Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
September 13, 2009
Worship 10:00 am

        Teaching, like any truly human activity, emerges from one's inwardness, for better or worse. As I teach I project the condition of my soul onto my students, my subject, and our way of being together. The entanglements I experience in the classroom are often no more or less than the convolutions of my inner life. Viewed from this angle, teaching holds a mirror to the soul. If I am willing to look in that mirror and not run from what I see, I have a chance to gain self-knowledge—and knowing myself is as crucial to good teaching as knowing my students and my subject.
             – Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

*Stretching in body and spirit                        "Awake, arise"                           56

*Call to Worship

*Hymn                              "With happy voices singing"                                   83

*Opening Prayer

  Dedicating a New School Year

  Song                                             "Shema"                                     (see insert)

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

  Video                                   "Pledge one minute"

  Pastoral Prayer

  Prayer Song                   "Lord, listen to your children"                                353

  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


  Scripture                                   Mark 8:27-38

  Message                    "Back to the drawing board" (mp3)

*Hymn                       "Strong Son of God, immortal Love"                          488



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
(from Proverbs 1:20-33; Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 19)

ONE:    We gather to worship God in this place.

ALL:    We gladly choose to pray and sing.  

ONE:    We gather to work along with the Holy Spirit,
                        and with our sisters and brothers.

ALL:    We will do what we can to help get the job done. 

ONE:    We gather to sit by Christ, to listen to his voice.

ALL:    We want to learn what Jesus will tell us. 

ONE:    As we gather in this place God created, with each other in the Spirit,
                        to listen at the feet of Christ,

ALL:    May we learn, choose, and do what is right and good.

from Bethany Seminary Sunday worship resources
written by Travis Poling, Bethany Seminary student, Richmond, Indiana

Opening Prayer

Jesus Christ, our teacher and companion,
You call us together, in this place and in this moment,
    to love our God and one another for the sake of your life.
In your living and dying, in your rising from the tomb,
                you show us how to love; you show us how to live.
            Open our hearts, Christ, that we may know your presence
    among us now and forever, manifest as our love for each other,
    in this and every place and time.
In your eternal name we pray, Amen.

from Bethany Seminary Sunday worship resources
written by Travis Poling, Bethany Seminary student, Richmond, Indiana

Dedicating a New School Year

As Christians we are able to express our love of God by teaching others.  Christian teaching is modeled on Jesus the Teacher.  Even as a child, Jesus taught in the temple.  At the age of 30, Jesus began his public life as Teacher.  The Gospels describe His style as Teacher.

1 - He taught with authority

2 - “Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and his teaching made a deep impression on the people because he taught them with authority.(Matt 7:28)

1 - Jesus taught through storytelling

2 - “The people all stood on the beach and he told them many things in parables.(Matt 13:3)

1 - Jesus sought out how people were feeling

2 - “He said to them:What matters are you discussing as you walk along?” (Luke 24:17)

1 - Jesus wished to empower people to go out in their newly found strength

2 - “Go home to your people and tell them what the Lord in his mercy has done for you. (Mark 5:19)

1 - Jesus taught with signs to authenticate his teachings

2 - “He went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their synagogues proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom, and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness among the people.(Mark 5:19)

1 - Jesus taught as a person in service to others

2 - “And anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.(Matt 20:28)

1 - Jesus took time away in solitude to reflect and pray before teaching

2 - “In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there.(Mark 1:35)

1 - Jesus was engaged in confrontation when necessary

2 - “Alas for you scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You who shut up the Kingdom of heaven in men’s faces, neither going in yourselves nor allowing others to go in who want to.(Matt 23:13)

1 - Jesus taught with love

2 - “This is my commandment, love one another as I have loved you.  There is no greater love than this - to lay down your life for your friends.(John 15:13)

1 - Jesus taught with his lifestyle, not just his words

2 - “Can any of you convict me of sin?” (John 8:46)

1 - Jesus was a shepherd to the people he taught

2 - “I am the good shepherd, I know my own and my own know me.(John 10:14)

A new school year has begun, both here in our Sunday School program, and out in the schools – both public and private – that our young people attend. Along the way of this fresh start, it’s fitting that we dedicate those who teach and those who learn – dedicating, consecrating, “anointing” them, if you will, to the task to which they have been called.

At this time, would every teacher in this room, whether you teach in the school system (public or private), or are a Sunday School teacher here, to come forward and stand in front of the lectern to my right. I also invite all our children and youth to come forward and stand in front of the pulpit to my left.

First, let us bless our teachers. I need two youth to read some “Beatitudes for Teachers” Volunteers? (hand them the sheets). The rest of you young people, would you encircle these teachers, holding hands with one another. You are blessing them on behalf of this congregation. Go ahead.

Beatitudes for Teachers:

1 - Blessed are you who are called to teach,

2 - for you walk in the footsteps of faith.

1 - Blessed are you who sow peace and harmony in the classroom,

2 - for yours will be the joy of God.

1 - Blessed are you who plant seeds of hope in youthful hearts,

2 - for you will inherit the dawn.

1 - Blessed are you who are sensitive to the cries of youth today,

2 - for your loving concern nurtures hope.

You of younger years, would you now stand all together. Let us now bless our leaners. I need two teachers to read some “Beatitudes for Learners” Volunteers? (hand them the sheets). The rest of you teachers, would you encircle these students, placing your hands on the shoulder of two of them. We are all learners, not just these children and youth who are up front. This blessing is for us all. Go ahead.

Beatitudes for Learners:

1 - Blessed are you who are called to learn,

2 - for you are God’s children.

1 - Blessed are you when you share your thoughts and feelings with others,

2 - for your trust teaches and encourages.

1 - Blessed are you when you grapple with new ideas and possibilities,

2 - for you will surely find Christ and rejoice.

1 - Blessed are you who inspire and energize teachers,

2 - for you will shine like stars in the heavens. 

Pray with me.

Wise Owl God,
you see beyond us into the depths of our faith
and lead us, teachers and learners all,
into the wonderful mystery of your love.
As leaves on the trees and daily temperatures both begin to drop,
we celebrate the beginning of a new school year.
Guide us, we pray, on an adventure of hope, and
help us use the arts of teaching and learning
in the service of your justice and peace.
As we commission our teachers and students today,
help us recall and give thanks for the spiritual teachers in our own lives
who practiced such care with our minds and our souls.
In the name of Jesus, our Teacher, we pray: Amen.

The first paragraph and scripture selections were written/drawn together
by St. Mary’s College, Broome, Western Australia.
The Beatitudes for Teachers and Learners were adapted from this same source,
and, along with the dedication prayer were written by
the Rev. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi, Minority Student Life Specialist
at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO.
from Worship Ways: Worship Resources for the United Church of Christ

Copyright ©2009
The rest of the material tying it together came from Pete Haynes.

Pledge one minute to pray for peace - September 21 - noon


Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

            Just as the apostles filled Jerusalem with their teachings about Jesus, we are called to bring the good news to the world. Our witness is in both word and deed, in time and in treasure. Through our offerings, we support our shared witness as a church and we are reminded of the call for each of us to bear witness to Christ in our own lives. May our contributions this morning be just one way we take part in God's ongoing work in this world.

from Bethany Seminary Sunday worship resources
written by
Matt McKimmy, MDiv 2008 Bethany Seminary
pastor of Richmond Church of the Brethren, Indiana


             All-knowing God, teach us to use these gifts to create greater access, insights, and wisdom for people within and outside of these walls. So be it! Amen.

written by the Rev. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi, Minority Student Life Specialist
at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO.
from Worship Ways: Worship Resources for the United Church of Christ
Copyright ©2009


            May the Spirit of Wisdom accompany you from this place. May the peace of Christ Jesus be evident in all you do. May the love of the Living God flow through you into all the world. Amen.

from Bethany Seminary Sunday worship resources
written by
Matt McKimmy, MDiv 2008 Bethany Seminary
pastor of Richmond Church of the Brethren, Indiana

(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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