Worship Service for December 10, 2023

December 10, 2023 – Second Sunday in Advent and Write for Rights (Amnesty International) Sunday

A livestream of this service will take place on our YouTube channel on Sunday, December 10, at 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time. A video recording of the live stream will be available on our YouTube channel from 6:00 PM EST on Sunday, December 10.

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.



Second Sunday in Advent: PEACE

Voice 1: The prophets call and an apostle writes that peace comes from God.

Voice 2: “For a child has been born for us… and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace …and there shall be endless peace.” (Isaiah 9) “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4)

Voice 1: The world, our relationships and our lives are all too often torn by conflict and injustice. Advent calls us to pray and work for peace — shalom — in the world God loves and to which Christ came. But God’s shalom is not simply the absence of conflict. Shalom is the peace that comes when we live life in the balance, loving God and one another.

Voice 2: Holy are you, Source of all new life among us.

All: Jesus Christ comes as the Prince of Peace.

Voice 2: We join with all creation and lift our hearts in joyful praise.

All: We light this candle to shine for peace.

Opening Hymn

“O for a world where everyone respects each other’s ways”. (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 730). Words (1987) by American Roman Catholic Medical Mission Sister and hymnwriter Miriam Therese Winter (1938–). Music (1839; tune “Azmon”) adapted by American composer Lowell Mason (1792–1872) from an 1828 work by German composer Carl G. Gläser the Younger (1784–1829). Words copyright © 1990 Medical Mission Sisters; music in the public domain.

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

God of purpose and promise,
you love the breadth and depth of your creation and care for us like shepherds tend their sheep. You set pathways for us to follow, clearing the way in the wilderness of the world. And yet we break your heart by wandering off, pursuing our own purposes. Still, you keep calling us back. You call us by name in our baptisms. You set us in the world to serve you, each one with a purpose you imagine for us. And so we come to worship you, O God, knowing that in you, we will find our true purpose, and the path you set will lead to peace and well-being in your deep love, revealed for us in Christ Jesus.

God of mercy,
We confess that we resist change, even when your Word compels us to reconsider our actions or opinions. We are set in our ways, and prefer to consider the changes others should make. Forgive us. By the power of your Holy Spirit, give us new eyes for seeing, new ears for hearing so that we follow Jesus more faithfully day by day.

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

Friends, trust that peace and forgiveness are God’s gift to you this day through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Receive the renewing power of the Holy Spirit and be at peace with God, with yourselves and with each other. Thanks be to God!

The Peace

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

The Life and Work of the Church (Announcements)

Duty Elder: Chris Aleong

Fun with the Young at Heart (children’s story)

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

Write for Rights (Amnesty International)

Guildwood Senior Choir Presents

“What does the Lord Require of You” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 709). Both words (1986; paraphrase of Micah 6:8) and music (1986; tune: “Moon”) by American composer Jim Strathdee (1941–). Words and music copyright © 1986 Desert Flower Music; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.

Click on the scripture titles to be taken to on-line text of the reading.

Exodus 1:1–14

1 These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob, each with his household: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. 5 The total number of people born to Jacob was seventy. (Joseph was already in Egypt.) 6 Then Joseph died, and all his brothers, and that whole generation. 7 But the Israelites were fruitful and prolific; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.

8 Now a new king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. 9 He said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we. 10 Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” 11 Therefore they set taskmasters over them to oppress them with forced labor. They built supply cities, Pithom and Rameses, for Pharaoh. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites. 13 The Egyptians subjected the Israelites to hard servitude 14 and made their lives bitter with hard servitude in mortar and bricks and in every kind of field labor. They were ruthless in all the tasks that they imposed on them.


The story of Rocky Myers

Exodus 1:15–22

15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, 16 “When you act as midwives to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” 17 But the midwives feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but they let the boys live. 18 So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this and allowed the boys to live?” 19 The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.” 20 So God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and became very strong. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families. 22 Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall throw into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”


The story of Chaima Issa

Exodus 2:1–10

2 Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months. 3 When she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. 4 His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.

5 The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. 6 When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him. “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said. 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” 8 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Yes.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed it. 10 When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”


The story of Ahmed Mansoor

Exodus 2:11–22

11 One day after Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and saw their forced labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 He looked this way and that, and seeing no one he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 When he went out the next day, he saw two Hebrews fighting, and he said to the one who was in the wrong, “Why do you strike your fellow Hebrew?” 14 He answered, “Who made you a ruler and judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “Surely the thing is known.” 15 When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses.

So Moses fled from Pharaoh. He settled in the land of Midian and sat down by a well. 16 The priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came to draw water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 But some shepherds came and drove them away. Moses got up and came to their defense and watered their flock. 18 When they returned to their father Reuel, he said, “How is it that you have come back so soon today?” 19 They said, “An Egyptian helped us against the shepherds; he even drew water for us and watered the flock.” 20 He said to his daughters, “Where is he? Why did you leave the man? Invite him to share a meal.” 21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah in marriage. 22 She bore a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, “I have been an alien residing in a foreign land.”


The story of Thapelo Mohapi

Exodus 2:23–25

23 After a long time the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery and cried out. Their cry for help rose up to God from their slavery. 24 God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 God looked upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them.


A Minute of Silence

Guildwood Senior Choir Presents

“Light of Peace”. Words and music (2007) by American composer Joel Raney (1956–). Words and music © 2007 Hope Publishing Company; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.


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

Invitation (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

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

God of promise, we offer our gifts in Jesus’ name, for we know peace through his forgiveness and faithfulness. Bless our gifts and our lives. Help us share the peace you offer with lives that touch ours throughout the world you love. Amen.

Closing Hymn

We are marching / Siyahamba” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 639). Words South African Xhosa traditional; English translation (1984) by Swedish composer and musician Anders Nyberg (1955–). Music traditional South African; arrangement (1984; tune “Siyahamba”) by Nyberg. English translation and musical arrangement copyright © 1984 Walton Music Corporation; used by permission of One License, license number 722141-A.


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.


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