Worship for Sunday 23rd June 2024, by Rev. Joy Rulton

Call to worship:

We come into your presence,

Father, Son and Spirit,

Holy Trinity.

We come to worship the one who made us,

the one who saves us,

the one who sustains us.

Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit,

we come into your presence.

Hymn:   StF 20

Be still, for the presence of the Lord,
the Holy One, is here;
come bow before him now
with reverence and fear:
in him no sin is found —
we stand on holy ground.
Be still, for the presence of the Lord,
the Holy One, is here.

Be still, for the glory of the Lord
is shining all around;
he burns with holy fire,
with splendour he is crowned:
how awesome is the sight —
our radiant King of light!
Be still, for the glory of the Lord
is shining all around.

Be still, for the power of the Lord
is moving in this place;
he comes to cleanse and heal,
to minister his grace:
no work too hard for him —
in faith receive from him.
Be still, for the power of the Lord
is moving in this place.

David J. Evans (b. 1957) Words and Music: © 1986, Thankyou Music.

Prayers of praise and confession:

God, the Maker of all,
we praise you for the wonders of your creation:
for earth and sea and sky, for all that lives and breathes.
For mysteries beyond our understanding,
we praise you.

God, Calmer of the storm,
we praise you for your living Word in Jesus:
speaking above the rage of the waters,
calming our fears with your ‘Peace! Be still!’
For the awe and wonder of your presence,
we praise you.

God, Renewer of our lives,
we praise you for working within us:
bringing us through challenge and hardship,
and reviving our hope within us.
For the living presence of your Spirit within,
we praise you.


Faithful God, we are often afraid.
When we look at the forces around us,
we lack the confidence that you will bring us safely through.
We are afraid to take the risk of trusting you,
at times feeling that you have abandoned us.
God, forgive us; and help us to trust your presence.

Readings:   NRSV

Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures for ever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
    those he redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
    from the east and from the west,
    from the north and from the south.

Some went down to the sea in ships,
    doing business on the mighty waters;
they saw the deeds of the Lord,
    his wondrous works in the deep.
For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
    which lifted up the waves of the sea.
They mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths;
    their courage melted away in their calamity;
they reeled and staggered like drunkards,
    and were at their wits’ end.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he brought them out from their distress;
he made the storm be still,
    and the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad because they had quiet,
    and he brought them to their desired haven.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wonderful works to humankind.
Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
    and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

Mark 4:35-41

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 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?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’

Hymn:  StF 626

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know You are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go…..

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

C: 2005 Thankyou Music Admin: worshiptogether.com


Before the motorway from Liverpool was constructed, we spent much of our summer holiday on Anglesey. We would walk along the beach in the early morning looking for cowrie shells. They would usually be surrounded by broken shells. Even though they are tossed about by the sea and rolled along the shoreline, these small shells remain whole, and, at some point, had provided places of shelter and safety for the small sea creature living inside them.

The disciples didn’t feel so safe and secure in their boat on the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus had been teaching near the Sea of Galilee. Afterwards, He wanted a respite from the crowds so decided to take a boat with the apostles to the opposite shore where there were no large town. Not long after they sailed, Jesus fell asleep and a storm arose.

Jesus was human. He needed rest and time away from crowds, and He was so exhausted that even the howling of the wind and waves battering the boat didn’t wake Him.

The disciples on the boat were familiar with the ways of the sea; which was known for its sudden raging storms. Yet even these seasoned fishermen were frightened. And where was Jesus – asleep in the stern on a cushion. The rough sea was beginning to swamp the boat and yet he slept on. The terrified disciples woke Jesus, who rebuked them with the question “Have you still no faith?” Even those who lived and walked with Jesus, saw His miracles, and heard His message still found it difficult to be faith-filled all the time.

There are times when life is tough for us, too, and we can be afraid. Sometimes our fear is so great it seems to paralyse us. To people around us we seem to fine, when the reality is that we’re not really coping at all. Sometimes a crisis seems to go on for ever, we’re overwhelmed by what is happening to us. There are times when we spend all our energy just trying to survive from day to day.

It seems as if Jesus is still asleep when we need him. Perhaps we’re angry. That’s OK, God’s big enough to take us yelling at him. There are no easy answers. But Jesus restored peace and dealt with the disciples’ fear. He can do the same for us, even in the most agonizingly difficult and dark times.

Hymn:  StF 18

Be still and know that I am God,
be still and know that I am God,
be still and know that I am God.

I am the Lord who saves and heals
I am the Lord who saves and heals
I am the Lord who saves and heals

In you, O Lord, I put my trust,
In you, O Lord, I put my trust,
In you, O Lord, I put my trust.


When the winds of change drive us in directions that are alien to us:

God, keep us on a steady course towards the goal you have set for us.

When our lives are rocked by circumstances beyond out control:

God, keep us from sinking beyond our depth.

When storms shake our composure and fill us with fear:

God, hold us and reassure us of your presence with us.

When doubts overwhelm us and we feel that all is lost:

God, calm us and help us through to a renewal of our faith.

When the crisis is over and the storm has passed:

God, help us to remember the experience as a promise for the future. Amen.

©Marjorie Dobson

Hymn:  StF 645

Will your anchor hold in the storms of life, when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?

When the strong tides lift, and the cables strain,

will your anchor drift, or firm remain?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul

steadfast and sure while the billows roll;

fastened to the Rock which cannot move,

grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!

Will your anchor hold in the straits of fear, when the breakers roar and the reef is near?

While the surges rage, and the wild winds blow,

shall the angry waves then your bark o’erflow?

Will your anchor hold in the floods of death,

when the waters cold chill your latest breath?

On the rising tide you can never fail,

while your anchor holds within the veil.

Will your eyes behold through the morning light

the city of gold and the harbour bright? Will you anchor safe by the heavenly shore, when life’s storms are past for evermore?

Prayers of intercession:

Compassionate God,

whose care holds us,
we pray for all those who feel overwhelmed:

for those who are struggling in their personal lives, overwhelmed by pain, disability, loss or grief,
anxious and fearful about the future,
struggling to find meaning and sense in a chaotic world;

for all those who are under pressure at work,
those facing redundancy or unemployment,
those who feel they have no say in their workplace,
those who must make difficult decisions affecting others;

for those who are threatened by risk and danger,
facing the loss of homes, livelihood, friends and family in war,
those at risk of violence and abuse in the home;
for those who are in despair,
feeling that their desperate cries are unheard,
that you and your world have abandoned them,
that there is no answer and no hope.

We pray for ourselves,
when we are indifferent, fearful, or feeling helpless;
give us the courage to face our fears, and to take risks
to carry your message of hope and power.

Merciful God,

Hear our prayer,

offered in the name of Jesus, our Saviour,

Hymn:   StF 545

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle shield, sword for the fight;
Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight;
Thou my soul’s shelter, Thou my high tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.


Now may he who laid the foundations of the earth,
who stills the storm, and hushes the waves of the sea,
speak his peace to you, as you go on in your journey.
May you have grace to perceive the one whom even the wind and the sea obey,
and strength to persevere in walking in his way, now and always.

Prayers adapted from rootsontheweb and twelvebaskets.co.uk

CCL: 5441182