Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 16, 2012
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

Third Sunday of Advent 

      Surely it is God who saves me. I will trust in him and not be afraid, for the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, and he will be my Savior. (Isaiah 12:2)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)                   "Oh, how joyfully"                    209
  Prelude                          "Cold December Flies Away"            Catalonian Carol

Rejoice in the Lord always…

  Call to Worship                                                                    (back of bulletin)

*Hymn                            "Hark! the herald angels sing"                              201

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                 Philippians 4:4-7

  For Children                             "Chrismons"

…again I will say, Rejoice…

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

  Hymn                           "Lo, how a rose e’er blooming"                            211

  Pastoral Prayer

…Let your gentleness be known…

  Scripture                               Zephaniah 3:14-20

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                          "A Rose-tree Hath Risen"                           Brahms
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

…The Lord is near.

  Scripture                                    Isaiah 12:1-6

  Message              Reclaiming “Salvation” and “Joy”  (includes mp3)

*Hymn                                     "Joy to the world"                                       318


*Postlude                                   "O Sanctissima"
                                                European Magazine & London Review

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Read at end of announcements before Prelude:

In the Christmas story, no one rejoiced quite like the angels did. A heavenly multitude joined them in a message of celebration, and they were all heard praising, "Glory to God in the highest heaven" (Luke 2: 14). Their rejoicing and praise encouraged the shepherds to leave where they were and go in search for Jesus. The angels' rejoicing took the shepherds to new places-physically and spiritually. Where might rejoicing in the Lord lead you this Christmas?

(this, the Call to Worship & the Opening Prayer
are on the back of the bulletin)
by Sandi Evans Rogers, associate pastor
Frederick (MD) Church of the Brethren

Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Call to Worship

Turn to the back of your bulletin and join in the “Call to Worship” found there…

One:     Christmas is a time of rejoicing, a time of joyfulness and delight, and a time to exult in the Lord! It is a time to give God the glory. But it is not just at Christmas.

All:       Rejoice in the Lord always.

One:     May our rejoicing glorify the Lord. May our rejoicing take us to new places. May our rejoicing lead others to the manger. May our rejoicing bring us closer to Jesus.

All:       Again we will say, Rejoice!

    As we light the first three Advent candles, please rise in body or spirit and sing "Hark! the herald angels sing," #201.

(wait until they begin singing,
then light first the candle in the front,
then the one to the left,
and then the pink candle,
not the back candle)

words to the Call to Worship
written by Sandi Evans Rogers, associate pastor
Frederick (MD) Church of the Brethren

Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Opening Prayer

Jesus, we delight in you and we rejoice in you, for you are the best gift ever given. May our rejoicing influence not only our lives, but the lives of all those the Holy Spirit brings our way this day. May we experience your peace here on earth, for you are the Prince of Peace. Glory to God in the highest heaven! Amen.

by Sandi Evans Rogers, associate pastor
Frederick (MD) Church of the Brethren

Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

For Children

Needed: 1) the living Christmas tree in a pot you set upon a stump with the children 2 weeks ago; , with lights you together put on last week; 2) chrismon ornaments.

Many years ago my mother made some ornaments for our tree and gave them to us for Christmas. They were (and are) very beautiful, and it took her a long time to make them. Let me show you. It was Christmas 1992 that she gave them. How do I know? Because she put her initials and the year on the back of each one.

Each ornament has a symbol we associate with our faith as Christians. Can you tell me what some of those symbols are? [let the children identify the ones they can] We call these “Chrismons.” The word “Chrismon” comes from the old Latin words, “Christi” (what does that sound like? That’s right – Christ) and “monogramma.” … “Chrismons” are “Christ monograms.”

Actually, a monogram is made up of letters, sort of like my mother’s intials, LPH, which she put on the back of each one. LPH stands for Louise Peterson Haynes. LPH is her monogram. Here is a monogram for Jesus. Inside a fish are the letters IXOYE which, in another language, stands for “Jesus Christ, Song of God, Savior.” Those letters, and the symbol of the fish, were very important for followers of Jesus a long time ago. Here is another one, IHS. It goes back to an old language and stands for Jesus Christ.

The rest of these Crismons are symbols more than letters. But they are still called Chrismons. I thought we might decorate our living Christmas tree with these Chrismons. [as they do so, continue on] I don’t know about you, but this makes me very happy. When I look at these Chrismons on our tree, I think about Jesus, and all the things these Chrismons symbolize. I also think about my mother who died almost 7 years ago. She is now living with Jesus. Do these Chrismons on our living tree with all these pretty lights bring you joy, also? I’m glad.

(series continued next week)

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

At the beginning of worship, we lit the third advent candle, the color of which is rose, to symbolize “joy.” The flower from which we derive that color is indeed beautiful. It also bears thorns upon its stem. To hold a rose can be painful if we do not handle it carefully. So also this life we have been given by God.

Like all prophets, Zephaniah had thorny words to say to God’s people. Yes, we heard a wonder-filled promise in the section just read, of renewed love, removed disaster, and homecoming. Behind the singing and shouting and rejoicing, however, lay the warning to shape up or ship out, as clear as the voice of John the Baptist, centuries later, crying out in the wilderness for God’s people to repent and prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah.

As you return your offering just now, consider the rose and its thorns, and how joy is connected to repentance. Place your offering in the plate, and as you do so, turn to God and pray your confession. Prepare the way of the Lord in your mind and heart, that God’s salvation might work its way into your actions.

Ushers, please guide our giving.


Go now and rejoice in the Lord always.
Do not be afraid or worried about anything,
but in everything trust God and pray.
Bear fruits worthy of repentance,
sharing what you have and being gentle with all.

And may God rejoice over you with gladness;
May Christ Jesus renew you in his love;
and may the Holy Spirit give you peace beyond understanding
to guard your hearts and minds in Christ.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net


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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