Worship Service for July 16, 2023

July 16, 2023 – Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

A livestream of this service will take place on our YouTube channel on Sunday, July 16, at 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time. A video recording of the live stream will be available on our YouTube channel from 6:00 PM EDT on Sunday, July 16.



Call to Worship

One: God’s Word is a lamp to our feet;
All: and a light to our path.

One: God’s Word is made visible in Christ;
All: in him we are rooted in truth.

One: God’s Word is revealed through The Holy Spirit;
All: and lived out in faithful service.

One: Come and listen for God’s Word in this time of worship.
All: We wait to receive the Word of Life.

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

“Praise, my soul, the God who crowns you” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 467). Words (1995; paraphrase of Psalm 103) by Canadian composer, church musician, and co-editor of the 1997 Book of Praise Andrew Donaldson (1951–). Music (1868; tune: “Praise, my soul”, used also in the hymn “Praise, my soul, the King of heaven”) by English organist and composer Sir John Goss (1800–1880). Words copyright © 1995 The Presbyterian Church of Canada; used by permission. Music public domain.

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

God of wisdom, You are the light of the minds that know you, the strength of those who serve you, and rest for those who seek you. God of growth, You sow and you gather, you tend and you prune, you judge and you save. God who tends our lives, we come to you in worship, to rest from our responsibilities, to turn from our distractions, and to hand over our concerns to you. Nourish us with your Word, so that we grow in Christ, rooted in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Faithful God, You have planted the seeds of faith in us, but we confess we have not tended those seeds well. We fail to keep studying your Word, satisfied instead with what we think it means. We consider that we already know enough, rather than pursue deeper encounters with you. Forgive us, God, when we think you have nothing more to offer 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

The Apostle Paul reminds us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. God’s Spirit sets us free from the powers of sin and death. Know that you are forgiven and forgive one another in Jesus’ name. Thanks be to God!

All: Thanks be to God!

The Peace

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

Special Musical Presentation

“The word is a lamp unto my feet” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 496). Words and music by American singer songwriter Amy Grant (1960–). Words and music copyright © 1984 Meadowdgreen Music Co. Bug and Bear Music. Used by permission of CMC Ltd.

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

(Practicing faith)

The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)


“Your word, O God, awoke the uncreated” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 508). Words by English minister Albert F. Bayly (1901–1984). Music is the traditional Irish tune “Londonderry Air”. Arrangement by W. Donald Davison (1937–). Words copyright © Oxford University Press; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A. Music public domain. Arrangement copyright © W. Donald Davison from the Irish Church of Praise, administered by Oxford University Press; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

Scripture Reading

Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23  <– 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.

Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on a path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched, and since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 If you have ears, hear!”

18 “Hear, then, the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet such a person has no root but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of this[d] age and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

The scripture reading is followed by:

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

Musical Reflection


May we present our gifts to God in response to what we have received from God?

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

Our offering will now be received.

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.

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

O God, we offer you our gifts in thanksgiving. Pour out your Spirit upon them and upon us. May the gifts we offer bear the fruit of your Spirit in every life we touch in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Hope

Tender and loving God, you formed the earth to be a place of joy and abundance for all your creatures. For food in all its variety and the people who grow it, transport it, market it and prepare it, we give you thanks. We pray for those who cannot afford enough food, and for those whose agricultural supply is at risk through extreme weather, uncertain prices and social upheaval. Help us care for the earth and its fruitfulness and for each other in our common need of its fruits. God, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

God of all the nations, You gather people together in communities to care for each other and enjoy each other’s company and creativity. Thank you for the support we find in our congregation, and for the difference volunteers make in our community. Wherever there is division in the world, bring unity and peace with justice; Where people dispute opinions, give wisdom to see what is important; Where people are tired and anxious, bring strength and courage. God, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

God of compassion, You call us to be communities held together by prayer and love for our neighbours. Thank you for the ministry that has blessed us through the concern others showed us. Where people mourn loss of any kind, provide comfort; Where there is illness and pain, bring healing; Where there is distress or discouragement, transform fear into hope. By your Spirit, equip us to serve one another in Christ’s name, so that your compassion touches lives with love and mercy. God, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

Loving God, we lay before you now our personal concerns in this time of silence:

We offer you our prayers, spoken and unspoken, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Closing Hymn

“Blest are they” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 624). Words and music (both 1985; tune: “Blest are they”) by American author and composer David Robert Haas (1957–). Arrangement by American organist and educator Norma de Waal Malefyt (1950–). Words copyright © 1985, music copyright © 1985, arrangement copyright © 1991 GIA Publications. Each used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

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

“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.


Copyright © 2023 Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church

Last updated 2023-07-17 23:50 – Added Sermon text; added Special Musical presentation details.