Worship Order for Sunday

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

The Fifth Sunday of Lent 

      So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.”  (John 11:41-42)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)         "Now the green blade rises"        (see insert)
  Unison Reading of Psalm 130                                        (pew Bible, page 538)
  Prelude                                    "Quiet Prelude"                                       Benoit

  Call to Worship                                                                     (back of bulletin)

*Hymn                            "Now thank We All Our God"                               86

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                  Romans 8:6-11

  Hymn                                "Spirit of the living God"                                   349

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                        "Beneath the Cross of Jesus"           Maker, arr. Peterson
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

*Response                           "Glory be to the Father"                                  127


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

  Prayer Video                            "You shall live"

  Pastoral Prayer

  Bible Drama                               John 11:1-45

  Message                             "A stinkin’ prayer" (mp3)

*Hymn                              "Now the green blade rises"                      (see insert)


*Postlude                          "I am Leaning on the Lord"   African American Spiritual

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

One:     We gather as those who wait:
                        We wait in lines.
                        We wait in traffic.
                        We wait for tomorrow.
                        We wait for a better day.

All:      We confess with the psalmist:
                        "I wait for the Lord with longing;
                         I put my hope in God's word.
                         My soul waits for the Lord."

One:     What we long for, what we wait for sets our faces,
            opens our hearts, and focuses our attention.

All:      We look to the Lord in longing,
                        for there alone is love unfailing,
                        for there alone is the One who delivers us -
                                    from waiting to presence,
                                    from longing to living this day in fullness.

One:     May our worship gather us from all our scattered
            longings into these moments of sweet presence.

All:      May we know this hour
                        the One who holds us every hour.
            May our worship transform our waiting
                        into a liturgy of praise.

by Glenn Mitchell, Spring Mills, Pennsylvania
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Opening Prayer

O God, you are near as the very air we breathe and the light around us, yet our thought's farthest reach falls short of you. We yearn to reach you. We seek the light and warmth of your presence, for we are lost without you. Though we say you are near, we are lonely and alone. O let our desire be so strong that it will tear the veil that keeps you from our sight! Let your light penetrate our darkness, to reveal to us the glory and joy of your eternal presence. As the fish gives himself to the sea, as the bird gives herself to the air, as all life gives itself to life, so may we give ourselves to you, O God. Amen.

a contemporary Jewish prayer
from Gates of Prayer: The New Union Prayer Book.
Central Conference of American Rabbis 1975 p. 665,
as found in
Worship and Liturgy Resources, Lent 5,
by Rev David Beswick, Uniting Church in Australia.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

A glassblower starts with a bit of sand, which is heated to the melting point. It then is placed on the end of a pipe. Air is blown through the pipe into the glass to expand it. As more heat is applied, followed by more air, the melted sand is shaped and molded into a vessel of beauty. Perhaps it will eventually become a glass pitcher which will hold water to quench thirst. Maybe it will be formed into something else for another use.

In like manner, the way of the Spirit involves the melding, molding, and then using of our very lives, as we just sang. The process of becoming what God intends us to be may be uncomfortable at times, as we are melded and molded into something more than we are at present. The heat can be intense. Being shaped may seem more than we can handle. In the process, we are filled with the breath of God, and we become containers of the Holy Spirit.

In the following moments, I invite you to pour out some of the blessing God has poured into you. The ushers will help us now to return our tithes and offerings to the One who melds, molds, fills and uses us for glory.


May these offerings be used for your glory, O Lord, a “pouring out” what you have first “poured in.” As we return them, though, we realize how far we fall short of what you are making us to be. Our self-centeredness is deep-seated and will ultimately lead us to separation from what we hold most dear. But, glory be, that’s not the final word. Thank you for the gift of your Son, our Savior, and for the Holy Spirit, which you blow into us daily, shaping us for glory. Indeed, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall, world without end. Amen.

Prayer Video
"You shall live"
Ezekiel 37:1-14


Pastoral Prayer

(may use the prayer below)

With you,
there is that life
broken enough to make us whole;
with you,
there is that gentleness
strong enough to save us from sin;
with you,
there is that grace
powerful enough to defeat death.
Bone of our bone:
our hearts hear your voice
and do handsprings of hope.

In you,
our death-stained souls
are cleansed by your tears;
in you,
we are brought out of
the graves of our bitterness;
in you,
our broken relationships
are knitted together
into the Beloved's community.
Flesh of our flesh:
our hearts hear your voice
and do handsprings of grace.

Through you,
our dried-up lives
are refreshed;
through you,
the valley of No Hope
becomes the Garden of Grace;
through you,
our exhausted souls
are filled with joy's breath.
Spirit of our spirits:
our hearts hear your voice
and do handsprings of laughter.

God in Community, Holy in One,
may your heart do handsprings
as we pray as Jesus has taught us, saying
Our Father . . .

© 2011 by Thom M. Shuman, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),
from Lectionary Liturgies, Lent 5A

John 11:1-45
a dramatic reading, involving children and adults

This is an active reading, with the Narrator serving as both director and reader. Recruit strong readers for the parts ahead of time. It starts out with the children up front, setting the scene. One volunteer is needed to be Lazarus – someone willing to be wrapped up and lie still in the space just in front of the worship center/table, a styrofoam (or cardboard) stone in front. This may need to be an adult. Then divide the children into 2 groups, adding willing adults from the congregation to join them. On one side should be a bunch of disciples of Jesus, among them being the reader who speaks for them all. On the other side is a group of mourners – the onlookers, with the one reader. Practice with them the weeping and wailing that would be part of their role in Bible times. As the last act of preparation, wrap “Lazarus” in a sheet and lay “him” in the “tomb.” Martha and Mary are over with the mourners/onlookers. Mary reads her first line from where she is. After that, Martha and Mary come to Jesus when their turn arises. Jesus starts out with his disciples and slowly moves to the center. The microphones get passed where needed: one for Jesus, one for Mary and Martha, and one for the Disciple then the Onlooker, with the lapel mic for the narrator. 

N – Narrator
M2 – Mary
J – Jesus

D – Disciple
M1 – Martha
O - Onlooker 

N - 1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent a message to Jesus,

M2 - “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”

N -  4But when Jesus heard it, he said,

J - “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

N - 5Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, 6after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7Then after this he said to the disciples,

J - “Let us go to Judea again.”

N - 8The disciples said to him,

D - “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?”

N - 9Jesus answered,

J - “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.”

N - 11After saying this, he told them,

J - “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.”

N - 12The disciples said to him,

D - “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.”

N - 13Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep. 14Then Jesus told them plainly,

J - “Lazarus is dead. 15For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

N - 16Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples,

D - “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

N - 17When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21Martha said to Jesus,

M1 - “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.”

N - 23Jesus said to her,

J - “Your brother will rise again.”

N - 24Martha said to him,

M1 - “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

N - 25Jesus said to her,

J - “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

N - 27She said to him,

M1 - “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

N - 28When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately,

M1 - “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”

N - 29And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him,

M2 - “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

N - 33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. 34He said,

J - “Where have you laid him?”

N - They said to him,

O - “Lord, come and see.”

N - 35Jesus began to weep. 36So the Jews said,

O - “See how he loved him!”

N - 37But some of them said,

O - “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

N - 38Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said,

J - “Take away the stone.”

N - Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him,

M1 - “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.”

N - 40Jesus said to her,

J - “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

N - 41So they took away the stone. (onlookers do so) And Jesus looked upward and said,

J - “Father, I thank you for having heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.”

N - 43When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice,

J - “Lazarus, come out!”

N - 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them,

J - “Unbind him, and let him go.”

N - 45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

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.
this reading in MS Word booklet format
text in lined out, multicolor study format


May the breath of God give you life.
May the compassion of Jesus Christ shape your life.
May the power of the Holy Spirit stimulate your life.

from Liturgies Online, by Rev Moira Laidlaw, Uniting Church in Australia.

(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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