Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
September 27, 2015
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am


But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

(Amos 5:24)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)                       Peace, O God

*Call to Worship

*Hymn                                  Fresh as the morning

*Opening Prayer

  The Prophet’s Cry                      Isaiah 2:2-4

  Swords to Plowshares

  The Jesus Challenge               Matthew 5:38-48

  Growing toward God’s Peace

  The Lord’s Requirement             Micah 6:6-8

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory Videos    #1     #2     #3

  Focus and Promise                  Philippians 4:4-9

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

   Hymn                               When peace like a river                             336

  Pastoral Prayer

  On Being Genuine                   Romans 12:9-21

  Overcoming Evil with Good

  And Finally                (several scripture encouragements)

  Do not fear

*Hymn                                      Peace, O God



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

One: The invitation is given to every person by Jesus Christ: "Come to me! Follow me! Be my disciples!"

All: We come to this place, to this time, at the invitation of Jesus Christ.

One: In the name of Christ,

All: we accept the invitation to discipleship.

One: In the name of Christ,

All: as his disciples, we worship and praise God.

One: In the midst of a world where cruelty abounds,

All: we proclaim the God of Compassion.

One: In the midst of despair that threatens to swallow up whole lives, whole peoples,

All: we proclaim the God of Hope.

One: In the midst of indifference and apathy,

All: we proclaim the God of Love.

One: Come, let us worship together and share our witness of God's living presence in the world.

from COB National Youth Conference 2006
found on OEPA Sample Hymn Sing page

Opening Prayer

1 - God of grace

2 - and God of glory,

1 - you have drawn us together

2 - in your presence.

1 - We are far from what you want us to be,

2 - yet you call us your own.

1 - We have made so many mistakes,

2 - yet you call us and send us.

1 - We depend daily upon your forgiveness,

2 - as we walk by faith toward your Kingdom.

1 - Your Spirit helps us let go of sins that cling too closely.

2 - Your Spirit empowers us to do great things.

1 - In your grace, may we grow in doing to others as we would have others do to us.

2 - In your glory, may we grow in loving as Jesus loved.

1 - Take these moments of grace

2 - and glory, and move in us this hour.

1 - For you are our God

2 - and we are your people.

1 - In the name of the One who is our peace:

2 - Jesus Christ. Amen.


The Prophet’s Cry
Isaiah 2:2-4

1 - In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills;

2 - all the nations shall stream to it. Many peoples shall come and say,

1 - “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.”

2 - For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

1 - He shall judge between the nations,

2 - and shall arbitrate for many peoples;

1 - they shall beat their swords into plowshares,

2 - and their spears into pruning hooks;

1 - nation shall not lift up sword against nation,

2 - neither shall they learn war any more.

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

Swords to Plowshares

(follows The Prophet's Cry)


Listen to this (mp3)


            Good morning. Thank you so much for allowing me to speak this morning about On Earth Peace. I also want to thank you for being the nurturing community who introduced me to peace in the first place, and has me seeking every clay what it means to create a just and peaceful world.


            When I listen to the scripture from Isaiah that we just read, I see an awesome image of a world united in efforts to create and build. The call to “beat swords into plowshares” to me is God’s call to lay down destructive and hurtful practices for ones that create and build relationships with each other. To me, this call begins with my own swords - the ones that come out in my words when I’m winning an argument with my partner, irritated with my coworker, and especially when I’m talking with someone who is saying things I completely disagree with (including on facebook). Those are moments when I struggle the most to transform my anger and righteousness into plowshares that look like letting go of winning the argument, actually listening to the other person and getting the world of where they are coming from, and creating a space for honest conversation. I think many of you have experienced that – it’s amazing what happens, right?


            For me, On Earth Peace has been an organization and part of the Church of the Brethren where I have been able to consistently learn more about what it takes to beat my sword into a plowshare -what it takes to have peace and justice in my life and the lives of those around me. I first met On Earth Peace when I was at camp at Shepherd's Spring and the Youth Peace Travel Teams visited to teach us about peace. For those of you who might not be familiar, Youth Peace Travel Team is a program of On Earth Peace where 3-4 youth are selected each summer and trained together in peace and conflict resolution skills before they are sent around the country to various Brethren camps to engage kids and teach them those same peace and conflict resolution skills. How many of you in this room are familiar with YPTT? The result is often life-changing for the youth and campers alike Relationships are built, kids are empowered to become peace-makers, and lasting conversations are begun.


            Throughout the rest of today’s service I am going to be sharing a little more about On Earth Peace's programs and you'll also be seeing a few video snippets from others about their visions and dreams for peace, which came out of a project On Earth Peace created last year to celebrate their 40th Anniversary… First let's hear a little from Matthew, about the Jesus Challenge.

Peace moment #1 by Caitlin Haynes
OEPA board member
(and member of this congregation)


The Jesus Challenge
Matthew 5:38-48

1 - Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look:

2 - ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’

1 - Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose:

2 - ‘Don’t hit back at all.’

1 - If someone strikes you, stand there and take it.

2 - If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it.

1 - And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life.

2 - No more tit-for-tat stuff.

1 - Live generously.

2 - You’re familiar with the old written law,

1 - ‘Love your friend,’

2 - and its unwritten companion,

1 - ‘Hate your enemy.’

2 - I’m challenging that.

1 - I’m telling you to love your enemies.

2 - Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.

1 - When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves.

2 - This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.

1 - If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus?

2 - Anybody can do that.

1 - If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal?

2 - Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

1 - In a word, what I’m saying is,

2 - Grow up.

1 - You’re kingdom subjects.

2 - Now live like it.

1 - Live out your God-created identity.

2 - Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.

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

Growing toward God’s Peace

Listen to this (mp3)


            One of On Earth Peace's biggest projects is Agape-Satyagraha. Agape-Satyagraha is a leadership training program for youth teaching skills for conflict resolution and social change based on the nonviolent teachings of Jesus and Gandhi. On Earth Peace partners with local churches and organizations to establish the site and program, which mentors youth through five levels of skills training. Youth move through the levels with the help of an adult volunteer coach, learning skills in the areas of 1) Understanding conflict escalation, 2) Anger management, 3) De-escalating conflicts, 4)Negotiation and mediation, and 5) Community social change. There are several Agape-Satyagraha sites around the country, with one of the biggest (and first) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. These programs have made a huge impact in the life of many youth and leave them empowered to make a difference with their friends, families, and communities. I wanted to let you hear from some of them directly in these videos.


Video 1 and Video 2

Peace moment #2 by Caitlin Haynes
OEPA board member
(and member of this congregation)

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

after reading Micah 6:6-8

             Justice, kindness, humility – these are the benchmarks of “Shalom,” God’s peace. This is what the Lord desires of us, more than any offering. Justice, you see, is not some law in a legal code. It is a lifestyle of seeking and doing what is right. Being kind is not the same as being nice. And humility involves feet on the ground, walking with God, not trying to be God.

             Justice, kindness, humility – these are the benchmarks of “Shalom,” God’s peace. As you return your tithe or other offering just now, think about this past week. Where and when have you been just or kind or humble? Look ahead to the coming week. How might these benchmarks of “Shalom” be lived out in your everyday walk in the next seven days, or even just today?



Focus and Promise
Philippians 4:4-9

(follows Offertory Videos #1, #2, and #3)

1 - Rejoice in the Lord always.

2 - I will say it again: Rejoice!

1 - Let your gentleness be evident to all.

2 - The Lord is near.

1 - Do not be anxious about anything,

2 - but in every situation,

1 - by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,

2 - present your requests to God.

1 - And the peace of God,

2 - which transcends all understanding,

1 - will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

2 - Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true,

1 - whatever is noble,

2 - whatever is right,

1 - whatever is pure,

2 - whatever is lovely,

1 - whatever is admirable -

2 - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -

1 - think about such things.

2 - Whatever you have learned

1 - or received

2 - or heard from me,

1 - or seen in me -

2 - put it into practice.

1 - And the God of peace will be with you.

from the New International Version®, NIV®
© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Pastoral Prayer

[this was prayed extemporaneously]

On Being Genuine
Romans 12:9-21

1 - Let love be genuine;

2 - hate what is evil,

1 - hold fast to what is good;

2 - love one another with mutual affection;

1 - outdo one another in showing honor.

2 - Do not lag in zeal,

1 - be ardent in spirit,

2 - serve the Lord.

1 - Rejoice in hope,

2 - be patient in suffering,

1 - persevere in prayer.

2 - Contribute to the needs of the saints;

1 - extend hospitality to strangers.

2 - Bless those who persecute you;

1 - bless and do not curse them.

2 - Rejoice with those who rejoice,

1 - weep with those who weep.

2 - Live in harmony with one another;

1 - do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly;

2 - do not claim to be wiser than you are.

1 - Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.

2 - If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

1 - Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written,

2 - “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

1 - No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them;

2 - if they are thirsty, give them something to drink;

1 - for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.”

2 - Do not be overcome by evil,

1 - but overcome evil with good.

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

Overcoming Evil with Good

Listen to this (mp3)


            “Overcome evil with good’ and “let love be genuine” … These are such nice thoughts and such a daunting task for me. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by what to me seems evil in the world. There are so many times when I can’t believe what hurtful and hateful words come out of people’s mouths, and what heinous acts people commit against each other. And sometimes hateful words leave my own mouth. How am I ever going to overcome all that evil with good? What does that even look like?


            And this whole “genuine love” thing - I don't know about you, but I’ve gotten really good (and I think being a pastor’s kid helped me with this (eek!) at putting on a really loving and caring look, when inside I don’t like what another person is saying or am wishing they would just stop saying whatever they are saying. This happens at work a lot - also when I’m with those family members with really different political views - sometimes at church gatherings - really almost anywhere. What would I have to say, give up, get interested in if I actually had genuine love for and with all the people in my life?


“An enemy is one whose story we have not heard.”
- Gene Knudsen Hoffman


            One of On Earth Peace’s other programs is the Ministry of Reconciliation. This ministry consists of trained volunteers who have been present at Annual Conference and NYC, or sometimes at District Conferences or congregational events, to be a peaceful presence, mediate conflict, and provide support in processing conflict.


            Mediation work so often involves being able to really hear the other person – hear where they are coming from. Often, when we are able to let go of what we think they are really saying, or our resistance to what they are saying, we can really listen and hear their story. And hearing another’s story fully can tear down so many walls and make us related in a whole new way – a way where genuine love can emerge.


            This work can be hard, though - like I said before, and daunting. But it is so good to know we don’t have to take it on alone. There is our God, who is there to guide us through it, and offer so many blessings along the way. Listen to these promises and blessings from God.

Peace moment #3 by Caitlin Haynes
OEPA board member
(and member of this congregation)

And Finally
(several scripture encouragements)

1 - “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’”  (Isaiah 52:7)

2 - “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matthew 5:9)

1 - “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)

2 - “A harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.”  (James 3:18)

1 - “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”  (Colossians 3:15)

2 -  “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”  (2 Corinthians 13:11)

1 - “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  (John 14:27)

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

Do not fear

Listen to this (mp3)


Questions to end with:

            - What is your vision for building peace?

            - With all the blessings and words of assurance from God we have just heard,
                   what is one action you see that you can take toward your vision for peace?

Peace moment #4 by Caitlin Haynes
OEPA board member
(and member of this congregation)


May God deny you an easy peace,
     and grant you instead, passion,
     a revolutionary passion that spills over into the world
     in acts of compassion and love, justice and integrity.
Go in the spirit and way of Christ,
     who is our strength, our passion, and our true peace. Amen

by © Carol Wise, Minneapolis, MN
from the Hymnal Supplement No. 4, #1055
© 2002 Brethren Press. www.brethrenpress.com
as amended by Nancy Faus Mullen in 2006


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:
Rightly Divided

International Lesson:
Christian Standard
(one week ahead)


International Lesson:
International Bible Lessons Commentary


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
Shine Curriculum
(developed jointly by the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonite Church)


©2015 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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