Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
March 16, 2014
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

Second Sunday of Lent

      “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born anew.  (John 3:3)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)          "This is a day of new beginnings"          640

Looking up along the way

  Singing faith             (vs. 1-3) "O God, our help in ages past"                        328

*Speaking faith                                                  (Psalm 121, Laughing Bird Version)

*Rising faith                   "I sing the mighty power of God"                               46

*Hearts and minds unfolding

Remembering an earlier journey

  Trusting in a promise                 Genesis 12:1-4

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

  Heading toward the quiet       "We walk by faith"                                        570

  Joining spirits in prayer

  The promise revisited               Romans 4:13-17

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory Video                     "Passing on the gift"                 Heifer International
                              (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Children leave for Craft time

 Heaven’s Call

  A nighttime encounter                  John 3:1-17

  Message                                 "Beyond words" (mp3)

*Hymn                             "I believe in you, Lord Jesus"                               440



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Speaking faith
(Psalm 121, Laughing Bird Version)


             Lent is a journey not unlike a pilgrimage in Bible times, where the faithful travel to Jerusalem. Walking through potentially dangerous valleys, they look up to the heights, where robbers could hide or altars to other gods were located. Psalm 121 is a pilgrimage song, intended to be spoken as a dialogue. Will the journey be governed by fear or faith? That’s an appropriate question for us on this second Sunday of Lent, as we make our way toward Easter. Rise in body or spirit, and give voice with me to this psalm, using the Australian Laughing Bird Version of it. Your part is in bold print. Let us speak our faith.


If we look to the mountains, will we find security there?

No, our security comes from you alone, the LORD, the maker of earth and sky.

You are on the alert, twenty four hours a day, making sure that we don’t lose our footing.

You never slack off or take a nap, but constantly guard your people.

You keep us safe, LORD, you are always at our side to shield us.

While the sun shines, nothing can harm us; the moon comes up, but still we are safe.

You stand between us and all evil, LORD; you keep our lives clear of danger.

Whether we are coming or going, you look after us, LORD; you always have and always will.

©2001 Nathan Nettleton LaughingBird.net

Hearts and minds unfolding

             Our worries and our fears, O Lord, tie us in knots. Our doubts and our sins fold us in upon ourselves. And you come and invite us to stand tall and turn to face you, just as we are. Oh, for legs and feet to run to you through fields of grace, unwearied by all that seeks to pull us down. Oh, for childhood eyes to behold you just as you are, realizing there is no place we can go where you are not there ahead of us. Meet us along the way of this journey, O God, in this valley. Lift us to the challenge of our daily pilgrimage toward your Kingdom. By your Spirit, strengthen us for the road ahead. Lead us onward as we follow Jesus. In his name we pray. Amen


Joining spirits in prayer

             Too quickly we rush through our days, Lord God. We pause a moment to become more aware of what is missed in this mad dash. The simple gift of breathing in and out the air which surrounds us, something we do without thinking – thank you. The steady beating of our heart, which spreads the oxygen and nutrients throughout our body, again without any conscious involvement on our part – thank you. In this heartbeat we hear the simple task of walking, step by step, through this day. Bless this journey, O Lord, help us to walk by faith and not merely by sight. Dwell in the words we speak along the way, but also in the silences between. May we become more aware of both.

             A sister and a brother of ours fly across an ocean this week, O Lord, to honor and lay their father in the ground of a distant land, the place of their birth. We pray your traveling mercies upon their journey, as their pace shifts from wings to wheels to feet. Bless the path they trod, not just the way to Nigeria, but also the road of grief, that in the death of a patriarch is heard the promise of resurrection. We pray this not only for them, but for all who have recently journeyed this route, near or far.

             There are other journeys undertaken in the week that has past and in the one just beginning. Go with all our brothers and sisters in the faith, whether they are actually changing physical location or traveling through an illness or wandering through a difficult experience, or simply commuting to and from and through a job. Bless their steps and ours. Hallow their days and ours. May we all become more aware of your presence along the way, beholding you in not just the big things, but also in what we too often take for granted. You are in the air we breathe, the steadfast beat of our heart, the steps we undertake – your Spirit, your power, your purpose guiding us toward new life, like a midwife at the birth of a child.

This we pray in the name of the One who said, “I am the way.” Amen


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

             God’s promise to Abraham back in the beginning involved not only his own offspring, but the children of everyone. God said, “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” We are part of that promise. And because of this, God invites us to help pass on the gift.
Last Sunday we started a four-week special offering emphasis on Heifer International, an organization that had its genesis in our own denomination. Our children passed out Heifer banks and calendars to guide our giving. If you did not get them, and would like them, ask an usher. As they collect our regular and special offerings, we’ll watch a video about the gift which keeps on giving through Heifer International. But now, would you pray with me?

               Lord, we know that we are called to share more than money, that passing on the gift involves sharing our faith. Help us to do so, in both word and deed, right where we are. Guide us to speak and act in ways that respect our neighbors and honor you. May our offerings just now remind us of your call to reach out and be a blessing to those around us. In Jesus. Amen.  



Offertory Video

            While the offering is collected, we'll show an abridged (3minute) version of “Passing on the gift" (14minute). The full 30 minute version of this 2013 resource is also available from Heifer International as part of their "Fill the Ark" emphasis.



             As tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, please turn with me to #442 and let us speak the words of this hymn to one another as a benediction. They were supposedly written by this 5th century Englishman who was abducted when he was 16 and held captive for 6 years by Irish raiders. During that time Patick became a follower of Christ and went on to be a missionary to his captors, a key figure in Celtic Christianity. The only change I would suggest is wherever it says “me” substitute “you,” so that we are blessing each other. Shall we speak our benediction?

  Christ be with you,
Christ within you,
Christ behind you,
Christ before you,
Christ beside you,
Christ to win you,
Christ to comfort and restore you,
Christ beneath you,
Christ above you,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love you,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.



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)


©2014 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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