Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
August 31, 2014
Worship 10:00 am

Labor Day Sunday

      Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
(Matthew 16:24-26 from The Message)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)          “Come, we that love the Lord”        14
  Prelude                        “Prelude and Fugue in G Major”                J.S. Bach

*Call to Worship                         Psalm 105:1-6

*Hymn                         “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah”                       582

*Opening Prayer

  The labor of Moses                   Exodus 3:1-15
                                             (scripture and video)

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

   Hymn                        “Immortal, invisible, God only wise”                     70

  Pastoral Prayer

  The labor of the Church           Romans 12:9-21                                     850

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                                    “Offertorium”                       Gordon Young
                              (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  A Blessing for Workers and All Seeking Work                                 (insert)

  The labor of Jesus                  Matthew 16:21-28

  Message                       Rock or stumbling block (mp3)

*Hymn                                    “Savior of my soul”                                    549


*Postlude                      “Excerpt from Chorus Magnus                        Wely

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

1 - Today is a day of rest.

2 - It’s also a Labor Day for God’s people.

1 - Today is the first day of the week,

2 - a time to praise God.

1 - Worship is the labor of God’s people.

2 - There are no lounge chairs in this sanctuary.

1 - Sit up straight. Plant your feet on the ground

2 - Becoming disciples is hard work.

1 - It’s also exciting!

2 - Are you ready?

1 - Please stand now and listen to the call to worship.

2 - God’s Word is the best place to begin.


1 - Praise the LORD and pray in his name!

2 - Tell everyone what he has done.

1 - Sing praises to the LORD!

2 - Tell about his miracles.

1 - Celebrate and worship his holy name with all your heart.

2 - Trust the LORD and his mighty power.

1 - Remember his miracles and all his wonders

2 - and his fair decisions.

1 - You belong to the family of Abraham, his servant;

2 - you are his chosen ones, the descendants of Jacob.

adapted from 9/1/02
Psalm 105:1-6 (the bottom portion)
is from the
Contemporary English Version
Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society


Opening Prayer

             O great Jehovah, restore our souls as you guide us through this land. Empower us to follow Jesus now. We depend upon your daily bread. We thirst for your living water. You give us abundant life in Christ. Yes, you are great and you are good, and we thank you for what we will receive this hour.

            Just now, turn us aside from the routine that brought us here, toward the wonder that is you. We are treading upon holy ground. May your Holy Spirit burn within us! This we pray in your name. Amen.

from 8/31/08


The labor of Moses

             “Remember his miracles and all his wonders.” Within the worship work of God's people is the labor of remembering. In the following moments, let’s remember the Exodus story, and how God called a man named Moses to set the children of Israel free from their slavery in Egypt. Born an Israelite, Moses was raised in the wealth of Pharaoh’s family, carried there as an infant floating in a basket. Though he did not know it, Moses was to become God’s response to the cry of the people for deliverance. As an adult, once he learned his true identity as a slave, he ran away. However, there is no place anyone can flee where God is not.

             We pick up the story with Moses laboring away at what he thought was his life’s work – caring for sheep. However, God had other plans. Listen.

                  Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.”  
Exodus 3:1-15 from the New Revised Standard Version
copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved

             There is, of course, more to this story. We borrow a scene from the animated movie, “The Prince of Egypt,” to catch an imaginary glimpse of this scripture through the eyes of the filmmaker. Behold.



Pastoral Prayer


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


The labor of the Church
a responsive reading of Romans 12:9-21


             Turn in your hymnal to #850 and let’s read responsively from Paul’s letter to the Romans. These words reveal the labor of the church. This is the hard work to which we are called as followers of Jesus. Please read whatever is in bold print. Be listening even as you speak.

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
  Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
  Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.
  Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.
If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Hymnal #850
scripture text
from the New Revised Standard Version,
copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

             The labor to which the church of Jesus Christ is called is hard work! It takes courage to live out any of what we just read. There are plenty of times when we don’t feel up to the task, days when we want to call in sick. Do remember that it all does not rest upon our shoulders. Jesus goes ahead of us, leading the way. The Holy Spirit takes up residence within us, empowering us to accomplish more than we think possible. As Paul wrote elsewhere, “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline(2 Timothy 1:7). Furthermore, we work together as brothers and sisters in Christ. When one falters, others step in and help. We labor side by side.

             As you return your tithes and offerings just now, do not be overwhelmed by the task to which we are all called. Just ponder your next step. Think of one thing you could do this week to continue this work of Jesus. One step at a time is all we can take. Labor on!

Ushers, please guide our giving.


A Blessing for Workers and All Seeking Work


             Tomorrow is Labor Day. We’ve dressed it up as vacation time or sales event, but it really is a celebration of the value of work. If you recall, the Bible begins with a chronology of work. God worked through those first six days of Creation, and then took some time off. Dirty, hands in the earth work. Good work. God work. Our labor flows from God’s work.

             Let’s take time to bless all who work, as well as those who are currently seeking a job. On your bulletin insert is a litany. You’ll note that sometimes the words are directed to God, and at other points they speak to each other. Sometimes the words may be about you, and then they may not be. Shall we give and receive blessing?


One: Blessed are you, ever-creating God, in your image, our lives are made; in your glory, we offer all the work of our hearts and hands and minds.

All: Blessed are you, O God, now and forever!

One: Blessed are you whose work is repaid, for by your work, and by the payment you receive your lives and the lives of others around you and around the world are blessed.

All: We thank God for you day by day.

One: Blessed are you whose work is unpaid, who offer what you can to enrich the lives of others, through time, talents, skill, strength, and love.

All: We praise God for your generous labor!

One: Blessed are you who seek work but have not found it, or whose work now is not yet what it may be - yet still you seek, that your gifts may be shared more fully.

All: We praise God for your diligent seeking and pray you may soon find!

One: Yours is the glory in their labors.

All: Yours be the glory in all our lives, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© 2014 General Board of Discipleship
1908 Grand Avenue, Nashville, TN 37212.
All Rights Reserved.


Go now and follow Jesus in the way of the cross.
Rejoice in hope,
hold fast to what is good,
persevere in prayer.
Do not be overcome by evil,
but overcome evil with good.
As far as is possible, live peaceably with all.

And may God hear your cries and deliver you;
May Christ Jesus repay you with fullness of life;
And may the Holy Spirit be with you always
       nourishing you in love and hope.

from the Laughing Bird version
©2001 Nathan Nettleton


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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