Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 17, 2006
Worship 10:00 am, Sunday School 11:10 am

Third Sunday of Advent

      "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." (Luke 3:16)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)

  Words to Ponder                  Zephaniah 3:14-15


  Lighting the Third Advent Candle

*Unison Prayer

*Hymn                            "Oh, how shall I receive thee"                            182

  Scripture                                    Isaiah 12:2-6

  Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise

  Hymn                (vs. 1-3) "On Jordan's banks the Baptist's cry"                183
                          (Our younger children leave for bell practice & Sunday School)

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                    Luke 3:7-18

  Message                         "Down by the riverside"

  Song                         (vs. 1) "Gonna lay down my burden"            (see insert)

  Welcome and Vows (congregation - #777)

  Song                        (vs. 2-4) "Gonna lay down my burden"           (see insert)

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

*Response            (vs. 4) "On Jordan's banks the Baptist's cry"                 183


*Congregational Declaration of faith                                                         778

*Hymn                              "Go, tell it on the mountain"                   (see insert)


#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Lighting the Third Advent Candle

         Homesickness is an affliction that disables most of us some time in our lives. Away from familiar landscapes, close relationships, and everyday routines, we experience a deep emptiness, a heightened sense of loss. Such was the experience of God’s people when an invading army from Babylon destroyed their nation and they became refugees in a strange land. Not only were they devastated, but their life with God seemed like a distant dream.

         The prophet Zephaniah saw their malady. And he offered hope. He helped them to recognize that God had not abandoned them but was in their midst. And he taught them to sing once more because the Lord was singing with them.

         As the three Advent candles are lit, recall those moments of homesickness in your life when even God seemed absent. Remember who it was that taught you to sing once more and helped you rediscover the Lord s presence. Give thanks.

(light the first, second, and third advent candles)

Ed Poling, pastor and spiritual director
Hagerstown, MD Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Unison Prayer

         Lord Jesus, you have not left us to our own devices. You came into our world when we felt abandoned. Your presence among us in the flesh acknowledges your love for us, even when we stray. Teach our hearts to sing as we discover you in our midst. Amen.

Ed Poling, pastor and spiritual director
Hagerstown, MD Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Pastoral Prayer


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


Welcome and Vows

(After candidate is introduced to the congregation by a member)

         Today you are being received into this community of faith and into the Church of the Brethren. As part of the whole church of Jesus Christ, we offer you our rich heritage and invite you to share fully in our life and mission.
         As you are received into the Long Green Valley Church, we intend to be a true family of faith to you. We commit ourselves to be for you a loving fellowship, to be a means of grace in your life, and to offer opportunities for worship, study, and service. One of the happiest times in our life as a church is when new people choose to become members. We welcome you with joy.

         Do you believe that Jesus is God's Son and do you receive and trust him as your Savior and Lord?    (I do.)

         Will you turn away from all sin and will you endeavor by God's grace to live according to the example and teachings of Jesus?   (I will.)

         Will you be loyal to the church, upholding it by your prayers and your presence, your substance and your service?   (I will.)

from For All Who Minister, ©1993, Brethren Press, p.135-137.


As we now receive you into the fellowship of the church, 
     we make this covenant with you 
     as we renew our own covenant with God: 
          to bear each others' burdens, 
          to assist in times of need, 
          to share our gifts and possessions, 
          to forgive as Christ has forgiven us, 
          to support each other in joy and sorrow, 
              and in all things to work for the common good, 
          thus making known Christ's presence among us 
              to the glory of God
As we unite with each other now, 
     may we all be joined with Christ, our Lord.

Hymnal #777
Adapted from The Mennonite Hymnal,
©1969 Faith & Life Press/Mennonite Publishing House,
based on Anabaptist baptismal vows, 16th c.


         ___________, upon your confession of faith made before God and these people, you are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
         As each name of the Trinity is spoken, the minister shall immerse the candidate forward, pushing the head gently and fully into the water. Then, laying both hands upon the head of the kneeling person, the minister shall pray:
         O God, we are thankful for the commitment made today by (name) May (she/he) experience your forgiveness, acceptance, and peace. Send your Holy Spirit upon (her/him) to guide and to empower. Enable (her/him) to walk in newness of life, using (her/his) gifts in praise to you and in service to others. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
         Then the minister shall help the baptized person rise, extend the hand of Christian fellowship, speak a word of blessing, and assist the person in leaving the water.

from For All Who Minister, ©1993, Brethren Press, p.137-138.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

Read Philippians 4:4-7, then call for the ushers to collect the offering.


Congregational Declaration of faith

Leader:  Through baptism we are united to Jesus Christ
                   and given part in Christ's ministry of reconciliation.
              Baptism is the visible sign of an invisible event:
                   the reconciliation of people to God.
              Baptism shows the death of the old self and the rising to life of a new self.
              It shows also the pouring out of the Holy Spirit
                   on those whom God has chosen.
              Baptism declares God's forgiveness;
                   it seals the gift of the Spirit
                   and joins the believer to the body of Christ.
People: This is the water of baptism.
              Out of this water we rise to new life,
                   forgiven of sin,
                   and one in Christ,
                   members of Christ's body.

Hymnal #777
Adapted from Book of Worship
of the United Church of Christ,
©1986, United Church of Christ,
Office for Church Life and Leadership,
700 Prospect Ave. E., Cleveland, OH 44115


Go now and rejoice in the Lord always.
Do not be afraid or worried about anything,
but in everything trust God and pray.
Bear fruits worthy of repentance,
sharing what you have and being gentle with all.

And may God rejoice over you with gladness;
May Christ Jesus renew you in his love;
and may the Holy Spirit give you peace beyond understanding
to guard your hearts and minds in Christ.

©2000 Nathan Nettleton www.laughingbird.net

(para traducir a español, presione la bandera de España)


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:
Mennonite Weekly Review

(scroll down on left to "Sunday School lessons)

International Lesson:
Christian Standard
(one week ahead)

International Lesson:
Living Web Sunday School Project

While one of our adult classes follows the International lesson above, using
A Guide for Biblical Studies,
published quarterly by our denomination,
another class often uses one of the
Good Ground series,
also published by Brethren Press.

For children and youth, we use the new
Gather Round curriculum
(developed jointly by the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonite Church)


©2006 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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