Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
April 26, 2015
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

Fourth Sunday of Easter

      My little children, don’t just talk about love as an idea or a theory. Make it your true way of life, and live in the pattern of gracious love. (1 John 3:18 from The Voice)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)        Breathe on me, breath of God     356

*Call to Worship

*Opening Prayer

*Hymn                            Come, let us all unite to sing      12

  Scripture                                   John 10:11-18

  Moment for Mission

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  A familiar Psalm                                  (Ps. 23 in the King James Version)

  Sheep Dangers along the way

  A comforting Psalm                         (Ps. 23 in the Laughing Bird Version)

  People Dangers along the way

  Praying the Psalm

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

   Hymn                          Savior, like a shepherd lead us                       355

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                  1 John 3:16-24

  Message                 “More than an idea or a theory (mp3)

*Hymn                          Where charity and love prevail   305 (use 306 tune)



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

One: “On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me.”

 All: Jesus taught us to love by keeping commandments.

One: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

 All: Jesus taught us to love our enemies.

One: “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 All: Jesus taught us to love each other.

One: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

 All: Jesus taught us to love with all our being.

One: “I know your works - your love, faith, service, and patient endurance. I know that your last works are greater than the first.”

 All: Jesus taught us to love through faith and service.

by Samuel L. Han, pastor
Union Church of the Brethren, Plymouth, Indiana
© 2015 Brethren Press. www.brethrenpress.com
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085,
"The Living Word" Series

Opening Prayer

Almighty God,
      to you all hearts are open,
      all desires are known,
      and from you no secrets are hidden.
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
      by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit
      that we may perfectly love you
      and worthily magnify your holy name,
      through Christ, our Lord. AMEN

Hymnal #739
Leonine missal, 7th c.

Moment for Mission

             After reading John 10:11-18, our treasurer, Gary Miller, will share briefly about another facet of our month-long offering emphasis upon our denomination - the Church of the Brethren. This week's focus will include Brethren Volunteer Service.

Listen to what he had to say.  (mp3)


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

            In his own words, Gary will invite us to respond with our offerings. (listen to the above link)



  [recruit 2 adults ahead of time, one to write “dangers” on pieces of paper to hand to a child, and the other to stand by to wall to help each child to tape this paper to the wall.]  

             We are not calling this a "time for children," unless by that we mean all of God’s children gathered here this morning. I do invite any of our younger sisters and brothers to come forward and assist me right now, but the task of these moments belongs to us all. We have just heard the familiar words of the 23rd Psalm in a version (KJV) some of us may have grown up memorizing. With these words in mind, I want us all to think like sheep. If you were a bit more wooly, walked on all fours, ate grass, and spoke in bleats, what dangers can you think of that might scare you? Just think for a moment. We have some able assistants here to take your suggestions and post them on the wall to your right. Again, thinking as sheep, what dangers – especially, but not limited to, what is suggested by the 23rd Psalm – are there to trouble you. Please speak in English, not “Baaah.”

  [as each “danger” is spoken, the adult helper writes it down in large print and gives to a child, who takes it over to the adult by the wall to post.]  

(after all have spoken and been posted)

             Let’s listen again to Psalm 23 in a more contemporary version: (Ps. 23 in the Laughing Bird Version).

  [the adult helping the children to post the dangers moves over to the other side of the sanctuary during the reading.]  

             Our job is not finished. We are not sheep. We are human beings. Some of the dangers which trouble sheep also make us afraid. However, our list may be quite different. Think about what makes you afraid. Be honest. The children will help us post our dangers on the other wall, the one to your left. So, thinking as human beings, what dangers trouble you?

  [as each “danger” is spoken, the adult helper writes it down in large print and gives to a child, who takes it over to the adult by the wall to post.]  

             Okay, we have around us dangers faced by sheep and humans. We sit at the table of the Lord in the presence of these enemies. Take a moment to read them, as the children quietly return to their seats… Now, turn to your bulletin insert to where it says, “Praying the Psalm.” Plant your feet firmly on the floor, breathe deeply, and prepare to pray (not just read) these words out loud. Let’s read deliberately, line by line, not rushing, our voices in unison. Are you ready? Let’s pray this Psalm, which is intentionally paraphrased for this Easter season.

(p.s. this turned out very well)

adapted from a suggestion by Carolyn Brown
in her blog,
Worshiping With Children


Praying the Psalm
(in unison – a paraphrase of Ps. 23)

You, loving God, are my best Friend,
        I shall never walk alone.
When I rest on green lawn and gaze up at the clouds,
        you are there beside me.
    When at dusk I stand and look out upon still waters,
        you revive my spirits.

You lead me in the paths of grace and truth,
        and your name is my warranty.
    Even when I walk in the shadows of death valley,
        I am not afraid of any evil.
    You are there with me every step of the way,
        your cross and empty tomb comfort me.

You prepare a banquet table for me
        in the presence of my enemies.
    With your own hands you heap blessings on my head,
        and you fill my cup to overflowing.
    Nothing but goodness and grace shall surround me
        all the days of my life,
            and I shall live at home with my God
                throughout time and eternity.

Ó 2002, Bruce D Prewer, Uniting Church in Australia,
from Resources: Based on the Revised Common Lectionary


Pastoral Prayer


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



As you step out into this new week, remember:
      the good shepherd is always nearby.
Trust in the goodness and mercy of the Lord,
      even … especially in dark places and times.
            Through them all,
                  Live the Love which upholds
                                           and empowers you.

For wherever you go,
      Christ Jesus has been there first,
            showing the way;
      the Holy Spirit is constantly with you
                                          and in you;
      and God is the beginning,
        as well as the ending of your journey.

Peace be with you.



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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