Worship Service for June 23, 2024

June 23, 2024 – Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

A livestream of this service will take place on our YouTube channel on Sunday, June 23, 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, June 23.

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.



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.

Call to Worship

One: Give thanks to the LORD, for God is good;
All: God’s steadfast love endures forever.

One: We see God’s wondrous works all around us,
All: so we come to praise God’s holy name.

One: Open wide your hearts in this time of worship!
All: We lift our hearts to God with thanks and praise.

Opening Hymn

How firm a foundation” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 685). Words attributed to “K” and first published in 1787 by English Baptist minister John Rippon (1851–1836). Music (tune: “St. Denio”) Welsh traditional, first published in 1839. Words and music public domain.

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

Creator God, we gather in wonder this day, astonished by the complexity of all you have made, acknowledging how small each of us is in the midst of your world. Yet your love gives us significance. When we are overcome by forces beyond our control, you speak words of peace. When trouble or sorrow sets in, you give us strength to persevere. Source, Saviour and Spirit of life, we offer you praise and honour, love and loyalty, with our lips and with our lives, now and always.

God, our hope and our help, You call us to serve in the footsteps of Jesus, but we confess we look to our own interests first. You ask us to love our neighbours, but we are good at finding fault in others. You call us to do justice for the vulnerable, but we hesitate to take a stand. Forgive us. Open our hearts to anyone in need, and help us trust in your mercy — for them and for us.

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 mercy of our God is from everlasting to everlasting. Friends, hear and believe the good news of the Gospel. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven and made new.

Give thanks for God’s generosity and share it with your neighbours.
All: 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)

Guildwood Senior Choir Presents

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

We sing verse 1 of “Jesus loves me this I know”.

Jesus loves me, this I know” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 373). Words (1859 or 1860) by American writer Anna Bartlett Warner (1827–1915). Revisions to v2 and v3 by Canadian Anglican priest David Rutherford McGuire (1929–1971). Music (1862; tune: “Jesus loves me”) by American musician William Batchelder Bradbury (1816–1868). Words, revisions, and music in the public domain.

Scripture Reading

Mark 4:35–41  <– 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.

Mark 4:35–41

35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And waking up, he rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Be silent! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”


Today, we hear the well-known story of Jesus calming a storm.

May we pay our full attention to verse 35. “On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’”

“Let us go across to the other side.” What a powerful teaching and invitation to allow God to change our lives. Jesus invited his disciples two thousand years ago, and he continues to invite us today: “Let us go across to the other side.”

We all love to stay on our side. We love to stay where we agree with everything, where we feel comfortable, where we are with those we can tolerate and understand. We love to stay on the winning side, on the side of success and glory. Yet, at sometime in our spiritual journey, Jesus invites us to come to the other side, where we feel vulnerable and where we have to face our own fear. We tend to demand others to come to our side, but not always willing to meet others on their side.

This is how the disciples respond to Jesus’ invitation to go to the other side of the lake at night.

Let’s look at verses 36–38, “36 And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 37 A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’”

The disciples somehow agreed to travel over to the side of the lake. More likely it has to do with the fact that many of them were the very experienced fishermen. Perhaps they knew how to travel in the night…… We want to pay attention to where Jesus was in the boat and what he was doing. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping. More likely Jesus was asked to stay in the stern, and there was nothing else to do other than to sleep. Yes, we could argue Jesus was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, because he was extremely tired. But we could also say that Jesus was asked to stay in the stern and to sleep, rather than staying with the disciples, telling them where to go or what to do.

Yet, when they suddenly faced a fierce storm, they come to Jesus and say, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

The disciples could have asked for prayers. “Jesus, could you pray for us, we are so afraid.” They could have said, “Jesus, come and tell us where to go. We might have to go back.” But they ended up saying, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”

In that moment of accusation and blaming, this is what Jesus teaches us to do.

Verses from 39 to 40. “39 And waking up, he rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Be silent! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. 40 He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’”

Jesus rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Be Silent! Be Still.”

We are not sure whether Jesus is addressing the wind or the sea, or the disciples who are facing the wind or the sea or those of us who are listening to the story, or perhaps all of us, Jesus speaks, “Be silent! Be still.”

Instead of telling us to fight the wind or hide from the wide, instead of telling us to confront the wind or to ignore the wind, Jesus invites us to be silent and be still. One of the most challenging yet most life-giving teachings of our faith is to be silent and still.

Obviously, being silent in the text is not about silencing those who are voiceless in our society. It is not suggesting we should keep silent about problems we face in our life. But I believe it is about silencing the voice of darkness, the voice of fear…. I believe that in our spiritual journey, we have experienced moments of pause and silence that have allowed us to see ourselves and each other through the eyes of God. We have experienced these moments of silence that have allowed us to grow and recognize the gifts of God in the situations we have faced.

“Be silent! Be still!”

Please, join our Sunday worship service at 11 am, either in person or virtually, to hear the full version of the sermon.


“Be still, my soul!” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 749). Original German text (18th century) by German hymnwriter Catharina Amalia Dorothea von Schlegel (1697–after 1768). English translation (1855) by Scottish hymnwriter and translator Jane Laurie Borthwick (1813-1897). Music (1899–1900; tune: Finlandia) by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865–1957). Arrangement (1933) by The Hymnal 1933, Presbyterian Board of Christian Education. Words, music and arrangement in the public domain.


As Jesus gave himself for us, let us return to God the offerings of our life and the gifts of the earth.

Offering – 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

Generous God, we offer our gifts with thankful hearts, grateful for your patience with us as your purposes unfold. Bless these gifts to accomplish your purposes throughout the world you love in the name of Christ, our Lord.

The Prayer of Thanksgiving and Hope

God in whom we live and move and have our being:
As we consider the world around us today, we are grateful to know you are near. We thank you that your presence will not fail us, no matter challenges we face. We are aware of so many challenges — in our own lives, the lives of those we care about, and in the world around us. Help us trust that you never give up on situations which we find overwhelming.

In faithful silence, we lay before you the concerns on our hearts this day: We pray for those people and places who have been in the headlines this week, and for all who cry out to you in situations we can’t even imagine:

We pray for those who are suffering from illness of any sort, coping with pain or ongoing treatment, for those waiting for or recovering from surgery, and for those who are bereaved or burdened by any deep loss:

We pray for those who are waiting for something significant — a birth or a death, a trip or a visit, a move, a new job or the moment of retirement. Grant them patience, O God, in times of restless waiting:

We pray for students and teachers, and all who serve in educational settings. As graduations take place, and as summer marks a time for transition of many kinds, bless all the learning that has occurred this year. Grant rest and renewal to each learner and teacher.

Bless our congregation and its ministries, its leaders and volunteers, and the faithful work of all churches in our community. Unite us in our witness to the love of Jesus. Open our eyes to new possibilities to serve together. Amen.

Closing Hymn

“You are holy, you are whole” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 828). Words and music (both 1991; tune: “Du är helig”) by Swedish minister and hymnwriter Per Harling (1948–). Arrangement (1995) by Canadian composer, church musician, and co-editor of the 1997 Book of Praise Andrew Donaldson (1951–). Words and music copyright © 1991 Per Harling. Arrangement © 1995 Andrew Donaldson; 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.


“Danish Amen” (Book of Praise 1997, Hymn 780). Words and music (tune: “Amen (Danish)”) traditional. Words and music public domain.


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