matters is how much you are willing to give
from what you have."
I had a
half-brother Ernie who came to visit with us when I was little. He
didn't bring any toys with him (I really believe he did not have
any). I never considered the toys I had to be that great, all the
kids in my neighborhood had much better toys. I was happy though
to share mine with him while he was visiting.
One day we went
to the grocery store as a family, and Ernie and I asked for money
to try our luck with the capsules in the gumball machines (I
intend to elaborate about these machines and have a sample capsule
with me). My step-dad and his dad gave us each a
quarter, and we each got one of these capsules. I forget what I
got. I thought it was junk. But, Ernie got a little white plastic
owl. This owl had a loop at the top suitable for a key chain. It
had two eye sockets, one was filled with a green plastic gem
stone, the other socket was empty. Ernie showed it proudly to me
as though it was some great find. I said "Ernie, your toy is
broken, it has an eye missing!" He said, "I think it is
He cherished this
toy (I think because his dad bought it for him). One day Ernie and
I were deciding what to play. Ernie reached in his pocket (I said
to myself, "please don't show my friends that owl, they'll
think you're stupid") and he did it, brought out the owl and
showed it to my friends. Like, what do you think we can do with
this, you can't play with that.
Ernie left at the
end of the weekend and I was sorry to see him leave. He reached in
his pocket one last time and handed me the owl. He said, "I
want you to have this." A boy who seems to have nothing, gave
me everything. I learned a great lesson about seeing things that I
am given, and have, a lot differently. The gifts we have from God
are like this, they are so important and yet we don't see them
(previously shared on
written closer to the time (if not at the
Members on our congregation's Witness Commission will challenge
the congregation to participate in a month-long outreach
offering project to go toward
International, perhaps sharing from this
our Tithes and Offerings
Now is the time to respond
with your tithes and offerings. Before you do, please pray with
Great God in Heaven, in a hushed whisper you quietly summon us
to do your will. Awaken our minds, enabling us to hear and to
act courageously on your desire for our lives. Our knowledge of
your truth inspires us to follow your teachings and to give
freely. Accept these offerings. We pray in your exalted name.
prayer written by
David S. Bell, former Director of Stewardship with GBOD.
currently serves as Vice-President of Stewardship with the
United Methodist Foundation of Michigan.
You may contact him by
Copyright © 2008 David S. Bell
Any local church, regardless of
denominational affiliation, or any United Methodist organization
may reprint any or all of these prayers provided that the author
Go now and continue to “rock and roll,”
to build your lives on the
of Christ’s words,
which you have heard over and over.
Put them into action.
Do not be ashamed of the gospel,
but live by faith
and find your refuge and
strength in God.
And may God be known to you in the stillness;
May Christ Jesus be the solid foundation of your lives;
And may the Holy Spirit give you courage,
........even when the earth
rolls and rocks.
©2002 Nathan Nettleton
(printed in bulletin rather than read this week)
Annual Meeting of the Church of the Brethren. Maybe.
The first Annual Meeting of the
Church of the Brethren took place on Pentecost, June 7, 1742, at
the home of Martin Urner of Coventry.
It seems clear that from the
beginning of the Brethren movement we settled our disputes
democratically, in joint study of the bible, with all members
having an equal voice. And initially all Brethren were able to
gather together at the same Love Feast to discuss the issues
that faced them.
clearest indication for when the Annual Meeting as we know it
first took place comes from the pen of Georg Adam Martin
(1715-1794), elder and author, who was later excommunicated by
the Brethren on a charge of immoral behavior, and who therefore
regarded the Brethren with some disdain.
In 1741 the
charismatic Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf, a leader of
the Renewed Moravian Church, tried to unite the German-speaking
Christians into one body through a series of conferences.
Brethren sent delegates, but later abandoned the movement,
believing the Count was taking too large a role and that the
doctrinal disagreements were too great. According to Martin,
the Brethren decided they would hold conferences of their own on
an annual basis.
Martin did not think much of
the tone of the discussion that went on at these meetings. He
later recalled, “ After this general meeting had been
established, the opportunity was offered to speak of various
matters whenever we met, and since most of the (Brethren) who
had laid the foundation of their Congregation in Schwarzenau,
were uneducated arch-idiots and ignoramuses, their followers, of
course, brought their absurd nothings also to this meeting,
always appealing to their predecessors, saying the Old Brethren
in Germany did so, and we must not depart from their ways.”
After Martin was expelled in
1760 from the Brethren he was appointed as a leader to the
Ephrata community by the Superintendent Conrad Beissel. He
later went on to found congregations in Bermudian, York County,
and Stony Creek in what was then Bedford County, Pennsylvania.
Both of those congregations later became Brethren.
The historian Martin Grove
Brumbaugh recorded the date and place of the first conference
but there is no clear record of this. Hence the maybe. No
matter. At some point during this period the pattern was
established for the Annual Conferences which take place to this
And that’s the Tercentennial Minute for Sunday, June 1, 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
to all who are interested during this
anniversary year of our denomination.
Frank will be the guest preacher for our Homecoming on October
(this is our congregation's 100th anniversary year)
(para traducir a español, presione la bandera de España)