Worship Service for September 17, 2023

September 10, 2023 – Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

A livestream of this service will take place on our YouTube channel on Sunday, September 17, 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, September 17.

Previous livestreams and other worship and musical content is available on our YouTube channel. You can also check out our entire worship services archive. Our SoundCloud channel has yet more music and worship content.



Call to Worship

One: Praise the Lord.
All: Let us praise God together.

One: For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is God’s steadfast love; as far as the east is from the west, so far God removes our sins.
All: So let us rejoice in God’s gracious presence.

One: Let us praise the God of mercy together.

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

For the beauty of the earth” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 434). Words (1864) by American hymnwriter and poet Folliott Sandford Pierpoint (1835–1917). Music (1838; tune: “Dix”) by German musician and composer Konrad Kocher (1786–1872). Harmony by English musician, organist and music editor William Henry Monk (1823–1829). Harmony revised by Canadian organist and Presbyterian hymnbook editor Carman Hilliard Milligan (1909–1999). Words, music and original harmony public domain. Revised harmony copyright © Carman H. Milligan.

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

Text to come.

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

Text to come.

All: Thanks be to God!

The Peace

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

Guildwood Choir Presents

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

(Practicing faith)


All things bright and beautiful” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 435). Words (1848) by Anglo-Irish hymnwriter and poet Cecil Frances Alexander (1818–1895). Music (tune: “Royal Oak”) 17th-century folk melody, adapted (1916) by English conductor and composer Martin Shaw (1875–1958). Harmony (published in “The Hymnbook”, 1953) by John Ribble. Words and music public domain. Harmony copyright © 1955, 1983 John Ribble, admin Westminster / John Knox Press; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)


“To show by touch and word” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 763). Words (1975) by Anglo-Dutch clergyman Fred Kaan (1929–2009). Music (1974; tune “Lodwick”) by Canadian composer Ron Klusmeier (1946–). Words copyright © 1975 Hope Publishing Co.; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A. Music copyright © 1974 Ron Klusmeier, administered by Hope Publishing Co.; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

Scripture Reading

Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23 <– this links to on-line texts 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 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.


“The Miracle of Growth” – Rev. Dr. Ian Morrison

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

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Hope

Closing Hymn

“Lord of light, whose name and splendour” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 769). Words completed in 1916 by Welsh minister and hymn-writer Howell Elvet Lewis (1860–1953). Music (tune “Bethany (Smart)”) completed in 1867 by English organist and composer Henry T. Smart (1813–1879). Words and music in the public domain in Canada.

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.


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 2023-09-14 23:15 – First version.