Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
May 12, 2013
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

Mothers’ Day

      Suddenly there was an earthquake, so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. (Acts 16:26)

   Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)     "God we praise you for the women"    (insert)

   Call to Worship

*Hymn                           "Praise, I will praise you, Lord"                               76

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                    Acts 16:9-15

  For Children                     "I shall wear purple"

  A Litany for Mother’s Day                                                                   (insert)

  Hymn                        "God we praise you for the women"                     (insert)

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

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                   Acts 16:16-24

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                                   Acts 16:25-34

  Message                      "Opened doors, Open hearts" (mp3)

*Hymn                                      "Joy in the Lord"                                    (insert)



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
(based upon Psalm 97)

Leader: The Lord reigns, let the whole earth be glad!

Children: Whether you are neighbors or live far away - rejoice!

All: For the Lord our God is awesome

Leader: The heavens declare the righteousness of God

Children: Look at the stars, and remember God made them.

All: Be glad in the Lord, and give thanks. 

by Rev Mary-Jane Konings
Timaru (NZ) Presbyterian Church

Opening Prayer
(based upon Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21)

Lord God, you are our alpha and omega,
                              our beginning and our end,
            we have, indeed, gathered
                        to tell the wonders of your ways, and
                        to glorify your name.
                                    You are the source of all our joy!
            May we be blessed this hour
                        with a deeper awareness of your presence,
                                    listening with all our heart, soul, and mind
                                                for your call to come and drink
                                                            from the water of life.
                        We hunger and thirst for your word,
                                                              your will,
                                                              your way.
                        And in this moment we invite you into our lives.
                                    Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

For Children
"I shall wear purple"

             Jenny Joseph is a poet who grew up in England. When I was six years old (1961), she wrote a poem to which she gave the title, “Warning.” It begins with these two lines:

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me…

I think she may have been about your mother’s age when she wrote those words. Can you imagine an old woman wearing a purple dress and a red hat? Some women like this poem so much that when they get together, they wear red hats, calling themselves the “Red Hat Society.” They are quite colorful ladies!

             I thought of this poem as I listened to the Bible story we just read. In it, a woman named Lydia welcomed the apostle Paul and some other followers of Jesus into her home. She lived in a city called Philippi, but that wasn’t her home town. She may have been somebody’s mother, I don’t know. The Bible doesn’t say. It does say that she had people living with her in her household – maybe children, maybe not. The Bible does mention something else, however. She was a businesswoman. She sold fabric, but not just any kid of cloth. Her fabric was “purple.” That’s what it says. Now you know why I thought of this poem.

             Lydia was a colorful lady. She didn’t have to wait until she was old to wear purple. And you know what? I think that when she opened her heart and eagerly listened to what Paul had to say about Jesus, and she responded to his message by being baptized, along with everyone else in her house, she became even more colorful! I’m guessing that she went on to become a key leader in the church that started in Philippi. Paul later wrote a letter to them, which we have in our Bible. One word sticks out in this letter, and seems to fit the folks in that church, and especially Lydia. The word is “joy.” It’s a colorful word for colorful people.

             Now, to both help us remember Lydia, and to honor all the women in our church, we’re going to give to them some bookmarks. What color do you think they are? That’s right – purple. Okay. How about you also give a hug when you give them a bookmark? Go to it!

A Litany for Mother’s Day

Leader: Mothers come in many different forms, and today we celebrate them all!

All: Thank God for mothers! 

Leader: Everyone here is either a son or a daughter.

All: Thank God for my mother! 

Leader: For those women who have joined God in Heaven and whom we miss dearly here on earth.

All: Thank God for the mothers of the past. 

Leader: For every woman who is working day and night to raise her children right now.

All: Thank God for the mothers of today. 

Leader: For all the women who are expecting, but aren't quite mothers yet!

All: Thank God for the soon-to-be-mothers. 

Leader: For the women who took in others' children through adoption and foster care.

All: Thank God for the mothers with hearts so big. 

Leader: For those women who have lost a child to death and must carry on.

All: Thank God for the mothers who are so strong. 

Leader: For all the women who have desperately wanted to have children of their own, but chose instead to mother everyone else.

All: Thank God for the mothers in spirit. 

All: We thank you, Lord, for the women who have influenced our lives in so many ways. We pray that we will honor them in everything we do. Amen.

Copyright © 2003, 2007 Peggy Emerson.
Published by The General Board of Discipleship.
Used with permission.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings
(refers to Acts 16:16-24)

             An interesting story, to be sure… Of course, in this day and age, we would never think of taking advantage of some person’s gift (like this young woman’s) for our own financial gain, would we? And we certainly would never treat foreigners in such an unseemly manner, convicting and punishing them in the court of public opinion before all the facts are in, even if – as it turned out later – they were really helping someone. We’re more civilized than that today!… Or are we? … Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. 

             Okay, enough of Philippi for now. How about the folks here – I mean us. This moment in worship is not simply an excuse to collect the money we need to run the church. Yes, it about that and how we all need to do our part to meet our financial obligations. However, this pause in talking while the organ plays provides an opportunity for self-examination. Spending money, or even refraining from spending money, throughout the day can be a mindless matter. Is our cash in control of us, or are we wisely using it for something good and right? Are our possessions masters over us, enslaving us, or are we free to be good stewards of what we have received from God?

             That’s a huge question, if not for the ability to break it down to just the last week. How did I do in this regard during the last seven days, God? If not so well, then forgive me, and help me to grow wiser in the coming week. Guide me not to mindlessly take advantage of others, Lord, and instill in me a spirit of hospitality toward persons I don’t yet know… Such could, perhaps, be your own prayer, as you return your tithes and offerings just now.



             In Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, after his encouragement to fully step into the joy of the Lord – words I tried to put into music in the song we just sang, Paul then blesses them with what follows. May his benediction to them send us forth into this week.

            Finally, beloved,
                    whatever is true,
                    whatever is honorable,
                    whatever is just,
                    whatever is pure,
                    whatever is pleasing,
                    whatever is commendable,
                             if there is any excellence and
                             if there is anything worthy of praise,
                                      think about these things.
               Keep on doing the things
                        that you have learned
                                        and received
                                        and heard
                                        and seen in me,
                     and the God of peace will be with you.

(Philippians 4:8-9, NRSV)


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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