Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
November 8, 2009
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

      Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry… (Psalm 146:5-7b)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Call to Worship                         Psalm 146:1-2

*Hymn                          "Praise the Lord, sing hallelujah"                                50

*Opening Prayer

  Responsive Scripture reading  (Psalm 146:3-10)                                        825

  Receiving a new sister                                                                                794

  Song                                          "Te Alabaré"                                 (see insert)

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  For Children               "With a little flour and oil"
                                  (telling the story of 1 Kings 17:8-16)

  Hymn                             "Break thou the bread of life"                               360

  Gospel reading                         Mark 12:38-44

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                                    Ruth 4:13-17

  Message                               "Table of Justice"

*Hymn                           "Heart with loving heart united"                               420



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Opening Prayer

                           Let us pray.

What will it take, loving God, for this hour to be a time of wonder and re-creation?
            We have little to offer you except our spiritual yearnings, limited faith, and partial love.
             In your mercy, please take what we have and are, and by the invasive joy of your Spirit transform this hour of worship into deeper reverence and loftier praise.
                                  Through the name of Christ Jesus we pray.

by Bruce Prewer, Uniting Church in Australia.

Responsive Scripture reading
(Psalm 146:3-10)

Do not put your trust in princes,
     in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
     on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
     whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
     the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
     who executes justice for the oppressed;
     who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
     the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
     the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
     he upholds the orphan and the widow,
     but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever,
     your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Hymnal #825
New Revised Standard Version

Receiving a new sister

         We welcomed, by transfer of member and reaffirmation of faith, a new sister into our fellowship. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, and as the wife of a Brethren pastor, has served in various congregations, from Puerto Rico to Texas to Pennsylvania. She currently lives locally with one of her sons and is delighted to become part of this church. We are overjoyed as well. May her gifts and ours be used for God's glory!

         We have the joy this morning of welcoming _________ into our fellowship. I’ve asked _______ to introduce her to you.

        (read letters from the Atlantic Northeast District of the Church of the Brethren, and from the Co-Mission Coordinators for the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic)

            Starting a new chapter in our lives gives us the opportunity to revisit promises we have made earlier. ______, allow me to rephrase baptismal vows similar to one you may have made many years ago.

Do you reaffirm your belief that Jesus is God’s Son and will you continue to receive and trust him as your Savior and Lord?
                          If so, say, “I do.”

Will you continue in this journey of faith, turning away from sin and endeavoring by God's grace to live according to the example and teachings of Jesus
                          If so, say, “I will.”

Will you continue to be loyal to the church, upholding it by your prayers and your presence, your substance and your service?
                          If so, say, “I will.”

As a congregation, it’s our turn to speak. Would you turn to #794 in your hymnal? Please stand in body or spirit.

This person now presented to you
has witnessed to her faith in Jesus Christ
and offers herself as a companion in our obedience to Christ.
It is our privilege and joy to welcome her into our family of faith.

We freely receive you, even as Christ has received us.
We open ourselves to fellowship with you
in worship, study, service, and discipline.
We pledge our willingness to give and receive counsel,
to offer and accept forgiveness in the redeemed community.
We joyfully accept you as a partner,
both in the care of our spiritual family,
and in our mission to the world.

Hymnal #794
John H. Mosemann, adapted from The Mennonite Hymnal,
copyright©1969 Faith & Life Press/Mennonite Publishing House.

This is a day of joy, a fresh start, a new beginning. It would appropriate to follow this act of receiving with a song of praise which our youth first heard shared at National Youth Conference in 2006, sung by young people from the Dominican Republic.

Pastoral Prayer


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


For Children
"With a little flour and oil"

This will be a tangible lesson, allow the children to touch some corn meal and oil. Maybe we’ll mix it up so they can feel it. However, the emphasis will be – as it is in the text - upon the “handful of meal” and the “little oil” that fed a small family for the duration of a drought. Thus, we will together tell the story of 1 Kings 17:8-16.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         In the Bible this widow remains nameless, but we remember her nevertheless. Instead of making her the object of a lesson on stewardship, let’s honor her by seeing her as a real person – maybe like the woman pictured on the cover of our bulletin. As you return your offering, read the back of the bulletin. It was written by the guest preacher at our 100th anniversary Homecoming last year, Frank Ramirez. Use the prayer at the bottom to help you turn to God personally while the organ plays and you place your gift in the plate. Ushers, please serve by collecting what we have to give.

Not Just about the Caffeine

         We all have our own little rituals when it comes to brewing and serving tea. I dump three green tea bags into boiling water, let it steep all night, and then pour it over ice. Yours are probably a little more refined. It just goes to show you that it's not just about the caffeine. It's the comfort. Our rituals for tea sustain us no matter what sort of day lies ahead.

          David Radcliff's photo on the cover of today's bulletin shows a woman from a village in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) who is pouring tea. Cyclone Nargis in May 2008 devastated her country. Over 146,000 died in that nation's worst natural disaster. Things were made worse by an oppressive and incompetent dictatorship.

         This woman's individual choice to leave school early to care for her mother has added to her life's difficulties. But, despite everything, this woman carefully prepares and pours tea in a manner that comforts and sustains herself and her guests, regardless of the circumstances.

         Here's a question. What would happen if we crafted rituals of giving to match our rituals for preparing and pouring tea? If we did, we might discover that our time of offering comforted and sustained us regardless of prosperity or recession.


         God who comforts and sustains in good times and bad, all we have is yours. We dedicate all we have to your service. Like the aroma of a blessed cup oftea, may we breathe deeply the possibilities for shalom as our offerings are set upon the altar, a sacrifice, a calming ritual, a time of joy. Amen.

by Frank Ramirez, pastor
Everett Church of the Brethren Everett, Pennsylvania
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"


Go out and share God’s love with all.
Do not slave for things that are not life-giving,
but trust in God’s provision,
and give generously of all you have.

And may God watch over you and provide for you;
May Christ Jesus be to you a restorer of life;
and may the Holy Spirit lead you in the ways of humble generosity.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net

(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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