‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ (Matthew 11:28-30)


Thank you for your participation in the congregational meeting last Sunday. 39 voted in favour of downsizing. 7 voted against. Some of those who voted against explained that they agree with downsizing. They were uncomfortable approving the motion to downsize based on prior discussions that did not include other options and costs of downsizing.

Love of Christ is extended to Judy Sibley and her family, on the passing away of Kyle, Judy’s son. He battled cancer for sometime and finally passed away surrounded by all his family.

Cinnamon Bun Tuesday continues on Tuesday at 10 am. Please come and join us. Bring your friend. Cinnamon Bun Tuesdays will continue until the end of July. We will take a break in August.

Tea Tasting will stop for summer months. It will resume in September.

Preparation: Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Call to Worship

The church lives to praise God.
We have no higher calling than to offer the worship
that belongs to God day by day, Sunday by Sunday.
Let us come and worship!

Hymn: Seek ye first the kingdom of God


God of love,
You are our God. You poured your love into us. You alone recreates us in love day by day.

Christ of hope,
You are our Lord. You called us into being. You are our only hope in this world.


The Spirit of faith
You are our companion. You walk with us. You are our faithful guide in this life.


To you, O God, we come bringing our worship, giving our praises, offering our thanks. May you be glorified and blessed on this day. Amen.

Scripture: John 2:1-11

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Sermon: Eternal Life

We are in what many people call the wedding season. Because of COVID lockdowns, for two years, people did not have weddings in big ways. Now, everyone is back to doing things in old ways. People are gathering in large numbers. They are determined to have a wonderful time as they get to meet, party, and enjoy life. Weddings can symbolise the richness of life. All ages of families and friends join in a big feast to celebrate what life promises through a young couple tying a knot. A wedding reception is planned a way ahead of time carefully. A place is picked and reserved. Food and drinks are ordered to be plentiful to signify a prosperous future.

Before the COVID lockdowns, things were, however, getting out of hand. Radio talk shows were filled with discussions on how extravagant some of the weddings were becoming. A couple in a nearby city were on the news one week because they invited many friends, some not so close at all. When some invited guests did not show, they sent bills in the amount of food and reception hall cost. Most of those no shows were angry because they informed the bride and groom ahead that they were not attending. The bride and groom tried to shame those who did not come and would not pay on the internet, complaining that these no-shows ruined their perfect wedding plan.

Some young people were complaining that even bridal showers were becoming too expensive. One mother of a young woman said that her daughter was invited by her friends’ bridal showers. The trouble was, she was being asked to come to Bahamas, Mexico, Belize, and other exotic faraway locations, not for weddings, but for bridal showers at exorbitant costs. When this young woman declined, because she could not afford to go to all these places for all of her friends, she was bullied and was ostracised as cheap and not caring. The mother said that her daughter was too distraught to face any of her friends anymore. These joyful occasions began taking a heavy toll on many young women. In a way, COVID lockdown saved many. Those who got married during the lockdown did not have to put on a show and their friends did not feel like bad friends for not showing up for events.

For some, these expensive weddings are back with vengeance. They want to put on a memorable event that will show everyone how precious they are. For others, they are quite content with holding simpler weddings without much fanfare. They are glad to have extended families along with close friends. As weddings continue, one thing is certain. It no longer carries a sense of communal and cultural importance it used to. Today, weddings are a personal choice. It is an experience one may choose to undergo. Some do it because they want to tell the world that they found love in their lives. Others say “I do” because their parents want to see them hold weddings. Some simply think the time has come to move from cohabitation status to legally married status.

For many marriages are no longer as serious and life-long commitment as they used to be. They want wedding ceremonies to have nice memories captured in video. Many couples are no longer believing in the sanctity of marriage as the central focus. They simply want to be part of special celebrations marking important moments in their lives. After all, many are not concerned with possible divorces in the future. They are not afraid to go separate ways if things do not work out. I am told at occasions that they want to make promises without strings attached. They are free and want to find fulfilment in their individual lives. They tell me that they are first and foremost best friends. The question of God’s presence or making a promise before God is not what a wedding is about for them.

There are many others for whom marriage still carries the meaning from many centuries ago. They are eager to understand the reasons for having a church wedding and what it means to make a promise to each other before God and their communities. They feel validated to hear about how their promise to each other is a symbolic way of understanding God’s promise to humanity and God’s blessing for them to flourish as part of God’s new creation. They rejoice that the church wedding service is more than a ceremony that is meant to announce their life together. They are delighted that the promise they are making to each other is done as faith commitment to God and witnessing God's presence in the world. They make their efforts to share this joy that originated from God with the communities who will support them throughout their lives.

After being a minister for so long, I have a neutral opinion about which attitude is better that will last long. I have seen couples doing wonderfully together and couples breaking up no matter which way they approached the wedding. It appears that some couples can work through difficulties between them while others simply choose to move onto separate lives. However, we still take time to explain and help marrying couples that when they make life-long promises within the context of worship, their marriages are set in a very different understanding than their secular friends. The purpose of their marriage also is clearer and transcendent.

Why have I gone to this length regarding the wedding? It is because as Canadian Presbyterians, one way we describe eternal life is to say that our eternal life is something like a marriage feast. We say this in the context of confession Living Faith. Yes, eternal life is like a marriage feast which we are to enjoy in the presence of our triune God. For us to understand eternal life, we need to grasp all things that are embodied in a marriage feast. It is no coincidence that we find Jesus at a wedding in Cana. He and his disciples were invited and obviously Jesus enjoyed the marriage feast immensely. It reminds me of what Jesus said in Gospel Matthew, “the Son of Man came eating and drinking.” (Matthew 11:19) Jesus was fully enjoying what a marriage feast offered.

For us to imagine eternal life, we need to see, experience, participate, and enjoy marriage feasts. For Christians, marriage feasts are more than a celebration of two young people coming of age or two people putting on a party to be congratulated by their families and friends on forming a new family. Christian marriage is a union in Christ. (LF 8.2.3) Marriage feasts in churches are expressions of joy found in God’s promise fulfilled, as shown by two people who came to become a new being–a church that is to witness God’s blessings in humanity. The promise they make to each other is symbolic of the promise Christ and people made to each other. The entire community is called to witness God’s promise being revealed and witnessed when two adults are able to covenant together to bring about a new community. After all, a church is Christ together with his people. The smallest unit of the Church is Christ together with two people bound in God’s covenant.

Yes, joy of union in Christ is the basis of Christian marriage feasts. In a small way we rejoice in this union because we are fully cognizant of the true union between God and humanity that was made possible through Christ’s death and resurrection. In this joy and rejoicing known as marriage feast, we may imagine and get a glimpse of what eternal life might be like. We can/may not only envision in human way what it is like to be surrounded and empowered by joy in Christ, but also gain some tangible experience of what it means to be alive in joy as we rejoice together with others. It should be noted that all Christian marriage feasts are communal events. It is a joy filled moment in time when all who are present participate fully in gladness, elation, excitement, and ecstasy of union with one another and with God in Christ.

May, June, and July are known as the wedding season for most of us. Especially in Niagara Falls, known as Canada’s wedding capital, we should know the delight of marriage feasts. As Christians, we can come to know eternal life at least dimly as we experience and join in marriage feasts. Jesus did not hesitate to share the joy of the marriage feast at Cana. There is no reason why we say we have no idea what eternal life is like when we have been part of so many marriage feasts.


We thank you, O God, who has shown us the Way, the Truth, and the Life. As we give thanks each day for your grace, we come boldly before you in Christ. Only in his name, we lift up our prayers, knowing that these prayers are from the lips of those who sojourn in this sin filled world as participants. We bring these prayers on your Son’s assurance that as his people, our words are heard by you in grace and mercy.

As we enjoy this long weekend in relative calm without worries of bombs dropping on us, without concerns of homelessness, and without fears of indiscrimiate inhumanity being revealed in day to day struggle for survival in places of physical wars and of economic apartheid, we ponder about your grace. It is your grace that confronts us with the truth of terrors in our world. As we become less patient, caring, and grace-filled in relating to others, we thank you for the Truth that you bestow us so that we may confess, repent, and be reconciled to you and to our neighbours near and far. May your Truth do not cease to open our eyes so that we may follow your way of love.

In taking time to enjoy these summer days, we come to confess to you in prayer our physical and spiritual weaknesses. Our spirits are willing, but our bodies and hearts are weak. For many of us, as we face the reality of ageing, we need the strength and love to stretch out our hands for help from others. Often as our bodies fail us, we feel shame and weaknesses. Help us with your love to overcome this sense of uselessness. Each day as we see ourselves declining our spirits lose sparks for living a fulfilling life. We become resigned to our increasing inabilities. Rather than becoming creative in sharing your love within us, we try to keep to ourselves what we have. We become focused on our needs and concerns without sharing the needs and concerns of others. Free us, O God, from these destructive ways. Make us more like you in giving life in ways that others will flourish fully.

On this day we pray for Judy and her family. As Kyle, after a long struggle, has now returned to rest in you, may you bless her, give her strength, to withstand all the difficulties she will face in the coming days.

All these things we pray in your Son’s name. Amen.


Offering Prayer

In abundant creation, we experience your generosity every day. You have provided us with more than enough for ourselves. We bring our offerings in gratitude for these blessings that we enjoy. We put before you these offerings as acknowledgment of your presence among us. We freely offer these gifts so that your will may be done here in this part of your vineyard. Be blessed, O God! Be our light in the darkness! Lead us in ways of love, hope, and righteousness! We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Hymn: Amigos, de Cristo, we are friends of the Lord