Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 13, 2015
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

Third Sunday of Advent

      In a loud voice Elizabeth exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”  (Luke 1: 42-45, NIV)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)       An Advent Song    (back of bulletin)

*Call to Worship

*Hymn                    (vs. 1 & 3)O come, O come, Immanuel                  172

*Lighting the Advent Candles

*Hymn                    (vs. 2-3)Good Christian friends, rejoice                  210

*Opening Prayer

  Scripture                                 Philippians 4:4-7

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

   Hymn                      (vs. 3)It came upon a midnight clear                     195

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Hymn                      (vs. 4)It came upon a midnight clear                     195

  Gospel Story                             Luke 1:26-38

  Hymn                                    “The angel Gabriel                                  180

  Gospel Story                             Luke 1: 39-56

  Response                               An Advent Song               (back of bulletin)

  Message                                     “Joy-full (mp3)

*Hymn                         My soul proclaims with wonder                        181



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

(1 & 2 stand at the bottom of the steps, each with a microphone)

1 - So sing, Daughter Zion!

2 - Raise the rafters, Israel!

1 - Daughter Jerusalem, be happy! celebrate!

2 - God has reversed his judgments against you and sent your enemies off chasing their tails.

1 - From now on, God is Israel’s king, in charge at the center.

2 - There’s nothing to fear from evil ever again!

1 - Jerusalem will be told: “Don’t be afraid.

2 - Dear Zion, don’t despair.

1 - Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you.

2 - Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs.

(3 speaks from the back of the sanctuary with a microphone.)

3 -  “The accumulated sorrows of your exile will dissipate.
            I, your God, will get rid of them for you.
                 You’ve carried those burdens long enough.
           At the same time, I’ll get rid of all those
                  who’ve made your life miserable.
           I’ll heal the maimed;
           I’ll bring home the homeless.
           In the very countries where they were hated
                                                     they will be venerated.
           On Judgment Day I’ll bring you back home—
                                a great family gathering!
               You’ll be famous and honored all over the world.
               You’ll see it with your own eyes—
                     all those painful partings turned into reunions!”

1 - God’s Promise.

2 - God’s Promise.

(pause to indicate scripture is completed, then:)

1 - As we sing the first and third verses of “O come, O come, Immanuel,”

2 -  #172 in your hymnal,

1 - all children are invited to come forward

2 - to continue preparing our sanctuary for Advent. 

Zephaniah 3:14-20 from The Message.
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.
Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group

Lighting the Advent Candles

              (As the congregation sings the first and third verses of “O come, O come, Immanuel,” the children come forward and are led by _______ in this week’s decorating. One child is sent to the back of the sanctuary and processes forward during the second verse with a lit Christmas eve candle, and stands beside the Advent wreath. When the hymn comes to a close, the other children pause their preparation work and stand where they are.)  

1 - Today is the third Sunday of Advent.

2 - We re-light the first Advent candle.

(child re-lights the front candle)

1 - In the darkness, there is the light of “Hope.”

2 - Speak that word aloud, in one voice.

All - “Hope”

1 - We re-light the second Advent candle.

(child re-lights the right candle)

2 - In the darkness, there is the light of “Love.”

1 - Speak that word aloud, in one voice.

All - “Love”

2 - We light the third Advent candle.

(child lights the left, pink candle)

1 - In the darkness, there is the light of “Joy.”

2 - Speak that word aloud, in one voice.

All - “Joy”

1 - Now rise in body or spirit.

2 - Stand, if you are able.

1 - With a song, invite those around you into the light of joy.

2 - Sing verses two and three of  “Good Christian friends, rejoice,” #210 in your hymnal. 

              (children continue their sanctuary preparation work, joined by the candle-lighter. If not done by the end of the hymn, they again pause where they are for the prayer, continuing quietly during the scripture reading that follows,)  


Opening Prayer

             Most holy and most generous God, you have more laughter in store for us than we can ever imagine. As we step one more week closer to Christmas, convey us from the trivial to the profound, from worry to eagerness, from brief pleasures to that divine joy which nothing on earth or in heaven can ever subdue. Through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen!

by Bruce Prewer, Uniting Church in Australia,
from Resources: Based on the Revised Common Lectionary.

Philippians 4:4-7

1 - Rejoice in the Lord always;

2 - again I will say, Rejoice.

1 - Let your gentleness be known to everyone.

2 - The Lord is near.

1 - Do not worry about anything,

2 - but in everything

1 - by prayer and supplication

2 - with thanksgiving

1 - let your requests be made known to God.

2 - And the peace of God,

1 - which surpasses all understanding,

2 - will guard your hearts

1 - and your minds

2 - in Christ Jesus.

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)


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

             Jesus once told a story about a shepherd who cared so much about one lost sheep that he left the rest of his flock to search for it. And when that lost sheep was found, he picked it up with joy and carried it back on his shoulders. Can you imagine? Jesus added, “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance(Luke 15:7). That reveals a bit of God’s economic plan, by the way. From our point of view, it’s the survival of the fittest, let the least and lost fend for themselves. Protect what you’ve got at all costs. But where is the joy in that? Where is the laughter? All that remains is a clenched fist, not a full heart.

Ponder this as you return your offering. Ushers?


Luke 1:26-38


N – Narrator, G – Gabriel, M – Mary, C – Congregation


N - 26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said,


G - “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”


N - 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.30 The angel said to her,


G - “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”


N - 34 Mary said to the angel,


M - “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”


N - 35 The angel said to her,


G - “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”


N - 38 Then Mary said,


M - “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”


N - Then the angel departed from her.


C - “The angel Gabriel  180


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

Luke 1:39-56


N – Narrator, M – Mary, E – Elizabeth, C – Congregation


N - 39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry,


E - “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”


N - 46 And Mary said,


M - “My soul magnifies the Lord,
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
    Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
    and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”


C - “An Advent Song


N - 56 And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.


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

(listen to the music - mp3)

Lyrics & music © 2015 Steve Engle
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Brethren Press. www.brethrenpress.com
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085,
"The Living Word" Series


Surely it is God who saves us.
    Let us trust and not be afraid,
        for the Lord is our strength and shield,
            and has become our salvation.
Draw water with joy from the springs of salvation.
Thank the Lord; call on God’s name;
    proclaim God’s deeds among the peoples;
        declare that God’s name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, who has done glorious things;
    proclaim this throughout all the earth.
Shout and sing for joy, city of Zion,
because the holy one of Israel is great among you.

adaptation of Isaiah 12:2-6
from the Common English Bible
Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible


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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