Worship Service for May 22, 2022

May 22, 2022 – Sixth Sunday of Easter

A livestream of this service will take place on our YouTube channel on Sunday, May 22, at 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time. A video recording of the live stream will be available on our YouTube channel from 6 PM on Sunday, May 22.

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Call to worship

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

One: Let the peoples praise you, O God.
All: Let all the peoples praise you.

Lighting of the Christ Candle

This is the Christ Candle. We light the candle to help us remember that Jesus Christ, the light of the world, is with us in every place and every time.

Opening hymn

“In the bulb there is a flower” (Book of Praise 1997, hymn 674). Words and music (both 1986; tune: “Promise”) by American composer Natalie Sleeth (1930–1992). Words and music © copyright 1986 Hope Publishing Co; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

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

God of promise and purpose, we greet you this day with thankful hearts. As flowers unfurl and buds open, the beauty of your world lifts our spirits in praise. Draw close to us in this hour of worship and show us the promise and purpose in our own lives. May we unfurl with your gift of new life, and move into the future, renewed by the energy of your Holy Spirit.

Loving God, we confess that we are an anxious people who deny your blessing and fail to keep your word. Forgive us we pray, for these and all our sins that we might live in peace and reflect your love in the world;.

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. Amen

Declaration of Pardon

Let your hearts be still, for God loves you and forgives us. Beloved, receive God’s grace! 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)

The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)

Guildwood Choir Presents

Scripture Reading

John 14: 23–29 <– 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.


The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Jellaludin Rumi, 13th-century Persian poet

I too, look at our human life with the image of a guest house, an airport, and a bus stop. It reminds us that our life here on earth is temporary, and we are given this life to prepare ourselves for what is eternal? Our relationship and love last forever, not our house or our money….

According to Rumi, who wrote “The Guest House”, everything we experience in our human journey is a gift from God, a guide from beyond. Not only is it a gift, but it is a guide that helps us to open our eyes to what is beyond and what is beyond….

Whether it is our anger, sadness, or happiness, it is a guide that opens the door to God beyond in our human hearts. We humans are good at dividing what is good from bad and bad from good. But according to Rumi, everything we experience shows something more than ourselves.

Today we read the gospel of John, where Jesus said goodbye to his disciples. We understand Jesus said goodbye to his disciples throughout his ministry again and again. He prepared himself but also his beloved disciples. According to Jesus, his departure from his disciples, and saying goodbye to Jesus would be a true gift for his disciples. Not only the time they spend together will be a gift, but also when they say goodbye and when they are no longer together.

This week, I have been thinking about what his goodbye brought to his disciples? How does that work?

We can only look back at our own loss or losses, our own goodbye with our loved ones.

I am sure it brought his disciples sadness, loneliness, disappointment and anger.

But at the same or perhaps later, I am sure it also brought a sense of wonder and love, and a sense of thanksgiving and the realization of what will not be forgotten and lost…..who will be waiting for us when our time comes. We know that they are physically not with us anymore, there is something that stays in our hearts forever….

Goodbyes with our loved ones often remind us that there is more to our life than what we see and know. When we say good bye, this pain in our soul will open the door to welcome God the eternal.

I am going to read verses from 25 to 27,
25 “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Advocate,[i] the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

According to Jesus, his goodbye would bring them the Holy Spirit and the gift of peace…. The kind of peace that comes from God…. According to Jesus, that peace will come after saying goodbye… without going through sadness, anger, confusion, and disappointment…

I wonder if we humans are so good at hiding and suppressing our broken emotions, don’t allow ourselves to come before as ourselves… Perhaps Our human emotions help us to see ourselves clearly, that we are not complete with God’s eternal love and grace… May we depend on God more! May God bless you and give you peace.

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

Giving God, as spring bursts forth its blossoms in witness to your love, you bless us from generation to generation with the new life of Easter faith. All that we have and all that we are come from you, O God, so we gladly share this offering, that others to may be blessed, for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. AMEN.

Lighting Candles of Peace for People in Ukraine and the world

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Hope (responsive)

In this season of the Spirit let us offer our prayers and thanksgivings for the world, saying, Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth. All creation lives to praise you, O God. As the earth yields its blessing, may we honor and protect the precious gifts of nature and give thanks for the beauty, healing, and sustenance it provides for all. Lord, send out your Spirit
and renew the face of the earth.

You bless your church throughout all the ages with leaders like Paul and Lydia to share in the spreading of the gospel. Give to your church this day a profound sense of the mission to which you now call us for the life and health of the world. Lord, send out your Spirit
and renew the face of the earth.

You judge the people with equity and guide the nations of the earth. Give to all leaders and people the gift of wisdom and the spirit of peace, that we may walk by your light as we serve the common good. Lord, send out your Spirit
and renew the face of the earth.

You promise to be with us always through the comfort of your Holy Spirit. Give to all who suffer violence, grief, or pain an enduring trust in Jesus that joy will rise again. Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth. We give thanks for the many blessings of our lives, that as we follow Jesus, he journeys with us day by day through the presence of your Holy Spirit, our Advocate and teacher. Lord, send out your Spirit
and renew the face of the earth.

You are alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. Be with all who are born this day, and those who will die, that your will for them may be fulfilled; and may we all come to share in your heavenly city with voices of unending praise. AMEN.

Closing hymn

Love divine, all loves excelling” (Book of Praise 1997, hymn 371). Words (1747) by English Methodist leader and hymnwriter Charles Wesley (1707–1788). Music (1844; tune: “Hyfrydol”) by Welsh composer Rowland Prichard (1811–1887). Words and music public domain.


May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ (the risen Christ), the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you always. AMEN.

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 2022-05-22– First version