Worship Order for Sunday

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

Christ the King / Thanksgiving Sunday 

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
2Worship the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
3Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
5For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)                "Come, ye thankful people"                    94
                                                                "Give Thanks"                       (insert)
  Prelude                           "Now Thank we all our God"                         Crüger

*Call to Worship                          Psalm 95:1-3

*Hymn                                     "Lift high the cross"                                    321

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                Ephesians 1:15-23

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

  Hymn                                   "We gather together"                                     17

  Pastoral Prayer

  Shepherd's Tales               Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24
                                                Matthew 25:31-46

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                              “Thanks be to God”                                Handel
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

*Response                   (vs. 1) "Now thank we all our God"                           86


  Scripture                                      Psalm 100

  For Children

  Message                          "Make a joyful noise"

*Hymn                                     "Jesus shall reign"                                       319


*Postlude                          "For the fruit of all creation"                         Lehman

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Opening Prayer

            We worship you, O God, with joyful noise - with words of praise and adoration spoken and sung in the name of Jesus who brought your love song to us in person. In harmony with you, he puts new words in our mouths and new intentions in our hearts, especially a new understanding of power. Power shaped by love and righteousness, justice and mercy. We now know that power is not to be used to exploit or dominate, but to serve others as willingly as Jesus did. His life and death demonstrated how the love of power could be transformed by the power of love. We gather here today to celebrate your rule of love in our hearts as we experience it in Jesus and through the enabling gift of your Spirit. This we pray in the name of Jesus, our Servant King. Amen

by Moira B Laidlaw, from Liturgies Online

Pastoral Prayer


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


Shepherd's Tales
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 and Matthew 25:31-46

1 - Two tales about shepherds and sheep,

2 - one from the Old Testament,

1 - the other from the New;

2 - one from the prophet Ezekiel,

1 - the other from Jesus,

2 - one an allegory, speaking through symbol,

1 - the other a parable, speaking through a storyline,

1&2 - both speaking for God.

1 - From the prophet Ezekiel we learn of God’s kind of leadership

2 - which differs from how most people who posses power operate.

1 - God takes care of the least and the lost, like a shepherd.

2 - Sound familiar?

1 - From Jesus we learn how God’s leadership carries over into our own,

2 - how taking care of the least and the lost becomes a way of life, connecting us to our true King,

1 - how worshiping God and serving others are intertwined,

2 - on a deeper level than we realize.

1 - Listen.

2 - Open the eyes of your imagination to these two shepherd’s tales.

1 - First, Ezekiel.

2 - (pause) For thus says the Lord God:

1 - I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.

2 - As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep.

1 - I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.

2 - I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land.

1 - I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.

2 - I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God.

1 - I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy.

2 - I will feed them with justice.

1 - Therefore, thus says the Lord God to them:

2 - I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.

1 - Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide, I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

2 - I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.

1 - And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them;

2 - I, the Lord, have spoken.

1 - (pause) And now, listen to Jesus.

2 - (pause)When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand,

1 - ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

2 - Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’

1 - And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

2 - Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’

1 - Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

2 - And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

The New Revised Standard Version
copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of
the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

Perhaps the two most important words in the second Shepherd’s tale we just heard are “my family” - literally, “my brothers.” The least and the lost are not some underclass of people. They are family of the King, who calls them “my sister,” or “my brother.” Did you notice also how simple that story really is? To give food, drink, or clothing; to welcome or visit does not mean that we make a special project out of someone; that we try to fix them or their situation. ‘They’ are not the ‘object’ of our focused attention. “Lord, when did we see you hungry…?” we wonder, whether from the sheep side or the goat group. What we do, or fail to do, are just simple acts of kindness and mercy which, believe it or not, transform us from strangers to family. Through them we become brothers and sisters of the Shepherd.

As you return your offering just now, would you sign and pass the attendance pads found on the center aisle side of each pew? As you do so, check out the name of those seated near you, if you don’t already know them. Think of how you might share a simple kindness with them at some point this morning. Ponder the same thing about the strangers and neighbors who populate your week. These are all members of your family, the family of God.

Ushers? Do your thing!


            Thank you, Lord, for feeding us along the way, for leading us to still waters from which we can drink, for clothes to keep us warm, for welcoming us when we have felt lost and alone, for coming to us when we have become stuck in place. Thanks for your “sheep,” who have made us “family,” most of whom have no idea what they have done for us, for you. Help us to pass along the gift with a sense of sheer gratitude … to you. Amen.

For Children

            Our resident children's storyteller, Ed Lewis, writes, "When I was a little boy (8 or 9) I committed this scripture to memory, and it has stuck with me. That year I had asked my grandmother if I could say grace for the Thanksgiving Dinner, and she said that would be fine. We had never had grace at the table prior to that, but I had a strong feelings about coming up with something special. I searched the psalms (typical for a kid, I was looking for a short one to memorize) and came up with the 100th.   After I went through all the trouble to memorize this, my grandmother did not make a point of telling the family that I was going to do the grace. That Thanksgiving came and went."

            "I want to recite it from memory for the children (from the King James Version, very ornate) and connect it to how sometimes the Lord speaks to us. We'll go over this psalm, line by line, having the kids put themselves into the scripture as 'sheep of his pasture' then 'entering in his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise.'   I feel kids may get some enjoyment out of this visualization.   I want to invite the kids to share about things that they are 'thankful' about, and finish with a prayer that I could include all those things that the kids mention."



(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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