Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
January 10, 2016
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

First Sunday of Epiphany

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.
But you refused…
(Isaiah 30:15)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)        Joys are flowing like a river        301
  Prelude                                    “The Quiet Hour”                         Christopher

Creating Space

  Call to Worship                             Psalm 29

*Hymn                              “Come, thou Almighty King                              41

*Opening Prayer

  From Christmas to Epiphany    (children and  youth come forward)

  Unison Confession                                                                                  699

  Scripture                               Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

  Message                       In quietness and in trust (mp3)

Receiving Grace


  A Word to be heard                    Isaiah 43:1-7

  Hymn                             The church’s one foundation                           311
                                              (as the bread is passed)

  Responsive Prayer     785a

  Eating Together

  Hymn                            I heard the voice of Jesus say                          493
                                                (as the cup is passed)

  Responsive Prayer     785b

  Drinking Together

Our Response

  Bringing our Tithes and Offerings

  Offertory                                    “Offertorium”                      Gordon Young
                               (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Scripture                                     Acts 8:14-17

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

  Pastoral Prayer

*Hymn                            Sent forth by God’s blessing                           478


*Postlude                                       “Larghetto”                                      Rinck

*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

Readers surround the sanctuary:
1 speaking from the pulpit, 2 from the back,
3 & 4 from left and right (each halfway back)

1 - You, divine beings! Give to the Lord -
        give to the Lord glory and power!

2 - Give to the Lord the glory due his name!
        Bow down to the Lord in holy splendor!

3 - The Lord’s voice is over the waters;
        the glorious God thunders;
        the Lord is over the mighty waters.

4 - The Lord’s voice is strong;
        the Lord’s voice is majestic.

3 - The Lord’s voice breaks cedar trees -
        yes, the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.

4 - He makes Lebanon jump around like a young bull,
        makes Sirion jump around like a young wild ox.

1 - The Lord’s voice unleashes fiery flames;
        the Lord’s voice shakes the wilderness -
        yes, the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

2 - The Lord’s voice convulses the oaks,
        strips the forests bare,
        but in his temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”

1 - The Lord sits enthroned over the floodwaters;

2 - the Lord sits enthroned—king forever!

3 - Let the Lord give strength to his people!

4 - Let the Lord bless his people with peace!


1 - Rise in body or spirit.

2 - Stand if you are able.

3 - Lift up your voice and sing:

4 - “Come, thou Almighty King,” # 41

Psalm 29 from the Common English Bible
Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Opening Prayer

(refers to “Come, thou Almighty King”)

By many names do we know you,
            Almighty King,
               Father, all glorious,
                  Ancient of Days,
                     Incarnate Word,
                        Spirit of holiness,
                           Holy Comforter,
                              Spirit of power,
                                 Great One-in-three.
None of these fully convey who you are or all you do. Even so, we thank you for the many ways in which you have revealed yourself. Empower us this hour, and this season, to open our eyes, minds, and hearts to perceive how you manifest yourself today in the world around us. This morning, this week, help us to create space within and around us for this task… In your name we pray. Amen 


From Christmas to Epiphany

              [Identify ahead of time, with the person responsible for sanctuary decorations, items to be moved or removed/replaced. Pick a few that can be done during worship, like changing banners, taking down the Advent wreath and putting up and lighting the regular candles and cross on the worship center, taking down the Bethlehem backdrop in front of the baptismal pool and un-decorating and putting the small evergreen tree on a stand in the unfilled pool. Other items may be removed beforehand, like the candles and greens in the windows, etc.]  

             When do you take down all the Christmas decorations? Some folks do so right after the new year is ushered in, others leave them up through the traditional twelve days of Christmas. Then, there are those who never take them down… In the “Christian year,” the seasons of Advent and Christmas have passed, the 6th of January being the celebration of the coming of the wise men. We are now in the season of Epiphany. The time has come to shift our worship space from one season to the next. To do this, we need some help from the younger part of our fellowship. Anyone who is young, or young at heart, please come forward.

             As we transform this sanctuary, we need some background music. Instead of putting this on our organist, the rest of you are the instruments. Everyone can hum, and that’s what you’ll do, led by Meghan, starting with a few times through “We three kings,” then “As with gladness men of old,” and “What child is this.” Have you got your “hummers” on? Good! Let’s move from Christmas to Epiphany…


Unison Confession

  In the back of your hymnal is a prayer of confession, #699.
Let’s pray it in unison.

Lord, our God, 
         great, eternal, wonderful
         utterly to be trusted:
                  you give life to us all,
                  you help those who come to you,
                  you give hope to those who cry to you.
Forgive our sins, secret and open,
         and rid us of every habit of thought
         that stands against the gospel.
Set our hearts at peace,
         so we may live our lives before you
                  confidently and without fear,
                  through Jesus Christ, our Lord. AMEN

Hymnal #699. Based on a prayer from
The Liturgy of St. Basil of Caesarea, 4th c.,
adapted from Contemporary Prayers for Public Worship,
ed. Caryl Micklem, copyright © 1956 1967 SCM Press, Ltd

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

1 - The first Sunday of Epiphany focuses on the baptism of Jesus. On Christmas, we remembered the beginning of his life on earth. Now, we turn to his ministry as an adult, which started with his baptism by John. This “voice … crying out in the wilderness” prepared the way, calling people to turn away from sin and turn toward God. The first 14 verses of the third chapter of Luke share John’s story, all of which was a prelude to what follows. Listen.

2 - 15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16 John answered all of them by saying,

1 - I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

2 - 21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven,

1 - You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.

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

A Word to be heard

            God still speaks. Are we quiet enough to listen? The Word to be heard just now is ancient, the prophet Isaiah’s encouragement to God’s people living in exile. A strange aspect of our day and age is that we live in relative comfort, for the most part safe and secure in our homes. And yet, fear abounds. It permeates our politics and seeks to crush our spirit. Fear divides us. Can this word spoken long ago and far away speak to us here and now?   ...    “In quietness and in trust,” listen…

Isaiah 43:1-7 (from the Common English Bible)

             Sons and daughters of God, everyone who is called by the name which above every name, let us come together to the Lord’s table and receive grace. Turn to #311 in your hymnal, and sing of “The church’s one foundation.” As we do so, the deacons will come forward to distribute the bread.


Responsive Prayer

Leader:  Blessed are you, O God.
                     You made bread to strengthen us.
                     You set aside this bread
                            as a sign of your Son's broken body.
                  In breaking it, may we participate
                       in the reconciliation of Christ.
 People:  May Christ's body be the bread of our souls,
                   to give us strength to continue our pilgrimage,
                   being made worthy to sit with all the redeemed
                        at the marriage feast of the Lamb.

 ALL:     Hear us, O God, through our mediator, Jesus Christ. AMEN

Hymnal #785a
by Reinhard Rahusen, 18th c.
translation ©1992 John D. Rempel.

 Let us eat together this communion of the body of Christ.

(eating together)

As the deacons now distribute the cup, turn to #493 in your hymnal.
Listen as you sing and hear the voice of Jesus.


Responsive Prayer

Leader:  Blessed are you, O God.
                     You made the vine to strengthen us.
                     You set aside this cup
                            as a sign of your Son's shed blood.
                 In drinking the cup,
                       may we participate in the blood of Christ.
 People:  May Christ's blood make us strong
                     to drink the cup of suffering
                           without complaint, for Jesus' sake,
                     in the hope that we shall drink new wine
                           in your kingdom.
 ALL:  Hear us, O God, for the sake of your eternal love. AMEN

Hymnal #785b
by Reinhard Rahusen, 18th c.
translation ©1992 John D. Rempel.

 Let us eat together this communion of the body of Christ.

(drinking together)

Bringing our Tithes and Offerings

             The offerings we bring do not “buy” us anything from God. Instead, what we place in the plate as it is passed is our response the grace of the Lord, who invites us to step out of fear and into faith. As the ushers guide our giving, spend a few moments reading the back of your bulletin, if you have not already. The writer, Carl Hill, along with his wife, Roxane, have recently directed our denomination’s ministry with our Nigerian Brethren, as they traveled through fear to faith amid the terror campaign of Boko Haram.

Ushers, come and serve.


Claimed by God

             Today’s passage from Isaiah was written for the Jewish exiles in Babylon. Context shows that the Israelites had lost their close bond with God due to disobedience. Leading up to exile, the Israelites were still going through the motions of worship in the temple. As the Bible points out This people honors [worships] me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Matt. 15:8; cf. Isaiah 29:13).

             After reading Isaiah 43, you will quickly realize that it is not a negative one. God’s grace and mercy are held out as the solution for any trouble we experience, whether it be deep waters or consuming flames or separation from our loved ones (vv. 2, 5-7). Our commitment is to God, and God claims us as his own: “I have created you and redeemed you. I call you by name, you are mine. Don’t fear, for I will be with you” (vv. 1-2, paraphrase).

             We are precious and honored in God’s sight, and he calls each of us by name. And it is through the cross of Christ that God ultimately proved his love for us. Jesus died so that we might be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:18). Our part is to be living advertisements of how good God is to all people, no matter the circumstance. God’s primary purpose in saving us is so that we might display the joy of salvation in our lives and through this glorify him.

             As the Church of the Brethren, we have been praying and giving generously of our resources for our suffering sisters and brothers in Nigeria. We do this for God’s glory, declaring that we serve a gracious, merciful, and loving God. When we acknowledge God and give due credit for all things, we affirm that he is “the LORD [our] God, the Holy One of Israel, [our] Savior” (v. 3). So no matter what the future holds for any of us, God boldly proclaims, “Do not fear, for I am with you” (v. 5). Let us continue, as a body of believers, to praise the Lord and keep our eyes on him. And let us go forward, asking God. to restore us and revive us as we seek to continue the work of Jesus, peacefully, simply, and together.

Carl Hill, co-director
Nigeria Crisis Response
Church of the Brethren
© 2015 Brethren Press. www.brethrenpress.com
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085,
"The Living Word" Series



Acts 8:14-17

             As we shift from responding to God’s grace with our tithes and offerings, to responding with our prayerful attention to the needs of others, let’s turn from Isaiah’s call to courageous faith and listen to a soundbite from the early church. One of the first deacons, a fellow named Philip, was led by the Lord to share the good news of Jesus in Samaria. If you are up on the history of ancient Israel, you know that Jews and Samaritans were not exactly on speaking terms with each other. In fact, there was downright hate between them. But Philip went there anyway, and good things happened – so much so that Peter and John (key leaders in the Jesus movement) had to go and see. Listen to what happened next.

Acts 8:14-17

             One thing leads to another: Grace received leads to grace extended. Stepping from fear into faith leads to overcoming hatred with the power of the Holy Spirit… The time has come to share our joys and concerns. Let’s do so remembering that God’s Spirit moves among us, empowering us to pray. “Where two or more are gathered in my name,” Jesus said, “I’m right there with you(Matthew 18:20).


Pastoral Prayer

             “Don’t be afraid,” you say to us, repeatedly, O Lord - words we struggle to hear amid all the chatter of our daily lives. “Fear not, I have redeemed you.” O, for the ability to quiet the inner voices that lead away from your peace...
                                           Be still, my soul…
                                           Be still…

             “I call you by name,” you speak. Your initiative, not our own. “By name,” like that Nigerian schoolgirl for whom we have been praying this past year and a half – Salomi Pogu. As you call her by name, in the middle of the flood and fire of her experience, so you call us … by name, saying firmly - with a clasp that will not let go, “you are mine.

             By the power of your Holy Spirit, help us to hear this not as a suffocating possessiveness, but as a word that sets us free to be who you created us to be. We are yours, known first by whose we are, before we ever figure out who we are. And you say, “Don’t fear, I am with you.

             Your Holy Spirit moves among us, Lord, transforming fear into faith, overcoming fear-based hatred, leading by your power toward your promised land where steadfast love and mercy reign, where justice and righteousness prevail. You hear the cries of our hearts, even before emotions and thoughts can be formed into words and then spoken aloud. Your Spirit knows our spirits, and you give us the ability to passionately pray for others, in ways that lead from silence toward action. And so we speak our caring, just now, by name.

Because you are faithful to your word, O God,
in the middle of whatever flood or firestorm they may travel,
we hold in the light:

(names mentioned in joys and concerns)

             Having received your grace, given to all of us in Christ Jesus, just because you are who you are, we pray for the courage to step forth into this day and week, called by name, knowing that we are yours, to extend your grace to everyone we encounter along the way, even toward those to whom we might least want to be graceful, or expect any grace in return. This we pray in the name of the One whom you sent to be our Savior and friend. Amen



God has called you by name.
      Jesus Christ is ahead of you, leading the way.
            The Holy Spirit is with you always.
So, go quietly amid the flood and fire of everyday living.
Remember that you were baptized in water,
            with the flame of the Spirit upon you.
As you go, know that:
     In returning and rest you shall be saved;
            in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.



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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