Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 15, 2012
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

Second Sunday of Easter 

We are writing these things
that our joy may be complete.

(1 John 1:4)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)            "In the bulb there is a flower"            614
  Prelude                                   "Chorus Magnus"                                      Wely

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                         "Come, ye faithful, raise the strain"                           264

*Litany of Confession                                                               (back of bulletin)

  Song                          "Every morning is Easter morning"                        (insert)

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

  Response (last 4 lines)   "Every morning is Easter morning"                       (insert)

  Pastoral Prayer

  Gospel                                      John 20:19-31

  For Children                    "How many marbles?"

  Response (last 4 lines)   "Every morning is Easter morning"                       (insert)

  Scripture                                    Acts 4:32-35

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

*Response (last 4 lines)   "Every morning is Easter morning"                       (insert)


  Scripture                                  1 John 1:1 - 2:2

  Message                  "That our joy may be complete"

*Hymn                         "Proclaim the tidings near and far"                            282


*Postlude                                   "Christ is Risen"                                        Kolb

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
(refers to Psalm 133)

1 – Christ is risen!

2 – Rise with him in body or spirit.

(motion congregation to stand,  pausing
next line until all have risen who are able)

1 – How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!

2 – That’s what the Psalmist sings.

1 – When brothers and sisters live together in peace, it is like precious oil

2 – costly perfume…

1 – oil for anointing…

2 – oil for commissioning kings for ruling…

1 – oil for preparing the dead for the grave…

2 – oil for welcoming someone who has walked many miles of a journey…

1 – soothing his feet…

2 – cooling her head…

1 – When sisters and brothers dwell in harmony, it is like precious oil poured from above

2 – landing on the head, running down upon the beard

1 – if such a person has a beard, like Moses’ brother Aaron did long ago,

2 – running down over the collar of his robes

1 – Such unity,

2 – such peace,

1 – such harmony among God’s people

2 – is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion.

1 – For there

2 – Zion, that is – Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified,

1 – where on the third day, Christ arose;

2 – there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore.

1 – Come, ye faithful, raise the strain of triumphant gladness.

2 – Turn in your hymnal to #264 and let us sing.

scripture 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.

Litany of Confession

One:    Lord, last week we sang alleluias and proclaimed your resurrection.

All:     We confess that we question the mystery of your divine and human nature, Three-in-One God. May we, like Mary in the garden, hear your voice, call your name, and believe.

Right:  We confess that we limit our time for you to a single hour. May we, like the travelers to Emmaus, see you in the everydayness, and marvel.

Left:    We confess that we prefer our hands to be clean, our clothing pressed, our friends made in our image. May we, like Thomas, dare to touch the open wounds of theological arguments and denominational debates, and heal.


All:      Lord, make us Easter people every day. May we gather as the church to testify to the power of resurrection. May we proclaim the mystery that death is now conquered, that life is everlasting. May we be in fellowship with all who call you Lord so that our joy may be complete.

by Cathy Huffman
Germantown Brick Church of the Brethren
Rocky Mount, Virginia

Words of Assurance

One:    Here is the message we have heard from Jesus and proclaim to you: God is light and in God is no shadow at all.

All:      If we live in the light, as God is in the light, then we share a common life with one another, and the blood of Jesus, Son of God, cleanses us from all sin.

Hymnal #707
1 John 1:5,7, adapted from NRSV and NEB
© 1992 The Hymnal Project

Pastoral Prayer


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


For Children
"How many marbles?"
based on John 20:27-29

What do you suppose I have in this sack? … Hmm, you think there are marbles in here. How did you know? You listened and heard a sound and made a guess based on the sound you heard. Do you actually know these are marbles? Well, maybe yes, maybe no?

I’ve got another question. If these are marbles, how many marbles do you think I have in this sack? Let me shake it and hold it up so you can see the sack more clearly. You’ve heard the sound and you think that these are marbles. You see the sack which contains these marbles (if that’s what they are), and you guess there are - how many? (have each child guess a number). Very good.

There are three ways you could find out how many are in here, and you have already tried the first way, which is to, what? To guess, which is what you have all just done. I think you each did a pretty good job of guessing. You had a few things to go by in making your guess. You heard the sound and you saw the outside of the sack, and you made a guess.

What’s another way you could find out how many are in here? (these other two should go in the order the children say them, if they do – perhaps they might even think of some other way, real of goofy, so go with them. Adapt to fit the moment with them) Yes, you could ask me to tell you how many are in here, and I could do that. In fact, let me say that there are ___ marbles in here. Do you believe me? You’d have to take my word for it. That’s actually another way of knowing how many marbles are here, to believe what I’ve told you.

What is another way of finding out how many marbles are in this sack? Yes, we could dump out the marbles and actually count them, then we would know for sure how many there are. In fact, we would also know whether or not these are really marbles. Should we do that? (do so, and together count one marble at a time, then put the marbles back in the sack).

In the Bible story we just heard, Jesus came to his disciples on the evening of the day he rose from the dead. None of the disciples had yet seen him alive after he had died on the cross and been buried. They were amazed. All except for one of them, who was away at the time. Who was that, anyone know his name? That’s right. He was Thomas. He wasn’t there when Jesus came, and Jesus left before he returned. The other disciples told them about it, but he didn’t believe them.

Thomas heard them speak, just like you heard the sound of these marbles in the sack, just like you heard me tell you how many marbles there were, but he didn’t believe what he heard. He didn’t want to guess and he couldn’t yet believe. What did he say he needed before he would really know that Jesus was alive? That’s right. He said he needed to see the scars where the nails had been pounded into Jesus’ hands or feet, or where he had been stabbed in the side.

One week later, Jesus came again to his disciples, and this time Thomas was there. Jesus told Thomas to see and to touch all the holes, the scars in his body, and he said to Thomas, “do not doubt, but believe.” It doesn’t say whether or not Thomas actually touched Jesus’ scars. He did, however, finally believe, saying, “My Lord and my God.”

Then Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.” With those words, Jesus was talking to you and me. We were not there when Jesus rose from the grave (hold up the sack). We did not actually see him like those first disciples did. However, we have heard the story passed down to us (shake the sack). Will you, will I believe he is alive? (say the next words as you pour out the marbles) “Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”

If you promise me that you won’t swallow one of these marbles, you may pick one and take it home with you to remember this story.

borrowed and adapted concept (full rewrite)
from Eldon Weisheit, 61 Gospel Talks for Children,
©1969, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, p. 63.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

            It is time to share our marbles. God has richly provided. Will the ushers come forward to receive what we have to give?

(follows Acts 4:32-35 and refers to "children's story")


            Holy One, we do not doubt that Jesus, the Messiah, lives again.  Yet, only one short week from Easter, our thoughts are cluttered with finite, insignificant activities and agendas.  Instead of remaining focused on the abundance of divine transformation, we return to a pessimistic mindset of scarcity.  Refocus our attention on the joy of Easter, so that we may recognize all that we have received and be led to give cheerfully.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Copyright © 2011 David S. Bell.
Reprinted with permission from


(1 John 1:1‑4, adapted)

We have heard it, we have seen it,
we have touched it with our hands,
and this love of Christ our Savior
far exceeds His laws’ demands.
Thus we know that God is with us,
and in Him is no darkness at all,
that our sins have been forgiven
to complete the joy of us all.

from a song by Harriet Ziegenhals,
©1980, Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL

Go and share the joy!
Every morning is Easter morning from now on!

(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)


©2012 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


return to
Worship Orders

return to

return to

return to
Long Green Valley Church