Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 19, 2009
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am

Second Sunday of Easter 

      Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe. (John 20:29)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)
  Prelude                           "From Thy Throne So High"                            Gluck

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                        "Christ is alive! Let Christians sing!"                          278

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                  1 John 1:1 – 2:2

  Responsive Prayer of Confession                                                              697

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

  Hymn                                "Spirit of the living God"                                  349

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                   John 20:19-31

  Message               "So that you may come to believe" (mp3)

  Hymn                                    "We walk by faith"                                       570

  Presentations and Promises

  In song and image                       "Who am I?"
                                                                           (a video)

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                          "How Great the Wisdom"                        McIntyre
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

*Response                   (vs. 3) "I believe in you, Lord Jesus"                         440



*Hymn                                     "Thine is the glory"                                      269


*Postlude                             "Lift your Glad Voices"                                Gould

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
Psalm 133 (expanded)

Welcome! Today is the second Sunday of the season of Easter. Our celebration didn't end with last week's benediction. Easter is to be lived out daily, not placed upon a coffee table to impress visitors. God's resurrection is to be brought into our everyday life, where we have our doubts and disagreements.
            Let's begin with the 133rd Psalm, upon which we will expand, and allow it to lead us into worshiping the God of our salvation. Listen

1 - How very good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in unity!

2 - It is like… (spoken wistfully, as if trying to come up with a “for instance.”)

1 - It is like… (said in the same manner)

2 - It is like precious oil

1 - No, not the liquid which powers our automobiles or heats our homes, but rather

2 - precious oil

1 - costly, aromatic oil

2 - anointing oil

1 - It is like precious oil that is poured

2 - Yes, poured, liberally, as if like a refreshing shower

1 - Poured on the head

2 - running down upon the beard,

1 - the beard?

2 - on the beard of Aaron,

1 - Oh, as in "Aaron" the priest, the brother of Moses,

2 - As in Aaron, who agreed to forge a calf out of gold for the children of Israel to worship when they grew restless waiting for Moses to come down the mountain.

1 - Oh, that Aaron.

2 - Yes, that Aaron, whose brother lashed out with righteous anger because of doubt and dissension, even in his own brother.

1 - And yet there was forgiveness, and a people lived, and a true priest was born.

2 - That Aaron.

1 - Harmony among those whom God has called,

2 - sisters and brothers together,

1 - it is like oil poured upon the head, running down over the collar and onto Aaron’s robes.

2 - It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion.

1 - What a blessing it is, this gift from God.

2 - Shalom to you, my brother, for whom Jesus died.

1 - God's peace to you, my sister, for whom Jesus rose from the grave.

2 - On this mountain the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore.

1 - Life evermore!

2 - He is risen!

1 - He is risen, indeed!

Opening Prayer

            How very good and pleasant it is, Lord God, to be drawn together by you as brothers and sisters in Christ on this resurrection day. Pour your empowering Spirit upon us, that the Easter message we here proclaim may become more than words upon a page. Help us this hour to listen for and lean toward your voice which speaks beyond the words we utter. Move us past our doubts that we might step forward with a faith that does not end when we leave this place. Nudge us to touch areas of our lives that need to be touched, so that we might then recognize that no door is so heavy that it can lock you out. This we pray in the name of the One for whom you rolled away the stone. Amen.

Responsive Prayer of Confession

 Leader:   O Prince of peace,
               from peace that is no peace,
               from the grip of all that is evil,
               from a violent righteousness…
  deliver us.
 Leader:   from paralysis of will,
               from lies and misnaming,
               from terror of truth…
  deliver us.
 Leader:   From hardness of heart,
               from trading in slaughter,
               from the worship of death…
  deliver us.
 Leader:   By the folly of your gospel,
               by your choosing our flesh,
               by your nakedness and pain…
  heal us.
 Leader:   By your weeping over the city,
               by your refusal of the sword,
               by your facing of horror…
  heal us.
 Leader:   By your bursting from the tomb,
               by your coming in judgment,
               by your longing for peace …
  heal us.
  Grant us peace. AMEN

Hymnal #697 - Peace litany, 20th c., source unknown 

Pastoral Prayer


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


Presentations and Promises

(After candidate is introduced to the congregation by a member)

            We continue what we began last week, spreading out the blessing of baptism into three Sundays instead of just one. Today is no less special. There is joy in heaven and here as we receive you into this congregation and into the Church of the Brethren, more joy than you may realize. As you step out of the water in a few minutes, you will step into what is sometimes called, “the communion of saints,” the fellowship of believers around the world and through-out time who have followed Jesus, regardless of denomination.

            That may be a bit much to grasp in this moment, but it’ll grow on you. Closer to home, as you make your vows, we renew our own, and it is our intention to continue being a family of faith to you. We commit ourselves to be for you a loving fellowship, to be a means of grace in your life, and to offer opportunities for you to grow in Christ – as you discover your God-given gifts and learn how to use them for His glory. We welcome you with joy. However, now is the time for promises – all of which take on new meaning with stage of life, none of which we can live up to without God’s active involvement. So, let me ask:

         Do you believe that Jesus is God's Son and do you receive and trust him as your Savior and Lord?    (I do.)

         Will you turn away from all sin and will you endeavor by God's grace to live according to the example and teachings of Jesus?   (I will.)

         Will you be loyal to the church, upholding it by your prayers and your presence, your substance and your service?   (I will.)

Now, would the congregation please stand that we might make our own vows.
The words are printed in your bulletin... In unison:

With joy we receive you as part of this congregation. With you we renew and reaffirm our vows of faith. We promise to surround you with the love and encouragement that will enable you to grow strong in compassion, vigorous in service, and sure in the way of Christ.

vows taken from For All Who Minister, ©1993, Brethren Press, p.135-137.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings
(refers to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

You have told us who we are.  We are yours.

            Our “body,” whether we speak of our own individuality or of us as the church of Jesus Christ, our “body” is a temple of the Holy Spirit within – a gift from God. As scripture says, we are not our own. We were bought with a price. However, that doesn’t make us slaves. Through his death on the cross, our Savior paid the price to set us free. We have been liberated – not for the purpose of being dominated by our egos, but that we might glorify God in our body. We have been set free that we might glorify God with our lives. Think about that as you respond to the good news with your offering. Ushers?


            Holy One, we do not doubt that Jesus, the Messiah, lives again. Yet, only one short week from Easter, our thoughts are cluttered with finite, insignificant activities and agendas. Instead of remaining focused on the abundance of divine transformation, we return to a pessimistic mindset of scarcity. Refocus our attention on the joy of Easter, so that we may recognize all that we have received and be led to give cheerfully. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Written by David S. Bell.
Vice-President of Stewardship with the
United Methodist Foundation of Michigan.
Copyright 2009 David S. Bell.


         ___________, upon your confession of faith made before God and these people, you are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
         As each name of the Trinity is spoken, the minister shall immerse the candidate forward, pushing the head gently and fully into the water. Then, laying both hands upon the head of the kneeling person, the minister shall pray:
         O God, we are thankful for the commitment made today by (name) May (she/he) experience your forgiveness, acceptance, and peace. Send your Holy Spirit upon (her/him) to guide and to empower. Enable (her/him) to walk in newness of life, using (her/his) gifts in praise to you and in service to others. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
         Then the minister shall help the baptized person rise, extend the hand of Christian fellowship, speak a word of blessing, and assist the person in leaving the water.

from For All Who Minister, ©1993, Brethren Press, p.137-138.


"Peace be with you," Jesus says to us in this room.
                  "As the Father sent me, so I send you."
         No doubt or fear can lock God out of our lives.
                  Remember that as you leave this place,
                           sent forward to live by faith.
And may these words echo through your mind, as well:
        "Blessed are those who have not seen
                  and yet have come to believe.
And all God’s people said, "Amen!"

(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)


©2009 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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