Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
November 30, 2014
Worship 10:00 am          Sunday School 11:10am

First Sunday of Advent

      Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved. (Psalm 80:3,7,19)

  Beginning with Praise (9:50 am)               Kum bah yah              (insert)
  Prelude                                     (children come forward to quietly help prepare)

  Lighting the first Advent candle

*Litany of Confession – based on Psalm 80                        (back of bulletin)

*Unison Prayer                                                                   (back of bulletin)

*Hymn                         Lo, a gleam from yonder heaven                      591

  Gospel -1                                 Mark 13:24-27

  Response                 (vs. 1) O come, O come, Immanuel                     172

  Gospel -2                                Mark 13:28-31

  Response                (refrain)O come, O come, Immanuel                   172

  Gospel -3                                Mark 13:32-37

  Response                (refrain)O come, O come, Immanuel                   172

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

   Response                 (vs. 6) O come, O come, Immanuel                     172

  Pastoral Prayer

  Preparing a song                This is Christmas morn                         (insert)

  Scripture                                1 Corinthians 1:3-9

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

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

  Hymn                             O little town of Bethlehem                           191

  Scripture                               Isaiah 63:15 - 64:11

  Message                             Waiting in hope

*Hymn                            Bless’d be the God of Israel                         174



*Rise in body or in spirit

#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Lighting the first Advent candle

               The last announcement is an invitation for the children to come forward. During the Prelude, they will assist in taking down the Thanksgiving banner and putting up an Advent banner, as well as setting up the Advent wreath on the worship center. In the weeks to come they will continue to help prepare our worship space for Christmas. At the end of the Prelude, they should be arrayed in a line from the pulpit to the wreath, ready to help light the first candle in the following:  

             The brightest star in Earth’s night sky is called “Sirius.” The name means “glowing” in Greek. It is nicknamed the “Dog Star” because it is part of the constellation “Canis Major.” Sirius shines so bright in part because it is relatively close to the Earth. It is only 8.6 light-years away, which means it takes the light from Sirius over 8½ years to travel here. Did you catch that? We have to wait 8½ years to see the light from that star.

             Today we begin a new season in the life of the church. During Advent, these four Sundays leading up to Christmas, we are actively involved in waiting and watching. We wait and watch for the light of the Lord, who created the heavens and the earth, to shine forth in our dark night.

             To help us prepare for this light to reach us, we have set up a wreath of candles. We start by lighting the candle in front, which stands for “hope.” (light a small “Christmas Eve” candle in holder) Let’s carefully pass this candle from one child to the next until it reaches the person who will light the first candle. As we carefully pass it, also pass along the word “hope.” Say it to one another as you pass. (do so)

            Now, please rise in body or spirit and turn to the back your bulletin. This Litany of Confession begins with your voice. Let us speak as one:

Litany of Confession

People: O Shepherd and Sovereign God, hear our cry!

One: We confess that we have drifted on dark and dismal seas of selfish interests. We have wandered through long nights of anger and despair. In our midnight, we long for a glimmer of hope. Stir up your might, and come to save us.

People: Restore us, O God, and let your face shine upon us.

One: As we enter this Advent season of preparation and expectant waiting, we yearn for your transforming light to break into the dark recesses of our hearts, for the dawn of your grace and peace. Stir up your might, and come to save us.

People: Restore us, O God, and let your face shine upon us.

One: O Shepherd and Sovereign God, we long for the coming of the Messiah. Keep us alert for the One who once dwelt among us, and will surely come again.

People: Restore us, O God, and let your face shine upon us.

All: Shine forth and lead us. Give us life, and we will call on your name.

Theresa Cocklin Eshhach
Mechanicsburg, PA Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085,
"The Living Word" Series

Unison Prayer

             Sovereign God and loving Shepherd, your generous mercy beams into our darkness. We feel the shadows fading. Your face shines upon us. Your face shines, and we are saved! Amen.

Theresa Cocklin Eshhach
Mechanicsburg, PA Church of the Brethren
Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085,
"The Living Word" Series

             Be seated, and turn in your hymnal to #172,  “O come, O come, Immanuel,” ready to sing portions of it…

             Our gospel reading for this first day of Advent is from Mark. We have heard these words in the weeks leading up to now, but they were shared through the ear and voice of gospel storyteller Matthew. In this new church year, we shift from the vantage point of Matthew to that of Mark, who tends to move quickly and concisely through the story, with a slightly different perspective.

             In chapter 13 of Mark’s gospel, Jesus is sitting outside of Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives, looking across the Kidron valley at the temple. With him are Peter, James, John, and Andrew. Concerning the temple, Jesus has recently mentioned that “not one stone will be left upon another.” These four disciples are curious about what he meant by that, and ask when this will happen. The following is his response to that question, according to Mark. Divided into three sections, interspersed with you singing portions of hymn #172, I will be reading this scripture from a new paraphrase called, The Voice… Listen.


Pastoral Prayer


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


(this 4-verse song will be on the Christmas Eve bulletin, and sung altogether then - posted here by permission of the composer)

Returning our Tithes and Offerings
(follows reading of 1 Corinthians 1:3-9)

             It might be helpful to remember that, in Corinth, Paul was writing to a divided church. They needed to be instructed that everyone had a gift to share, not just a few, and that these gifts were to be used for the benefit of all, and that the most important gift – the more excellent way – was that of love. They needed to be chastised for eating meals in an unworthy manner, with those having more and better food choosing to meet earlier for pot lucks, leaving those with less to arrive later, when the best dishes were empty. You see, that church in Corinth struggled with the divide between rich and poor. Sound familiar?

             Sisters and brothers, as Paul reminds us today, we are rich in what truly matters. For this moment, let’s set aside our “Black Friday” focus on buying more and more “stuff,” and concentrate instead upon the better way of the Spirit... It was heartwarming this week to hear, amid all the tensions in Ferguson, Missouri, that the spirit of Thanksgiving prevailed in several meals. One was hosted by a local restaurant in the middle of the rioting, which opened its doors for all, free of charge. Another meal was served by a motherly figure enfolding her community in a loving embrace, with food free to all. That is “the testimony of Christ (which) has been strengthened among you.” That’s what it means to be “called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” That’s what being “enriched in him … in every way” is all about. This is reason to “give thanks to God always … because of the grace of God that has been given (to all) in Christ Jesus.” ... May your offering this day be like this.

Ushers, please come forward and receive what we have to give.



As we wait in hope for the Advent of Christ:

  The Lord bless you
         and keep you;
 the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
         and be gracious to you;
 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
         and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26


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)


©2014 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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