Welcome (1 John 5:9-13)

If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Jesus loves me

Call to Worship (The PCC Worship Resource)

Clap your hands, all you peoples;
We will shout to God with songs of joy.

For God is awesome, reigning over all the earth!
We will sing praises to God every day.

Let us worship God with all we have to offer.
We will offer God our love – heart, body, mind and soul!

Hymn: Sweet hour of prayer

Prayer (The PCC Worship Resource)

God of promise and purpose, 
we praise with thankful hearts. 
As the beauty of the seasons change
the beauty of your world lifts our hearts in praise. 
You lifted up Jesus to be by your side,
and so we know he is always by our side 
as the future opens before us.
Show us the promise and purpose in our own lives – 
how we can unfurl with new life, 
and move into the future empowered by the Holy Spirit, 
embraced by the love of Christ our Lord.

Lord Jesus Christ, you called your followers
to carry the Good News of God’s love and forgiveness to the ends of the earth. 
Yet we confess we cannot always find the words to tell others of our faith. 
We try to act out your love. 
but it’s hard to tell others why we do what we do for you.
Forgive us.
Give us the courage to speak openly of our commitment to you.
In your Son’s name we pray. Amen.

Scripture: John 17:6-19

"I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

Sermon: Prayer for the disciples

How do you pray for your family? How do you pray for your friends? How do you pray for people you love? What do you say to God about ones you love so much? As we ponder about the love that mothers of the world show today, let's imagine the content of our prayer to God for those whom we love so dearly. As much as we ask God to protect and care for our loved ones, we often do not think deeply on what we are to say to God.

Today’s passage from the Bible is from John. Here, we get to hear what Jesus said to God as he prepared to leave his disciples. This prayer is Jesus' confession to God regarding the task he carried out in the world as well as his confession of what he has done in the world. Yet, his prayer is more than a confession as to what and why he did in his earthly ministry. It is also an appeal to God so that his disciples may be loved continually.

Of course, we could argue over whether this passage is the real prayer of Jesus or was written long after Jesus was gone by someone else. Many scholars argue over such matters. For us, in faith, we read it and wonder at how Jesus’ love for his disciples are shown in this prayer no matter how it became part of the Bible. Listening to the prayer as Jesus’ intimate prayer to God, our faith is lifted up in ways that we truly experience the vastness of God’s love for the world as summarized in John 3:16.

Jesus begins by confessing his understanding of why he was sent by God and how God shared God’s people with him, “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.“ He is clear about what he did with the disciples whom God shared with him. That is, the fact that the disciples were with him was not his doing, but God’s. It was God who “gave” them to him so that he may let them know God’s name.

Here when Jesus talks about making “your name known,” we are to think of how Jesus’ purpose was to reveal God to these people who already belonged to God. Jesus makes it clear that it was all God’s doing for these disciples to come to him and that his task was for them to know God through him. Today, as we engage in mission or evangelism, we forget what God is doing very quickly. We think it is we who go and find people to share the gospel and give the good news of Christ. We learn from Jesus that it is totally opposite. In reality, it is God who “gives” us the people to make God’s name known.

As to the actual content of the prayer regarding the disciples, Jesus commits them under God’s care. Jesus asks God to protect them since the disciples not only belong to him, but also to God as well. Jesus stresses this point. They are as much God’s as his disciples. He then details how he loved them. For example, he talks about how he guarded them in this world and made known to them all that God would do for them. This is the way Jesus appealed to God to care and love his disciples continually even in his absence.

Yes, in this prayer, we find out that Jesus is not only concerned with the now of the disciples, but also the future. He knows that as long as he is with them, he could do his best. However, the future belongs to God and he is entrusting them to God so that the disciples will continue to be strong and belong to God unwavering in the future as well. Of course, in this anticipation Jesus is already implying the difficulties his disciples will face. He is fully aware of the dangers they will endure.

At this time, we need to recall that in other Gospels, this prayer is summarized as Jesus praying, “not my will but yours.” Other Gospels do not go to this extent in parsing out what Jesus’ prayer was like. One main reason according to some historians and scholars is that John’s Gospel was written in times of persecution for Christians and they needed to hear how Jesus entrusted them to God anticipating such dangers they would face. This is why we call our faith in Christ “living faith.” That is, our faith helps us interpret God’s Word according to the time and condition in which we live and keep faith.

You, more than I, are fully aware that you belong to Jesus. Yes, it is true that you do now belong to Drummond Hill Faith Community. But as Jesus said about the disciples, you belong to Drummond Hill as much as you belong to Christ. It is Christ who shares you with Drummond Hill. It is Christ who sent you here. We received you as from Christ. I welcomed you because Christ sent you to Drummond Hill. It is the way God chooses to love you.

What is so different about all of you is the time in which you gather here in Christ’s name. As I entrust you to Christ totally, as Christ did of his disciples to God, it is God who will protect, guard and lead you. God, through Christ, has been doing this ever since Jesus returned to God. Indeed, this week we celebrated the ascension of our Lord on Thursday, May 9. This is why we remember Jesus’ prayer. It is to give us confidence in faith that we belong to God and Christ and our future is in God’s hand.

Last Sunday, I shared with you the plan of retirement. Usually we cite the congregation. What that means is that the representatives of congregations are asked whether you think that my retirement is in accordance with God’s will or not. In reality, when a minister announces retirement, the congregation gets ready for a transition. A usual procedure is that the Presbytery appoints an interim moderator who comes to work with the congregation and prepares the congregation to call a new minister.

Our regular way is that the interim moderator and elders make sure worship services and pastoral care, and church activities take place. At the same time a search committee, representing all ages and interests of the congregation, is set up to work on the church profile. When the church profile is ready, with the consent from elders and congregation, the profile is sent to the Presbytery to be approved. Once the Presbytery approves, the profile is put out for interested ministers to apply.

When the applicants are interviewed by the committee and one is selected, the committee will introduce the candidate to the session where active elders working with the interim moderator decides if the candidate is suitable to be introduced to the congregation. Then, the congregation has an opportunity to meet the candidate, hear the candidate preach, and the congregation will vote to see if this person is the one God is sending to us to shepherd us for a period of time.

This time, however, we will not be following this procedure. We have asked the Presbytery to turn us into a God’s mission community where ministers and elders of other churches come to learn and share with us a way to be a Christian community in this changing time. We are asking ministers who are truly interested in God’s mission to join us and participate in God’s mission that is taking place at Drummond Hill. On Wednesday, the Presbytery will be asked to vote and let us know if this is what they wish to do.

Once the Presbytery accepts our proposal, then, a small group of ministers will work with our elders and leaders to chart our direction as well as organize ourselves to do God’s mission here and now. We will bring the least amount of disruption as we faithfully serve God together. This is the plan. We ask you to pray and help us to see if this is what God wants us to do.

In the meantime, my prayer for you is no different than Jesus’ prayer for his disciples. As Jesus entrusts his disciples to God, I entrust you to Jesus. After all, it is Jesus who sent you here to serve him and our neighbours.

Prayer (The PCC Worship Resource)

Lord Jesus Christ,
You came to us bearing God’s love
to live with us, to walk with us, and to show us how to love.
You pray with us and for us day by day.
Today we turn to you with our hopes and our concerns.
Draw near to us and to those for whom we pray,
so that your love will be known in our world this day.

Lord Jesus, 
on this Christian Family Sunday,
we pray for the families we belong to - 
Thank you for parents,  grandparents and great-parents,
for the generations who started our families and all they have given to us.
Today we thank you especially for our mothers,
and pray for all the mothers around the world.
Give mothers hope for their children,
and peace in the world to raise their children safely.
Comfort and support each member of our families,
and guide each child and young person into the future.

Lord Jesus, 
we pray for families in our community and in your world
We remember families in need:
Families who are struggling under economic pressures…
Families who know sorrow because someone has died or gone away… 
Families who live in fear 
because they are in the midst of some kind of trouble…
Surround these families with your love
and bring them courage to face whatever tomorrow brings.

Lord Jesus, 
We pray for each other and for our church family:
Thank you for the friendship and fellowship we share,
and the unique gifts each one brings to our life together.
Show us our paths into the future,
and give us important things to do in your name.

And so it is as your family and your friends
that we offer the prayer you taught us, saying:
The Lord’s Prayer

Offering/Offering Prayer


Presbytery of Niagara
On Wednesday, May 15, at Smithville the Presbytery will meet in its regular meeting. It will be the occasion for us to ask them to receive the Drummond Hill Proposal that will make us a Drummond Hill Mission. If the proposal is accepted, we will be working with ministers from the Presbytery to prepare our plans starting July 1, 2024. We are very excited and ask you to pray.

Starting next Saturday, May 18, we are starting various volunteer works. If you are interested in helping your neighbours and making our community a better place, please, come and share your time and efforts. To begin with, we are looking for 2 or 3 people who want to go and help clean up a church yard in St. Catharines on Saturday, May 18. If you can come, please speak to the minister.

If you have signed up for tasks such as Sunday morning greetings, refreshment preparation and clean up after the refreshments, it is important that you come and do the work.

A list of what you can volunteer for will be available on Saturday, May 18.

Another Worship Service
We are still searching for a date and time for our 2nd worship service for those who are unable to join us on Sunday mornings. Please let us know.

Bible Study
We are looking at the possibility of starting a Bible Study on Thursday afternoons. If you are able to attend, please let us know.

Prayer Meeting
We continue our Wednesday Prayer at 3:30 pm. Please come and join us.

Saturday Activities
It begins at 1 pm.

Please pray for John Bracewell as he continues his cancer treatment.

Don’t forget to let us know the names of those who need our prayers.

Hymn: Alleluia, alleluia, give thanks to the risen Lord