Due to copyright limitations, we are unable to print the words to the songs.  However, our musicians have chosen music to fit the scriptures.  We invite you to look up the words in your worship book and ponder them.  If you do not have a worship book, ponder the words to one of your favourite hymns and listen for God’s voice. Those who have internet may find the songs on YouTube.

Parts of this worship service are taken from the 2022 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity liturgy prepared by the Middle East Council of Churches.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:  The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.

~Helen Keller



     Epiphanies don’t just happen in church—a sudden insight can lead to a “Eureka!” in scientific experiments, an “Aha!” in a detective’s casework, a “Checkmate!” in a fierce chess game, and even a self-satisfied “Yes!” in Sudoku, crosswords, or finding a set of lost keys. So, too, epiphanies about the true nature of Christ come in a variety of words, actions, and places in our gospel readings during the Sundays after Epiphany.

     First wise men from the east, then a dove from heaven and the voice of God, and now water into wine—all pointing to the glory and wonder of God-made-flesh. Just as we have been created and blessed with varieties of gifts, services, and activities, so too has God created and blessed us with varieties of epiphanies throughout human history. In our world that so often relies on an us-versus-them mentality, can we see the rich tapestry of differences as part of God’s glory? Will we be able to look past our traditions, our comfort zone, and our familiarities to see the glorious diversity of God’s revelation? Are we open to an epiphany in any form so that we can in fact “do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5)?


Brothers and sisters, we are united today with fellow believers in the four corners of the world as we gather to pray for the visible unity of the Church. We do this with worship resources prepared by the Middle East Council of Churches. Our texts are inspired by the visit of the Magi to the new-born King, as described in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew: “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him.” Let us fix our eyes on the star that was seen in the East and allow it to lead us too.

Let us come into God’s presence with thanksgiving and joy, bringing all the sick, the suffering, the marginalized, the refugees, and the uprooted before God, knowing that God can dispel our darkness with divine light. As we pray today for the unity of the Church, may we and our communities also be lights that guide others to Jesus the Saviour.

Glory be to you, God Almighty, for you have revealed yourself through your creation and invited all people to stand in your presence. We have seen the star of Jesus in our lives and have come to worship him just as the Magi did. We offer him ourselves today and we ask for the presence of the Holy Spirit among us.

Unite us with one another as we come from the North and from the South, from the East and from the West, old and young, men and women to bow down before you and offer you homage, our heavenly King. Amen.

CHILDREN’S SONG  The Wedding Banquet   


A star led the Magi to Christ. Today this star points to the presence of Christ, who has been revealed to us and whose light shines on us. As the Magi followed the star to Bethlehem, we gather under this star today, uniting our own gifts and prayers for the visible unity of Church. As we journey towards that goal, may our lives together give a luminous witness that leads others to know Christ. Amen.


We are not alone; we live in God’s world.

We believe in God:  who has created and is creating, who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new, who works in us and others by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:  to celebrate God’s presence, to live with respect in Creation, to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil, to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us.  We are not alone.  Thanks be to God.


     In the reading from the Gospel of John for today, Jesus turns water into the best wine!  Not just a little water, a LOT of water!  Around 681 litres of water.  How much is 681 litres?  Well, if you were to collect 170 large jugs of milk, you could construct an indoor igloo!  That is how much water is in the stone jugs Jesus uses to turn the water into wine. 

     While it may seem like the point of the story is water becoming the best wine, the actual point of the story is that Jesus made WAY MORE wine than was needed.  Jesus was showing the people that God is generous, God’s love for us is WAY MORE than we think it is.  Just when we think God couldn’t possibly love us more, God loves us even more! 

     This is a very comforting thought, especially when we are feeling scared, or alone, or angry, or any other emotion.  God keeps loving us.  Thank you God!



Chaplaincy Prepares for the Unthinkable

     The Rev. Joan Silcox-Smith is no stranger to viruses. She was a chaplain at North York General Hospital in Toronto when it was hit hard by SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). Now, Silcox-Smith is the Manager of Spiritual Care(opens in a new tab) for the Grey Bruce Healthcare Chaplaincy Council in Ontario, supported by Mission & Service.

     “COVID-19 isn’t the same. With SARS it was more concentrated in the hospital setting. It wasn’t so much out in the community,” she says.

     Silcox-Smith oversees 10 chaplains serving in 11 hospitals in Grey and Bruce counties in Ontario. Chaplains can no longer visit patients in person at the hospitals.

     “I am used to being front and centre like I was during SARS and not at home. Part of the reasoning is that going room to room risks transmission. Also, restricting visits means that fewer people have to access personal protective equipment, which is in demand,” says Silcox-Smith.

     Still, the work continues. Outside the hospital’s walls, chaplains haven’t stopped caring. Silcox-Smith has set up a tele-chaplaincy system so people can reach a chaplain when they need pastoral care. She took the initiative to start a white ribbon campaign, encouraging people to tie white ribbons on trees around their homes and near hospitals to encourage front line workers. In weekly hospital staff newsletters, she shares tips and advice. This week, she is sharing practical ways to reduce an anxiety attack.

     “Last week, I had a call from a staff member who got sick at work. She was whisked away and tested. Her colleagues were freaking out. Her whole family had to go into isolation. Her husband had to stay home from work. The test turned out negative. But there were four or five anxiety-filled days as she waited to hear the results. The chaplaincy was there for support.”

     Chaplains at Grey Bruce are preparing for the unthinkable: caring for families who cannot be with their loved ones in hospital as they die.

     “We hope we won’t get to that point, but we know our role will be even more important if we do. We are figuring out how to meet families outside the hospital while maintaining a safe distance apart so that we can at least offer in-person support.”

     That won’t just help the family cope with losing their loved one but also reduce trauma the medical staff endure.

     “One staff person said to me: ‘When we get to the point where we have to tell family that they can’t be there when their loved one dies and we are caring for the patient on the inside, we need to know you are on the outside, helping to look after their family,’” says Silcox-Smith.

     Your gifts through Mission & Service mean that patients and front-line staff receive support when they need it most through hospital chaplaincies like the Grey Bruce Healthcare Chaplaincy Council. Thank you!



Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom you have sent in the fullness of time to redeem all the people, we ask you to have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and transform us into his glorious image so we can shine as a beacon of hope in our troubled world.  Amen.

Readings and Psalm

First Reading: Isaiah 62:1-5

The people’s return to Judah after the exile was marred by economic and political troubles. Nevertheless, the prophet declares, Jerusalem and Judah will be restored. God will rejoice over Jerusalem as a bridegroom rejoices over the bride, and the people are called to the celebration.

1For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
 until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch.
2The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory;
 and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give.
3You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate;
 but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married;
 for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married.
5For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you,
 and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

Psalm 36:5-10

R:  We feast upon the abundance of your house, O Lord. (Ps. 36:8)

5Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, and your faithfulness to the clouds.
6Your righteousness is like the strong mountains, your justice like the great deep;
  you save humankind and animals, O Lord. R
7How priceless is your love, O God!  All people take refuge under the shadow of your wings.
8They feast upon the abundance of your house; you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9For with you is the well of life, and in your light we see light.
10Continue your lovingkindness to those who know you,
  and your favor to those who are true of heart. R

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

The congregation at Corinth experienced division as people were comparing their spiritual gifts, thinking some to be superior to others. Paul invites this fractured community to trust that God’s Holy Spirit has gifted them all perfectly for their mission together.

     1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. 3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.
  4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

Gospel: John 2:1-11

Turning water to wine at the wedding at Cana is described as the first of Jesus’ signs. Through many such epiphanies, Jesus reveals that he bears God’s creative power and joyful presence into the world.

1On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9When 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 10and 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.” 11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

SONG  VU 356  Seek Ye First the Kingdom


Can you remember the first time you fell in love?  I’m not talking about your first teenage crush, or even physical attraction.  I am talking about the first time you realized that not only did you love a particular person, you were IN LOVE with this person.  There is a difference.  Being in love with someone contributes to the desire to work with that person to make the relationship stronger, to pull together, to survive as a team whatever the world throws at you.  That is what the depth of love can do for a relationship.  This is the type of love that we find being expressed in the text from Isaiah 62. 

God as lover.  Hmmm, rather sketchy overtones if taken out of context.    To our 21st Century ear, this phrase just sounds weird.  Yet to the Israelites, God’s chosen people, living in a culture where children were often betrothed in infancy, where marriage was a metaphor for life and even one’s relationship with God – bear in mind the Christ’s Church is called the “bride” of Christ – this image of God as faithful lover, “husband”, partner was one that filled Israel with hope, helped build their temple, fed their dedication to God.

A healthy love relationship nurtures comfort, trust, a sense of security knowing that the deepest part of you is safe with this person who holds you, heart and soul.  Conversely, a betrayal of that love cuts deep and leaves permanent scars. 

Israel strayed from their devotion to and trust in God.  To the rest of the world, Babylon’s captivity of Judah is no different than any other army waging war and dominance.  To the Israelites, this was a statement to them that God had forsaken them because they had broken their marriage covenant with the God who loved them, and had turned to foreign gods.  This was their punishment; the consequence of God’s back being turned to them, or so they believed.  They were overthrown and thrown into captivity.

Still, God declares God’s deep love for Israel, promises that they will return and be restored in their love relationship.  This promise is declared by the prophets in exile for almost 100 years.  By the time the Israelites return from exile, the memories of former glory have died with the previous generation.  Now what faces the people is the Temple, destroyed, razed to the ground.  Now what faces them is the ravaged Jerusalem, filled with the descendants of those few who were left behind, and others who have moved to the area to try and scrape out a living.  This land is foreign to them.  How does one rekindle a love relationship standing amongst the ruins?

I. Will. Not. Keep. Silent.

It will not be possible to make me shut up. I will talk and not stop talking, proclaim and not stop proclaiming, preach and not stop preaching. I will shake the skies with my voice. I will not pause. I will not rest, for the sake of the precious city God loved and left, and I will keep this up until every nation and king can see that Jerusalem has been declared innocent and lifted up to a place of glory and honor.

So paraphrases Anathea Portier-Young, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Duke University Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina. 

There are two ways to interpret these words of Isaiah.  The first is to have the prophet speak on God’s behalf.  The second is to have the prophet be the intercessor for the marriage relationship and call God to account for promises made and promises that must be fulfilled.  Both interpretations are valid.  For the sake of this sermon, I have chosen the second interpretation.

I have always loved the Hebrew scriptures for their portrayal of the relationship between the people and God.  I have taken great joy in the repartee Moses has with Yahweh, holding God to account and God accepting what is being said.  I love the psalms with their rants, their praise, their statements of anger, fear, despair, and the underlying current of trust in and devotion to God.  There is power in these relationships, power, deep love, respect and trust.  In the style of Moses, I see Isaiah confronting God and reminding God that the people have repented and now the promises made must come to fruition.  The exiles are now home, they have put aside their foreign gods and have turned back to Yahweh, and if Jerusalem is to be great once again, God needs to step up and nurture this relationship.  Such calling to account is a sign of a healthy, trusting relationship.  It is because of the abundance of abiding love God has for the people that Isaiah calls on God to let go of the hurt, let the healing begin, let the future begin now.

Kind of reminds me of a certain water-into-wine story.  All Mary says to Jesus is, “They have run out of wine.”  In that one, seemingly innocent, sentence it can be inferred that Mary is advocating for the bride and groom.  She knows who her son is, she knows his power and in a subtle way, calls him to account.  Mary trusts Jesus implicitly.  She knows he will come through, otherwise, why would she say to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”  Here is a love relationship that runs deep.  Gabriel told her what God promised to do through Jesus.  With that one, brief, sentence, Mary reminds Jesus that she expects God to fulfill that promise.

All this leads us to our relationship with God in this moment.  We are in a love relationship with the source of all life.  This relationship is deeper, more passionate that falling in love for the first time.  This relationship has as its foundation a desire to work as partners in maintaining the love and trust that exists between us and God.  It has as its foundation honesty in the sharing of emotion, holding each other to account, looking forward to the future, granting forgiveness, confessing our frailties and failings.  This is a love relationship like no other.  We have been given a new name – Child of God. 

Take heart, people of God, be honest with your Creator, speak loudly and boldly, trust the love received, and give love in return.  God will hear and God will fulfill all promises.  Amen.

HYMN OF THE MONTH: MV 172   God Says


     With faith and confidence, we come in prayer, before God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

The Magi came from the East to pay homage and offer special gifts from their cultures and countries.  We pray today for all Christian communities around the world in all of their diversity of worship and tradition:  Lord, we ask you to preserve these treasures, particularly in areas of the world where the presence and survival of Christians is threatened by violence and oppression.

O Lord,

hear our prayer.

The early years of the Lord’s life were marked by violence and massacres at the orders of the despot Herod.  We pray for children living in places in the world where violence continues and where its results are tangible:  Strengthen, O Lord, the bonds of unity and mutual love among our churches and help us to cooperate and witness to your holy Name. Inspire us to work without ceasing in order to defend the oppressed and include the marginalized. Encourage us to stand together in the face of tyranny and oppressive regimes as we seek your Kingdom among us.

O, Lord,

hear our prayer.

After the visit of the Magi, the Holy Family experienced migration through the wilderness and became refugees in the land of Egypt.  We pray for all the refugees and uprooted people in this world:  Equip us, Lord, to show hospitality to those driven from their homes, and grant us the spirit of welcome to those looking for a safe haven.

O, Lord,

hear our prayer.

The birth of Jesus was good news for all, gathering people from different nations and religions in worship of the holy child.  We pray for our efforts to seek harmony and dialogue with other religions:  Lord, give us humility and patience to walk with others with respect on their journey.

O, Lord,

hear our prayer.

The Magi returned to their home by a different way.  We pray for our churches in this changing world:  Lord, help us to find new and creative ways to follow you and to witness to you so that the world may believe.

O, Lord,

hear our prayer.

When the Magi saw the holy child, they rejoiced with great joy.  Gracious God, fix our eyes on him so we do not lose our way. Unite us in the Lord Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life.

O, Lord,

hear our prayer.

Source of love, your son, Jesus, was the balm for a wounded world.  Grant comfort, release and healing for our family, friends and community members:  Douglas Pearson, Tracy Skoglund, Mike Fraese, Dwayne, Brooke Alexiuk, Kathryn Janke Schmidt, the families of Elda Schroeder and Doug Penner. 

O, Lord,

hear our prayer.

Into your hands, merciful God, we place our concerns, our thanks, our praise and our hope.  Amen.


SENDING SONG  VU 87  I Am The Light Of The World


Go now and live as children of light.

For the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness.

Let us wake from sleep and Christ will shine upon us.

Peace be to the whole community, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen! Thanks be to God!






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