Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 21, 2013
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

Fourth Sunday of Easter

      Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from? … These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.   (Revelation 7:13-14)

   Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)      "That Easter day with joy was bright"       281
  Prelude                           "Meditation" (from "Messiah")                           Handel

   Call to Worship

*Hymn                         "The King of love my shepherd is"                            170

*Opening Prayer

  Responsive affirmation of faith                                                                    711

  For Children                     "Raising a shepherd"
                                                  (Acts 9:36-43)

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

  Unison Scripture                            Psalm 23                                              814

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                   John 10:22-30

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                            "Sweet Hour of Prayer"                           Bradbury
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Scripture                                 Revelation 7:9-17

  Hymn                                      "Who are these"                                          270

  Message                              "Coming through" (mp3)

*Hymn                                     "The strife is o'er"                                         263


*Postlude                             "Lift Your Glad Voices"                               Gould

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

1 - Even as we remember and celebrate once again that Jesus Christ,
      by dying upon the cross and rising from the tomb, has defeated
      the power of sin and death,

2 - events this past week have also reminded and startled us once again
      that evil is very much a reality in the world around us.

1 - Instead of standing speechless and helpless in the face of senseless terror,

2 - we turn toward the shepherd’s staff and the lamb of God.

1 - Drawing on the prayerful imagination of the last book in the Bible,

2 - we begin our worship this fourth Sunday of Easter

1 - with the new song of the angel choir and the saints gathered around
      the throne of God,

2 - the harmonies of the kingdom of the Shepherd,

1 - which sounds out within and beyond our own melodies of praise

2 - whenever we gather together:

1 - “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain

2 - to receive power and wealth

1 - and wisdom and might

2 - and honor and glory and blessing! …

1 - To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb

2 - be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!*

1 - Rise, now, in body or spirit, and join in the song.

2 - “The King of love my shepherd is,” #170 in your hymnal.

*Revelation 5:12-13 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

Shepherding God,
            whose goodness and mercy follow us all of our days,
                  through bright passages and dark valleys,
      we join our voices with your kingdom choir,
            in praise and gratitude to you.
      You open our eyes to the world around us,
            as it is – both the grime and the glory.
      You also open our eyes
            to what you are in the process of bringing forth –
                  – your coming realm.
      Forgive our confusion and fear when we falter in faith,
            forgetting who we are and whose we are,
            failing to recall what you have already done
                  through the cross and the empty tomb, and
            allowing hope to slip through our fingers like sand.
      Fill us this hour with your Spirit
            that we might be encouraged to walk this week
                  with an Easter faith that lives out our “alleluia”
                        even when confronted by evil.
      This we pray in the name of the lamb who was slain.

Responsive affirmation of faith

Leader: Jesus taught us to speak of hope as the coming of God's kingdom.

  ALL: We believe that God is at work in our world
                  turning hopeless and evil situations into good.
            We believe that goodness and justice
                  will triumph in the end
                  and that tyranny and oppression cannot last forever.
            One day all tears will be wiped away;
                  the lamb will lie down with the lion,
                  and justice will roll down like a mighty stream.

Leader: True peace and true reconciliation are not only desired,
                  they are assured and guaranteed in Christ.

  ALL: This is our faith.
            This is our hope.

Hymnal, #711, South African creed, 20th c.,
Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace,
Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

For Children
Raising a shepherd
(Acts 9:36-43)

             Have you ever heard of the name Tabitha? How about the name Dorcas? In two different languages, Hebrew and Greek, these names mean “gazelle.” What is a gazelle? It’s a small antelope – kind of like a deer. It can run very fast, 60 mph for a short distance or 30 mph for long distances (which is 2 mph faster than the fastest human has ever run). Gazelles are also appreciated for their gracefulness. They are most commonly associated with female beauty, which is why a woman might be named Tabitha/Dorcas.

             In the Bible we find the story of a disciple of Jesus named Tabitha/Dorcas. From now on I’ll refer to her as Tabitha. She lived in a town called Joppa. Anyone ever heard of a Joppatowne? Yes, some of you go to school, or have grandparents who live in Joppatowne, Maryland. Well this was Joppa in Israel where Tabitha lived. She was known as a kind and caring person. She helped people. She made clothes for people, especially those who couldn’t make clothes for themselves. I imagine she also gave them food from her own table if they were hungry, things that Jesus would want us all to do. 

             In the Bible story I’m remembering with you, Tabitha became ill and died. The people she helped were very sad, not just because she died, but also because they didn’t know how they were going to live without her. In their despair they sent for the apostle Peter, whom they heard was visiting a nearby town. When Peter arrived, they took him to where she lay dead. As they were crying, they showed him all the clothes that Tabitha had made for them. How were they going to live without this woman, who was like a shepherd to them? This gazelle of a girl guided them when they were lost, showing them the way, speeding to their side when they needed help. Tabitha was their leader, and now she was dead. What would Peter do about that? Peter had known Jesus face-to-face before Jesus left to be with God. Through their tears of grief, these women were asking, what was God – what was Jesus going to do about this?

             Here is what Peter did. First, he asked all the crying women to leave the room. Then he knelt down beside Tabitha and prayed. That’s the first thing any of us should do when bad things happen – pray! It doesn’t say how long he prayed, or even what he prayed. He just prayed. Then he said to Tabitha, as if she were simply asleep and needed to wake – he said, “Tabitha, get up.” … And, do you know what? She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up. He reached out his hand and helped her stand up. Then, together they faced all those sad people, who were now no longer sad. They had their shepherd back! I imagine they rejoiced for days, for just like Jesus, Tabitha rose from death, and went on to continue the work of Jesus in Joppa… Pray with me.

               Thank you, Lord, for this story of a gazelle, a woman disciple who was swift to help others, and did so gracefully. Thank you for the gazelles, the many grace-filled women disciples in this very room who continue the work of Jesus, and are like shepherds to the rest of us. Though they go by many wonderful names, thank you for raising them up among us to serve you. Bless these children, that they might themselves grow to become like Tabitha. In your name we pray. Amen.  


Unison Scripture
Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;
      he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters;
      he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
      for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
            I fear no evil;
      for thou art with me;
      thy rod and thy staff,
            they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me
            in the presence of my enemies;
      thou anointest my head with oil,
            my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
            all the days of my life;
      and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Hymnal #814
from the Revised Standard Version.
Copyright 1946, 1952, 1959, 1973
by the Division of Christian Education of
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

Gracious and loving God,
all of your works,
all that you have done for us,
testify to your love.
You gave everything
to bring us the promise of eternal life.
By the power of the Holy Spirit,
may all that we do and all that we are
testify to your amazing care and compassion.
In gratitude and love,
we offer ourselves to you. Amen.

by Bill Hoppe, from MinistryMatters.com, © 2013 by them


Go now with your trust in the good shepherd,
and let us love, not just in words,
but in truth and action.
Believe in the name of Jesus Christ,
and love one another, just as he has commanded us.

And may God be at your side, even in valleys of death.
May Christ Jesus be the cornerstone of your life.
And may the Holy Spirit abide in you
....and tend you with love and mercy all the days of your life.

©2003 Nathan Nettleton 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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