Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
June 22, 2014
Worship 10:00 am          Summer in Spirit 11:10am


      …press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)                  Sweet hour of prayer                 11
  Prelude                                         “Allegro”                                         Franck

  Invitation and Opening Prayer

  Led by a Letter                        Philippians 1:1-2

  Song                                         To the saints

  Give thanks to God!                Philippians 1:3-11

*Hymn                          Sing hallelujah, praise the Lord                              67

  The Message cannot be imprisoned                   Philippians 1:12-30

  Responding with our Confession                                                                 697

  The power of forgiveness                    (vs. 1) “Amazing grace!”                   143

  Seek the mind of Christ           Philippians 2:1-11

  Song                                      The Christ Hymn

  Give a joyful embrace!           Philippians 2:12-30

  Returning our tithes and offerings

  Offertory                                      “Andante”                                  Beethoven
                              (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Focused on the goal               Philippians 3:1-21

  Message             Because Christ has made us his own

  Song                                          Pressing On

  Pray about everything               Philippians 4:1-9

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

   Song                                       Joy in the Lord

  Pastoral Prayer

  Be content, no matter the circumstance                Philippians 4:10-20

*Hymn                           “’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus                             340

*In closing                               Philippians 4:21-23

*Postlude                                “Thou Art the Way”                               Haweis

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Invitation and Opening Prayer

             Who writes letters anymore? In this age of emails, instant messages, and twitter, we have grown out of touch with any written communication that is more than 100 characters, the ideal length of a tweet. Some of us stop reading or listening after a few sentences. The art of writing and reading letters seems to be vanishing.

             A good portion of the New Testament, however, is made up of “epistles” – letters written by an apostle to a church or an individual. The early followers of Jesus didn’t just pass these epistles around to be read in private. No, these letters were read together with other believers, the act of listening as a community being a form of worship. In the spirit of our denomination’s upcoming Annual Conference, we are this morning letting the whole letter of Paul to the Philippians guide our worship.

             Last summer, the moderator of our annual meeting challenged us to lift up Philippians this year, as we seek to “live as courageous disciples.” And so, as we worship our Lord today - ten days before Brethren gather in Columbus, Ohio - let us stretch our gift-given ability to listen, and hear the whole letter, divided up into smaller portions to spiritually digest together... Join me in the following prayer, written by one of our Brethren forebearers, Alexander Mack jr.


Jesus Christ, God's only Son,
praise and honor be to thee!
Thou the great enthroned One,
around whom throngs of angels be.
Many thousand watchers there
lift up joyful praise and prayer. 

Lift, O Lord, thy gracious face,
give us of thy holy peace.
May the light of thy sweet grace
in our midst, Lord, never cease.
Lead thy lambs, we humbly pray,
in and out, day after day. 

Bless, O Lord, this church of thine,
which thou with thy blood didst buy.
Fill us with thy grace divine;
'twas for us that thou didst die.
Thou hast chosen us to be
consecrated, Lord, to thee. Amen

Hymnal #40
copyright © 1951 Church of the Brethren General Board



Responding with our Confession

 Leader:   O Prince of peace,
               from peace that is no peace,
               from the grip of all that is evil,
               from a violent righteousness…
  deliver us.
 Leader:   from paralysis of will,
               from lies and misnaming,
               from terror of truth…
  deliver us.
 Leader:   From hardness of heart,
               from trading in slaughter,
               from the worship of death…
  deliver us.
 Leader:   By the folly of your gospel,
               by your choosing our flesh,
               by your nakedness and pain…
  heal us.
 Leader:   By your weeping over the city,
               by your refusal of the sword,
               by your facing of horror…
  heal us.
 Leader:   By your bursting from the tomb,
               by your coming in judgment,
               by your longing for peace …
  heal us.
  Grant us peace. AMEN

Hymnal #697 - Peace litany, 20th c., source unknown

Returning our tithes and offerings

             Letters come in many forms. Some are written down on paper. Others are made of flesh and blood. As we have just heard in this epistle, Paul planned to send Timothy and Epaphroditus as living letters to the folks in Philippi. It is one thing to read the message. It’s another thing to actually touch it in a living, breathing human being. You are also a living letter, sent by God to those around you in your neighborhood. As you return your offering just now, think about how you might be “a breath of fresh air” in your community this week, how you might “provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.

             While you are doing that, I’d like to invite any children who are here this morning to come up front for a chat, just and me…


  with the children:
               Talk with them (with the microphone off) about how nice it is to get a tangible letter. Some of them will be at camp this summer, and will be getting mail there from family, friends, and church folks. Lay out a challenge to them, something they can do if/when they get bored during this worship service. “Write a letter to your end-of-summer self. Now that school is out, put in it some of your dreams for this vacation time, maybe some things you hope to accomplish in the next few months. But also give yourself a pep-talk for going back to school in the fall. Write a good letter, and give it to me later this morning. I’ll make sure it gets mailed back to you at the end of the summer. Wouldn’t that be interesting to receive a letter from yourself? Here is some paper, an envelope, and pencils. Okay? Return to your seats.”  


Pastoral Prayer


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



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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