Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 29, 2013
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

The Sunday after Christmas

      May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)           "Lo, how a rose e’er blooming"           211
  Prelude                           "Go Tell it on the Mountain"   African-American Spiritual

  Call to Worship

*Hymn                          "Good Christian friends, rejoice"                             210

*Opening Prayer

  Invitation to Children

  Unison Reading                       Psalm 148:7-13a                                      insert

  Hymn                      (vs. 1-2) "It came upon a midnight clear"                       195

  Scripture                                 Matthew 2:11-21

  Message                            "One foot in heaven"
                                                    a story sermon

  Hymn                      (vs. 3-5) "It came upon a midnight clear"                       195

  A Christmas Confession                                                                  (see insert)

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

   Unison Prayer                                                                                            734

  Children’s Offering

  Responding with our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                       "The Glory of God in Nature"                      Beethoven
                              (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

*Hymn                                     "Joy to the world"                                        318


*Postlude                          "Go Tell it on the Mountain"   African-American Spiritual

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines


Call to Worship

One:   Arise! Shine! For your light has come.
          The glory of the Lord has been revealed
          and all people shall see it together.

All:    We come to see for ourselves what God has done.
          We come to know the One
for whom the angels sing.

One:  Come! Worship the everlasting God, the creator of the universe,
         who strengthens the powerless and brings forth justice for all people.

All:   We long for God’s presence and power among us.
         We hope for God’s just and loving reign.

One:  Come! Receive the gift of life offered to us in Jesus Christ
         and offer your own gifts of wonder and praise.

All:   Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth,
         peace among all
with whom God is pleased!

by Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm, ©2004.
from the 2004 national Christmas Eve broadcast on CBS
©2004 Church of the Brethren General Board

Opening Prayer

Holy and loving God,
         your coming is the hope of the world
                  and a light to the nations.
You came as an infant to show us love that is born of humility.
You came amid times of conflict and crisis
         to show us love that pursues peace and the well-being of all people.
Come to us now, Lord Jesus Christ.
Come to us as we gather to hear the story of your birth
         and the good news of your love alive among us.
Come to us as you did to Mary and Joseph,
         and startle us with the announcement of your coming
                  so that we may receive your gifts of life
                            and make room for you in our lives and in our world.
Come to us as you did to the shepherds,
         and awaken us in the midst of our daily routines
                  so we may hear your new song and sing it with joy to others.
Come to us as the prophet Isaiah foretold,
         and empower us to be your people
                  and to respond to your goodness among us.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
         And all your people say, amen.

by Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm, ©2004
from the 2004 national Christmas Eve broadcast on CBS
©2004 Church of the Brethren General Board

For Children
Invitation to Children and Children’s Offering

         Prior to the Unison Reading of Psalm 148:7-13a, attention will be drawn to it as it is printed out on a bulletin insert. Surrounding the text is a circle, representing the earth. In the lower right of the circle stand some "mountains," part of God's creation which praises the Lord, according to the Psalm. Any children in attendance will be invited to draw on the paper (either on the outside the circle in similar fashion as the mountain, or anywhere on the page), anything in creation which praises God, whether listed in the Psalm or not. Later on, just before the offering, they will be invited to bring forward what they have drawn and share with the congregation. This idea came from Carolyn Brown, from her blog, Worshiping with Children.

                  the text:

Praise the Lord from the earth,
         you sea monsters and all deeps,
         fire and hail, snow and frost,
         stormy wind fulfilling his command!
Mountains and all hills,
         fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle,
         creeping things and flying birds!
Kings of the earth and all peoples,
         princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike,
         old and young together!
Let them praise the name of the Lord!

A Christmas Confession
(congregation reads regular print, worship leader reads words in italics)

We were heavy with sorrow, but joy interrupted.
We were deep in the night, but a star appeared.
We were silent with sadness, but the heavens rang.

And the splendor shone around them
When the time had fully come.

We were hardened by conflict, but love intervened.
We were frightened by shadows, but light took them away.
We were haunted by fears, but a child brought us hope.

And she laid him in a manger
When the time had fully come.

We were dismal and defeated, but faith set us on fire.
We were weary and complaining, but our hearts discovered praise.
We were doubtful and confused, but a door to life was opened.

And the guiding star went before them
When the time had fully come.

We were arrogant and angry, but his innocence disarmed us.
We were cruel, crude, and clumsy, but his grace made all things new.
We were selfish, narrow, greedy, but his joy we had to share.

And they offered him their treasured gifts
When the time had fully come.

We were sheep who had lost their way, but the shepherd knew our names.
We were strangers without a country, but our kingdom came to us.
We were children far from home, but God sent his Son to guide.

And the Word was flesh among us
When the time had fully come.

written by the late Kenneth I Morse,
taken from In Straw and Story, by Joyce Miller,
 ©1977, Brethren Press, p. 80.

Unison Prayer

Savior of the earth’s children,
         you came as a little child
         to lead us to wisdom and love.
When you grew up,
         you welcomed the children
         and told us the kingdom belongs to them.
Call us to a child’s tenderness,
         humility, energy, and love,
         for Jesus’ sake. AMEN

Hymnal #734, adapted from All the Seasons of Mercy,
©1987, Diane Karay, Wetsminster/John Knox Press

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

         10 Everything belongs to God, and all things were created by his power. So God did the right thing when he made Jesus perfect by suffering, as Jesus led many of God’s children to be saved and to share in his glory. 11 Jesus and the people he makes holy all belong to the same family. That is why he isn’t ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. 12 He even said to God,
                  “I will tell them your name
                       and sing your praises
                    when they come together
                         to worship.”
He also said,

                  “I will trust God.”
           Then he said,
                  “Here I am with the children

                       God has given me.”
We are people of flesh and blood. That is why Jesus became one of us. He died to destroy the devil, who had power over death.
15 But he also died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying. 16 Jesus clearly did not come to help angels, but he did come to help Abraham’s descendants.17 He had to be one of us, so that he could serve God as our merciful and faithful high priest and sacrifice himself for the forgiveness of our sins. 18 And now that Jesus has suffered and was tempted, he can help anyone else who is tempted. 

Ushers, please assist us in giving our offerings.

Hebrews 2:10-18
from the
Contemporary English Version
Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society


May the gift of God’s love
in the light of Christ’s life
shine brightly around you,
warmly within you,
and boldly beyond you
today and forever. Amen.

by Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm, ©2004, adapted.
from the 2004 national Christmas Eve broadcast on CBS
©2004 Church of the Brethren General Board


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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