Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
October 10, 2010
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

      But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jeremiah 29:7)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)         "All who love and serve your city"         417
  Prelude                              "Sweet Hour of Prayer"               arr. C. Van Hulse

  Call to Worship                         Psalm 66:1-4

*Hymn                          "I sing the mighty power of God"                                46

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                   Psalm 66:5-12

  Responsive Confession                                                                               697

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

  Hymn                           "Breathe on me, breath of God"                              356

  Pastoral Prayer

  Acting out the Gospel story with our children          

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                              "Prelude in B Minor"                                    Bach
                               (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Scripture                               Jeremiah 29:1, 4-14

  Message                    "Seek the welfare of the city" (mp3)

*Hymn                                "How firm a foundation"                                     567


*Postlude                               "God Be With You"                                 Williams

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Opening Prayer

            You are, indeed, an awesome God. We praise you with whatever music or noise we are able to sing. May it be full of the joy that comes with the dawning of this new day and the realization that as long as we have breath we have life. May your Holy Spirit be the very air we breathe which powers not only our lungs but our spirits. On this resurrection day, may your abundant life be what motivates not only our worship this hour, but our work as your people this week. Bless us with an awareness of your presence. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Responsive Confession

 Leader:   O Prince of peace,
               from peace that is no peace,
               from the grip of all that is evil,
               from a violent righteousness…
  deliver us.
 Leader:   from paralysis of will,
               from lies and misnaming,
               from terror of truth…
  deliver us.
 Leader:   From hardness of heart,
               from trading in slaughter,
               from the worship of death…
  deliver us.
 Leader:   By the folly of your gospel,
               by your choosing our flesh,
               by your nakedness and pain…
  heal us.
 Leader:   By your weeping over the city,
               by your refusal of the sword,
               by your facing of horror…
  heal us.
 Leader:   By your bursting from the tomb,
               by your coming in judgment,
               by your longing for peace …
  heal us.
  Grant us peace. AMEN

Hymnal #697 - Peace litany, 20th c., source unknown 

Pastoral Prayer


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

or, perhaps it will be
this "Prayer of the Day" by Thom M. Shuman


Acting out the Gospel story with our children

            Either a) ask 10 adults beforehand to participate, or b) have the children go and get 10 adults to join us up front. Give each of them a piece of paper that reads,

“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

            Have them stand to the side ready to follow your directions. Pick one to be the one who will do something different, again as you direct. Ask for a volunteer among the children to be Jesus. The rest will be disciples. Have them go halfway back the center aisle, ready to start walking forward. Then simply read the scripture, adding in directions for them to act it out. Hamming it up is encouraged, i.e. have the 10 lepers keep repeating their line, asking the congregation if they think that is loud enough, etc. Have them exit down the side aisle (where they can then return to their seats) except for the one. Exaggerate the “prostrated” – kids will love having an adult down on the floor in front of them (p.s. choose someone dressed in a way that won’t make this a problem, and someone able to get down on the floor).

Luke 17:11-19

            When done, thank all the adults, and have the children remain up front. Ask questions like:
                        What did you like about this story?
                        What’s a leper?
                        What’s a Samaritan?
                        Why didn’t the other 9 come back?
                        What does it mean that the 1 did?
                                    and that he was a “Samaritan” or “foreigner”?
                        Were all of them healed?
                        Was the faith of the 1 who returned greater than the other 9?
                        What does “your faith has made you well” mean?

This is not a Bible study, nor is it a test with a right answer. The point is to have the children, and the rest of us, simply ponder this fun story, to let it linger after we have left it.

            Thank you, God, for fun stories about Jesus. Keep tickling us, and healing us, long after we have left this place and time. Amen.


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

We've now heard, and seen acted out, this gospel story about ten lepers who were healed and the one who turned back to give thanks. That’s an appropriate tale to tell just before we give thanks to God with our tithes and offerings. How many of our dollars do we use to give thanks to God? One in ten? Hmm. That would be a tithe, 10%, wouldn’t it?

            Let’s turn now to Paul’s second letter to the young man he was mentoring, Timothy. Last week we heard him encourage this young adult to rekindle the gift of God within because God didn’t give a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-discipline. Paul challenged Timothy to not be ashamed of the gospel or the suffering that may come with it, but to rely upon God and step into his holy calling.

            This week, we hear Paul sharpen Timothy’s focus, which should give us something to ponder as we return our offerings. I’ll be reading from that Bible paraphrase Pastor Pete seems to like, the one from Australia called “Laughing Bird.” Listen.

Keep this line fixed in your mind:

Jesus Christ, a human being descended from David,
........has been raised from the dead.

         That, in a nutshell, is the message I’ve been preaching all along. That is the message which has got me into so much trouble and even seen me locked up like a dangerous criminal. Fortunately though, God’s message itself can never be locked up. I’m willing to put up with all this because I know it helps get the message through to the people God is calling, so that they can get in on the life for which we are saved — the glorious life without limit grounded in Christ Jesus. Another saying to hang on to is this one:

If we have died with him,
........we will live with him;
If we tough it out to the end,
........we will reign with him;
if we turn our backs on him,
........he will turn his back on us;
but no matter how unfaithful we are,
........he remains a hundred percent faithful,
................because he can never stop being who he is.

........Don’t let anybody forget these things. With God as your witness, warn them not to get hung up on arguments over mere words. Such arguments achieve nothing and just drag everyone down. Instead put your energies into the work God has given you — teaching the truth with integrity — and prove yourself to be a worker who can hold his head high in God’s presence.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Ushers, you know what to do just now.
So do the rest of us.

Jeremiah 29:1, 4-14

1 - A bit of background on this scripture before we hear God speak through the prophet Jeremiah: it had been a wild and crazy ride for the people of Judah, the remaining southern half of the Kingdom of David and Solomon. The Assyrian empire, the big super-power of the day, had earlier defeated the northern half of Israel and carried off the best and brightest citizens back to Mesopotamia in what is now the northern part of Iraq.

2 - However, all earthly power rises and falls with the sands of time. Assyria faded as Babylon – an empire from what is now the southern part of Iraq – grew. Unfortunately, Jerusalem lay between Babylon and the empire of Egypt, which put it in harm’s way. As a tiny nation among giants, Judah’s kings choose the wrong dog in too many fights, trusting in military alliances more than in God.

1 - Eventually, Jerusalem suffered the same fate as Samaria, the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel. The movers and shakers in Jerusalem were dragged off in chains to the “waters of Babylon,” where they “laid down and wept,” as the Psalmist put it (137:1). Left behind was Zedekiah, a second-rate leader who would be the last king of Judah.

2 - His tragic end brought to a close a turbulent chapter in the story of the people of Israel. Gone would be political boundaries and kings, temples and capitals. A new era was dawning when the children of Israel became a people of the book, the death of their nation ushering in one of the most fertile times in their history, a period known simply as “the Exile.”

1 - Before the last page turned on the kingdom of Israel, however, the prophet Jeremiah had some things to say for God. He sent a letter to the exiles already in Babylon, who hoped for a short stay. “Not so,” was his message. Prepare for the long haul. Turning to the 29th chapter of Jeremiah, we’ll be skipping over verses 2 and 3 so that we don’t get lost amid all the hard-to-pronounce names and details that aren’t as important as the message itself. Listen.

2 - These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon … It said:

1 - Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

2 - For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let the prophets and the diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the Lord.

1 - For thus says the Lord: Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

scripture text is 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.


Go now, and live fruitfully where God has placed you.
Pray and strive for the welfare of those you live among,
and do your best to present yourselves to God
as faithful workers with no need to be ashamed.

And may God open the pathways before you;
May Christ Jesus cleanse you and make you whole;
And may the Holy Spirit keep your spirits alive
........and your feet from stumbling.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

(para traducir a espańol, presione la bandera de Espańa)


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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