Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
September 14, 2014
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am


      Lord, when someone has sinned against me, how many times ought I forgive him? Once? Twice? As many as seven times?” … “You must forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven.  (Matthew 18:21-22)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)      “Forgive our sins as we forgive”      137

   Beginning with prayer

*Hymn                             “O bless the Lord, my soul”                             600

*Unison Confession                                                                                 703

*Assurance of God’s forgiveness                  Psalm 103:8-13

  From the story of Joseph                           Genesis 50:15-21

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  From the letters of Paul                              Romans 14:1-12

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

   Hymn                      “There’s a wideness in God’s mercy”                     145

  Pastoral Prayer

  Acting out the Gospel             Matthew 18:21-35

  Message                        Wiping the slate clean (mp3)

*Hymn                           “Forgive our sins as we forgive”                    (insert)



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Beginning with Prayer

Remain seated for this prayer,
but be ready to stand, if you are able,
when the words invite you to rise.

Good and gracious God,
   source of life and health and peace,
      who intends justice and righteousness,
         and paves the way for a new heaven and earth
            brought forth out of today’s troubles
               and tomorrow’s tribulations;
   we sit in humble awareness
      of our own failures in contrast to
         the past work of your Son upon the cross
            and the bright future of your coming kingdom,
               and by your Holy Spirit
   we rise to new life on this first day of the week.
            Dwell in our song.
            Inhabit our praise.
            Flow through our prayers.
            Speak through the Word.
            Lift your people to better things,
               the good you intend,
                  your will being done.
            In Jesus. Amen!


Unison Confession

Gracious God, hear our confession.
Our faith is uncertain,
      our forgiveness slow,
      our conviction weak,
      our compassion wavering.
We have exalted the proud and powerful,
      put down the weak,
      saturated the rich with good things,
      neglected the poor,
      sent the hungry away empty-handed.
We have helped ourselves.

Show us your mercy,
Help us show mercy,
      through your Son, our Savior. AMEN

Hymnal #703
Adapted from the musical "Prayer Phrases"
by Harris J. Loewen, ©1986

Assurance of God’s forgiveness

             Please remain standing to receive from Psalm 103 the assurance that God does forgive us. By the way, the hymn of praise we just sang put to music the first seven verses of this Psalm. For these verses, do as I do with your arms and hands, and thus express this scriptural promise with your body.

The Lord is merciful and loving,
    slow to become angry and full of constant love.

(hands in front with palms up)

He does not keep on rebuking;
    he is not angry forever.

(hands in front with palms down)

10 He does not punish us as we deserve
    or repay us according to our sins and wrongs.

(both arms slash with palm down)

11 As high as the sky is above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who honor him.

(arms raised with palms up, then hug self)

12 As far as the east is from the west,

(point to the rear of sanctuary/east)

    so far does he remove our sins from us.

(point to the front of sanctuary/east)

13 As a father is kind to his children,
    so the Lord is kind to those who honor him.

(hug self)


(fold hands together in prayer)

Please be seated.

Psalm 103:8-13 from the Good News Translation®
(Today’s English Version, Second Edition)
Copyright © 1992 American Bible Society.
All rights reserved.

adapted from Carolyn Brown's,
Worshiping With Children


From the story of Joseph

             Perhaps you recall the story of Joseph in the Bible, how his brothers sold him into slavery because they were jealous. He ended up in Egypt where, through his ability to interpret dreams, he eventually become an important aide to the King – Pharaoh. A great drought brought Joseph’s brothers into his hands seeking food and he, incognito, had them do various things before revealing who he was and receiving them with open arms. The blessed reunion has taken place. Time has now passed, and their father has died. Let’s listen to what happened then, from the first book of the Bible.

read Genesis 50:15-21


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

             What was originally meant for harm, God used for good purposes – to give the gift of life to many, to save them… As you return your offering in the moments that follow, think about the numerous, harm-filled events that are so much in the news lately. Open your prayerful imagination and wonder, “what are you doing for good, God, in all these tragedies?” Faith involves trying to see past the fog of war and disaster to what is on the other side. It’s about trusting in the One whose hand we cannot see, and following to the best of our ability beyond the limits of our sight. May your offering be a tangible part of your prayer, how you are cooperating with the good you believe God is doing behind the scenes.

Ushers, please assist our prayerful giving.


Pastoral Prayer


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


Acting out the Gospel

             We are going to act out a story Jesus told, as remembered by Matthew. To do this I need 4 volunteers. Let me start with the hardest. One character will 'sort of' be the “bad guy.” One the one hand, I need someone really good at getting down on your knees and begging. On the other hand, this person will need to pretend to be nasty, ready to grab someone else by the throat. A volunteer? … Thank you!

            Then I need someone to portray an important character – a king. Anyone? … Thank you! Next is the person who will be grabbed by the throat - pretend, mind you. Otherwise, not a hard role to play. Finally, there should be a “Vanna White”-like character, to dramatically point not to letters (like on “Wheel of Fortune”), but to the characters and to these two items (lift up a huge bag stuffed with crumpled newspaper with a huge dollar sign on it, and place it on the top of the piano; then put a significantly smaller bag beside it), when the time is right. Any takers? It doesn’t have to be a woman… Thank you! Let’s practice pointing. (then position the 4 volunteers).

            In Matthew’s gospel, this story is prefaced by a question from the disciple Peter, followed by Jesus’ answer. You’ll notice those verses printed at the top of the bulletin, separated by 3 periods. How about if we begin and end our telling of this parable, with one side of the congregation asking the question, and the other giving the answer? To start, the left side will ask, and the right will respond. We’ll switch that after the story. Understand? Shall we begin?

Left side: “Lord, when someone has sinned against me, how many times ought I forgive him?
                    Once? Twice? As many as seven times?”

Right side: “You must forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven.


               23 “The Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king (“Vanna” points to  the king) who decided to bring his accounts up to date. 24 In the process, one of his debtors (“Vanna” points to the first debtor) was brought in who owed him $10 million! (“Vanna” points to the big bag) 25 He couldn’t pay, so the king ordered him sold for the debt, also his wife and children and everything he had.

26 “But the man fell down before the king, his face in the dust, and said, ‘Oh, sir, be patient with me and I will pay it all.’

27 “Then the king was filled with pity for him and released him and forgave his debt.

28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a man (“Vanna” points to   the second debtor) who owed him $2,000 (“Vanna” points to the smaller bag) and grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.

29 “The man fell down before him and begged him to give him a little time. ‘Be patient and I will pay it,’ he pled.

30 “But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and jailed (“Vanna” points offstage) until the debt would be paid in full.

31 “Then the man’s friends went to the king (“Vanna” points to the king) and told him what had happened. 32 And the king called before him the man he had forgiven (“Vanna” points to the first debtor) and said, ‘You evil-hearted wretch! Here I forgave you all that tremendous debt, (“Vanna” points to the big bag) just because you asked me to— 33 shouldn’t you have mercy on others, just as I had mercy on you?’

34 “Then the angry king sent the man to the torture chamber (“Vanna” points offstage) until he had paid every last penny due. 35 So shall my heavenly Father do to you if you refuse to truly forgive your brothers.”


Right side: “Lord, when someone has sinned against me, how many times ought I forgive him?
                       Once? Twice? As many as seven times?”

Left side: “You must forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven.

Matthew 18:21-22 from The Voice Bible
© 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc.
The Voice™ translation
© 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society
All rights reserved.

Matthew 18:23-35 from The Living Bible
copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc.,
Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


As those who have knowingly received
      a forgiveness beyond all measure,
   go and be agents of reconciliation
         in your corner of the world.
      Surprise yourself and others
            with kindness and mercy.
   Envision a world overcome by God’s goodness,
         and put your energy into following Jesus there.

And may God provide what you need for this journey;
May Christ Jesus shower mercy on you and through you;
And may the Holy Spirit uphold you as you stand in Christ.

the last 2 lines borrowed from Laughing Bird resources
©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)


return to
Worship Orders

return to

return to

return to
Long Green Valley Church