Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
December 4, 2011
Worship 10:00 am              Sunday School 11:10am

Second Sunday of Advent 

      The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief… (2 Peter 3:9-10a)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)      "Fling wide the door, unbar the gate!"      186

  Call to Worship                                                                (back of the bulletin)

  Lighting the Second Advent Candle

*Hymn                             "Hail to the Lord's anointed"                                 185

*Opening Prayer (ends with unison Lord’s Prayer)

  Scripture                               Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13

  For Children     "From here to there and back again"

  Scripture                                   Isaiah 40:1-11

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

  Carol                                      "I heard the bells"                                    (insert)

  Pastoral Prayer

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings


  Scripture                                  2 Peter 3:8-15a

  Message                               "Stealing Home" (mp3)

*Hymn                                   "The Lord is coming"                                 (insert)



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

(before proceeding light the first Advent candle)

One:     In a world where love is temporary, changing, and conditional ...

  All:    Inspire us to steadfast love.

One:     In a world where commitment is fleeting and people live for the moment ...

  All:    Inspire us to faithfulness.

One:     In a world where "anything goes" ...

  All:    Inspire us to righteousness.

One:     In a world where the weapons of verbal and physical violence are all around ...

  All:    Inspire us to peace.

One:     Our God, as we light the second candle of Advent, may the godly traits of steadfast love, faithfulness, righteousness, and peace be on display among your people.

(motion people to rise and then light
the second Advent candle as we sing:
“Hail to the Lord's anointed”  #185)

by Tim Harvey, moderator
Annual Conference Church of the Brethren
also pastor of Central Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Opening Prayer

While others are making lists
of things we have enough of,
you come:
    to offer us salvation,
    that one gift we cannot purchase.

As the world prepares
to entice us with more and more,
you come:
    to fill our hearts with all the hopes
    you have dreamed about us forever.

When skepticism and fear
callous our hearts,
you come:
    to bathe us in the soothing
    lotion of compassion.

When stress scoops out potholes
for every step we take,
you come:
    filling the emptiness with serenity
    as tough as your grace.

As the clock turns
faster and faster each day,
you come:
    to swaddle us in a shawl
    woven with patience.

When others push past us
to get to the front of worry's line,
you come,
    so we can clasp them
    so close to our hopes
    they can hear your heartbeat.

So come to us, come to us,
God in Community, Holy in One,
even as we pray, saying,
Our Father . . .

by Thom M. Shuman, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
from Lectionary Liturgies, ©2011.

For Children
"From here to there and back again"

Prop: 2 rolls of paper towels

I have a task for you today. I’d like you to start here and walk halfway back the center aisle. Can you do that? Before you start, however, I have one special rule: Your feet cannot touch the floor between here and there. That means that neither your shoes, nor your socks, nor your bare feet can touch the floor. Can you do it?

You may think it is impossible to do what I asked, but I'll show you one way to do it. Use this (roll of paper towels). Put the roll in front of you and stand on the first towel. Now with one foot push the roll ahead of you. Then take another step. See--you are making your own path as you go. Your feet are not touching the floor because you are walking on your path. Not only have you done what I asked you to do, but you have also made it possible for the rest of us to do it. You have left a path that we can follow and also walk on without touching the floor.

Okay, let’s go back to the front and look at this path of paper towels we have just made. Today is the second Sunday of a season we call what? That’s correct: “Advent.” This morning, I’d like you to think of Advent as a path – sort of like this path of paper towels we have just made. Where is the path we call “Advent” leading? Where are we headed for the next 20 days? That’s right. This path is taking us to Christmas. (from here on, walk with the children down the paper towel path, looking at it from the side, perhaps drawing on it to signify certain steps).

During Advent, we think of the path that God made from where he was to where we are. On this path he sent who? That’s right, Jesus. Now, tell me, how did Jesus travel down this path? Did God put him in a big, fancy limousine to drive him here? Did God fly him to us on the back of an angel? Was there a magic button God pressed and then Jesus just appeared out of nowhere, “poof”? How did Jesus get here? That’s actually a bigger question than I know how to answer, but somehow it involved being born just like you and me. He arrived in a mommy’s belly. That was quite a path, which we remember at this time of year.

But this path didn’t end in Bethlehem, did it? No, he grew up like every other boy and girl needs to do. There are parts of the story of him growing up that we don’t know, but eventually he invited people to join him on a special path. Along that path, he spoke about God, and did things that helped people see who God is. It wasn’t an easy path. Sometimes it hurt to walk it.

Do you remember where this path eventually led? A place called Jerusalem. What happened there? That’s right, he was killed. What’s the big word we use for it? He was crucified. He died. He was buried. (tear off the paper towel – pausing to be sad). Was that the end of the story? Did the path end? Yes, you are right. It was the beginning. (place the torn end of the unraveled roll where the other ended) It’s a path that leads to God. And we are invited to walk it, too, to follow Jesus. (roll the rest of the roll toward the back of the sanctuary – where an ushers helps it to unroll).

Of course, during Advent we also remember something else. God isn’t done. There is another path God will send Jesus down. (at this point an usher plants one end of the second roll of paper towels under foot and starts it rolling toward the children, who should be halfway back the center aisle at this point). A brand new adventure will begin. How will Jesus arrive? (have the children help unroll the new paper towels back to the front as you speak). Well, I don’t think it’ll be in a fancy limousine, or on the back of an angel, or by pressing a magic button. But Jesus will return and it’ll be an adventure!

Prayer:  Thank you, God, for sending Jesus from you to us and back again. Help us to follow him. Amen.

thanks for the initial illustration to Eldon Weisheit,
The Psalms for Children (year B), ©1984,
Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, p. 10.

Pastoral Prayer


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


Returning our Tithes and Offerings

        The gospel of Mark, unlike that of Matthew or Luke, does not begin with the story of Jesus’ birth. The Advent story Mark tells starts with the preaching of John the Baptist, who was that “voice” of whom Isaiah prophesied. The days of his life, given him by God, were well spent calling people to come and repent, thus preparing the way for Christ... Listen to the beginning of the great Advent-ure, according to Mark:

(read Mark 1:1-8)

Please pray with me.

On a twisted road we have all come to this point in time, O Lord, confessing how far we have fallen short of what you created us to be. We have told our share of lies, or perhaps just half-truths. We have hidden behind our rationalizations and fears, sometimes pretending to be better than - in truth - we really are. We have failed to reveal to others the seed of hope you have planted within us, depriving them of what you desire in their lives. We are sinners, just like all those who came to the riverside long ago, in response to that voice crying out in the wilderness.
            We turn again to you now, remembering our baptism, or anticipating a commitment we will one day make. Refresh us now, in the repentance of this moment, with the fire of your Holy Spirit, that “the way of the Lord” might be prepared through our own wilderness territory. These offerings we now bring are but a reflection of what you have already done, and are continuing to do, to make your path straight in us. Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen!


Go now: wait and work for the coming of the day of God.
In the wild places prepare a straight path for the Lord.
Lead lives of holiness and godliness,
strive to be found at peace,
and speak freely of the Lord’s comfort and promise.

And may God our shepherd gather you in loving arms;
May Christ Jesus reconcile justice and peace within you;
And may the Holy Spirit baptize you into the life of God.

©2002 Nathan Nettleton 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:
Adult Bible Studies
from The United Methodist Publishing House
(click "supplemental resources" and "current events supplement" under both the "Student" and "Teacher" sections in the left hand column)

International Lesson:
International Bible Lesson
a weekly column by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.
in "The Oklahoman" newspaper
also found

International Lesson:
Living Web Sunday School Project

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
Gather Round curriculum
(developed jointly by the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonite Church)


©2010 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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