Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
May 25, 2014
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

Sixth Sunday of Easter

      Don’t be afraid or intimidated... Instead, sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Whenever anyone asks about your hope, be ready to speak up; yet do this with respectful humility, and a clear conscience.
(1 Peter 3:14b-16a)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)                 “Called or not called”               (insert)

  Call to Worship (adapted from Psalm 66)

*Hymn                           “Praise, I will praise you, Lord”                               76

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                   Acts 17:22-31

  For Children                         “In God’s Name       by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

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

  Song                                    “Called or not called”                                (insert)

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                  John 14:15-21

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

*Response                  (refrain to) “Great is thy faithfulness!”                        327


  Scripture                                  1 Peter 3:13-22

  Message                          Days of remembering (mp3)

*Hymn                          “Ask ye what great thing I know”                           337



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship
(adapted from Psalm 66)

One: Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of God's praise be heard.

All:  God has kept us among the living, and not let our feet slip.

One: You have tested and tried us, O God

All: As silver is tested in fire.

One: We have passed through fire and water,

All: Yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.

One: Truly God has listened and given heed to the words of my prayer.

All: Blessed be God, who has loved us with a steadfast love.

borrowed from Anna's Hosannas!

Opening Prayer

Source of all creation, maker of the world
and everything in it,
you are never far from each one of us.
We come into your house seeking you,
O giver of life and breath.
Reveal yourself to us; dwell with us;
and abide in us.
We live because of you.
We hope because of you.
In the name of Jesus Christ in whom we live,
and the Spirit of Truth who abides in us, amen.

by Rebecca Gaudino
from “The Abingdon Worship Annual 2011,”
edited by Mary J. Scifres and B.J. Beu,
Copyright © 2010 by Abingdon Press.

preface to reading from Acts

             In our next scripture reading from the book of Acts, we find the apostle Paul waiting for his traveling companions, Silas and Timothy, to join him in the city of Athens. This is the birthplace of democracy, an ancient center of philosophy, the heartland of Greek mythology. While in Athens, Paul spent time with fellow Jews, debating in the synagogue there, and talking with Athenians every day in the marketplace. Some of the more educated folks took him to a big rock of a place overlooking the city, the “Areopagus,” otherwise known as “Mars Hill.” This was a listening place, where criminals could make their case before town elders, or folks could speak out the truth as they understood it, which is what Paul proceeded to do. Let’s hear what he had to say.

Pastoral Prayer

             O God, in whom we live and move and have our being, we are grateful for your presence. You are, indeed, very near. Yes, you are as vast as the universe, beyond our ability to fully comprehend. You are the source of Life, the Creator of Light. And yet, you are as approachable and protective as a shepherd, a solid rock beneath us, our Healer, Redeemer, Comforter – like a mother or father to us, a friend with us even as you are ancient of days. Truly, all that we are and could ever hope to be, this we discover daily in you. Called or not called, named or unnamed, known or unknown, seen or unseen, you are there!

             The persons whose names we have just mentioned in our sharing, as well as those of whom we did not speak, we trust that you are present with them even before our prayers point in their direction. Even if you are not acknowledged, you still are at work. Your marketplace is this world. Our homes are yours, our lives are yours, beyond this hour and this place. As we pray, we remember this, and our remembrance is like diving into the river of your grace and peace. It is like breathing in your goodness and mercy. May our thoughts and actions lean toward where you are directing us, O Lord. Continue to dwell in the words we speak this day, as well as in the silences between the lines. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

borrows imagery from both
In God’s Name, by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
and "
Called or not called,” by Shawn Kirchner


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

             In your bulletin is a print-out of the scripture we just heard (John 14:15-21). As you return your offering just now, I invite you to take a pencil or pen and underline all the promises you find in those words of Jesus. If you finish before the offertory is done, compare what you have underlined with someone near you and see if you missed any. Then be prepared to stand and sing of the faithfulness of the One who makes those promises.

Ushers, would you receive what we have to give?

idea borrowed from Mustard Seeds


You do not give us empty promises, O Lord.
     We are not alone,
          for you are with us always
               through our advocate, the Holy Spirit,
                    as you promised.
     We are not powerless,
          for you strengthen us from within,
                    as you promised.
     We are not disconnected,
          for we have brothers and sisters in Christ
               around the world,
                    as you promised.
     We are not blind,
          for you help us to see beyond our horizons,
                    as you promised.
     We are not hopeless,
          for tomorrow is in your hands,
                    as you promised.
     We are not loveless,
          for your love lives in us,
                    as you promised.
How can we not respond by living up to your word?
     These offerings are but another step along the way.
          Receive them and us in the name of the One
               who revealed your love to us. Amen



As you go out from this place into the world,
     remember that God is not far from each one of us.
          When people ask about the hope that is in you,
               simply speak up with respectful humility,
                                         and a clear conscience.
                    Share the truth that is within you,
                                   as if from heart to heart.
                         Live out God’s commandments with love.

For God is there every step of the way,
          providing what you need.
Christ is guide, so follow him.
          He won’t lead you astray.
The Holy Spirit is the wind that propels you forward,
                     and the wisdom that helps you to remember.
Go in peace.



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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