Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
May 27, 2012
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am


      In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.
(Acts 2:17)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)                 "There are many gifts"                304

  Visualizing Ezekiel 37:1-10 (a video)

  Hearing Ezekiel 37:11-14

  Responsive Call to Worship                                                  (back of bulletin)

*Hymn                           "Holy Spirit, come with power"                              26

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                 Romans 8:22-27

  For Children                          "Inter-seeding"

  Dedicating our prayer chain

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

  Hymn                               "Holy Spirit, Truth divine"                                 508

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                                     Acts 2:1-21

  Message                                     "Pour Me (text & mp3)

*Hymn                            "O Holy Spirit, making whole"                              300



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Visualizing Ezekiel 37:1-10
(a video)


Hearing Ezekiel 37:11-14


Responsive Call to Worship

One:     Dwell in us anew, O Breath of God!

All:      Breathe into our bodies and make us live.

One:     We are calling out as you have commanded:
            create new flesh upon these dry and brittle bones.

All:      Reveal yourself in fresh expressions of faith
            in our lives, our community, and our tradition.

One:     Open our minds and lives to your presence -
            blowing among us, dwelling within us.

All:      Raise us from the graves of our complacency;
            stir us from inaction, and restore our hope.

by Matthew McKimmy, pastor
Richmond, IN Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Opening Prayer

Spirit, blowing and blazing,
Pentecost wind and Pentecost flame,
Spirit of power, invade this hour.
Blow, Spirit, burn, as when you first came.

Spirit, helping and healing,
our lives are troubled, tense, we confess.
Spirit, draw near us, anoint and cheer us.
Come with your balm to comfort and bless.

Spirit, righteous and holy,
we bring our hearts repentant, contrite.
Spirit forgiving, hallow our living.
Lead us from darkness into your light.

Spirit, vibrant and lively,
waken our wearied spirits, we pray.
Spirit, pursue us, revive, renew us.
Stir us to follow Christ's holy way.

by Kenneth L Gibble, ©1996 
#1012 in Hymnal Supplement.
Brethren Press, Elgin, Illinois

For Children

I want to try something – are you willing to try it with me? Close your eyes. I want you to think of something you want to do more than anything else. Everything inside of you gets excited when you think about it. You can hardly hold still. Now, imagine how you would feel if you found out that what you are so anxiously looking forward to doing is just not going to happen. No way. No how. Open your mouth and let out a sound that expresses how this feels.

No, open your eyes. Did you hear the sound you just made? It was a cry, a groan, a sigh. The Bible says that all of creation groaned like that, waiting for what God was going to do with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Everything that God created – nature, animals, plants, rivers, mountains, sky, rocks – everything groaned, the Bible says. Why do you think all of “creation” was groaning? Well, think about the sound you made and why you made it. Something you wanted more than anything else didn’t happen, and you groaned. You were sad, maybe angry, frustrated.

Well, everything God created was frustrated, maybe angry and sad. Creation waited for Jesus to be on the move and God’s Spirit to blow and people to become what God created us to be. And waiting is hard. It’s enough to make you groan. Let’s make that sound again.

Now, I need to tell you something about groaning. God is at work in our groans and our sighs and our cries. Did you know that these sounds are a kind of prayer? The Bible talks about how we don’t always know how to pray, but God is always praying through us, even in our groans. It says that God’s Spirit is “interceding” for us with “sighs too deep for words.” I love that. Even our sighs are prayers. What does that big word, “interceding” mean? Literally, it means praying for someone else. But I’d like you to think of it as “inter-seeding.” What does it mean to “seed” something? It means to plant a seed. And with good soil, and water, and sun, the seed sprouts and grows.

I’d like you to think of prayer as God planting seeds that will grow and become something wonderful. When we pray for someone, we are planting God’s seeds, we are “inter-seeding.” And God’s Holy Spirit is with us all the time planting seeds in our lives, sometimes even in our groans and cries and sighs, when we don’t know how to pray or what to pray for.

To help you remember this, I’ve made up some zip-lock bags of seeds for you to take with you… I’m glad you came today.


Dedicating our prayer chain

On this Pentecost Sunday, when we remember and celebrate the first time the Holy Spirit fired up the church, it is appropriate to dedicate ourselves anew to the burning task of praying for one another. We call this “intercessory” prayer. What I just shared with the children is what I’d also like you to remember. Scripture says that the prayers of those who have been brought into a right relationship with God through what Jesus did upon the cross, that these prayers are powerful and effective. (James 5:16) But that power is not out own, it is the wind of God, just like our righteousness is not our own, it is the grace of God.

When we pray for others, even when we can’t seem to find the words, and all that comes from our lips may only be groans or sighs or cries, we are joining God in planting and nurturing seeds of hope in the lives of people for whom we pray. To help all of us to remember this, I ask the ushers now to come forward and help distribute to all of us one of these zip-lock bags of seeds that I just gave the children. While they do so, please keep listening.

There is nothing magic about these seeds you will soon hold in your hands. They won’t grow overnight into tall stalks upon which you might climb to heaven. Likewise, prayer is not magic. There are no “abracadabra” words which transform things in a puff of smoke. Even though Jesus said, “ask and you shall receive,” prayer is not an “open sesame” that automatically gains us immediate access to treasure. It is, however, more like a seed planted in the soil of our lives which slowly but surely emerges from the ground and grows. Of course, sudden miracles can happen, but more often it is the gradual, often imperceptible, transformation wrought by God that makes prayer powerful and effective.

Funny thing is, when we pray for another person, growth happens within us. God’s seed sprouts and rises and we (who bring others to God in prayer) are changed in the process. Intercessory prayer, thus, is a joy, not a burden. God is alive and active within, the Holy Spirit doing its work… Many of us have committed ourselves to the intercessory prayer ministry of this congregation, which we call a prayer chain. We get word out to you in one of two ways. The first and oldest method is by phone, which this year includes 20 persons or households. The newest means through which we get the word out is by email, which at present is sent out to 74 persons or households. 9 of these are also on the phone chain. If you are not on either list but wish to be included, all you have to do is tell us.

However, this is not an exercise in handing out information, simply because “inquiring minds want to know.” It is not meant for gossip. It is, instead, a call to prayer. We give out minimum information. We don’t need to know all the details in order to pray, so don’t expect nor ask for them. Simply pray, with or without words, and God’s seed will grow – whether that growth happen in the life of the person for whom you pray, or in you as the one who prays. To dedicate, once again, this ministry of the church, please pray with me.

We breathe in your Holy Spirit, O God. You draw us into the work of your kingdom. You plant concerns upon our hearts where, like seeds, they germinate and grow. You listen beyond our words, and hear what you have planted. And the ground changes, little by little. We believe you are at work in the lives of those for whom we pray, as surely as you are at work in our lives, and that seed rises little by little and grows beyond what we can imagine. Here and now we rededicate ourselves to the task of intercessory prayer through this chain. But it is you who make it possible. Yours is the power and the glory, in Christ and the Spirit. Amen.


Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

Listen to what the apostle Paul wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians,
chapter 9, verses 6-12:

2 Corinthians 9:6-12

Ushers, you earlier distributed seeds among us,
would you now collect our thanksgiving to God.



This week,
     may you breathe in the fresh wind of God’s kingdom
          that you may share the good news of Jesus;
     may you burn with the fire of God’s energizing presence
          that you may accomplish more than you imagine possible;
     and may God pour his Spirit upon you,
          that the seed which God has sown
               will rise from the soil and grow in your life,
                    and in the lives of those around you;
     for the glory of God and our neighbor’s good.



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)


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