Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
July 24, 2011                           Worship 10:00 am

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)                   "Everlasting God"                   (insert)

  Kingdom kernel                     Matthew 13:31-32

  Responsive Call to Worship                                                   (back of bulletin)

*Hymn                                "Great is thy faithfulness"                                   327

*Opening Prayer                                                                      (back of bulletin)

  Kingdom kernel                        Matthew 13:33

  Annual Conference Moment

  Kingdom kernel                        Matthew 13:44

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Kingdom kernel                     Matthew 13:45-46

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Kingdom kernel                     Matthew 13:47-48

  Hymn                               "Come, divine Interpreter"                                 302

  Scripture                                 Romans 8:26-39

  Message                               "Real Intimacy" (mp3)

  Video                                      "Mustard Seed"            (as the bread is passed)

  Prayer of Thanksgiving and Blessing

  “This bread which we break is the communion of the body of Christ”

  Hymn                              "Seed, scattered and sown"                                454

  “This cup which we share is the communion of the blood of Christ”

*Hymn                            "Sent forth by God’s blessing"                               478

*Table Benediction


*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Responsive Call to Worship

Leader:  Look, the fields are in bloom; soon, they will be ready to harvest!

People:  Such a bounty from such a small seed.

Leader:  The Lord has multiplied what we have given back to him.

People:  Should we not give back more to receive a greater return?

Leader:  But we are very small, a small church, a small body. What more can we give?

People: We are part of the kingdom of heaven! We are not small. Like the mustard seed, God will do great things with us and through us. We must, like the seed, give up who we are and rejoice in what we will be.

All:       Glory to him who gives life to the seed!

by Doug Diamond, pastor
Fellowship Church of the Brethren
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Opening Prayer

            Lord of the seed and Lord of the harvest, grant us the courage to give all we are and all we have to you. We worship you because you take the ordinary and small and make it extraordinary and great. Guide us as we sing praises to you today. Amen.

by Doug Diamond, pastor
Fellowship Church of the Brethren
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Annual Conference Moment
see Two-page wrap up of Annual Conference 2011 (PDF)

            As your delegate to our denomination’s Annual Conference this year, I am spreading out my report into digestible pieces, calling them “Moments” during worship. I will try to keep them short. Projected on the screen is the theme chosen for our gathering: “Gifted with Promise: Extending Jesus’ table.” Perhaps you can tell from the logo that the central Bible story that was woven into every worship service was the feeding of the 5,000. On the table in that logo, around which 3 are gathered, are 5 loaves and 2 fish. With such meager offerings, Jesus feed everyone. And you could say that with those offered items, everyone was part of the miracle of that meal. Please note the checkerboard tablecloth which becomes the wings of the Spirit, as the meal is extended.

            Also a part of every worship service was an actual table. Not a worship center, but a meal table, around which sat all the worship leaders and preachers. The intent was to emphasize that we - at Conference representing our congregations - were gathered around the same table, Jesus’ table, whether in worship or work. Now, I don’t know how successful it was, putting an actual table on stage. Like a TV sitcom, they only sat on one side of the table. Is that how you sit at home? I guess the audience is supposed to see themselves as sitting on the other side. But do we? Or are we just onlookers to someone else’s meal? That’s the question. Are we all together at the same table, no matter our disagreements? Furthermore, are we setting places at this table for strangers to be welcome beside us?

            In his opening sermon on Saturday night, moderator Robert Alley shared that “In Jesus Christ, the Holy One gives us a table gifted with the empowering love and presence of grace, gifted with the beauty and favor present in forgiveness, peacemaking, sharing, welcoming, and rejoicing.” He went on to say that “We struggle with the grace present at Jesus’ table. When we underestimate how we are gifted with promise, we may miss opportunities to extend that table. When we overemphasize the table manners, some people may question whether they can be accepted at the table. If the discipleship to be learned at Jesus’ table is seen as so perfect, some may simply stay away. When we extend Jesus’ table, we may discover growing diversity around that table. Not everyone will behave the same, regardless of the table manners that are expected. Not everyone at the table will think, speak, or even believe the same. But what transforms that diversity and that struggle is the host—Jesus Christ. We find unity and identity at the table, not in our uniformity, but through our oneness in the host Jesus Christ. And out of that oneness, we center in our common focus and our common assignment.”

            Now, I confess that I had to read through his sermon later to pick out that quote. An early morning start and 10 hours of driving to Grand Rapids that day did not make me the most alert worshiper. Second confession, during the offering portion of that worship service they invited everyone to bring forward their offering of school kits. Sitting next to Sue Ellen Wheatley at that moment, we both looked at each other and groaned. Guess what we forgot to bring, what with all the effort that Kathleen Nuttall put into preparing them for us to take? Eva remembered, however!

            As you can tell, like at Annual Conference, there is a table up front. It’s a circular table, with chairs set all around it. As you can see, there are plenty of empty ones. I’d like to invite any of you to come forward and fill in this table for the rest of our service. Now, it’s not up on the raised area, so you don’t have to feel all conspicuous. Every seat will be filled, however, even if I need to act out another Bible story – you know the one about going out in the highways and byways and compelling folks to come and sit at the banquet. Don’t miss the point. We all have a place the Jesus’ table. You belong!

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

Join with me in prayer.

Gracious and loving God, you have blessed us with the treasures of your kingdom and we offer our response through these gifts of money and the service of our lives - may they be used to sow the seeds of your kingdom values of love, justice and peace.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen


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

"Mustard Seed"


Prayer of Thanksgiving and Blessing
(refers to the above video)

In this world where supersize portions reign supreme, we thank you for little things, Lord God. May this small piece of bread and tiny cup of juice remind us of your kingdom. Broken and shared, the loaves fed 5,000 beside the sea long ago, with plenty of leftovers! Broken and nailed to a cross like a common criminal, the gospel of Jesus has spread like a weed.

O God, whose kingdom is like a mustard seed, may we die to self and spread in ways we can’t predict or control. May we grow and become more in tune with you, so that you might take us where you want us to go. May we become less visible and more faithful, paying attention to the small things, realizing that this garden, this church, this community, this world is your project, not our own.

Gathered around your table, blessed by your grace, your promise, your very presence with us, we are thankful for this small meal. And we are grateful that you have invited us to share it with you, that we are included. Help us to more fully join your project of extending this table.

            This we pray in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Table Benediction

Go now in the joy of knowing that you have been included.
            Included at this table.
            Included as His table.
            Included in our common life.
            Included in the Life of God;
                        in the Life of the Triune God;
                        in the Life shared by
                                    the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Go in the joy of knowing that you have been included
            in the inner life of the God Who is love.
Go, find joy in telling others that they too are included!
Go, find joy in bringing all God’s people to His table!

“Do not be afraid, little flock,
            for your Father has chosen gladly
                        to give you the kingdom.”

You are included!

written by Darrell Johnson,
Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology
at Regent College.

(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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