Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
October 18, 2009
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind…(Job 38:1)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)                 "Indescribable"
  Song                                        "Grace like rain"

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                                   "Come to the water"                                      495

*Opening Prayer

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                  Mark 10:35-45


  Baptismal Vows

  Congregational Affirmation

  Song                            "Lord, I want to be a Christian"                                        444


  Video                                  "The Place of Prayer"

  Dedicating our Prayer Chain

  Scripture                                 Hebrews 5:7-10

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                                Job 38:1-7, 34-41

  Message                          "Out of the whirlwind" (mp3)

*Hymn                            "I will praise you in this storm"

*Sending with a song                 "Lead me, Lord"                                         538


*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c

1Bless the Lord, O my soul.
            O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
            2wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
            3you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
             you make the clouds your chariot,
             you ride on the wings of the wind,
            4you make the winds your messengers,
                        fire and flame your ministers.
5You set the earth on its foundations,
            so that it shall never be shaken.
6You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
                        the waters stood above the mountains.
            7At your rebuke they flee;
             at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
                        8They rose up to the mountains,
                                  ran down to the valleys
                              to the place that you appointed for them.
9You set a boundary that they may not pass,
            so that they might not again cover the earth.

24O Lord, how manifold are your works!
            In wisdom you have made them all;
                        the earth is full of your creatures.

35cBless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord!

from 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.

Opening Prayer

            Great and awesome God, creator and source of all life, we worship and praise you. Out of chaos and darkness you spoke the words which brought order and light and life. We marvel at such evidence of your greatness and glory. Yet, you laid these aside when you took on human flesh in Jesus Christ. In him we gained a new understanding of your power and glory, for he revealed through his life, that true power is based on empowering others, and that glory is made visible through loving and serving others. We marvel anew at the depth of your care for us and the many ways our lives have been blessed by the sacrificial life and love of Jesus in whose name we pray. Amen

by Moira B Laidlaw, from Liturgies Online,

Pastoral Prayer


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



I sometimes wonder about James and John. Those sons of Zebedee seemed very quick to reply, “we are able,” when Jesus spoke of drinking from his cup and stepping into his baptism. Such an undertaking requires a lot of forethought. What does it really mean to follow Jesus? What does being a servant for Christ’s sake involve? How hard is it to set aside the “me first” orientation of our society and live out the teachings of our Lord who gave his life for others? “Am I able?” is a question, we believe, that needs to be answered by who know a bit more about life and what discipleship really entails. We call it “adult believer’s baptism.”

Of course, the truth is that none of us are really able, of our own strength, to live out what baptism requires of us. That’s why we pray for the higher power of God to step with us out of the water, the very presence of the Holy Spirit to accompany our journey as we seek to follow Jesus on the Kingdom of God path. Furthermore, we need other believers to walk with us along the way, that we might together be that peculiar entity called, “the church.” Trying to get to the head of the line, seeking to sit at the most important spot, is not a good recipe for living together as the body of Christ. Ask those two sons of Zebedee, who learned this lesson the hard way.

            Anyway, this morning it is our joy to welcome into our fellowship three persons who have already been walking with us, but now wish to make that “official.” One comes to us from another church, and will be reaffirming her baptismal vows. Two have requested to be baptized. Robin, Laurie, and Tony, would you come forward, along with those who will introduce you to us?

[Some things are said of each person at this point, with the intent that we hear more a bit more of their faith journey. It’s just enough to whet the appetite to get to know them better and be supportive – the task of the congregation.]

Baptismal Vows

            In the presence of God and this congregation, let me ask you the following questions. These are not the sum total of faith, but point us in the right direction. All three of you will answer the first three of these questions. For you, Robin, this is a reaffirmation. You’re not starting all over again, but turning the page on a new chapter of your life in Christ. Laurie and Tony, even though you were baptized as infants and confirmed that faith as youngsters, you are hereby freely choosing to be baptized as adults – an outward symbol of an inward transformation.

Do you repent of your sins and confess and accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord?
                       If so, say, “I do.”

Do you promise to live in keeping with the teachings and spirit of the New Testament?
                       If so, say, “I do.”

Do you promise to be a faithful member of the church, the body of Christ?
                       If so, say, “I do.”

Do you desire to seal these vows in Christian baptism?
                       If so, say, “I do.”

            In a moment, the rest of you will read through an affirmation of faith as we prepare for baptism. For now, however, if you are willing to fully receive these person into this household of faith, to love and care for them as they are in the eyes of God – not as how you think they should be, to open up space for the unique gifts with which God has already or will empower them for the upbuilding of this body, and to simply enjoy their friendship in Christ, would you say, “Yes, we will.”  Thank you.

(the pastor and candidates leave to prepare)

Congregational Affirmation

As they go to prepare for baptism, I invite you to join with me in reading together an ancient hymn known as the “Breastplate of St. Patrick.” The words, which will be projected upon the screen, are an affirmation of faith. Legend says that Patrick, who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century A.D., sang this hymn when he was threatened by a Druid king. With this affirmation of faith, we are remembering that in baptism we are bound to God in Jesus Christ. Let’s join our voices with these ancient words.

I bind unto myself today
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three-in-One, and One-in-Three. 

I bind this day to me forever
by power of faith Christ's incarnation,
his baptism in the Jordan river,
death on the cross for my salvation,
his bursting from the spiced tomb,
his riding up the heavenly way,
his coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today. 

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven,
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks. 

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
an eye to watch, the might to stay,
an ear to harken to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
a hand to guide, a shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
the heavenly host to be my guard. 

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me;
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the name,
of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Maker, Spirit, Word. 
Praise to the God of my salvation;
salvation is of Christ the Lord!

This version of the prayer is taken from our hymnal.
#441, "I bind unto myself today" and 442, "Christ be with me."
The latter, though a separate hymn, is the 5th verse of the first hymn.


Sister/Brother)        (name)      , you have confessed here your faith in God and your desire to be recognized as a member of the body of Christ. Upon this confession of faith I now baptize you: 

In the name of the God
     who created and loves you;
In the name of Christ
     who forgives and heals you;
In the name of the Holy Spirit
     who renews and empowers you.

As each name of the Trinity is spoken, the minister immerses 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 prays:

God of all people, we ask your blessing upon        (name)       who has come seeking love, acceptance, and new life as a member of the body of Christ. May (she/he) feel the warmth of your loving embrace, now and always. May (she/he) walk boldly the paths of faith paved by your forgiveness, your wholeness. May (she/he) know constant renewal of this fragile faith, upheld by that power which comes only from your presence within. Pour out your Spirit upon all gathered here, and especially on        (name)      , reborn this day into the body of Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

by Norlyn Driver-Davis,
from For All Who Minister,
©1993, Brethren Press, p.139-140.

"The Place of Prayer"


Dedicating our Prayer Chain

An important ministry of any church is intercessory prayer. This is an intentional, specific lifting up of persons with specific needs to the One who is the source of their strength. It is something that, as followers of Jesus Christ, all of us can do. In this church, we regularly re-form our “prayer chain,” the means by which we are made aware – through a phone call or an email - of persons in need of prayer. Now is the time to dedicate this ministry to a new year of service. If you have agreed to be a part of our prayer chain this year, by phone or email or both, would you please stand.

            Thank you. You have heard the call to pray for others. May God honor this step of faith by increasing it. May it all be for His glory and our neighbor's good. May the power and effect of our prayer point beyond ourselves to the One who said "Come to me all who labor and are heavy-burdened, and I shall give you rest."

            I challenge you to consider the offering of prayers - when called upon - to be of primary importance, instead of merely a last resort measure. I encourage you to pay attention to your own spiritual growth, to continually discipline your life with regular Bible reading and prayer. I charge you to pass on concerns accurately to the next person on the chain, but otherwise not to gossip about those for whom you are called to pray. If you are willing to so commit yourself to this chain of intercessory prayer, please respond by saying, "I will."  Shall we pray...
            Divine Healer, you have called these persons to a special task. Empower them with your Spirit to be intercessors in Jesus' name. We trust in this Spirit who, as the apostle Paul wrote, "helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words." (Romans 8:26) We commit these persons to your service, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

Please pray with me.

(use the following prayer, then:)

Ushers, would you come and serve by receiving our offerings?

(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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