Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
November 22, 2015
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

Thanksgiving Sunday

      In this year of jubilee you shall return, every one of you, to your property… If anyone of your kin falls into difficulty and sells a piece of property, then the next of kin shall come and redeem what the relative has sold.
(Leviticus 25:13, 25)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)                We gather together              17
  Prelude                             A Song of Thanksgiving                     Brougton

*Responsive Call to Worship                                                                    670

*Hymn                             For the beauty of the earth                               89

*Opening Prayer

  Reading Gospel as a Confession


  Prayerful Hymn          The King of love my shepherd is                       170

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

  Moment for Mission

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                              Thanks Be to God                             Handel
                              (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

*Hymn                          “God, whose farm is all creation”                        391
                                                     (lyrics   tune)

  Scripture in Claymation            Ruth 3:16 - 4:17

  Message                             The sole of Jubilee (mp3)

*Hymn                             Now thank we all our God                               86


*Postlude                                      “Firstfruits”                                    Lehman

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

 Leader: Our God,
                 we gather to worship you, the One who creates all things.
People: For the gift of creation, we give thanks.
 Leader: We gather to worship you,
                 the One who brings salvation through Jesus Christ.
People: For the gift of redemption, we give thanks.
 Leader: We gather to worship you,
                 the One who sustains us by the Spirit.
People:  For the gift of your presence, we give thanks.
 Leader: We bring to you our offerings of thanks and praise
                 for all your gifts.
    ALL:  We worship you - Our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. AMEN

Hymnal #670, © 1988 Ruth A. Yoder
26175 Woodridge Dr., Elkhart, IN 46517

Opening Prayer

1 - Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!

2 - You made your glory higher than heaven!

1 - From the mouths of nursing babies you have laid a strong foundation

2 - because of your foes, in order to stop vengeful enemies.

1 - When I look up at your skies, at what your fingers made —

2 - the moon and the stars that you set firmly in place —

1 - what are human beings that you think about them;

2 - what are human beings that you pay attention to them?

1 - You’ve made them only slightly less than divine, crowning them with glory and grandeur.

2 - You’ve let them rule over your handiwork, putting everything under their feet—

1 - all sheep and all cattle, the wild animals too,

2 - the birds in the sky, the fish of the ocean,

1 - everything that travels the pathways of the sea.

2 - Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!

1 - Amen!

Psalm 8 from the Common English Bible
Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Reading Gospel as a Confession
Matthew 25:31-46

               The following story Jesus told, about the Son of Man one day judging the nations, separating sheep from goats, may be new to you. On the other hand these words may be so familiar that you’ve stopped really listening to them. Let’s read together this parable from Matthew’s gospel, found on your bulletin insert. But let’s do so as a confession. You see, we are both sheep and goats. Depending upon the day, comfort or fear may lead us in one direction. Love may propel us in another. Listen to the challenge in these words. But, as you do so, pay attention to the grace that flows between the lines. We will speak the words of the Shepherd. We will also speak as the sheep and the goats. When done, let’s sit in silence for a few moments and allow the story to just “be” within us. Then, I’ll invite you to prayerfully sing the shepherd’s song found in #170 of your hymnal… And now, join in the gospel.  

One: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand,

All: ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

One: Then the righteous will answer him,

All: ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’

One: And the king will answer them,

All: ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

One: Then he will say to those at his left hand,

All: ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

One: Then they also will answer,

All: ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’

One: Then he will answer them,

All: ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

One: And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

(Silence, then “The King of love my shepherd is” - #170)

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

Moment for Mission

Bekki Foster, shelter director at the Family Crisis Center, is here to share a bit about their mission and ministry,
Here is what she had to say. (mp3)


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

             And the Shepherd King said to the sheep, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” We are thankful for the welcome extended by the Family Crisis Center to women and children at a very vulnerable point in their lives, a ministry we have helped make possible.

             Our Christmas project for them begins today. You saw the tree in the entryway as you arrived this morning. On it are an assortment of ornaments. On the back of each one is written a suggestion for a gift you are invited to go and purchase. The mothers and children in the shelter came up with a wish list. Some of them involve clothing in a specified size. Others are toys. Feel free to take as many ornaments as you’d like. Just don’t take “more than you can eat,” as we say around the Thanksgiving table.

             Bring your purchased gift back to church no later than Sunday, Dec. ___, and place it - unwrapped - on the stage in the fellowship hall. Please include the ornament with it, so we can keep track. We say “unwrapped,” because we are also giving to these mothers the joy of preparing gifts for their own children at a time when they have very little. Thank you, ahead of time, for this act of kindness.

Truly I tell you,” Jesus said, “just as you did it
to one of the least of these who are members of my family
you did it to me.(Matthew 25:40)

Ushers, come and guide our giving of tithes and other offerings.


Scripture in Claymation

             In these first four Sundays of November, we have been on a journey through the book of Ruth. In the opening verses of this fourth chapter, we witnessed a refugee family leaving their home in Bethlehem due to a famine. Elimelek, his wife Naomi, and their 2 sons, Mahlon and Chilion, made their way to the country of Moab to find a better life. There Elimelek died, leaving a single mother and two sons, who married Moabite women. Then these also died. Naomi was now far from home in a desperate situation, with two daughters-in-law.

             So begins a bitter trek back home to Bethlehem. Along the way, Naomi convinced one daughter-in-law, Orpah, to turn back. But the other, Ruth, stuck to her like glue. In one of the Bible’s strongest statements of commitment, Ruth (a non-Israelite) told her mother-in-law: “Wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” The first episode ended as they arrived in Bethlehem. “Look, it’s Naomi,” her relatives exclaimed. But this older woman was at that point a lost soul. “Don’t call me Naomi (which means “pleasant”), she replied. “Call me Mara (which means “bitter”). For I left here full, but I return empty.

             In the second chapter, the barley harvest began. Ruth took the initiative and went out in the fields to glean what was left behind by the reapers. According to the law of Moses, those who harvest are commanded not to take everything from the fields. Leftovers were to go to the poor. Nowhere in the law, however, does it say that those who glean must ask permission. Ruth, however, went above and beyond the requirements of the law – as she does throughout this story – and asked for permission of the landowner, whose name was Boaz. Impressed by what he heard of this woman, Boaz himself went beyond what the law demands, and made sure Ruth had plenty. As it turned out, Boaz just happened to be a close relative of Elimelek, something immediately recognized by Naomi when Ruth returned, her arms full of food. Their condition was no long “empty.” Bitterness began to fade away.

            The third episode in this story is a make-it-or-break-it moment, when all could be lost … or found. Naomi was enabled to again see possibilities, but she cooked up a risky plan. She told Ruth to clean up, dress up, perfume up, and go to the threshing place at night. After a long day of separating the grain from the chaff, Boaz slepy there. “Go, uncover his feet, and lie down next to him,” Naomi instructed. “He will tell you what to do.” This is a move few mothers, except the most desperate, would ask of their daughters. Everything could have gone terribly wrong. It all could have fallen apart in this moment of truth.

             However, when Boaz covered up his chilly feet, and discovered a woman, Ruth took a step beyond her mother-in-law’s directions. When Boaz asked, “Who are you?” she replied, “I am Ruth, your servant, spread you cloak over me, for you are next-of-kin.” In other words, she called Boaz to responsibility. And to his credit, this older gentleman responded rightly. He promised to make sure things went right for Ruth and Naomi. However, there was one little glitch. A closer relative lived, who had first right of redemption, a matter to be settled the next day.

             If this sounds a little strange, understand that in the law of Moses, the brother (or brother-through-the-covenant) of a man is supposed to marry that man’s wife and take care of her if he dies (Deuteronomy 25:4-6). We get a glimpse of this old practice in a question Jesus was once asked (Mark 12:18-27). We are stepping onto ancient soil at this point. To help us visualize what happens in the final chapter of the book of Ruth, we will watch a well-done rendition of it in Claymation. The video begins at the end of chapter 3, when Ruth returns to Naomi from the threshing floor. May those who have eyes, see – and those who have ears, hear…

Ruth 3:16 - 4:17



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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