Welcome (Acts 2:1-21)

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs--in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others sneered and said, "They are filled with new wine." But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: 'In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord's great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'

Preparation: All Heavens Declare

Call to Worship Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great. There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

These all look to you to give them their food in due season;

when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.

May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works--who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke.

I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.

Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD!

Hymn: O breath of life come sweeping through us

Prayer (PCC Worship Resource)

God of power and possibility,
with the flame of your Spirit, you give us energy
to move into the world in Jesus’ name.
With the breath of your Spirit, you refresh us
to engage life in its complexity.
Your Spirit embraces us in the diversity and difference 
you wove into our creation and unites us in your love.
We praise you for your presence with us in every time and place.
In this time of worship, send us the Holy Spirit once again. 
Renew us to serve you in the world
that aches for the healing and wholeness you offer
through Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord.

God of mystery and mercy, 
we confess we have not always paid attention 
to the urging of your Spirit to follow your will and your way. 
Too often we claim to belong to Jesus,
yet we ignore his teaching.  
You created us to love one another,
but we resist loving those who differ from us.  
Stir our hearts with your Holy Spirit.
Transform who we are, 
and direct who we shall become 
through Christ’s redeeming love.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Scripture: Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, "Mortal, can these bones live?" I answered, "O Lord GOD, you know." Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD."

So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

Then he said to me, "Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.' Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken and will act," says the LORD.

Sermon: New Life from the dead

We like to imagine what it would be like to be reborn in Christ. We also like to know what life is like in eternal life. We talk a lot about being Christian. We say it is all about love and loving. Sharing love as God shared God’s love with the world through Christ is where things should be at, we say. Yet, one of the most difficult things I have seen has to do with that in this sharing of love we end up consciously and unconsciously counting how much we have received. That is, we keep measuring how much we get based on how much we give.

It is one of the favourite passages for many people of Christian faith. We can easily imagine what the valley of dry bones is like. In a way we have been witnessing how the valley of dry bones can come to be in places like Ukraine and Gaza. The passage does not tell us where this valley of dry bones was. These bones could be as much Israelites’ as Moabites’ as anyone else’s. One thing for sure is that it is the valley where death was in full display. There was no life but the dry bones of humanity. Each bone may tell a remarkable story but who would pay attention to a story of a dead person when there were thousands and tens of thousands. How many is a vast multitude?

“Can these bones live?” asks God. Our world is filled with the dead. Even those who are breathing, eating and going to work are dead in spirit. It is no different now than the time of Jesus when he told the Jews to let the dead bury the dead if they were to follow him. Jesus saw living and breathing human beings who were already dead in spirit. As Christians we see the same. The world is filled with the living and breathing human beings who are dead in spirit and are no different than those dry bones in the valley to where Ezekiel was taken. Can these bones live? Can these dead in spirit people live?

But what does it mean to live? Today’s problem is obviously not living as everyone lives, but living as God intended us to live, that is the question. As Paul appealed so eloquently in 1 Corinthians 13, if we have no love, we are no more than noisy gongs signifying nothing. In other words, our world is full of noise made by gongs signifying nothing. Our world may be full of riches and wealth but without love, we are indeed nothing, but dead people walking on the face of the earth. We may be productive and hardworking, but without love we end up building a world of consumption and greed. To live is to share love, not as the world loves after things and desires. Yes, share love as Christ shared God’s love with us.

What happens in this passage is indeed fascinating. Ezekiel prophesied as God told him so, 
“O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the LORD." I want you to note the last few phrases starting with “and put breath in you.” It is clear that letting the breath enter, these bones will gain life and will turn out to be regular human beings. Otherwise there is no need to prophesy. Without life or these bones turning into human forms to live, what good is for them to be human beings only in forms?

When Ezekiel prophesied, the bones stirred. Bones line up bone to bone. Then, sinews and flesh covered these bones. These dry bones, which were scattered in the valley, became human beings in form. Indeed, Ezekiel saw how these bones came together, covered by sinews, then, by flesh. They were covered in skins. They gained full human form. What a great story. From dried up bones in the valley turning into human beings. Unimaginable miracle has taken place. Yet, somehow, this is only the first stage of a miracle. Even though they are fully human in form, they lack the breath that makes them human beings as God intended.

It is only when God told Ezekiel to prophesy to the breath to come into them, they became fully human. It is no different at the 2nd chapter of Genesis when God formed a man out of dust and breathed into the nostril of man that the man came into being. Only then Ezekiel was told that these dry bones were the people of Israel. These dry bones turned human forms showing death were the people of Israel who had no hope initially. To paraphrase a verse from the proverbs people without hope are ones not simply perishing but are the dead. In our world people without the love of Christ are living under the power of death. They have no hope.

People are as good as dead when hope is lost and they do not know God. Hope is gained when we know God. It is only when they witness God opening the graves, bringing people up from the dead, we truly come to witness God the way God is for the world. Those who are dead are transformed into the living when God’s spirit is put into them. Without God’s spirit we are all like the dead. Of course, we will know that God is the one who opens the graves and brings them up. Yet, it is not until God’s spirit is put into them they will fully come to life as God intended. In Christian talk, it is when we receive God’s love through Christ’s call we begin our life fully.

Today there are many who claim to be Christians, yet part of the dead of this world. Their hope is not in God, but in their abilities and might. They build themselves stronger by the means of the world. They forget that it is God who raises everyone from the graves and gives sinews and flesh, covering them with skins so that we are in human forms. Yet, no matter how our lives flourish we are part of the dead until the breath of God is put into us. This is not our doing, but God’s. On the day of the Pentecost, the disciples were given God’s spirit. Since then, Christians, now and then, experienced this new life of God’s spirit entering into them.

Of course, there are many in the world who claim that God gave them the spirit and this gives them the right and authority to rule, deprive and destroy the world because they must destroy the enemies who are evil. They interpret God’s spirit as nothing more than raw power to do as they please, subjugating others to their will, overtly, covertly, blatantly and subtly. Throughout history, these people, claiming to follow Christ, indiscriminately destroy humanity and the world as we know it in Christ’s name. Their goal was to be like gods of power and might. In this sense, they were rulers of the valley of dry bones.

Against the world that is the valley of dry bones, God put into the dry bones God’s breath. For us this breath is Jesus Christ. Those who follow Christ do not bring death and destruction. Rather, the followers of Christ participate in God’s work of putting God’s spirit into those who are part of the world of dry bones. We do so by loving as Christ loved and laying down our lives as Christ laid down his life for us. Our prophesy against the dead is not by adding more bones to the valley of dry bones but to love in ways that those who are in human forms may become fully human in loving God and one another as Christ commanded us to do.

On this day of Pentecost, we invite you to walk with Christ again and be his by calling God’s spirit for the world as Ezekiel did according to God’s command.

Prayer (PCC Worship Resource)

Wind of the Spirit, blow through your whole church 
on this day of Pentecost:
Blow through us and renew our faith.
Re-awaken our love for God.
Let the flames of your love warm our hearts 
with trust in Jesus Christ.
Dare us to do great things in his name.
Wind of the Spirit, blow through us 
and renew our faith and hope.

Wind of the Spirit, blow through us 
and give us energy to serve you 
as the body of Christ working in the world.
Open our eyes to recognize needs for ministry and mission around us.
Open our hearts to welcome newcomers and meet those we don’t yet know.
Open our hands to share in tasks that need doing,
and open our lips in prayer and praise.
Wind of the Spirit, blow through us 
and renew our faith and hope.

Wind of the Spirit, blow through us and give us understanding
for all those whose lives seem so different from ours     (brief silence)
for those facing situations we’ve never encountered    (brief silence)
for those with whom we’ve disagreed        (brief silence)    
for problems and challenges we face at home, at work, 
and in the world facing so much turmoil     (longer silence)
Wind of the Spirit, blow through us 
and renew our faith and hope.

Wind of the Spirit, blow through us and bring healing
for all who face pain or illness, discouragement or disappointment   (brief silence)
for all who know sorrow, sadness or grief     (brief silence)
for those who feel pressure in these uncertain times   (longer silence)
Wind of the Spirit, blow through us 
and renew our faith and hope.

Wind of the Spirit, blow through us 
and bring us the compassion we see in Christ Jesus
to serve the world you love in his name.
Blow through us and refresh us as his faithful followers.
Unite us across our differences 
as together, we pray the words he taught us:
The Lord’s Prayer

Offering/Offering Prayer


Last Wednesday, the Presbytery considered and approved the recommendations concerning our congregation. It is important to say that the church name does not change. The current church governing structure also remains the same as before. What these recommendations asked for were that for the next three years Drummond Hill Church be a missional congregation for the Presbytery. That means Drummond Hill will work with the Presbytery in sharing mission activities as well as teach and incubate mission work together.

In order to help the Presbytery become more involved in this new understanding of our church becoming a missional church, the transition team of three people was set up consisting of two ministers and one representative elder. The Rev. Bernie Skelding of St. Andrew’s, Niagara-on-the-Lake and the Rev. Jared Miller of Chippawa PC and Ms. Nancy King of Niagara-on-the-Lake are joining our session and the leaders of newcomers to start planning for the summer and fall activities of the church.

To make this transition happen, Wally’s retirement was approved as of July 1, 2024. The transition team and the session of Drummond Hill will now figure out what his role will be with the congregation.

We are very excited about these new ways of doing things. We are very hopeful that our congregation will be stronger as a missional congregation that focuses much more on sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with our neighbours.

Please remember that our regular activities continue. Prayer Meeting on Wednesday afternoons at 3:30 pm, Exercise and getting together at 1 pm on Saturdays, Devotion and other activities following exercise on Saturdays, and we will start the Bible Study on Thursday, May 30. We will announce the time. 
We will also be announcing African Worship Service following our regular Sunday Worship in June.

Please let us know if you have prayer requests.

Hymn: Breathe on me breath of God