Worship Service for May 8, 2022

May 8, 2022 – Fourth Sunday of Easter

A video recording of a live stream for this worship service will be available on our YouTube channel from 6 PM on Sunday, May 8.

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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.


Call to worship

One: Alleluia, Christ is risen!
All: The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!

One: Blessing and honor is yours, O God.
All: Glory to God forever. Alleluia!

Adopted from:
Kimberly Bracken Long. “Feasting on the Word Worship Companion: Liturgies for Year C, Volume 1”. Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Kindle Edition. ISBN 978-0664238056.

Lighting of the Christ Candle

Opening hymn

The Lord’s my shepherd (Psalm 23)”. (Book of Praise 1997, hymn 11). Words Psalm 23; paraphrase, Scottish Psalter, 1650. Music (1872; tune: “Crimond”) by Scottish amateur hymn composer Jessie Seymour Irvine (1836–1887). Harmony by Thomas Cuthbertson Leithead Pritchard (1885–1960). Descant by W. Baird Ross (1871–1950). Words, music, harmony and descant all public domain.

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

God of the ages, God of today,
You are compassion; our cup overflows.
You are hope; you lead us into green pastures.
You are truth; you lead us beside quiet streams.
You are life; you restore our souls.
Morning, noon and night, O God, you are the source of our joy.
We gather to worship you as one family of your people,
honoring you as our Creator,
trusting you as our Saviour
celebrating you as the Spirit who gives us life.

Holy God, we confess that we have strayed from your paths of relationship and peace, and we have dishonored you, ourselves, and your creation; we repent of these hurtful ways. Forgive us, we pray, as we learn to forgive others, and guide our feet into the way of peace.

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

God’s mercy overflow as a healing spring to cleanse us of our offenses; therefore, know that you are forgiven and receive new life in Christ.

Thanks be to God!

The Peace

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

Fun with the young at heart (children’s story)

(Practicing faith)

The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)

Scripture Reading

Psalm 23 <– this links to on-line text of the NRSV bible

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


(Intro) Happy Mother’s Day….

One of the most comforting texts in the Bible is probably Psalm 23 we read today. For me, Psalm 23 is like our mother in the Bible.

There are scriptures I must read again and again to understand what God is telling me. There are certain scriptures I have to exegesis and study, how it was written, who wrote it, or the circumstances when it was written, the cultural background… to understand the message behind the text. For certain scriptures, I have to depend on other pastors and scholars to help me deepen my understanding.

But Psalm 23 is not like that. I don’t need to dissect or study in order to hear God’s voice. Even if I just read the first verse, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Those first nine words speak to my heart directly. Whenever I read Psalm 23, I have a difficult time going beyond the first verse.

I don’t think Psalm 23 was written to offer us a good theological understanding of God. We are not asked to exegesis how come God is like a shepherd? But Psalm 23 invites us to encounter our loving God, our shepherd…. Psalm 23 is not trying to teach us that you need God and God is your shepherd. But I believe it is a personal and communal testimony of how David or the people of God experienced God in their life. It invites us to encounter loving God. It invites us to hear the loving voice of Jesus Christ, who guides us and satisfies our true hunger in our spirits.

Whenever I read the first verse, I hear God telling me, “Are you home? I was waiting for you. You didn’t eat anything today, did you? Let’s eat, come to the table.”

If we close our eyes and hear Psalm 23, we will find ourselves sitting on the dinner table with the risen Christ, laughing, crying, and sharing a meal with him.

Probably, there is no other psalm that I read more in my ministry than psalm 23. Every time I read this psalm…. (will be elaborated in the service)

I have experienced and witnessed what Psalm 23 could do to the people of God. I have witnessed how God works with us through Psalm 23.

When I close my eyes and listen to Psalm 23, I hear God welcoming God’s people into God’s kingdom by saying, “Well done, my faithful servant, my beloved children…let me show you where your room is….”

When we close our eyes and listen to Psalm 23, we would experience God who tells us, “What is going on? Why are you so hard on yourselves? It is not all about what you have done. I am here, and you were never alone. Come and walk with me….”

May we allow the word of God to help us encounter the risen Christ who loves us more than everything.

Psalm 23
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Musical Reflection


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.

Dedication of our Gifts

Prayer of dedication

Holy God, Divine shepherd, you anoint us with the oil of gladness; your love overflows our hearts. Accept our offering for the good of the world as we joyfully give thanks for our life in you! In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.

Lighting Candles of Peace for People in Ukraine and the world

Responsive Prayers of Thanksgiving and Hope

In this season of Easter rejoicing, let us offer our prayers and thanksgivings saying,

O Risen Christ,
Open our eyes to your mercy in the world.

For the goodness of the earth, that it may flourish with flowing waters, verdant pastures, and paths that lead us to protect and care for your creation. O Risen Christ,
Open our eyes to your mercy in the world.

For the peace and welfare of the world, that all our tables of work and worship promote the understanding and dignity that transform enemies into friends. O Risen Christ,
Open our eyes to your mercy in the world.

For all who suffer with sickness, need, or danger, that all our afflictions and fears are met with healing and the comforting presence of your voice. O Risen Christ,
Open our eyes to your mercy in the world.

For the blessings we receive and share, that we may live a life of ceaseless praise for the salvation that is ours through you. O Risen Christ,
Open our eyes to your mercy in the world.

For the saints in light, that you will wipe every tear from their eyes as they dwell with you eternally. O Risen Christ,
Open our eyes to your mercy in the world.

Holy God, you are our hope and our strength, our light and our sovereign, our shepherd and our savior. With all the saints in heaven and on earth, we praise your holy name and entrust every care to you; through Jesus Christ we pray.

Closing Hymn

Saviour, like a shepherd lead us”. (Book of Praise 1997, hymn 485). Words (1836) by English hymnwriter Dorothy Ann Thrupp (1779–1847). Music (1859; tune: “Bradbury”) by American composer William Batchelder Bradbury (1816–1868). Harmony by American musician and minister V. Earle Copes (1921–2014). Words and music in the public domain. Harmony copyright © 1964 Abingdon Press; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.


May Christ the Good Shepherd bless and guide you this day 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 © 2022 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church

Last updated 2022-05-06 – First version