Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
November 8, 2015
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am


      When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:9-10)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)   Holy Spirit, come with power    26
  Prelude                            “As Torrents in Summer”                              Elgar

*Call to Worship                        Psalm 146:1-2

*Hymn                             Sing to the Lord of harvest                             98

*Opening Prayer

  Responsive Scripture                                                                            825

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

   Hymn                           Heart with loving heart united                         420

  Pastoral Prayer

  Acting out a Gospel Story                    Mark 12:38-44

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                                     “Andante”                                Beethoven
                              (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Readers Theater                         Ruth 2:1-23

  Message                      In the fields of the LORD (mp3)

*Hymn                                   “God, whose giving”                                   383
                                                   lyrics - music

*Benediction                     “Blessed be the tie that binds                              421
                                           our hearts in Christian love.  
                                       The fellowship of kindred minds
                                                is like to that above.”

*Postlude                                   “Postlude in C”                                    Rinck

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

One: Praise the Lord!

 All: Praise the Lord, O my soul!

One: I will praise the Lord as long as I live;

 All: I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

Psalm 146:1-2 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

Opening Prayer

We plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land,
but it is fed and watered by your almighty hand.
You send the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain,
the breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain.
All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above.
      We thank you, Lord, we thank you, Lord, for all your love.

We thank you, then, Creator, for all things bright and good,
the seed-time and the harvest, our life, our health, our food.
Accept the gifts we offer, for all your love imparts,
and what you most would welcome, our humble, thankful hearts.
All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above.
      We thank you, Lord, we thank you, Lord, for all your love. Amen

verses 1 & 3 of Hymn #96 – “We plow the fields and scatter”
by Matthias Claudius, 1782, translated by Jane Montgomery Campbell 1861, alt.
selected stanzas of the “Peasant's Song” in the larger poem “Paul Erdmann's Fest”

Responsive Scripture
(Psalm 146:3-10)

Do not put your trust in princes,
     in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
     on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
     whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
     the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
     who executes justice for the oppressed;
     who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
     the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
     the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
     he upholds the orphan and the widow,
     but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The Lord will reign forever,
     your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!

Hymnal #825
scripture text 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.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Acting out a Gospel Story
Mark 12:38-44

              During the previous hymn, a single folded chair is placed in the center of the area between the pulpit and lectern. An offering basket is put on the worship center. After the Morning Prayer, the woman who will later read the part of Naomi, comes forward as the “widow” and sits in the chair. She has a small purse of some sort with 3-5 coins in it. The man pantomiming the “teachers of the law” starts off to the side, equipped with a huge wad of cash. The scripture reader stands at the lectern, pausing between phrases to allow for the “teacher of the law” (T) and the “widow” (W) to mime their actions.  
As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law.
  (T parades in with great pomp and circumstance)  
They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces,
  (T preens and encourages congregation to applaud)  
and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.
  (T motions for W to rise from her seat and move to side so he can sit)  
They devour widows’ houses
  (T rises and holds out hand to W, silently demanding donations. W reaches into her bag and gives all but 2 coins, which T pockets with a flourish)  
and for a show make lengthy prayers.
  (T folds hands and looks up as if praying – give a few seconds)  
These men will be punished most severely.”
  (T moves to side and W sits back down)  
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
  (T pulls out wad of cash and makes a big show of putting a bunch of bills in the basket, leaving the wad relatively untouched. T pockets the rest and leaves)  
But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
  (W rises and goes to the worship center where the basket is. She reaches into her purse and takes out the 2 remaining coins, turning it inside out in the process – or otherwise indicating its emptiness. Don’t exaggerate like T. W quietly places the coins in the basket and leaves)  
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

               Suggestion: As the ushers come and receive our tithes and offerings, read over the devotion on the back of your bulletin. But first, pray with me.   

             Lord God, who sees past what we show on the outside, work with us on our inner lives. Grow the seeds of gratitude you have planted in us. May the fruit of our actions reveal the faith we profess in ways that honor you. When this field is harvested, may there be an abundance of kindness and generosity. This we pray in the name of the One who has taught us and shown us the way – Jesus Christ. Amen



(back of bulletin)

Giving Extravagantly

             In his book Jesus Prom, author Jon Weece says that generosity is not measured by how much we give away but by how much we keep for ourselves. He then goes on to give practical examples, in storytelling fashion, of giving God's love to others.

             This discomforting truth became all too clear recently. My wife and I invited a young woman and her year-old child to move into our home. We live in a modest ranch with three bedrooms. A few extra bottles and sippy cups on our kitchen counter and a bouncer seat in the living room were minor inconveniences. Clearing out two closets for her to store their clothing presented no major hardship. Besides, what would Jesus do?

             I was feeling generous and Christlike until we were asked to surrender our whole house to her extended family for a birthday celebration and leave so that they could have some sense of normalcy. “The whole house!” I gasped incredulously. “I’m supposed to give up my home for four hours to complete strangers?” Generosity is measured by how much we keep for ourselves.

             Watching faithful patrons present their offerings to the temple treasury, Jesus took specific note of a woman who gave her two cents' worth. As a widow, she was culturally disadvantaged. We would say she didn't have two pennies to rub together. But the woman gave both of her coins. All the others felt they were being generous for giving an amount that cost them nothing but an inconvenience for a day or two. She gave what she couldn’t afford—everything. I look forward to meeting this woman in heaven, don't you? In the meantime, I want whatever she had that helped her love God so extravagantly.

by Joel Nogle, pastor
Memorial Church of the Brethren
Martinsburg, Pennsylvania




Ruth 2:1-23

(in Reader’s Theater format)


5 readers: Narrator, Ruth, Naomi, Boaz, Servant

(Narrator reads from the lectern. Naomi, Ruth, Boaz, and Servant sit on stools in a row.
When they speak, they turn toward the person they are addressing)


Narrator: Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi,


Ruth: “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favor.”


Narrator: She said to her,


Naomi: “Go, my daughter.”


Narrator: So she went. She came and gleaned in the field behind the reapers. As it happened, she came to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. Just then Boaz came from Bethlehem. He said to the reapers,


Boaz: “The Lord be with you.”


Narrator: They answered,


Servant: “The Lord bless you.”


Narrator: Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers,


Boaz: “To whom does this young woman belong?”


Narrator: The servant who was in charge of the reapers answered,


Servant: “She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. She said, ‘Please, let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the reapers.’ So she came, and she has been on her feet from early this morning until now, without resting even for a moment.”


Narrator: Then Boaz said to Ruth,


Boaz: “Now listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my young women. Keep your eyes on the field that is being reaped, and follow behind them. I have ordered the young men not to bother you. If you get thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.”


Narrator: Then she fell prostrate, with her face to the ground, and said to him,


Ruth: “Why have I found favor in your sight, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?”


Narrator: But Boaz answered her,


Boaz: “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. May the Lord reward you for your deeds, and may you have a full reward from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge!”


Narrator: Then she said,


Ruth: “May I continue to find favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, even though I am not one of your servants.”


Narrator: At mealtime Boaz said to her,


Boaz: “Come here, and eat some of this bread, and dip your morsel in the sour wine.”


Narrator: So she sat beside the reapers, and he heaped up for her some parched grain. She ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. When she got up to glean, Boaz instructed his young men,


Boaz: “Let her glean even among the standing sheaves, and do not reproach her. You must also pull out some handfuls for her from the bundles, and leave them for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”


Narrator: So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. She picked it up and came into the town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gleaned. Then she took out and gave her what was left over after she herself had been satisfied. Her mother-in-law said to her,


Naomi: “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.”


Narrator: So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said,


Ruth: “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.”


Narrator: Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law,


Naomi: “Blessed be he by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!”


Narrator: Naomi also said to her,


Naomi: “The man is a relative of ours, one of our nearest kin.”


Narrator: Then Ruth the Moabite said,


Ruth: “He even said to me, ‘Stay close by my servants, until they have finished all my harvest.’”


Narrator: Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law,


Naomi: “It is better, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, otherwise you might be bothered in another field.”


Narrator: So she stayed close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley and wheat harvests; and she lived with her mother-in-law.


text 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



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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