Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
August 31, 2008
Worship 10:00 am

      "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."    (Romans 12:21)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Call to Worship                         Psalm 105:1-6

*Praise Medley                      "Jireh"  (words/chords)                                (insert)
                                    "Guide me, O thou great Jehovah"                          582

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                   Exodus 3:1-15

  Response                          "Peace Pilgrimís Prayer"                             (insert)

  Moments of Quiet

  Video                                              "You"

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

*Response                           "Great giver of all good"

*Unison Prayer of Confession

  Scripture                                 Romans 12:9-21

  Message                              "For goodness sake"

*Hymn                         "Strong, righteous man of Galilee"                           540



#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Opening Prayer

O great Jehovah, restore our souls as you guide us through this land. Empower us to follow Jesus now. We depend upon your daily bread. We thirst for your living water. You give us abundant life in Christ. Yes, you are great and you are good, and we thank you for what we will receive this hour.
            Just now, turn us aside from the routine that brought us here, toward the wonder that is you. We are treading upon holy ground. May your Holy Spirit burn within us! This we pray in your name. Amen.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

As you return your offering this morning, pay attention to the cover of your bulletin, both front and back. Do you recognize the picture? The small, white building is a bit of our Brethren story that is often printed in the American History textbooks in our public schools. Located on Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, MD, it is a recreation of the Mumma meetinghouse of what is now the Manor Church of the Brethren. On September 17, 1862, this ďLittle Dunker ChurchĒ was in the middle of the bloodiest single day in the American Civil War. That battle was fought on fields belonging to a people who refused to take up arms and fight, choosing instead the example of Jesus.

Two weeks from this afternoon there will be a special worship service in that meetinghouse, remembering that day 146 years ago. Youíre invited to participate.

            While the plates are passed, turn to the back of your bulletin and read what is written there. Then be prepared to pray in unison the Prayer of Confession at the bottom, after we sing a few verses of a hymn. Ushers, please lead us in this time of offering.

Are We Enemies?

            Two five-year-old boys, once friends, had become enemies, using words and actions to match their feelings about one another.
            "I hate you! Don't ever come to my house again."
            "You can't play with my toys any more! I hate you too!"
            What terrible words! What unkind thoughts to come from the mouths and minds of little boys!
            Nations at war. Neighboring nations, once friends, are now enemies. Rhetoric of war - angry, nasty words, acts of violence and revenge - turns farms and fields into battlegrounds of war, neighbors into enemies, and brothers into spies.
            An aging cousin remembered an awful childhood day when cannon fire boomed across their farm's pond to find its mark in the little country church across the way, leaving gaping holes in wall and roof.
            "If your enemies are hungry, feed them ... for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
            Two little boys, reaching out to one another, with freshly baked cookies to share. Feeding hungry enemies can turn them into friends and neighbors once again.
            Battlefields, however, are not so easily transformed.

Unison Prayer of Confession

            God of mercy, forgive our tendency to repay evil for evil. Forgive our failure to trust you to care for all your children, whether we call them enemy or friend. May we learn, by your grace, to live peaceably with all. Let your love enable us to not be overcome by evil, but rather to overcome evil with good. In Jesus' name. Amen.

by Harriet W. Finney, retired pastor
Eel River Community Church of the Brethren
North Manchester, Indiana
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"


"Great giver of all good"
(tune "Schumann" click to listen)

Great giver of all good, teach us to give like thee;
Ours be the great beatitude of love and service free.

Poor are our offerings, Lord. Yet if bestowed in love,
No gift shall fail of its reward in larger life above.

In love may we increase by Thy sweet mercy's grace,
Till all thatís selfish from us cease, and ill to good give place.

verses 1, 4, & 5 from 1951 (Red) Brethren Hymnal #342
author of words is listed as "anonymous"


We have one more thing to do this morning. Our brother ______ ______ has asked to be anointed in preparation for his upcoming surgery on Sept. 10th. Putting oil on the head of another and praying for him, is a fitting way of bringing to a close a service where we have heard God's call to place burning coals upon the heads of our enemies through acts of kindness. No, ______ is anything but an enemy of ours. He is one of the salt-of-the-earth believers in this fellowship, in whom the fruit of God's goodness grows in abundance. Of course, he would probably be the first to say, "wait a minute, Iím not that good a person."

If the truth be told, none of us are. As the apostle Paul also wrote in his letter to the Romans, "while we were enemies (of God), we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, (and much more), having been reconciled, we will be saved by his life" (Romans 5:10). Through the cross, God in Christ heaped those burning coals upon our heads. These coals have set our heart, soul, and mind on fire in the Spirit. Through the empty tomb, it is no longer burning coals upon our heads, but rather the oil of anointing, as we are commissioned to a greater purpose.

To be anointed before surgery is to be sent by God into the task of healing. We are no longer powerless before an illness, or merely a patient on the receiving end of treatment. God calls us to health or, better put, to becoming and being well. We have a role to play in our own recovery, and we are given what we need to be active in our healing. Even if things donít turn out as we think they should, God sends us forth empowered with purpose. The kings of old were anointed to lead Godís people. In Christ Jesus, God's anointed one (which is what the word "Christ" and "Messiah" mean), we are anointed to take the lead in our own wellness.

            (Invite ______ and any Deacons or others who wish to come forward. Have a folding chair ready for _______.)

And so here we are to anoint our brother as an act of worship, bringing our time together to a close. In the book of James it says, "Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective" (5:13-16).

______, is there anything you wish to say before we continue. This may not be the place to confess things that are best shared in an intimate setting, but it is certainly a time to let go of our fears and place our trust in the Lord. ______?

Upon your profession of faith, and the faith of this gathered community, grounded in the goodness of God, I/we anoint you
                             for the forgiveness of your sin,
                             for the strengthening of your faith, and
                             for healing and wholeness according to God's abundant grace and wisdom.

(All who are up front surrounding him, place hands upon ______).

Let us pray.

            (First, the pastor prays as led, then anyone else who feels led by the Spirit to pray out loud. When it seems all have spoken, the pastor draws the congregation into a unison Lordís Prayer. The Amen is our benediction.)

For more info on this Brethren ordinance, see  Anointing, or read this sermon on James 5:13-20.

(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

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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