Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
September 15, 2013
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am


      Here is a line you can write down and stake your life on: Jesus Christ came into the world to rescue sinners. I should know, I was the number one sinner.
(1 Timothy 1:15, Laughng Bird version)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)        "The King of love my shepherd is"         170

  Call to Worship

*Opening Prayer

*Hymn                           "Sing praise to God who reigns"                              59

  Prayer of Confession and Call to Repentance                                 (see insert)

  Assurance of Forgiveness                                                               (see insert)

  Scripture in Action                     Luke 15:1-10

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

  Prayer Song                     "Take, O take me as I am"                            (insert)

  Pastoral Prayer

  Faith Song                              "N’nung yeh dah"                                   (insert)

  Curious about what God is doing here, part 2

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                                1 Timothy 1:12-17

  Message                               "Worth the risk" (mp3)
                                                  (ends with this video)

*Hymn                      "Marvelous grace of our loving Lord"                          151

*Antiphonal Benediction                                                          (back of bulletin)


*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

One: The foolish say, ‘there is no God.’

All: We come, trusting in Jesus, the face, the voice, the presence of the God who loves us.

One: The scoffers of our age ask, ‘why do you seek after God?’

All: We come, in this time, because God's grace has spilled over in our lives.

One: The hopeless around us think, ‘no one cares about me.’

All: We come, in this time, to this place, because Jesus has found us and brought us home.

by Thom M. Shuman
Interim Pastor at Immanuel Presbyterian Church

from Lectionary Liturgies.

Opening Prayer

When we are short-sighted and think we can't see you,
     you show us a mother
          cradling her sick child.
When we are anxious, certain you don't care about us,
     you are confident enough
          to trust us with your grace.
When we are cynical,
sure that nothing matters,
     you are optimistic enough
          to become one of us.
God, you are our Hope.

You sweep the streets of the world,
     to uncover the people
          we consider to be trash.
You shine your grace into sin's shadows
     to find us when
          we have lost our way.
You would leave us
     to go find the sister
          we left behind.
Jesus, you are our Joy.

When we walk the dusty desert of desolation,
     you refresh us
          with showers of grace.
When our lives lie in ruined rubble,
     you come and build a foundation for us
          out of love and faith.
Spirit, you are our Life.

God in Community, Holy in One,
our Hope, our Joy, our Life,
hear us as we pray as Jesus teaches,
Our Father . . .

by Thom M. Shuman
Interim Pastor at Immanuel Presbyterian Church

from Lectionary Liturgies.

Prayer of Confession and Call to Repentance

One: Great God, we are sinners.  We get everything wrong.  It is like we are facing the wrong way, dreaming the wrong dreams, working toward the wrong goals.

All:   Turn us around so that we face you, dream your dreams, work toward your goals.

One: Great God we are sinners. Too often we are selfish, grabbing the most food, the prettiest clothes, & the coolest games for ourselves.

All:   Turn us around. Teach us to share what we have.  Give us generous hearts.

One: Great God, too often we think only of ourselves.  We think about what we want, what we like, what we think.

All:   Turn us around.  Teach us to see all the people around us.  Help us recognize what people in our families and our friends want and need and hope.  Help us learn to take care of them and their needs.

One: Great God, too often we hate.  We hate people who are not like us.  We hate people who make our lives even a little harder.  We hate people who get in our way.  We hate people we just do not like.

All:   Turn us around.  Teach us that people who are not just like us are your children and worthy of our friendship.  Show us how to make friends with those who do not agree with us.

One: Great God, we are sinners. We know it. We admit it and want to change.

All:   Turn us around to face you, to become your children, to be part of your kingdom.  We bring our confessions of sin to you and ask for your help in turning around in Jesus’ name.  AMEN.

by Carolyn C. Brown,
from Worshiping with Children

Assurance of Forgiveness
(sung to the familiar tune)

Jesus loves me when I’m good, when I do the things I should.
Jesus loves me when I’m bad, even though it makes him sad.
Yes, Jesus loves me. (3x) The Bible tells me so.

by Carolyn C. Brown,
from Worshiping with Children

Scripture in Action
Luke 15:1-10

             This text is ripe for acting out, involving all ages into the task (but especially children). Before reading it, solicit volunteers. First come the naysayers, who stand to the side and go "tsk, tsk," or "harumph!" or other such judgmental actions, when prompted. Then are the sheep. Actually, the whole congregation can be assigned this task, with plenty of opportunity given to practicing their "Baaah!" One child could be selected to be the lost sheep, who goes and hides somewhere in the sanctuary. An older person (preferably a strong one, who has a connection to the lost sheep, someone who will not scare the child when s/he is found and picked up and carried back) should be chosen as the shepherd, who at the appropriate point will go off searching. Two other characters should be recruited ahead of time, one to pretend to be a lost coin (who also goes and hides), and the other a woman (who will pretend to clean her house in search of that coin). Look for persons willing to exaggerate for the sake of the telling. Lastly, remind the congregation to be ready to whoop it up on both occasions in the story when what has been lost is found. When all are ready, read the story dramatically, pausing at appropriate places and giving obvious nudges to the actors to do their parts. Choose a good paraphrase of the text to give it effect.

The Message             The Voice           Laughing Bird Version


Pastoral Prayer


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


Curious about what God is doing here, part 2

             An overview was given last Sunday of our recent church board retreat, at which these persons we've call to lead us identified three themes emerging in our fellowship: Openness, Guidance, and Energy. This morning, the group that developed the Openness theme briefly shared. Listen to what they had to say. (mp3)

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

             Redeeming God, we know what it is like to be wandering in the wilderness like lost sheep.  We remember your hand, like those of a caring shepherd, guiding us back to our home in you.  We seek to help others experience this same spiritual nurture.  So, we provide these financial gifts to be multiplied with other offerings.  We are confident that these funds will inspire new ministries and reach the lost.  We offer these gifts in name of the Lamb of God, Jesus the Living Christ.  Amen.

Copyright © 2013 David S. Bell.
Reprinted with permission from www.DavidSBell.org.

Antiphonal Benediction

             As we prepare to move on from this worship, let’s speak a challenge and blessing to each other, with words found on the back of your bulletin. The center aisle divides us into two parts, so those of you on the left (your left, not mine) side will speak the first stanza to your brothers and sisters across the aisle. Then those on the right (your right, not mine) side will speak the next group of four lines to your sisters and brothers across the aisle. We’ll follow the same pattern for the next 2 stanzas of this antiphonal benediction. Please turn toward the center aisle and speak face-to-face. Shall we begin?


Go walk in the world with the Spirit's fire;
Its glowing will light you and lead you far.
Let Christ be your fervor, your burning desire,
Your sunlight by day, in darkness your star.

Start out where you live, in spite of your fears,
And go where God points though the way seems long.
Go forth amid anguish and stand amid tears;
The Lord is your compass, your comfort, your song.

Go walk in the world where the millions wait,
So hungry for healing, so needful of grace.
They know not God's mercy; they fear for their fate.
Go show them the beauty that shines in God's face.

Let peace be your practice and faith be your flame.
No tomb can dissuade you, nor death yet destroy
Your sense of God's presence, your trust in God's name.
Go walk in the world with a heart full of joy.


by Kenneth I. Morse, 1973
Published in Listen to the Sunrise
Brethren Press, 1991
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin

Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"



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)


©2013 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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