Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
January 16, 2011
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

      He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away…I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”  (Isaiah 49:2 & 6b)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)        "Christ, whose glory fills the skies"        216

  Call to Worship                     1 Corinthians 1:1-9  (New Revised  Standard Version)

*Hymn                           "Oh, how wondrous the grace"                               147

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                               1 Corinthians 1:1-9              (New Living Translation)

  For Children                                "29 Gifts"

  Scripture                                   Psalm 40:1-11              (New International Version)

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

  Hymn                                "Great is thy faithfulness"                                   327

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                   Psalm 40:1-11                   (Laughing Bird Version)

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

*Response                                "Obey my voice"                                         163


  Scripture                                    Isaiah 49:1-7

  Message                              "A shaft of light"

*Hymn                         "Lo, a gleam from yonder heaven"                            591



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

As our Call to Worship, we turn to the beginning of the apostle Paul’s first letter “to the church of God in Corinth.” He starts by identifying himself as someone who was “called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,” and that his letter is also from someone named “Sosthenes.” Believe it or not, we are included in the second sentence, where Paul says he is writing “to those (in Corinth) who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.” That means us, folks. Listen now to his greeting. In fact, why don’t you stand, if you are able to, and pay attention to how this letter begins. Allow what Paul had to say a long time ago to be like a warm breeze on a cold day, drawing you into worship. Listen.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

New Revised Standard Version

Opening Prayer

Faithful, loving God,
      strengthen us in this hour.
Nurture our lives,
      and bless us, we pray.
You have given us all that we need
      to be your church.
Help us trust that your grace is sufficient.
As we worship,
      let your Spirit move through us,
            and open our hearts and minds
                  to hear your call.
With gratitude and trust, we pray. Amen.

written by the Rev. Nancy Townley
from Cokesbury’s Worship Connection


            Listening and paying attention are important for us as we seek to follow Jesus. With that in mind, let’s return to the scripture I read as our Call to Worship. Perhaps you will hear something new this second time around. I will be reading from a different translation. Ready?

1 Corinthians 1:1-9

For Children
"29 Gifts"

            As part of this children's story, we’ll hear about the book, "29 Gifts." The scripture we'll have just heard twice mentions the riches of God's grace, and how we (listening through the ears of God’s people in Corinth) are not lacking in any spiritual gift. That's where I'll start - asking first if the children were listening (which they probably weren't, but you never know), then talking about what I heard. In a "hmm, that reminds me" moment, I'll recall that our church’s book club recently discussed a book about "29 Gifts," and wonder what that was about. I’ll invite today’s worship leader (as someone who participated in it) to come and tell us about it. I’ll ask questions in a give-and-take way to get at what she got out of the book. Along the way, we’ll both keep in mind the maturity level of the children (not the congregation) as we talk. How I'd like to end is with a challenge to the children to try giving something to somebody else every day for 29 days. This seems to me to be a very simple, easy-to-grasp idea ripe for them, especially since scripture says we aren't lacking when it comes to the really good gifts of God, the ones that really matter.

Pastoral Prayer


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



Have you caught on to how we are using repetition this morning to listen, to pay attention to God’s Word? We heard the first eleven verses of Psalm 40 before our time of sharing joys and concerns. We return to those same verses, this time from a different translation – one from Australia we have used before in worship. As you listen, remember the people in the northeast part of that nation who are suffering from massive flooding, the devastation of which some have compared to what happened with hurricane Katrina… Listen for God to speak through this scripture…

I hung in there waiting for you, LORD,
........and at last you bent down and heard my cry.

I was in deep trouble,
........bogged up to my ears and sinking fast,
................but you pulled me out.
You put me back on solid ground;
........gave me a safe place to stand.

You gave me something to sing about, God;
........I’m singing your praises like I’ve never sung before.

Everyone will be amazed at the change;
........they’ll say, “Only God could have done that!”

Those who put all their eggs in your basket
........have got it made, LORD;
those who do not devote themselves to anything less,
........no matter how popular or persuasive it is.

You are in a league of your own, LORD God;
........nothing and no one comes within a bull’s roar of you!
I can’t keep track of all the amazing things you’ve done
........or all the generous plans you’ve made for us.
I could talk about them till the cows came home
........and still have barely scratched the surface.

You are not looking for gifts from us, LORD;
........nothing we own is any use to you;
Your generosity and mercy are not for sale;
........but you have given us ears and asked us to listen.

So I am giving you my “Yes!”
........I’ll make your book my own and live by it.
Doing what pleases you will be my greatest delight,
........for you are my God and I’m taking your ways to heart.

When all your people gathered,
........I spoke up about how you had bailed me out.
I gave them the full story; I left nothing out;
........you know this is true, LORD.

I have made no secret of the help you gave me;
........I have put it all out in the open.
I have told everyone how you saved my life
........and how we can trust you completely.
I have put it all on the public record
........and kept nothing to myself
................about your rock-solid love or dependability.

Be my mother forever, LORD;
........never running out of tenderness or compassion;
your loyalty fierce and your love unshakable;
........protecting me and keeping me safe.

(Laughing Bird Version) ©2002 Nathan Nettleton

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

            What did you hear in those words second time around? Did God speak to you through them? Take the next few minutes to think about them, as you give to your hands the task of returning your offering just now. As verse six in the 40th Psalm reveals, God wants our open ears long before we open our wallets. Our offerings are a response to what we hear – that is, if we have been listening.

            Ushers, please assist us in this time of offering.


            O Lord, you take no delight in mindless offerings. You desire no bull from us. Instead, we bring to you our open ears, hearts, and minds. What we have placed in the plate as it passed before us is a response to what we have heard from you. Help us as your church to use that money wisely, leaning into your Word as we seek to obey your voice. We continue this time of offering by bringing our open ears, hearts, and minds to hearing the message. Help our pastor to listen even as he speaks. Help us to listen through, as well as beyond, the words to hear what you have to say to us today. In Christ, we pray. Amen.


May that “gleam from yonder heaven”
      be the twinkle in your eye.
May this light shine brightly through you,
      and those around you wonder why.
May it turn to conversation,
      as together you explore
what the God of all creation
      is about and has in store.

(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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