Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
October 7, 2012
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

      You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.”     (Psalm 8:1b-2)

   Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)                "Morning has broken"                 648
  Prelude                            "The Heavens Are Telling"                      Beethoven

*Responsive Call to Worship                             Psalm 8                             812

*Hymn                          "I sing the mighty power of God"                              46

*Opening Prayer

  For Children                "Sabbath Candle-lighting"

  Hymn                             "All praise to thee, my God"                                658

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

  Hymn                             "Lord, listen to your children"                              353

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                            Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                               "Andate Religioso"                                  Vierne
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Scripture                                   Mark 10:2-16

  Message                     "Out of the mouths of babes" (mp3)

*Hymn                           "All beautiful the march of days"                            159

*Responsive Closing Prayer                                                    (back of bulletin)

*Postlude                                    "Postlude #2"                                        Rinck

      Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.
(Mark 10:14b-15)

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

O Lord, our Sovereign,
      how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
      the moon and the stars that you have established;
      what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
            mortals that you care for them?

Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
      and crowned them with glory and honor.

You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
      you have put all things under their feet,

all sheep and oxen,
      and also the beasts of the field,
      the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
            whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Sovereign,
      how majestic is your name in all the earth!

#812, Psalm 8:1,3-9  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.

Opening Prayer

         O God, Author of eternal light, lead us in our worshiping this day; that our lips may praise you, our lives may bless you, our meditations may glorify you; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Adapted from Sacrum Breviary, 11th Century
p. 86, For All Who Minister, Brethren Press, 1993

For Children
Sabbath Candle-lighting

How many days are there in a week? (7) What day comes first? (Sunday) What day is the last day of the week? (Saturday) If we open our Bible to the very first page of the story, it starts out with words I’d like you to help me read. (Genesis 1:1-5) Day number one. What did God do on that day? (“let there be light”) If we were to read on, we’d hear about how God created the world in six days. And each day ends with God seeing what he had made that day. Starting at the end of the third day, it says that not only did God see what he had made, but that what God created was good. At the end of the fifth day, God added a blessing. On the sixth day, God finished up, and what do you suppose was the last thing God created? (human beings) it says that “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good (1:31). And then, what do you suppose God did? (rested) That’s right. The Bible says that on the seventh day of the week, “God rested from all the work he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it…(2:2-3)

            I asked that the acolyte not light the candles during the Prelude like you normally do, because I wanted to do something different this morning. One thing I didn’t say as I remembered the first chapter of the Bible, is that each day ends with these words: “And there was evening and there was morning, the ____ day.” In the Bible, a day begins when the sun goes down, not when it comes us. To remember and celebrate the day when God rested, the seventh day that God made holy, what is called the Sabbath day, our Jewish friends begin when the sun sets on Friday night with a special lighting of candles. I know this is Sunday morning and not Friday night, but I thought we might have a special candle-lighting this morning.

            Let’s go now to the worship center table where our candles are un-lit. I have moved it out from the wall that we might stand around it. In fact, I invite any adult who would like to join us to quietly come forward and surround the table with us, bringing your hymnal with you. While they are coming forward, I want each of you to think of two or more persons you would like God to bless. This might be your mother or father, or sister or brother, or some other family member or friend. When the time comes, I will ask you to each pray out loud a very simple prayer, saying “God bless ________” for each person you have thought of (e.g. “God bless my mother…”).

            Have all come forward that wish to do so? Imagine that it is evening. The sun has set. Darkness has come. Family has gathered around the candles. Now is the time to light them… With your hands, motion with your hands to bring to yourself the light, warmth and peace of God, doing so, one, two, then three times, then cover your eyes. I will now share (in English, not Hebrew) the Messianic Jewish version of the blessing often spoken over these candles:

“Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, who sanctified us with his commandments, and commanded us to be a light to the nations, and who gave us Jesus our Messiah the light of the world.”

            Now, with your eyes still covered, ask God to bless the person you thought of earlier. You adults may do the same… Amen. As we all return to our seats, let sing an evening hymn we don’t often get to sing in worship, the last one in our hymnal, “All praise to thee, my God,” #658.

a Jewish Candle lighting blessing

a video of the candle-lighting in Reform Jewish practice

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

When we think of God creating the heavens and the earth, “perfection” comes to mind. And then reality intrudes, and we consider what those who were created in God’s image, “a little lower than the angels … crowned with glory and honor,” have done with this world. The truth is – we human beings have not been very good stewards: of the earth, of other people, of ourselves.

However, there is another who has been part of the story from the beginning, which this passage from the book of Hebrews makes clear. Jesus is a continuation of God’s promises, and God’s revelation to the world. This One who “is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being,” this One who “sustains all things by his powerful word,” this One who is superior to all other heavenly beings; Jesus chose to give up all of this and become like one of us.

Not only that, but Jesus chose to be among the least of us. He lived with the poor and the outcasts and those labeled as sinners. And he is not ashamed to call those who suffer his “brothers and sisters,” whether they suffer because of the faith, or because of the bad things that can and do happen in this world. And God made this “pioneer of (our) salvation perfect through sufferings.

Think about this as you return your offering just now. May what you give, as well as what you say and do, “proclaim (God’s) name to (your) brothers and sisters,” a note of praise, “in the midst of (this) congregation,” echoing the voice of Jesus.


Responsive Closing Prayer

Prayer of preparation for communion

Leader: O Lord, our Lord! How majestic is your name in all the earth.

Right:  All that you have created tells of your greatness: mountains and meadows, forests and fields.

Left:     White and blue, indigo and green, gold and brown silently pour forth your praise.

Leader: And we, human beings, are also the works of your creative care:

Right:  Made in your image, stamped with your likeness-

Left:     Living by the breath of your mouth.

Leader: But, as mountains age and forest trees drop their leaves,

Right:  We sin in thought, word, and deed - by what we do and by what we don't do.

Left:     We tarnish your image within us with acts and attitudes that turn us away from you.

Leader: But you call us back to yourself in the bread and the cup,

All:       Symbols of your suffering and death in Christ Jesus.

Right:   In those everyday elements, you offer us mountains of mercy, fields of forgiveness;

Left:     Lakes of love, high places of hope -

All:       Scrubbing away the tarnish of our sin.

Leader: And freeing us to make a new beginning in our walk of faith.  

All:       O Lord, our Lord! How majestic is your name in all the earth - and in our pardoned souls!

by Mary Sue H. Rosenberger, retired chaplain
Brethren Retirement Community Greenville, Ohio
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"


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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