Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 18, 2011
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

Fourth Sunday of Advent 

      Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)              "O come, all ye faithful"                 212
  Prelude                             "Noel on a Sicilian Carol"                         Guilmart

  Call to Worship                                                              (back of the bulletin)

  Lighting the Fourth Advent Candle

*Hymn                      "Fling wide the door, unbar the gate!"                       186

*Prayer of Invocation                                                       (back of the bulletin)

  Scripture                              Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26

  For Children               "A gift that lasts forever"

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                              "Away in a Manger"              Mueller, Murray, Hume
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

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

  Hymn                                     "What child is this"                                     215

  Pastoral Prayer

  Hymn                         "The virgin Mary had a baby boy"                          202

  Scripture                                    Luke 1:26-38

  Message                     "In the hands of a teenager" (mp3)

*Responsive Scripture Reading                                                                715

*Hymn                          "My soul proclaims with wonder"                         181


*Postlude             "Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light"              Schop

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

(before proceeding, light the
first, second, & third Advent candles)

One:     We have been very busy, buying gifts for those we love ...

All:      But God, have we understood your greatest gift?

One:     We have been very diligent, helping those in need ...

All:      But God, have we loved others as you love them?

One:     We have tried to be aware of Jesus' coming ...

All:      But God, have we shared the message of salvation to others?

One:     O God, as we light this fourth candle of Advent, may its light remind us to join in the proclamation of the revelation of mystery: Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.

(motion people to rise and then light
the fourth Advent candle as we sing:
"Fling wide the door, unbar the gate!#186)

by Tim Harvey, moderator
Annual Conference Church of the Brethren
also pastor of Central Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Opening Prayer

Our God, as we prepare for our family Christmas gatherings, help us to give attention to honoring Jesus. Enrich our spiritual preparations, that they may long outlast the memory of our earthly gift-giving and enable us to share in the revelation of the mystery - salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

by Tim Harvey, moderator
Annual Conference Church of the Brethren
also pastor of Central Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

For Children
"A gift that lasts forever"

needed: a box of candy and a pair of earrings

            Scott went shopping to buy a Christmas present for his mother. He looked at many different things. He checked the price tags to see which ones he could buy with the money in his pocket. Finally he had to choose between these two gifts. He could buy either this candy or these earrings. (Show candy and earrings.] He knew his mother liked candy. It would be a special treat. He also knew his mother liked earrings. He thought these would look nice on her.

Both gifts were nice. She would enjoy either. Scott had a hard time making up his mind. Then he thought about next summer when the family would go on vacation. The candy would be gone by then. But his mother would still have the earrings. He decided he wanted to give his mother a gift that would last a long time. So he bought the earrings.

God plans to give you a gift for Christmas. He wants you to have a special friend. You may have many different friends. There are friends at school, friends at church, friends on your ball team or at Scouts. Some friends are like the box of candy. They last only for a while. One person may be your friend only for a day. It's OK to have a friend for only a short time, just like it's OK to have a gift that lasts only a short time.

But sometimes you want a friend that lasts a long time. You may now have some friends who will be your friends the rest of your life. But the friend God wants to give you at Christmas will be your friend even longer than that. Listen to what the Lord said in Psalm 89: "I have made a covenant with the man I chose; I have promised my servant David, 'A descendant of yours will always be king; I will preserve your dynasty forever.' "

When God chose a friend for you, he picked one who would last forever. God made a promise to King David that one of David's sons would be a king who would rule forever.

Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph who were descendants of King David. Jesus became a king-not just the king of one country for a while, but king for everyone forever. He became a king because he battled against sin and death when he was crucified on the cross. He won the victory when he rose from the dead. Now he rules with God the Father over heaven and earth.

Jesus, the King, is your friend. He is the gift God gives to you. The earrings Scott bought for his mother will last a long time. But she might lose one, or they might be stolen or broken. Scott's gift to his mother will last a long time, but not forever. God's gift to you is forever. Jesus is with you now, and he always will be.

by Eldon Weisheit,
The Psalms for Children (year B), ©1984,
Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, p. 14.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

            Thank you, God, for the gift of your Son, whose birth we will soon celebrate. He is “a gift that lasts forever.” What we have to offer is temporary, O Lord, and yet you still invite us to give. On this Sunday before Christmas, may our short term offerings reflect the steadfast love of your long term covenant with us through Christ Jesus. We give them in his name. Amen.

Ushers, gather in what God has given and we now return.

Responsive Scripture Reading
Luke 1:46-55

Leader:  My soul proclaims your greatness, O my God,
                  and my spirit rejoices in you, my Savior,
                  for your regard has blessed me,
                  an ordinary woman, who serves you.

People:  From this day all generations
                  will call me blessed,
                  for you who are mighty have made me great.
               Most holy be your name.

Leader:  Your mercy is on those who fear you
                  throughout all generations.
              You have shown strength with your arm.
              You have scattered the proud in their hearts' fantasy.

People:  You have put down the mighty from their seat
                  and have lifted up the powerless.
              You have filled the hungry with good things
                  and have sent the rich empty away.

   ALL:  You, remembering your mercy,
                  have helped your people Israel,
                  as you promised Abraham and Sarah
                      mercy to their children forever.

Hymnal #715
from Language About God in Liturgy and Scripture

Romans 16:25-27

May the following words, which bring to a close the letter of the apostle Paul to the Romans, send you forth into this week empowered with what the Lord has placed into your hands. Listen.

Now to God who is able to strengthen you
            according to my gospel
                          and the proclamation of Jesus Christ,
            according to the revelation of the mystery
                        that was kept secret for long ages
                                                but is now disclosed,
                                    and through the prophetic writings
                        is made known to all the Gentiles,
            according to the command of the eternal God,
                        to bring about the obedience of faith —
to the only wise God,
            through Jesus Christ,
                        to whom be the glory forever!

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.

(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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