Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
November 20, 2011
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

Thanksgiving Sunday

      When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.”  (Matthew 25:31)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)          "Praise to God, immortal praise"          91
  Prelude                                 "Thanks be to God"                                 Handel

  Responsive Call to Worship                           Psalm 100                           821

*Hymn                              "Come, ye thankful people"      94

*Opening Prayer

  For Children                     "For bleating hearts"
                                 Ezekiel 34:11-16 (New Century Version)

  Scripture                                 Ezekiel 34:20-24

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

  Hymn                       "Gentle Shepherd, come and lead us"                        352

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                Ephesians 1:15-23

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Unison Prayer                                                                       (back of bulletin)

  Offertory                            "Song of Thanksgiving"                         Broughton
                                       (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Scripture                                Matthew 25:31-46

  Hymn                            "Brothers and sisters of mine"                               142

  Message                        "Beyond the calculator"

*Hymn                             "Now thank we all our God"                                 86


*Postlude                             "Song of Thanksgiving"                         Broughton

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!
        Serve the Lord with gladness!
        Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord is God!
It is he that made us, and we are his;
        we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
        and his courts with praise!
        Give thanks to him, bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
        his steadfast love endures forever,
        and his faithfulness to all generations.

Hymnal #821   (Revised Standard Version)

Opening Prayer

A “joyful noise,” O Lord, you invite us to make.
      “Gladness” is your call to the servant’s heart.
Help us this day to respond
      out of the abundance you provide, realizing
            that treasure is in the eye of the beholder,
            that riches are more than full barns
                                                    and bank accounts,
            that real gratitude depends upon
                  how we behold what we have received.
Forgive us
            when we take the harvest for granted,
            when we forget that green pastures
                                      and still waters
                    are made all the sweeter by
                          the journey through our dark valleys,
            when we begrudge the opportunity to share
                    and consider servanthood a joyless necessity
                          rather than a delightful possibility.
On this Thanksgiving Sunday,
     we lift up our praise to you, O God,
          and proclaim yet again that
               the lamb who was slain
                    has begun his reign.
                         Alleluia. Amen.

For Children
For bleating hearts
Ezekiel 34:11-16

            Gather the children up front and invite them to help read this scripture from the prophet Ezekiel (34:11-16, New Century Version in large print), telling them how important it is to listen to what God says. They are helping all of us to hear the Lord by reading this. You might assign the non-readers the task of saying “sheep” when you point to them during the reading. Have the readers take turns, each reading a line as you point to them and it.

This is what the Lord God says:
      I, myself, will search for my sheep
         and take care of them.
            As a shepherd
               takes care of his scattered flock
                    when it is found,
      I will take care of my sheep.
      I will save them from all the places
            where they were scattered
                  on a cloudy and dark day.
      I will  bring them out from the nations
          and gather them from the countries.
      I will  bring them to their own land
          and pasture them
                      on the mountains of Israel,
                      in the ravines,
                and in all the places
                    where people live in the land.
      I will feed them in a good pasture,
          and they will eat grass
                      on the high mountains of Israel.
                They will lie down on good ground
                            where they eat grass,
          and they will eat in rich grassland
                      on the mountains of Israel.
      I will feed my flock
          and lead them to rest,
                              says the Lord God.
       I will search for the lost,
                bring back those that strayed away,
                put bandages on those that were hurt,
         and make the weak strong.
But I will destroy those sheep
                        that are fat and strong.
       I will tend the sheep with fairness.

            After thanking them for helping us with the work of worship by reading scripture, ask them what they heard God say. Nudge the discussion toward how God will search and find lost sheep. “I wonder if there are any lost sheep in this room who need to be found?” This is the cue for a small number of adults scattered throughout the congregation (assigned ahead of time) to beginning bleating like sheep [note - while the children were reading the scripture, these persons put on sheep masks*]. Have the children go and find them and bring them up front. “After finding them, what did God promise to do for them?”   Feed them. Have some ‘food’ for the children to feed these ‘sheep’ (maybe some cheerios made of grain). What else? Give them rest. Have the children help the sheep lie down and sleep (choose adults willing and able to get down on all fours and lie on the floor). What else? Put bandages on those who are hurt. Have a mock first aid kit with a few band aids for the children to pretend with.

            Thank the children and the sheep for helping us not only to hear God speak, but to see what God is saying to us. “Let’s pray: Thank you, God, for seeking and finding the lost sheep of Israel, for feeding us, giving us rest, and healing us. And all God’s sheep say, “Baaah!” (this prompt is also shared with the adult sheep ahead of time).

*I copied and pasted one of these wonderful images,
expanding it to fit an entire page and printed it,
making it into a mask by cutting a small hole in the eyes
and attaching some string to tie it onto the head of the 'sheep.'

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

            One of the most important parts of prayer is gratitude and thanksgiving. As we focus on our life, our home, our family, and our friends, we cannot help but pour out our gratitude for all the blessings we enjoy each day. Even when the going gets tough and life is difficult, the blessings are abundant. Remembering these blessings in prayer helps us focus on the good things in life, putting all those troubles in perspective.

by Carolyn Schrock, district administrator
Missouri and Arkansas District
Mountain Grove, Missouri
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Unison Prayer

Please turn to the back of your bulletin and join with me
in the thanksgiving prayer that is printed there. All together…

God, you are gracious to us each day.

We pour out our thanks to the sun
      that warms our day and saves us from darkness.
We return our thanks to the rain
      that washes us clean and waters the soil.
We bless the pumpkins and beans and potatoes
      that nourish our families.
We pour out our thanks to the birds
      that joyfully serenade the early morning.
We return our thanks to friends
      who faithfully support us along the way.
We bless our family members
      who are steadfast in their love and care for us.
We return our thanks to the Holy One, the Creator,
      who embodies all goodness and directs the world
      in a plan for us, his children.

God, you are gracious to us each day. Amen.

by Carolyn Schrock, district administrator
Missouri and Arkansas District
Mountain Grove, Missouri
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Matthew 25:31-46

For the reading of our gospel lesson this morning, please turn to number 142 in your hymnal. We will weave verses from this song into this scripture, one at a time. Be prepared to sing as directed. Now, listen to Jesus.

31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.  34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

Hymn #142, verse 1 - "Brothers and sisters of mine"

37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

Hymn #142, verse 2 - "Brothers and sisters of mine"

41Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’


Hymn #142, verse 3 - "Brothers and sisters of mine"

44Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Hymn #142, verse 4 - "Brothers and sisters of mine"

text 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.


Go now, and embrace the hope to which God has called us.
Recognize Christ in friend and stranger,
and as Christ has been gracious to you,
so be gracious to those in need.

And may God give you a place of rest on rich pasture;
May Christ Jesus be the shepherd king who binds your wounds;
And may the Holy Spirit give you wisdom
........and reveal to you the fullness of the one who fills all in all.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

(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:
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)

International Lesson:
International Bible Lesson
a weekly column by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.
in "The Oklahoman" newspaper
also found

International Lesson:
Living Web Sunday School Project

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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