Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
September 7, 2014
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am


      The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself. (Romans 13:9)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)              “O little children, gather”             489

*Call to Worship

*Hymn                            Joyful, joyful, we adore thee                            71

*Opening Prayer

  Celebrating a new year of Sunday School

  Unison Scripture Reading                  Psalm 119:33 40

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                               Matthew 18:15-20

  For Children                               Earplugs

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

   Hymn                          Breathe on me, breath of God                         356

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                 Romans 13:8-14

  Message                       My, how you’ve grown!

*Hymn                           I heard the voice of Jesus say                        493



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

One:  This is the day that the Lord has made

All:    Let us be glad and rejoice in it.

One:  This is a day of new beginnings –
          new classes, new teachers, new lessons.

All:    We are grateful for new beginnings.

One:  This is a day to commit to new learning opportunities,
          to open our minds and our hearts to what God wants us to learn.

All:    We are grateful for new learning opportunities.

One:  This is the day that the Lord has made.

All:    We are glad and rejoice in it.

by Abe Bergen
from Worship Resources – Mennonite Church Canada


Opening Prayer

God among us,
   we gather in the name of your Son
      to learn love for one another.
Turn our feet from evil paths,
   our hands from shameful deeds,
      our minds to your wisdom,
         and our hearts to your grace. Amen.

borrowed from Vanderbilt Divinity Library
from Revised Common Lectionary Prayers
copyright © 2002 Consultation on Common Texts
admin. Augsburg Fortress.

Celebrating a new year of Sunday School

             The summer season has passed, and now we head into a new year of Sunday School. “O little children, gather near and learn of Jesus’ glory. Now come and of his goodness hear, his love and power; come listen to his story.” The words from this hymn we sang earlier were written by Christopher Dock, a Mennonite educator in eastern Pennsylvania during the colonial era. He was a contemporary of Christopher Sauer, an early Brethren leader and publisher. Christopher Sauer jr. was a student of Dock’s. Sauer sr. was so impressed with Dock’s teaching style, that he asked him to write a guide for teachers. Saur jr. printed and published the guide, which became very popular.

               “Contrary to the harsh methods common in some colonial schools, Dock preferred to use gentler techniques. He sought to build character in his students, using persuasion, discussion, and positive peer pressure to encourage the highest standards of behavior among them. He disciplined poor behavior and attitudes with thoughtfulness and understanding, seeking to make the punishment suitable to the student as well as to the infraction being addressed.”  
(quoted from Wikipedia)

             It is our desire that such words would describe our Sunday School, whether the children are little or more seasoned sisters and brothers-in-Christ. May we seek to build character in each other, using persuasion, discussion, and positive peer pressure. Discipline is the art of making disciples, and that is what we are about as a church, encouraging self-discipline (discipleship) with thoughtfulness and understanding.

             None of us is beyond the need to grow in the faith. All of us are still developing in character. No matter whether our age is 7 years or 70, we are children gathering near to learn of Jesus’ glory, to hear and embrace his goodness, love and power, and to listen – ever anew – to his story. If you agree, would you join me in celebrating and dedicating this new year of Sunday School by standing and reading in unison a portion of Psalm 119. You’ll find it printed on your bulletin insert.

Unison Scripture Reading
Psalm 119:33-40

GOD, teach me lessons for living
            so I can stay the course.
Give me insight so I can do what you tell me
            my whole life one long, obedient response.
Guide me down the road of your commandments;
I love traveling this freeway!
Give me a bent for your words of wisdom,
and not for piling up loot.
Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets,
invigorate me on the pilgrim way.
Affirm your promises to me
            promises made to all who fear you.
Deflect the harsh words of my critics
            but what you say is always so good.
See how hungry I am for your counsel;
preserve my life through your righteous ways!

from The Message.
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.
Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group

Returning our Tithes and Offerings
(refers to the previous scripture reading)

             Instead of “piling up loot” and focusing upon “toys and trinkets,” as disciples of Jesus we learn the fine art of stewardship. Along the pilgrim way, we discover that our tithes and offerings are not a “God tax” we pay for the privilege of living. No. They, instead, reflect our God-given responsibility to wisely manage our resources in ways that glorify God and bring good to our neighbor. Whenever we make out our offering to the church, we are presented with an opportunity to prayerfully consider whether our finances are in line with our values as followers of Christ. Alexander Mack jr., one of the early leaders in our denomination, had a simple motto for his journey with Jesus: that it all might be “for the glory of God and my neighbor’s good.” Why not use that motto to examine your own stewardship? Pray with me.

               God of abundance, we bring these gifts to you, acknowledging you as the source of all blessing in our lives. We have spent and overspent our resources on things that attracted our attention but didn’t begin to satisfy the needs within us. Help us to live wisely and to give generously from deep gratitude for your love. May our lives reflect the words of your apostle, “Let no debt remain outstanding except the continuing debt to love one another… (Romans 13:8, NIV) We ask this in the holy name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen.  

prayer by Ken Sloane
General Board of Discipleship worship resources

Pastoral Prayer


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



We are surrounded by those who have
      known and loved and taught us much,
            many of whom are now among that
                  heavenly “cloud of witnesses.”
Within us is the Holy Spirit,
      who both makes us aware of our sin
            and helps us to step beyond it,
      who empowers us to walk by faith
            and fires us up for the journey.
Before us is Jesus our Christ,
      who shows us the way
            and is, in fact, the way,
      leading us toward the promised land,
            having saved us from slavery to sin and death
                  for just this purpose.
And in and beyond and under and through us
      is the One who created us and awaits us,
            the Alpha and the Omega,
                  our beginning and our end.

With all this in mind,
      step forth into this week as disciples and apostles.
            You are never alone.
                  What you do matters. Amen



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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