Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 26, 2009
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am

Third Sunday of Easter 

      "Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is." (1 John 1:2)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  The Astonishing News              Luke 24:36-48

*Hymn                                "Low in the grave he lay"                                  273

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                        Psalm 4

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

  Hymn                              "Now the green blade rises"                           (insert)

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                    1 John 3:1-7

  Message      "What we will be has not yet been revealed"

  Special Music                          "Amazing Love"

  Introductions and Baptismal Vows

*Congregational Affirmation                                                                        778

  Reading              "What does it take to be a witness of Jesus?"

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Response                   (vs. 1) "We give thee but thine own"                          384

  Dedication (off-a-5)


*Hymn                                    "Be thou my vision"                                      545



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

The Astonishing News
Luke 24: 36-48

Pastor: We interrupt this regularly scheduled existence with some shocking news. On this first day of the week comes the disturbing story of resurrection. Yes, it has already been reported many times, but it continues to render many of us speechless. An arrest on Thursday. An all-too-quick trial on Friday, followed by an execution. A Sabbath day of rest that brought little peace to the followers of the one who was crucified, Jesus of Nazareth. And then, on this third day of his death, comes the startling news of a tombstone rolled away. Not all the accounts we have heard agree with one another, but one thing we know – this Jesus is not in the grave in which he was buried… From a physician named Luke, we hear the following report of what happened next.

Readers 1 (the worship leader at the lectern) and 2 (in the pews) stand and begin

1 - Suddenly Jesus himself appeared, standing among his gathered followers.

2 - "Greetings!"

1 - he said,

2 - "Peace be with you."

1 - Taken by surprise, they thought he was a ghost, and were scared spitless. Jesus said to them,

2 - "What have you got to be afraid of? Why are you letting your doubts get the better of you? Here, take a look at my hands and feet. See for yourselves that it is really me. Reach out and touch me and you will know that I am made of flesh and bone. No ghost can claim that!"

1 - As he spoke, he showed them his hands and feet. It all seemed too good to be true; so wonderful they couldn't believe their eyes. Their heads were bursting with joy and disbelief! Jesus asked them,

2 - "Have you got anything here I can eat?"

1 - They gave him a piece of grilled fish and he took it and ate it in front of them. Then he said to them,

2 - "The things I have said while I was with you amount to this: everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms is to be fulfilled."

1 - As he spoke they began to see how to read the scriptures with open minds so as to understand what God was saying in them. Jesus said to them:

2 - "What was written will now be clear to you: that the Messiah is to suffer and then rise from the dead on the third day. It was also written that the people of every nation must be told of the Messiah's call to turn their lives around and receive forgiveness for sin. You can get started here in Jerusalem. You have witnessed these things first hand, so you can tell everyone what you have seen and heard."

Laughing Bird Version ©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Opening Prayer

We thank you, God, for drawing us to this place and time
            and for interrupting us with your gift of life in Christ.
      Whether we have heard the news many times over,
                  or are this day listening with brand new ears,
            surprise us with your justice and righteousness,
                        that our lives might turn in the right direction;
            startle us with your goodness and mercy,
                        that we might receive your empowering forgiveness;
            stagger us with your hope and peace,
                        that our eyes will remain wide open as we leave this place,
                              wondering what you will be doing this week in our world and in us.
This we pray in the name of your Messiah.

Psalm 4

            We turn now to the fourth Psalm, a personal prayer attributed to David. While it is in the form of a Lament, pleading for God’s help in a time of trouble, it also “could be classed as a Psalm of Confidence.”* Amid distress flows contentment, trust, and peace. Listen as I read Psalm 4 as paraphrased for worship by Bruce Prewer.

God, the upholder of my rights,
     please answer me when I cry out.
When I’ve been in trouble before
     you have given me room to move.
Have mercy on me now
and respond to my prayer.

Humanity, how long will you be a disgrace,
     how long will you be heavy hearted?
How long will you love vain speeches
     and run after those who flatter with lies?
God does wonders for true believers,
our God hears whenever we call.

Don’t let your anger lead you into sin,
     be honest with yourself and sleep well.
Keep your vows and worship often,
     put all your trust in your God.
Though many want exotic pleasures,
we are content with God’s smile.

My God, to my heart you are true treasure,
     far better than all their wining and dining.
We can lie down and go to sleep in peace,
for you alone make us utterly secure.

Ó 2002 B D Prewer

*A.A. Anderson, Psalms (1-72), p. 76

Pastoral Prayer


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


Introductions and Baptismal Vows

(After candidates are introduced to the congregation by a member)

         Today you are being received into this community of faith and into the Church of the Brethren. As part of the whole church of Jesus Christ, we offer you our rich heritage and invite you to share fully in our life and mission.

         As you are received into the Long Green Valley Church, we intend to be a true 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 worship, study, and service. One of the happiest times in our life as a church is when new people choose to become members. We welcome you with joy.

         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.)

         Will the congregation please stand … Having heard the vows declared by these persons before God and all of you, do you now renew and reaffirm your vows of loyalty to Jesus Christ?

(We do)

         Will you receive these persons as part of this fellow, and will you surround them with love and encouragement, helping them to release the gifts which God has given them, and walk with them in the way of Christ?

(We will)

from Pastor's Manual, ©1978, Brethren Press, pp. 19-22

         Please turn in your hymnal to #778 and join us in the Congregational Affirmation found there.

Congregational Response

Leader:  Through baptism we are united to Jesus Christ
                    and given part in Christ's ministry of reconciliation.
              Baptism is the visible sign of an invisible event:
                    the reconciliation of people to God.
              Baptism shows the death of the old self and the rising to life of a new self.
              It shows also the pouring out of the Holy Spirit
                    on those whom God has chosen.
              Baptism declares God's forgiveness;
                    it seals the gift of the Spirit
                    and joins the believer to the body of Christ.

People: This is the water of baptism.
              Out of this water we rise with new life,
                    forgiven of sin,
                    and one in Christ,
                    members of Christ's body.

(#778 in Hymnal,  Adapted from
Book of Worship United Church of Christ, ©1986)

"What does it take to be a witness of Jesus?"

1 - What does it take to be a witness of Jesus?

2 - As far as I can see, it means that you are willing to stand up and speak about your faith; you are willing to live a life of compassion for others in honor of Jesus.

1 - Yeah, but what does that mean, exactly?

2 - Well, for one thing, you are not afraid to admit you're a follower of Jesus. Even if people think that you are crazy. It doesn't mean that you have to be obnoxious about it, just honored to follow the One who brings eternal life.

1 - I don't think I would be able to do that. I'm not a good public speaker; not like the preacher, or the Sunday School Teacher, or the other folks who lead in worship here. I don't have a clue what I would say or do. It's not that I don't want to be a witness, it's just that I'm not good enough to do that kind of work.

2 - That's just the point. Jesus did not have an application you had to fill out. He just said, Come, Listen, Learn, Care, Share, Speak from your heart. Look at who He chose to have around him - a bunch of fishermen, tax collectors, people with questionable backgrounds, as well as some of the "regular" folk. He placed love in their hearts; and courage in their souls. He'll do the same for you.

1 - You think so?

2 - Sure. That's what He promised, and he's never backed down from his promises.

1 - OK, I’ll give it a try.

2 - You can do it. Just be yourself…..after all, that's who Jesus loves and depends on!

borrowed from Worship Connection
no author noted

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

"Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)



         ___________, 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.


            As we opened ourselves to the Lord at the beginning of worship, we prayed that our eyes might remain wide open as we leave this place, wondering what God will be doing this week in our world and in us. We’ve just echoed that prayer in our song – “be thou my vision.” God loves to honor such prayers.
            As you go, remember this: “What we will be has not yet been revealed … When Christ is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.” 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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