Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
September 22, 2013
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

International Day of Prayer for Peace

      First of all, I ask you to pray for everyone. Ask God to help and bless them all, and tell God how thankful you are for each of them.
(1 Timothy 2:1, Contemporary English Version)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)          "We are people of God’s peace"          407

*Call to Worship                           Psalm 113

*Hymn                              "For the beauty of the earth"                                 89
                  (choir sings verses, congregation joins in “Lord of all…” & vs. 4)

*Opening Prayer

  A Gospel Story                          Luke 16:1-8

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  A Word to prod us to care

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

  Hymn                               "There is a balm in Gilead"                                 627

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                 1 Timothy 2:1-7

  Message                     "Prayer prods toward peace" (mp3)

*Hymn                         "God of Grace and God of Glory"                           366



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

You are invited to follow our lead and with your motions
use your body to proclaim Psalm 113. Just do what we do.
Please stand if you are able and let us enter worship together.

Praise the Lord!
      (Arms outstretched, palms turned up)

You servants of the Lord, praise his name!
      (Arms reaching out to the congregation) 

May his name be praised now and for ever.
      (Repeat outstretched arms, palms turned up) 

From the east to the west praise the name of the Lord!
      (Point to the back of the sanctuary, then arc other arm to the cross) 

The Lord rules over all nations; his glory is above the heavens.
      (Bend arms out to the sides in an expression of power) 

There is no one like the Lord our God.
      (Point up with one hand) 

He lives in the heights above,
      (Look up and reach your arms overhead) 

but he bends down to see the heavens and the earth.
      (Lean over to look down, moving your arms out to the side) 

He raises the poor from the dust;
      (Still leaning over, cup your hands as if scooping up people below) 

he lifts the needy from their misery
      (Raise your cupped hands a little) 

and makes them companions of princes,
      (Raise your cupped hands to shoulder height) 

the princes of his people.
      (Open cupped hands and reach out to your sides as if holding hands) 

He honours the childless wife in her home;
      (Hold arms down at your sides) 

he makes her happy by giving her children.
     (Rock a baby in your arms) 

Praise the Lord!
      (Raise hands in traditional praise position)

Psalm 113 from the Good News Translation®
(Today’s English Version, Second Edition)

Copyright © 1992 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.
motions suggested by Carolyn C. Brown in Worshiping with Children.

Opening Prayer

             Indeed, O Lord, beauty and glory and love and joy surround us, if we but open our eyes to see, our minds to pay attention, and our hearts to receive and respond in kind. Our gratitude for it all cannot be contained in a song, but spills over into the rest of our days – if we allow it to do so. Therein lies the rub, O God.
            Too quickly we forget. Too easily we turn away from you as the source of it all. Too mindlessly we grow self-absorbed. We thank you for calling us back from our sin, which eventually causes us to shrivel and die. You water us with your grace and lead us toward your kingdom come, your will be done, here as in heaven.
            Bless these moments of worship with a deeper awareness of your presence through the Holy Spirit. May we hear what we need to hear, both comfort and challenge. This we pray in the name of the One who was your pure sacrifice of love. Amen.

A Gospel Story
Luke 16:1-8

Sarah Dylan Breuer made this suggestion, which we will adapt:

               "I told the story using puppets, with one difference (not original to me). I said at the beginning that I meant to do a puppet show, but I'd forgotten the puppets, so I'd need some extra help. I think I chose about five or six volunteers -- one steward, and one landowner, and a couple or a few farmers. I explained to them that they are the puppets; when I press their back, they should drop their jaws, and when I release their back, they should close their mouths again. We practiced this a couple of times, which the kids in the pews seemed to enjoy. Then I told the story, with the same basic outline as what I gave in the blog, only inserting much more dialogue (giving me an opportunity to do a lot more back-pressing, which the kids loved):  

             There was a very, very rich man who had a huge farm, but he didn't like to work, so he got lots of other people to do all of the planting and growing and picking crops and such. He hardly let the farmers who did this work keep any of what they grew, though, so the farmers were hungry and angry. He hired a manager to make sure the farmers did their work, and to collect most of what they grew, and the farmers were very angry at the manager too.

             But the manager wasn't very good at his job, and he wasted a lot of the landowner's money. The owner called the manager in, and told him he was fired (LOTS of opportunity to insert dialogue here!). And then the master went away to the city, where he liked to lie around and visit with his friends. So the manager did something very clever.

             He called each of the farmers in, and he said, "how much did you owe my master?" One said, "a million dollars." Another said, "ten thousand dollars." Another said, "a thousand dollars." And the manager took out his eraser, and he erased a bunch of the zeroes on those bills. "Wow!" said the first farmer, "I only owe ten thousand dollars now." "I only owe a hundred now," said the second. "I only owe one dollar now," said the third. And the manager said, "See how generous the landowner is? Make sure to tell him how you feel when he comes back."

             So a few weeks later, when the farmers heard that the landowner was coming back, they were prepared. They and all of their families were lined up all along the road to the farm, and they were waving balloons and signs and throwing confetti and cheering (lots of opportunity to run around pressing kids' backs here): "Hooray for the landowner!  Hooray for the landowner!  Hooray for the landowner!"

             Well the landowner didn't quite know why they were all cheering, but he liked it a little too much to say anything right away. He didn't find out until he got back to his farmhouse, where he saw the manager. "What are YOU doing here?" he said, "I fired you!" But the manager told the landowner exactly what he'd done.

            Did the manager want to go back out and tell all of those cheering farmers that they really owed him millions of dollars? No way! The landowner liked all of the farmers cheering for him. So the landowner gave the manager his job, and forgave the debts of those farmers.

             So, if the landowner could forgive because he wanted everyone to think he was as cool as they said he was, and if the steward could forgive because he wanted to keep his job, don't we have much more reason to forgive. since we know how much God loves us and forgives us?

© 2004 Sarah Dylan Breuer

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

             Allow me to read just a bit further in Luke’s gospel, where Jesus goes on to say:

Luke 16:8-13
(from The Message)

Ponder this as you return your offering. Ushers?

A Word to prod us to care

             With busy schedules, lengthy to-do lists, and troubles of our own, it’s easy to put distance between ourselves and the problems that other people face. After all, there’s only so much one person can do, right?  And yet, we’re invited by God to bear one another’s burdens, as well as to truly rejoice when good things happen in the lives of others. Well, to help nudge us toward an attitude of real caring, let’s turn to a passage from Jeremiah. In these words, the prophet gives voice to his own heartache over the brokenness experienced by the people of God, much of it self-inflicted. Yes, it had been his task to sound out a warning over wrongdoing on their part, but within his role as a prophet was also the job of passionately crying back to the Lord with the people’s pain – what we sometimes call “intercessory prayer”… Between our sharing and our praying, we’ll sing an old, African-American spiritual that draws from the well of this passage. Listen to Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
(from the Common English Bible)

Pastoral Prayer


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



Go now
and continue to offer prayers and thanksgiving for everyone.
Be shrewd in dealing with the world around you
but do not be seduced into serving wealth.
Weep for those who suffer
and share faith and truth with all.

And may God welcome you with love;
May Christ Jesus give you knowledge of the truth;
And may the Holy Spirit lead you into all godliness and dignity.

©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)


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


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