Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
June 2, 2013
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

Celebrating Graduation

      For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

   Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)              "Let the whole creation cry"              51
  Prelude                                "Toccata in F Major"                           Buxtehude

  Call to Worship 

*Hymn                        "Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing"                         110

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                            1 Kings 8:22-23, 41-43

  Recognizing our Graduates

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

  Hymn                         "How clear is our vocation, Lord"                            541

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                  Galatians 1:1-12

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                                     Luke 7:1-10

  Message                            "Surprised by faith" (mp3)

*Hymn                                   "Move in Our Midst"     418


*Postlude                                "Allegro Moderato"                              DeMonti

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
(based upon Psalm 96)

With loud engines at the race track,
and with soft-spoken wisdom:
sing to God new songs of wonder!
With planets spinning in the galaxies,
and with jack hammers tearing up our streets:
sing to God new songs of joy!
With fireworks in summer's night skies,
and with winter's ice crunching under our boots:
sing to God new songs of grace!
With crowds at exciting sports venues,
and with children whispering dreams to their pets:
sing to God new songs of hope!

by Thom M. Shuman
Interim Pastor at Immanuel Presbyterian Church

from Lectionary Liturgies.

Opening Prayer

we would take our
   fears, doubts, broken dreams
         and set them to death's
                mournful dirge,
you take them, rearranging the notes
          and rewriting the lyrics for
     drums, electric guitar, tambourines
                 and keyboard,
   singing a new song
                     of joy
               to us.
Composer of Creation,
we give you the glory!

the world considers us
     putting us out on the
          BOGO clearance table
               on the sidewalk,
   you come under the awning,
telling the proprietor
     to put us on your
          (which you will
              pay in full
              before the next billing cycle
Liberator of our lives,
We give you the glory!

day after day,
           we cannot seem
     to break the cycles of
you come, proclaiming
          the good news,
     speaking the Word
           which heals
Spirit of Peace, we give you the glory!

God in Community, Holy in One,
to you be the glory forever and ever,
as we pray, saying,
Our Father . . .

by Thom M. Shuman
Interim Pastor at Immanuel Presbyterian Church

from Lectionary Liturgies.

1 Kings 8:22-23, 41-43

             In our Call to Worship, we creatively heard the invitation in Psalm 96 to “sing to the Lord a new song.” We turn now toward a second scripture, this one from the 1st book of Kings, also found in the Old Testament. Chapter 8 tells of the day when the Temple, which was built during the reign of King Solomon, was dedicated. Those of us who recently attended a graduation ceremony may grasp a bit of all the “pomp and circumstance” that accompanied this occasion long ago.

             It is quite stirring, you know, to see people in robes process with lots of fanfare into an auditorium, to hear speeches that congratulate and challenge, to watch as persons walk across a stage and receive a diploma with their name spoken amid a background of stifled applause. There always seems to be, however, an undercurrent of irreverence, especially among those who then toss the tassel on their mortarboard from one side to the other.

             These verses from 1st Kings are not from a graduation, but a dedication. The procession, amid assembled elders and leaders of the tribes of Israel, has included all sorts of holy items from earlier days. Once in place, a choir sings and then the main speaker, King Solomon, stands and addresses the crowd. He begins with a history lesson, which says (in many more words that this): “God called my father, David, to lead Israel and to establish a city, Jerusalem; but it has been up to me to build a house for God’s name. Blessed be the Lord!” What comes next is a lengthy prayer, of which we will only read a few verses. Listen:

                  22 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven. 23 He said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart…”  

            Solomon’s prayer continues on, with several petitions asking God - in this place throughout the years ahead – to hear and do what is asked by those whose hearts are righteous, whether it be that God would wisely judge the guilty and vindicate the innocent, or forgive their sins, or stop famine, plague, or affliction. Then comes this interesting tidbit of prayer, which opens the door to the world beyond the borders of Israel. Listen:

              41 “Likewise (O, Lord) when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a distant land because of your name 42 —for they shall hear of your great name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm—when a foreigner comes and prays toward this house, 43 then listen in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and so that they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built.”  

scripture text is 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.

Recognizing our Graduates

             There is more to that prayer Solomon prayed long ago, followed by a lengthy blessing and a huge offering of cattle, sheep, and grain. Thus was the Temple dedicated. The festival surrounding it lasted a whole week.

             Thinking of other ceremonies that have recently taken place, we open up time in worship just now to recognize our graduates. Without all the pomp and circumstance, we want to celebrate and dedicate these persons who have reached a milepost in their educational journey. Would you all come forward? Now, not all our graduates could be with us today. Shawn Smyth, who received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, is in South Carolina.

             When I texted Lydia about this, she asked if she could bring three friends who graduated from Catonsville High School with her, and I said, “sure!” Welcome, Amarri, Tori, and Victoria. We’ve enjoyed having you with us before, and I’m glad we could celebrate with you again… What we usually do is pass the microphone and give you the opportunity to share things like from where and when did you graduate, any awards you received, and what your plans are from this point. Where shall we begin?


             Congratulations! … Our Nurture commission would like to give each of you a plaque (Lori?) which contains a quote from the prophet Jeremiah, as a reminder that God is a part of your future: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.(Jeremiah 29:11) … Let’s pray.

               O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart. We dedicate, just now, these young persons who stand before you and us. Their days of “senoritis” are over. Their next steps in life await. With them, we celebrate. Like them, we all are, as the apostle Paul once wrote, “Temples of the Holy Spirit.” So bless these temples for the journey ahead. No matter where the road leads them, through whatever foreign land they may travel, bless those around them. May they grow in experience, yet also in faith. Prosper them, we pray, and give them hope and a future. In Christ Jesus. Amen.  


Pastoral Prayer


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


Galatians 1:1-12

             Our third scripture this morning comes from the New Testament letter of Paul to the Galatians. One thing that’s important to remember before listening to what he had to say is that the apostle Paul was called by God to reach out to people who didn’t grow up Jewish. Which is kind of funny, when you think about it, because earlier in his career Paul was all about keeping such folks out. Our life in Christ, he now preached after being about-faced on the road to Damascus, is all about trusting in the graciousness of God instead of always trying to earn God’s approval.

             His letter to the Galatians begins with his usual greetings, and then gets straight to the point. The “alien message” to which he refers is really “a lie about God” from those who preached that in order for folks not raised as Jews to follow Jesus, they first needed to become Jews. This really ticked Paul off. He doesn’t hide his anger,… but he also doesn’t stay angry, for further down the road of this marvelous letter he brings up how, in the freedom of God’s grace, we are blessed with all sorts of fruit of the Spirit.

Let’s listen. I’ll be reading from the paraphrase known as The Message.

Galatians 1:1-12


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

Pray with me…

             Remind us that you call us to love our neighbors as ourselves.  Help us, God, to exhibit the characteristics of gentleness, joy, generosity, and self-control.  Bless this offering which supports those various ministries that enable people to live by the Spirit.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Copyright © 2013 David S. Bell. 
Reprinted with permission from 


As you leave this place, may you be assured
      that God has not only
            moved in our midst this day,
      but that the Lord will go with you
            down from this holy hill.
Stop worrying about whether
      you are worthy in the eyes of Christ.
            Simply trust in the Lord with all your heart,
                                 and follow.
And may the Holy Spirit kindle in you
      a faith even greater than that of
            the centurion Jesus encountered long ago.



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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