Worship Service for September 12, 2021

September 12, 2021 – Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

graphic of a movie film reel

Whenever you see this movie reel symbol, you can click on it to view a video segment on YouTube. If you experience any difficulties, please contact our webmaster.

Message from the Webmaster

We welcome the Rev. Chuck Moon to his second virtual worship service at Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church. With a new minister comes a new approach: Rev. Moon has recorded a video of a message, the scripture passage and his sermon which you will find linked below.

– Your webmaster

Call to Worship

Today’s call to worship comes from Psalm 19.

The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
(Psalms 19:1–2)

Prayers of Approach and Confession, & Lord’s Prayer (sins)

We come to you, most Holy God, because you have first come to us.

We love you poorly yet sincerely, because you have first loved us.

We want to serve you well, because you first have served us.

We worship and adore you, because you have first cherished and nurtured us.

Forgiving God, forgive us when we failed to love you with all our heart.

Forgive us when we failed to take up the cross of discipleship

Forgive us, when we failed to practice what we preached.

We pray in Jesus’ name, and continue to pray as he taught:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.

Declaration of Pardon

Dear friends, There is no end to God’s grace, all that is confessed is forgiven.

Take God’s grace to your comfort and begin new lives. Thanks be to God!

The Peace

The Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Scripture reading

James 3: 1–12 <– these link to on-line texts of the NRSV bible
Mark 8: 27–38

Click here for additional scripture readings from today’s lectionary. Links courtesy of the Revised Common Lectionary, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library.


Edict of Ordination – Rev. Gord Brown

Edict of Ordination for the Rev. Gord Brown, read by Bruce Morrison. Click on the triangle at left to start listening.

The Presbytery of Pickering, having completed the necessary steps for the ordination of Gordon Clare Brown, called to be minister of St. James North Yarmouth Presbyterian Church, in the Presbytery of London, notice is hereby given that the said presbytery will meet in Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church on the nineteenth day of September in the year two thousand and twenty one, at 6.45 o’clock pm, for the purpose of ordaining the said Gordon Clare Brown to the Holy ministry, and notice is hereby given to all concerned that if any of them have any objection to offer to the life or doctrine of the said Gordon Clare Brown, they may repair to the presbytery, which is to meet at the time and place aforesaid, with certification that if no valid objection be then made, the presbytery shall proceed without further delay.

J P (Ian) Morrison
Clerk, Presbytery of Pickering

Message, scripture reading and sermon video

The video will become available on Sunday, September 12, 2021, at 12:15 AM.

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Click to watch the message, scripture passage and sermon at YouTube.

Sermon text

Something I have learned during this summer was how difficult it is to move. Starting from finding a place to rent, I had to send a comprehensive credit report. Out of all, I have to say one of the most challenging tasks was getting rid of all the clutter that I have accumulated over 15 years.

Because moving into an apartment in a city means downsizing.

My biggest problem was with my books.  I just had too many books.

Getting rid of my books did help me to realize I carry far more than I need, but it was also an excruciating process, there was this guilt and fear what if I needed that book.

I don’t think following Jesus is any easier than moving to a new apartment or downsizing.

I mean, it should not be. We are trying to live our life the way Christ teaches us.

The gospel of Mark we read today reminds us how difficult it is to follow Jesus.

I am going to read Mark chapter 8, verse 34 and 35:
“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”

Knowing who Jesus is is one thing, but following Jesus is another.

Understanding who Jesus is is one thing, but allowing Jesus to transform our life is another.

It is not easy to follow Christ. According to the gospel of Mark, following Christ requires us to deny ourselves and take up our cross. It requires us to deny parts of our life that are not life-giving.

We know what they are: our fear, bias, hate, and the list goes on.

A Christian writer Joyce Rupp talks about the inner clutter we have to get rid of (the cup of our life): They are ‘anxiety, resentment, harsh judgments, self-pity, mistrust, the strident voices, negative thoughts, useless fears, and worries, old wounding messages and the ‘have to’s and want to’s’.

But also any good thing can become our clutter such as success, beauty and pleasure, when we are obsessed with them’.

We carry far more clutter and unhealthy stuff in our lives than we think, and I realized through clutter I accumulated over the last 15 years.  Following Christ requires us to prepare a sacred space in our heart for Christ above everything. Denying ourselves and getting rid of our inner clutter is only the first step in following Christ. Following Christ also requires us to take another action which is to take up our cross.  Our life comes with many kinds of crosses.

A cross symbolizes each responsibility that comes with our life.

Although some crosses are heavier than others, we all carry a particular cross, if not crosses.

Jesus is not the only one given his cross, but all of us are given a particular cross.

To follow Jesus, who carries his cross, we need to learn to recognize and reconcile with our own cross.  As long as we live on this earth, we all carry something with us, whether that is our responsibility to breathe, eat, communicate, and understand.  We also carry responsibilities associated with our work, our family, our community, and our world.

Sometimes we want to run away from our cross, from responsibilities and commitments we have. I know there are days I wish I don’t have to deal with this and that.

But yet, we know that is not going to bring true peace to us.

This cross we carry is not given by God to punish us or to hurt us.

But it is a condition and responsibility that comes with the gift of life.

No, it is not easy to carry our cross. At times, it makes us tired.

Other times, we experience the limitations of our strength and our knowledge.

Sometimes we end up asking ourselves, “Am I doing the right thing?”

Other times this cross offers us a question of,” Where I am going with my life?”

Yet, while we are struggling to carry this cross in our life, we learn, and we grow, that is how we enlarge our faith and understanding of who we are and what we are.

When we accept and carry our cross,

We begin to recognize people around us also carry their cross.

We begin to pay attention to the cross that others are carrying.

We begin to understand that we are given our cross, not to punish or to hurt us, but to help us deepen our understanding of who we are to each other and our love for each other.

As we carry our cross, we learn to live our life as one of God’s children.

Too often, we think our cross is the heaviest, but we will quickly learn that everyone around us carries enough trouble of their own.

And very often, we make our cross heavier than it needs to be by adding our unhealthy and unnecessary clutter on top of it.

Earlier today, I talked about how difficult it was to get rid of the clutter I had accumulated over the years.  I have to say the biggest clutter I carried was not my books but my fear and worries.

As I was saying goodbye to my old friends and as I was packing, I found myself asking, “Can I do this?” “What if this happens, and that happens?  Can I do well in a big city like Scarborough as well as in a small rural town?  But it did not take long to conclude…

“No, I cannot do it at least by myself……but it was never I, but was God…..”

“God’s ministry or the life I am given is not just about what I can do alone, but about what we can do together by trusting God.”

I believe that is what it means to deny ourselves and take up our cross.

It is about helping each other to carry our cross.

It is about learning to share our cross with Christ Jesus.

Carrying our cross does not mean we own the cross, but to share it with Christ.

I am here not because I trust my abilities in what I can do, but I trust what God can do through the people of God and me.

Jesus Christ does not offer us an easy life, but he will walk with us always and forever.

Christ does not guarantee a quick and easy success or glory, but promises his friendship, companionship, prayer, listening, and acceptance.


We remind everyone that we must continue to pay our bills; in the absence of being present at Sunday worship, you may sign up for pre-authorized remittance (PAR), donate online, or drop off your offering envelope in the mailbox at the church. Do not leave a cash donation unattended in the mailbox; instead, please call the office (416.261.4037) to ensure someone will be there to receive it. The building will be checked daily for mail and phone messages. If you are not comfortable leaving an envelope, you are welcome to contact the office (once again, 416.261.4037) and someone will pick up your offering.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Hope

God of inspiration,

We give you thanks for a new season of opportunity to gather together again and share gifts that have lain in wait for months of isolation and uncertainty.

We thank you, for the care and relief offered by professionals throughout our health-care system and for support given to those who suffer by friends and volunteers.

We pray for all who seek healing—those anticipating or recovering from surgery.

those living with pain or illness, those struggling with grief and loss,

those who bear anxiety, depression or dementia,

and other conditions which trouble mind and body.

Give each one your presence and peace through our prayer and friendship.

Reach out through us to bring aid and advocacy to the most vulnerable of your creatures.

We remember in our prayer many children, students, parents, teachers and staff who are returning to schools.  Bless their learning and playing, bless their friendship and their dreaming.  May you protect them from Covid and help them to regain fun in learning and teaching.

We continue to pray for people in Afghanistan.

We entrust the future of the congregation in your hand as we have to make an important decision regarding the sanctuary.

May your worshipping community become a place that welcomes everyone and offers God’s acceptance to whoever opens the door. May your worshipping community become a place that shares the life of the risen Christ and offers prayers for one another.

Most loving God, keep our hearts always open to the inflow of your compassion, that we may receive it gladly and spend it freely for the welfare of those whom others forget. In the name of our Lord Jesus and to the glory of your new world. Amen!


The blessing of God, most wonderful beyond our comprehension, will be yours today and always.


Choral Amen

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Click to listen to the Choral Amen at YouTube.
  • “Go Now in Peace”. Words by American educator, lyricist and composer Don Besig (1936–) and American lyricist Nancy Price (1958–). Music by Don Besig. Words and music copyright © 1988 Harold Flammer Music, a division of Shawnee Press; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.
  • Performed by Rachelle Risling (keyboard) and the GCPC Senior Choir. Audio and video production by Rachelle Risling.
  • Audio and video recording copyright © 2021 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church.

Copyright © 2021 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church

Last updated on 2021-09-09 20:55 – First Version.