Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 28, 2013
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Love one another as I have loved you.
(John 13:34)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)          "I know that my Redeemer lives"          279
  Prelude                                     "Spring Mood"                                       Grieg

 *Call to Worship (loosely based on Psalm 148)

*Hymn                        "God of the earth, the sky, the sea"                              53

*Opening Prayer (ends with Lord’s Prayer)

  Gospel                                      John 13:31-35

  Remembering throughout the week (for children of all ages)

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

   Song                  "They’ll know we are Christians by our love"               (insert)

  Pastoral Prayer 

  Scripture                                Revelation 21:1-6

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                                    Acts 11:1-18

  Message                                   "Discomfort" (mp3)

*Hymn                               "New earth, heavens new"                                  299


*Postlude                                     "Postludium"                                  Armstrong

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

Praise God, all people!

Praise the Lord, all creation!

whales doing backflips in the air,
squid and octopi dancing on the ocean floor;

giant redwoods stretching to the sky,
tomato vines cuddling around a stake.

Mountains blocking the sunrise,
moles tunneling through our front lawns;

5-year-olds sitting in a story-time circle,
grandparents singing ‘their song.’

Redbuds decorating our backyard,
grass growing faster than our children;

seals getting a suntan on the rocks,
teenagers knotted together at church.

Praise the Lord, all creation!

Praise God, all people!

by Thom M. Shuman
Interim Pastor at Immanuel Presbyterian Church

from Lectionary Liturgies.

Opening Prayer

Vision-Giving God,
when you put bandages
on skinned knees;
when you hold the hand
of a teenager
grieving unrequited love;
when you wipe away the tears
of parents at graduation day:
you show us
your new creation.

Brother to little children,
when you hang out
with the world's outcasts;
when you stay a little longer
with those we rush past;
when you will not take sides
in our petty little games:
you show us
the new earth.

Holy Spirit,
when you turn on the
'no vacancy' sign
as death comes our way;
when mourning becomes
a distant memory;
when pain is found
only in dusty history books:
you show us
the new heaven.

God in Community, Holy in One,
make us new,
as we pray as Jesus teaches, saying,
Our Father . . .

by Thom M. Shuman
Interim Pastor at Immanuel Presbyterian Church

from Lectionary Liturgies.

Remembering throughout the week
(for children of all ages)

             Instead of a time just for children, we will incorporate a craft into worship. Each person will be given a rectangle of red felt, slightly bigger than a human hand. Instructed to place this on a hymnal, each will trace their hand, then cut it out. Passing around Sharpie® markers, each will write the scripture printed at the beginning of the order of worship in the bulletin: Love one another as I have loved you.(John 13:34)

             The invitation from this point will be to take this hand with you throughout the week, putting it somewhere on your person (in a pocket, a shoe, a purse, a wallet) as a reminder that love is a hands-on way of living.


        Needed:    enough felt pieces for all congregants
                        Sharpie® markers

Pastoral Prayer


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


Revelation 21:1-6


             In praying, as we have just done, we open our imagination to a different reality. No longer are we simply sitting on a hard pew, mindful of our excess energy seeking release or aches and pains needing attention, thinking through the rest of the day, trying to pay attention surrounded by other restless or resting people. When we pray, however, a door is opened within, and we are ushered into the very presence of God. That is, if we allow our imagination to be set free to do so. Surely, this is why Jesus spoke of approaching God’s kingdom as a child, who has not yet  shut down the power of imagination. The last book in the Bible was not written to be analyzed and picked apart. It was meant to be prayed, with our imagination wide open.

            What follows is part of the closing vision revealed to John, whom God had called to oversee seven churches in what is today is the country of Turkey. Praying through the trials and tribulations to be faced in a life of faith, the closing vision of what “thy kingdom come, they will be done” looks like is tender and peace-filled. It is not a final escape from the troubles of life, a retirement to Florida, a vacation in Bermuda, a return to simpler times in a long-ago garden. If anything, our imaginations at the end are drawn toward a fresh start in our world made new by the One who is our beginning and our end. If it helps you visualize, close your eyes and listen.


 1 - 1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

2 - (speak loudly) “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; 4he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”

1 - 5And the one who was seated on the throne said,

3 - “See, I am making all things new.”

1 - Also he said,

3 - “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

1 - 6Then he said to me,

3 - “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.*

*Revelation 21:1-6 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.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

             As you return your offering just now, allow the vision of John to linger in your imagination. In a few minutes we will be hearing about another vision, this one revealed to the apostle Peter. As you prepare for that, keep your praying imagination open. Be thirsty.



Go now, wherever the Spirit of God leads you.
Do not reject anything that God has accepted.
Show all people that you are Christ’s disciples
by loving one another
just as he has loved you.

And may God be your beginning and your end;
May Christ Jesus make his home among you;
And may the Holy Spirit give you a vision
            of the all-embracing love and goodness of God.

©2001 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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