Worship Service for February 26, 2023

February 26, 2023 – First Sunday in Lent

A livestream of this service was not available because of technical reasons, thus a video recording of the live stream is also not available. Previous livestreams and other worship and music video content is available on our YouTube channel, and audio content can be found at our SoundCloud site. Music copyright details are provided for information only as the service was not streamed or recorded.

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Call to Worship (PWS&D Insert)

L: Just as the Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness,
P: the Spirit sends us into places of uncertainty where we confront our weakness and insecurities.

L: In the wilderness, we, too, are confronted by our hunger and thirst.
P: We are tempted to grab at empty promises that offer an easy way out.

L: Like Jesus, we are tempted by power and prestige.
P: Unlike him, we often submit to their glamour.

L: We wonder whether God is with us.
P: We wonder whether we can trust God to take care of us.

L: We can only move forward in faith.
P: Let us stand on the cliff edge and, like Jesus, dare to trust.

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

“We come to ask your forgiveness” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 201). Words and music (both 1986; tune: “Welcome to ask”) by American composer Carey Landry (1944–). Arrangement by Tom Tilden. Words and music copyright © 1986 Carey Landry and North American Liturgy Resources; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A. See note at top of page re copyright.

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

God, our Creator and Companion, Your love is as fresh as the new day, rising like the sun to guide us. In Jesus Christ, you walk with us to challenge and encourage us, revealing our weakness yet offering us hope. We praise you for such gifts! In this time of worship, open us to the new possibilities you create for the world you love.

God our Creator and Companion, you created us to be your partners in creation, but we confess we`re not happy being partners. We prefer to have our own way. We like to manage the world without your guidance. We are often tempted to satisfy our own desires without counting the cost to others, or to the earth itself. Lord, have mercy on us.

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

Christ died for us; Christ rose for us; Christ reigns in power for us; Christ prays for us. Trust this Good News. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven and set free by God’s generous grace.Thanks be to God!

The Peace

One: The Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
All: And also with you.

Guildwood Senior Choir presents

“Ride the Chariot”. Words and music African-American spiritual. Arrangement (1939) by American composer William Henry Smith (1908–1944). Words, music and arrangement public domain.

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

(Practicing faith)

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

(Practicing faith)

A Welcome Moment

The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)


“Throughout these Lenten Days and Nights” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 196). Words (1993) by American minister James Gertmenian (1947–). Music by an anonymous composer found in the Hymnal “As Hymnodus Sacer”, first published in Leipzig in 1625. Words copyright © 1993 Hope Publishing Co; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A. Music public domain.

Scripture Reading

John 6: 60–68  <– 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.

60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61 But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who were the ones who did not believe and who was the one who would betray him. 65 And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”

The scripture reading is followed by:

One: The Word of God.
People: Thanks be to God.


Preached by the Rev Gordon Beaton.

Musical Reflection

“What wondrous love is this”. Music traditional American folk hymn. Arrangement (1997) by American composer and arranger Mark Hayes (1953–). Music public domain. Arrangement copyright © 1989 Alfred Publishing Co.; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A. See note at top of page re copyright.


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

Doxology 306

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 306) Based on the tune “Old 100th” with words (1989) by English hymnwriter Brian A. Wren (1936–). Words copyright © 1989 Hope Publishing Co.; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A. Music public domain. See note at top of page re copyright.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
praise God all creatures high and low;
praise God in Jesus fully known,
Creator Word and Spirit One.

Prayer of dedication

Lord God, we offer our gifts in thanksgiving for all the goodness you provide. Bless our gives and our lives so that we become a source of goodness for others, in the name of Christ, our strength and our hope. Amen

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Hope

God of all life and each life, we offer you thanks for all the ways we meet you in our daily lives: in a word of encouragement, an insight into truth, an answer to prayer.

Thank you for a breath of calm in the midst of stress, and an offer of support when we need it. Thank you for a sense of accomplishment that our work matters and moments of rest and relaxation to renew us. Thank you for all these signs that you love us, understand us and walk with us, Loving God.

Our gratitude for your love reminds us of the need for your mercy in the world. And so in times of silence we pray for:

  • The world and the people and places in the news this week. Leaders facing difficult decisions and balancing different needs in complex situations.
  • Your church and congregations facing new challenges and opportunities for mission.
  • Our work places and our community facing many needs and pressures.
  • Our family, friends and neighbours, especially those facing hard choices these days.
  • And for ourselves, offering to you our own concerns.

Thank you for your grace that embraces all for whom we pray, O God.

In the week ahead, help us notice your hand at work in our lives and in this troubled world. We offer our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ.

Closing Hymn

“When we are living”(Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 630). Original Spanish words paraphrase of Romans 14:8. Verse 1 anonymous; verses 2–4 (1983) by Mexican-American hymnwriter Roberto Escamilla (1931–). English translation verse 1 by American Elise S. Eslinger (1942–); verses 2–4 by American George Lockwood (1942–). Music (tune: “Somos del Señor”) Hispanic folk song. English words copyright © 1989 The United Methodist Publishing House; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A. Music public domain. See note at top of page re copyright.

Changing the Light

Now, it is time to change the light. The light that was in one place can now be in every place and every time going with you wherever you go.


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

“The Lord bless you and keep you”. Words from the Aaronic Blessing. Music by English composer John Rutter (1945–). Words public domain. Music copyright © 1981, 2015 Oxford University Press; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A. See note at top of page re copyright.


Copyright © 2023 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church

Last updated 2023-02-28 13:50 – Added GCPC Senior Choir presents and Musical Reflection details; updated livestream info.