Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
January 4, 2015
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am


      What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
(John 1:3c-5)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)       Morning Star, O cheering sight!    214

*Call to Worship                                                                 (back of bulletin)

*Unison Prayer                                                                    (back of bulletin)

*Hymn                            As with gladness men of old                           218

  Scripture                                 Jeremiah 31:7-14

  In a nutshell

  Scripture                                 Ephesians 1:3-14

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Scripture                                 Psalm 147:12-20

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

   Hymn                               Some children see him                         (insert)

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                     John 1:1-18

  Message             And the darkness did not overcome (mp3)

*Hymn                                   While by the sheep                             (insert)



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

One:  Dark days are part of our winter.

 All:  We want some light.

One:  We all have dark times—cancer, abuse, fear, loneliness.

 All:  We come bringing our own darkness.

One:  Jeremiah declares that the not-yet and now-present
          God in Christ comes to comfort, to redeem.

 All:  Tell us more.

One:  The call is out to bring in—from the farthest points—
           those who are scattered. The blind and the lame. Those
           with child and those in labor. The first born and the last.

 All:  That is us. Then what?

One:  You will be led into God's arms. You will see and know
          the light of Christ. You will find gladness and joy.
          You will proclaim and praise God, and be satisfied.

 All:  Help us see with all of our being. We are ready to worship.

Bev Weaver, pastor
Goshen City Church of the Brethren
Goshen, Indiana
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085,
"The Living Word" Series

Unison Prayer

             O God of light, too often we search on our own and find many bright and shiny distractions. And we do not find the life that is truly life. Right now we open our eyes. We open our hearts. We open our lives. We join with others, so that together we will see—truly see. Come, Lord Jesus. Join us here. Send your Spirit powerfully into this space. Amen.

Bev Weaver, pastor
Goshen City Church of the Brethren
Goshen, Indiana
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085,
"The Living Word" Series


In a nutshell

               Ed Lewis, one of our laypersons, has branched out from telling children's stories to putting some of his worship reflections "in a nutshell," to share with children of all ages. Here is what he wrote down a couple of weeks ago in preparation for today. He may follow this wording, or take off in a slightly different direction. The focal point, however, remains: "signs."  

(listen to what he said)

             Where are the signs? Where are the signs? We need signs! Just driving her today there must be seventy-five signs, just dealing with the road and the trip here. There are even signs that tell you a sign is coming up. You know, the diamond yellow sign, with the mini red stop sign symbol in the center, that tells you there is a stop sign coming up. There are curve signs, telling you the way the road is going to twist up ahead. There are signs in different colors, shapes, ones overhead, to the side, even on the ground. Society cannot function without signs. Where are the signs?   You know for the return of Christ!

             We are celebrating the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and there were signs back then. Of course on the trek of Joseph, back to his place of birth in Bethlehem, there were not many road signs, if any. After all, why would Joseph need to show caution about the road taking a curve up ahead? It is not like he is going to be walking to fast and walk into a ditch! If I had to guess, there was probably only one path leading to Bethlehem.

             What were the signs that lead to where and when the baby would be born? The first, "signs" would have been the prophets. Foretelling of the birth with various details and clues. This was to alert the populous through the synagogues. 

             The three kings, who were not just rulers, they were also scientists and, more importantly, astrologists. They could "read" the heavens, by planet alignments and the stars to see that something great was happening. The next sign they got was the "Christ Star." This was a sign unlike any sign before or since leading those who would follow to the site.

             For those who were not educated in the sciences and maybe (due to their work in the fields) able to attend the synagogues, their sign was the angel of the Lord and by word of mouth. The shepherds were told that "in the city of Bethlehem...".   Signs!

             When you look at the birth of Jesus Christ, there were many signs for many kinds of people. I believe in my heart the "second coming" will also have many signs for many kinds of people. If you are longing for a sign, you are now in the right place to receive it. It only makes sense to me that God would look for his people in the churches, the temples, the synagogues, the mosques, and meeting places for the first signs!   I also, believe that God will give all those who wish the directions to the messiah.


Returning our Tithes and Offerings
(follows Ephesians 1:3-14)

             There is more in the words we just heard than is possible to fully comprehend. At the limits of our ability we shift into prayer. Join me.

Thank you, Lord God,
    for blessing us with spiritual abundance we cannot fathom;
    for choosing us long before our beginning;
    for aiming us toward that which is beyond our wildest imagination.
Thank you, God and Father,
    for redeeming, forgiving, and enriching us by your grace;
    for gathering us into the mystery of your will;
    for including us in your inheritance,
        such that we are already receiving from your estate.
Thank you for what you have already done,
                              and will continue to do,
        through Jesus Christ,
            whose coming into this world
                we have recently anticipated
                                    and celebrated yet again.
In response, help us to live for the praise of his glory. Amen.

Ushers, come and guide our giving.


Pastoral Prayer


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



How great is our joy!
                for the true light has come into the world.
    Sometimes it is so bright that we are left speechless.
    Other times it shines between the cracks,
        and we are left wondering between the lines
            over what remains unseen
                                    or unsaid.
    Go forth from this place seeking to reflect this light
        into the corners of the world around you.
And remember,
                this light shines in the darkness,
                    and the darkness did not
                                        and cannot overcome it.



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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