Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
February 6, 2011
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

      You'll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God's master stroke, I didn't try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified.”   (1 Corinthians 2:1-2, The Message)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)            "Fresh as the morning"             (see insert)
  Prelude                                   "Morning Hymn"                                     Young

*Responsive Call to Worship         Psalm 112                                    (see insert)

*Hymn                         "All people that on earth do dwell"                             42

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                Matthew 5:13-20

  For Children                             “To Follow

  Pledge Song                       "This little light of mine"                          (see insert)

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

  Hymn                                    "Blessed assurance"                                      332

  Pastoral Prayer

                                                         (read scripture preface first)
  Scripture                                   Isaiah 58:1-12                      (from The Message)

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                                "Incline Thine Ear"                                  Himmel
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Scripture                              1 Corinthians 2:1-16

  Message                 "Deliberately plain and simple" (mp3)

*Song                                   "Fresh as the morning"                          (see insert)
                                                              (lyrics, sound excerpts)



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Responsive Call to Worship
Psalm 112

We begin worship this morning with an “acrostic” or “alphabet” psalm from the Bible. Each line begins with the next letter in the Hebrew alphabet. The poetry here is one of rhyming “ideas” rather than “sounds.” Every line says something about “the righteous” or “good people.”  You’ll find it on your bulletin insert. As you participate in this responsive invitation to worship, attempt to read this psalm “artfully.” It is, after all, a poem. I will attempt to correctly pronounce the names of the Hebrews letters. Please rise in body or spirit, and be drawn into the presence of God by this Psalm.

ALL:              Praise the Lord!

Leader:            Aleph
ALL:              Happy are those who honor the Lord,

Leader:            Bet
ALL:              They take pleasure in obeying in God’s commandments!

Leader:            Gimel
ALL:              Their descendants shall be mighty on the earth.

Leader:            Dalet
ALL:              The honest shall be blessed.

Leader:            He
ALL:              Riches and wealth are theirs;

Leader:            Waw
ALL:              and they will prosper forever.

Leader:            Zain
ALL:              They shine like a lamp in the dark.

Leader:            Het
ALL:              They are generous, kind, and fair.

Leader:            Tet
ALL:              All goes well for those who lend generously,

Leader:            Yod
ALL:              and for those who run their businesses honestly.

Leader:            Kaph
ALL:              Good people will never fail.

Leader:            Lamed
ALL:              They will be remembered forever.

Leader:            Mem
ALL:              God’s people are not afraid of bad news.

Leader:            Nun
ALL:              Their faith is strong and they trust in the Lord.

Leader:            Samek
ALL:              They are not worried or afraid.

Leader:            Ain
ALL:              They are certain to see their enemies defeated.

Leader:            Pe
ALL:              Good people give generously to the poor.

Leader:            Zade
ALL:              They are always, always kind.

Leader:            Qoph
ALL:              Other people will respect them.

Leader:            Resh
ALL:              The wicked see this and are angry.

Leader:            Shin
ALL:              They glare in hate and disappear.

Leader:            Taw
ALL:              The wicked will not get what they scheme to get.

by Carolyn C. Brown, from Worshiping With Childen
Pronunciation Guide for Hebrew Alphabet (with Youtube)

Opening Prayer

            From beginning to end you are faithful and true, O God, our Alpha and Omega. No alphabet can adequately express your goodness and mercy, O Lord of all people that on earth do dwell. We open ourselves to you this hour that your word may be heard and your light may shine. In listening, may we be drawn closer to you. Your word is a lamp unto our feet, and a light to our path. Help us to follow. In Jesus, we pray. Amen.

For Children
"To Follow"

How many of you are acolytes? What is an “acolyte,” anyway? (listen to their answers, affirm, have fun)… Originally, the word, “acolyte,” came from the Greek word, “akoloutheo,” which simply means “to follow.” An “acolyte,” then, is someone who “follows.” In some churches, the acolyte – who is usually a young person - follows the priest around during worship, doing little tasks. That is why he or she is called an “acolyte,” because she or he “follows” the priest.

Now, I’ve noticed that when you do your acolyte “thing” here, you aren’t following me around, are you? Well, I guess I’m not a priest, though I do some things that a priest might do. But you, what do you do? You bring in a light at the beginning of our worship and light the candles on our worship center. Then at the end of the service, during the last hymn, you re-light your taper and quench the candles on the worship center, and take the light out with you. Why do you do that? (listen, affirm, have fun).

            You help us to follow Jesus. (light candle) When we see you bringing in your light, which you then use to light the candles up front, we remember that the Holy Spirit is here. In the Bible, God’s Spirit is sometimes said to be like a “tongue of fire.” Look at the light from this candle. Can you imagine why that might be called a “tongue of fire”? This fire is warm in the cold and light in the dark. The Holy Spirit is like that. When we see your light, we also remember that God’s Spirit is not only up front. God is everywhere. God’s Spirit is in us. You help us to remember that. What you do is very important! Not only at the beginning of our service, but also at the end.

You don’t just “turn off” the light, so to speak, you take the light with you from the front to the back. When we see you taking the light out, we remember that this is what we are supposed to do. God’s Spirit isn’t just here. The Holy Spirit is with us wherever we are, every day of the week. God helps us to follow Jesus. When we do what Jesus says, when we follow him, we are like a light in dark places. You help the rest of us to remember this.

            Now, would you help us in another way this morning? We need your assistance to help us follow Jesus with our money. We’ve been trying to use this light to see how best to use what God has given, and many of us adults wish to make a pledge to God of how much we intend to give to the church this year. Would you help collect these pledges, using these baskets? While we do it, how about if everybody sings, “This little light of mine”?

Pastoral Prayer


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


Preface to Isaiah 58 reading

            The following scripture challenges us to explore the boundary between meaningless ritual and authentic faith. Sometimes we, like those in Isaiah’s day, do what we think is our religious duty without really getting to the heart of what that “duty” is all about. The issue here is the practice of “fasting,” i.e. refraining from eating for a day. Do we fast to change God, or to change us? Is it merely a bunch of religious gobbledygook, or does our fasting connect us more deeply with God’s justice and righteousness? We’ll listen to the 58th chapter of Isaiah through “The Message,” a Bible paraphrase. Those who have ears, let them hear.

Isaiah 58:1-12

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

Lord God, grow in us a deeper desire
            to share of ourselves with those who need,
            to invite others in rather than keep them out,
            to give clothes from our all-too-full-closets
                        rather than going out and buying more,    and
            to just simply be available to those around us.
Create in us a new heart that seeks to beat in rhythm with your own.
            May these offerings we are about to give
                        not be a meaningless ritual
                                    through which we try to earn your pleasure.
            Instead, may the act of giving change us.
                        In Jesus, we pray. Amen.


As you head from this place,
            grounded in a faith that is both ancient and new;
                        steady as the sun which rises every 24 hours,
                                                as it has for millions of years,
                                    and fresh as the start of yet another day,
                                                full of God’s possibilities,
            let your light shine.
                        A child has shown us the way.

(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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