Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
September 5, 2010
Worship 10:00 am

      I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live… (Deuteronomy 30:19)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)               "There is a place of quiet rest"                5

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                           "Praise, I will praise you, Lord"                                76

*Opening Prayer

  Hymn                                "Spirit of the living God"                                    349

  Scripture                                 Jeremiah 18:1-11

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

  We pray through scripture                                                                          823

  Hymn                                   "Count well the cost"                                      437

  Scripture                                   Luke 14:25-33

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                                  Philemon 1:1-21

  Message                                      "Choices" (mp3)

*Hymn                              "Make me a captive, Lord"                                 539



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

1 - At the end of the Torah – the first five books of the Bible, the Law of God – we hear the call of Moses to the children of Israel, as they stand on the edge of entering the land promised to Abraham by the Lord. It was a moment for choices.
            This day - September 5, 2010 – is likewise a time of decision, as is every day. Let us enter worship this hour hearing again the call of Moses. Let those who have ears, listen. (pause)

1 – “Look at what I've done for you today:

2 - I've placed in front of you

1 - Life and Good

2 - Death and Evil.

1 - And I command you today:

2 - Love God, your God.

1 - Walk in his ways.

2 - Keep his commandments, regulations, and rules

1 - so that you will live,

2 - really live,

1 - live exuberantly,

2 - blessed by God, your God,

1 - in the land you are about to enter and possess.

2 - But I warn you: If you have a change of heart,

1 - refuse to listen obediently,

2 - and willfully go off to serve and worship other gods,

1 - you will most certainly die.

2 - You won't last long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

1 - I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today:

2 - I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse.

1 - Choose life so that you and your children will live.

2 - And love God, your God,

1 - listening obediently to him,

2 - firmly embracing him.

1 - Oh yes, he is life itself,

2 - a long life settled on the soil that God,

1 - your God,

2 - promised to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

1 - (pause) As a reflection of your choice, please stand in body or spirit, and join in singing #76 in your hymnal, “Praise, I will praise you, Lord.”

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
(from The Message)

Opening Prayer

O God, who freely chose to act in this world -
            breathing life,
            setting boundaries,
            starting over;
O God, who freely chose a people, a cast of characters,
            through whom to reveal your way and your will;
O God, who freely chose to send your very own in human form,
            the promised One who himself freely chose
            to give up his life to redeem the world;
We have once again freely chosen on this day to worship you,
            to love you with all heart, soul, and mind,
            to follow your Son,
            to be empowered by your Spirit,
                        and thus become your people.
Bless this time of praise, nurture, and challenge,
            then send us forth as those who freely choose
                        to be a blessing to others.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Hymn & Scripture Reading

In preparation for our next scripture reading, the ushers will be spreading – instead of collecting – an offering. As the bowls are passed would you take a small ball of Play Doh and start working it with your fingers. As we receive what the ushers give, let’s sing together # 349, "Spirit of the living God."

Jeremiah 18:1-11

1 – Look at this small ball of Play Doh in your hand. Like clay, it can be molded into many different shapes. Roll it between your palms (pause) Squish with your fingers (pause) As you do so, listen for God to speak.

2 – The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel.

1 – Place that ball of Play Doh in the center of the palm of one hand, and smash it, really smash it with the palm of the other. (pause) Roll it into a ball and smash it again. (pause) Imagine a potter’s wheel. A flat surface, it spins round and round. When molding a piece of pottery, everything depends on how much the potter has worked the clay ahead of time, and then how well that clay is “thrown” down on the wheel. It must be “thrown” with enough force to make it adhere to the wheel. It also must be “thrown” in the exact center of the wheel. While you do not have a potter’s wheel before you, there is this small ball of Play Doh in your hand. Roll it in your hands and smash it again. (pause) Now, squish with your fingers and continue to listen for God to speak.

2 – The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me:Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the Lord. Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. At one moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, but if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will change my mind about the disaster that I intended to bring on it. And at another moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, but if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will change my mind about the good that I had intended to do to it.
            Now, therefore, say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus says the Lord: Look, I am a potter shaping evil against you and devising a plan against you. Turn now, all of you from your evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.

1 – In a similar fashion, we are like clay in the potter’s hand. As we sang, the melding and molding precedes the filling and using. It is important for us, when we share our joys and concerns, to be aware of God’s hands, and not just listen for gossip. Some of us in this room or persons connected to us through this sharing, are going through “potter’s wheel” times. Bent out of shape, thrown down, our world rearranged by the things we are facing, we need – somehow, someway, in some fashion – to know that God is part of the equation. We seek God’s hands.
            Other things we share may involve the end result of the potter’s work, as we marvel and rejoice in a piece pottery which is something good happening in our lives or in this world. We need to celebrate such things and recognize how God is filling and using these earthen vessels. Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, what would you share this day, as clay in the master potter’s hands?

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.

We pray through scripture

O Lord, you have searched me
      and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
      you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;
      you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
      you know it completely, O Lord.

You hem me in - behind and before;
      you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
      too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
      Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
      if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
      if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
      your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
      and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
      for the night will shine like the day,
      for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;
      you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
      your works are wonderful,
      I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you
      when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
      your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book
      before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
      they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
      I am still with you.

Hymnal #823
Psalm 139:1-18
New International Version

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

            A familiar scripture to Brethren. The hymn we just sang was written 300 years ago by Alexander Mack, Sr.

"Count well the cost," Christ Jesus says,
"when you lay the foundation."
Are you resolved, though all seem lost, 
to risk your reputation,
your self, your wealth, for Christ the Lord
as you now give your solemn word?

            While the ushers collect our offerings, remember those words from one of our early Brethren leaders, a hymn meant for baptism. By the way, the choice we make in baptism is not simply between “me and God.” As we step out of the water, we become part of his church, a new community which - as we receive support, nurture, and challenge – we have promised to uphold with “our prayers and our presence, our substance and our service.” Right now is the “substance” part… Please pray with me.

God of community,
     whose call is more insistent
          than ties to family or blood;
     may we so respect and love
          those whose lives are linked with ours
          that we fail not in loyalty to you,
          but make choices according to your will,
          through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Hymnal #736
by Janet Morley, All Desires Known,
©1988 Morehouse Publishing

            Ushers, please us in the giving of our tithes and offerings.


(Worship Leader:)

In the name of Jesus Christ, the carpenter's son,
            let your labors be for the glory of God and for the common good.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Mary's son,
            let all of your living be for love.
In the name of Jesus Christ, God's son,
            let your labor not be for a paycheck
                        but for a world changed by God's love and justice. 


The High God of Heaven, maker and shaper of all things,
            bless your labor and your resting.
The Son of God, the son of a carpenter,
            bless your working.
The Spirit, ever working for the new creation,
            bless your service and keep you in God's purpose,
                        now and forevermore.

taken from 21st Century Worship Resources,
Copyright General Board of Discipleship. www.GBOD.org
Used by permission

(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.

For children and youth, we use the new
Gather Round curriculum
(developed jointly by the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonite Church)


©2010 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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