Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
November 21, 2010
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

Thanksgiving Sunday 

      Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.”  (Jeremiah 23:3)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)              "Sing to the Lord of harvest"              98
  Prelude                        "Now Thank We All Our God"                   arr. Hegarty

*Hymn                                   "We gather together"                                        17

*Opening and Lord's Prayer

  Scripture                                       Psalm 46

  Song                     "Peace, be still and know that I am God"                   (insert)

  For Children                       "Giant Redwoods"

  Scripture                                   Luke 23:33-43

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

  Hymn                                  "Jesus, remember me"                                    247

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                               "Under His Wings"                            arr. Hughes
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Scripture                                  Jeremiah 23:1-6

  Message                              "The Staff of Life" (mp3)

*Hymn                            "Now thank We All Our God"                                86

*Scripture Blessing

*Postlude                             "Count Your Blessings"                    Oatman/Excell

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Opening & Lord's Prayer

Gathering God:
when we have only
a few pennies of hope
in our pockets,
you multiply us
into a blessing.
    When the world whispers
    seductively to us,
    you tell us
    of your joy for us.
When everyone has forgotten
even who we are,
you shout out our name
with delight: "My Beloved!"

Dawn from on high:
    when we would divide people
    by class, by race, by age,
    you cast your lot
    with the outcasts of society.
When we get lost
from the muddled directions
the world gives us,
you lead us down
that path called Peace.

Spirit of wisdom:
    when we grow impatient
    with all the trivial matters of life,
    you surround us with serenity.
When the world puts us on
the route to sin,
you transfer us
to the streets of the kingdom.

God in Community, Holy in One,
we trust you will remember us,
even as we pray as Jesus teaches,
Our Father . . .

from Lectionary Liturgies, by Thom M. Shuman, ©2010

Psalm 46

1 - God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

2 - Therefore we will not fear,

(next 4 lines spoken with intensity, ever more rapidly)

1 - though the earth should change,

2 - though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;

1 - though its waters roar and foam,

2 - though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

1 - Hush. (whisper:) Be still.

2 - (pause) There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.

1 - God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;

2 - God will help it when the morning dawns.

1 - (panic voice:) The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;

2 - (calm voice:) he utters his voice, the earth melts.

1 - The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

2 - Hush. (whisper:) Be still.

1 - Come, behold the works of the Lord;

2 - see what desolations he has brought on the earth.

1 - He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;

2 - desolation?

1 - he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;

2 - this is desolation?

1 - he burns the shields with fire.

2 - “Be still, and know that I am God!

1 - I am exalted among the nations,

2 - I am exalted in the earth.”

1 - (pause) The Lord of hosts is with us;

2 - the God of Jacob is our refuge.

1 - Hush. (whisper:) Be still.

(with additions) 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.

For Children
"Giant Redwoods"

A week ago, I visited a place with tall trees. I mean, not tall, but really tall trees. Not just really tall trees, but giant trees. It was a forest filled with redwood trees. These are not trees you can climb up. Nope! They do have branches, but they only begin way, way above your head – at the height most trees around here end. And where these trees meet the ground, they’re wide. You can’t even begin to put your arms around them, they’re so big.

One reason they have grown so big is because they’re not that far from the ocean. And there is often a lot of fog  (what is fog?) that comes off the ocean. These trees have grown tall to catch as much moisture (what is moisture?) as they can. Another reason these trees are so tall is because they have been around for a long time. They are thousands of years old.

It was last Sunday afternoon that Caitlin & I visited this forest. Lots of other people had the same idea, so it was a bit crowded there. Some of these people couldn’t seem to stop talking as they walked through this forest. One girl walked in front of me telling her parents about all her friends who had cell phones. I think she was trying to talk her parents into getting her one. Now, what does a cell phone have to do with being in this forest? There were lots of other, older people who couldn’t seem to stop talking. Can you guess what I wanted to say to them (but I didn’t)? That’s right: “Shhhh, be quiet!”

Now, I know how hard it is at times to be quiet. Do you ever have a hard time being quiet? I thought so. Sometimes, we have so much energy inside that it needs to come out, so many things going on inside our head that we just have to speak it. But, you know, there is a time for that. There’s also a time for being still and quiet. Like last Sunday in that forest, amid all those giant redwoods. They were so big, and I was so small. They had been around, some of them, since when Jesus was a boy. I’ve only been on this earth 55 years, which is not very long compared to those trees.

That forest was sort of like a sanctuary, a holy place. It was like there was a voice inside me saying, “Be still, and know that I am God!” The One who made those trees, who made you and me – God, who is bigger than even the giant redwoods. “Be still, and know that I am God!” Wow! As I quietly stood there among those huge trees, I felt very grateful. It wasn’t just that I was glad that nobody had cut these trees down, that they were protected in this place. I was grateful that God made them long, long ago, and has watered and fed them so that they could grow so tall.

Would you pray with me?

            God, thank you for giant redwoods and little children. Keep watering and feeding us, so that we can grow tall. But you are biggest of all. Wow! Amen!


Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

We hold two calendars before us today. In one, this is the Sunday before our national celebration of Thanksgiving. We think back to the beginnings of our country, and the hardships endured along the way. We picture in our minds two cultures meeting and eating together - immigrant pilgrims and native Americans, a wonderful image. Of course, we cover it all with too much gravy, and frenetically race for home base this week to make “Thanksgiving” happen. But it’s worth it to reconnect with family, isn’t it? ... That’s one calendar.

            In the other calendar, this is the last Sunday of the church year. Next week begins the season of Advent, and a new year “to ask the Lord’s blessing,” as we sang earlier. This last first-day-of-the-week celebration remembers that the One who died upon the cross is, indeed, our “King.” The lamb who was slain has begun his reign. As one year gives way to another, as one calendar leads to another, will we follow Christ Jesus as our Lord, our leader, our sovereign above all others?

            That’s the question we ponder as we head into this time to return our offerings. In what ways have I made or will I make Christ first in my life? Not just an afterthought. Not merely the desert at the end of the meal. Not just sitting with the children in the next room, but seated at the head of my table. Think about this as you give from the heart just now, and pray your own prayer when the plate comes to you.


Scripture Blessing
Colossians 1:11-20

1 - May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power,

2 - and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.

1 - He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

2 - He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him.

1 - He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

2 - He is the head of the body, the church;

1 - he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.

2 - For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,

1 - and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven,

1& 2 - by making peace through the blood of his cross.

2 - Go forth today in this peace.

1 - Amen.

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.

(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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