Monthly Archives: November2020

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2020 Advent Devotional – Day 2

Prepare

African Advent Carol
Words and music by Michael Barrett, 2006

“Kum ba yah” (come by here)

“‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’” (Luke 3:4b)

Video: African Advent Carol


Reflection

It’s almost the first of December and the temptation is to go full-throttle Christmas, playing your favourite carols throughout the house and singing along to “Ding Dong Merrily on High” or “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” It’s a season of celebration, surely?

And yet, not so fast. It’s (also) a season of anticipation and of preparation. The children, impatient for gifts and Santa Claus, aren’t the only ones who need to be slowed down and told to wait at this time of year, for there is much to be gained along the way.

Like this catchy, and possibly unfamiliar carol, complete with African drums. The lyrics of the carol are reminiscent of the teaching of John the Baptist in the wilderness, calling the people to prepare themselves for the coming of Jesus. John the Baptist was forceful and direct about what needed to be done to prepare: the people needed to change their ways and straighten up the direction of their lives.

It’s a confronting question for us too today, albeit gentler when set to music! But like John, the carol encourages us to think about what it might mean to prepare ourselves for God. What sort of welcome is your heart ready to give Jesus?

Our homes might have fewer guests this Christmas but, as the carol encourages, we must prepare ourselves to be ready for Jesus to “come by here.”

Part invitation, part motivation (for we “do not know the day or the hour” – Matthew 25:13), let “Kum Ba Yah” affirm your welcome to Jesus to come into your heart this Advent, opening yourself up to the transforming love of God. And let us celebrate that we can do so, secure in God’s promise that however messy the situation in our life, Jesus can find his way in.


Patient God,
Slow me in my rush for the festivities; still me in my hectic urge to hurry. Help me examine my heart and my life, and renew me to welcome you more fully. Help me clear away the demands and the pressures that get in the way of your transforming love. Help me move past the worry and the scarcity that prevent me from sharing your love with the world. Amen.

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2021.

► What you need to know this week

• Walton is implementing a new software system which can accommodate all our varied administrative requirements: people/membership database and facilities scheduling, donation tracking and receipting, and event registrations. “Planning Center” has been selected by the office staff, council and financial committee as the program that will best suit our needs. However, in order for us to be able to use the new program effectively, we need your help to update our contact information.

•  In many cases, we only have one email or phone number on file for each household. (For example, do you get this Virtual Service directly to your email, or does your spouse have to forward it to you?) Accurate email addresses and mobile phone numbers for each adult are key pieces of information for staying in touch with many in our congregation. If you think we may have out-of-date/incomplete email addresses or phone numbers for your household please let us know.
•  For those who receive letters or tax receipts we also need to make sure we have the correct postal address on file. If you have recently moved or are not receiving any correspondence from us, we may not have your new address.

For any updates please drop an email to office@waltonmemorial.com, with the subject line being “CHANGE IN INFORMATION”, or call the office 905-827-1643. This would really be helpful to make our new program work to benefit both staff and congregation. Thank you!


Daily Advent Email Devotional – Find greater meaning and inspiration as you prepare for Christmas, with a daily moment of guided reflection and prayer. Inspired this year by the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (made famous by Kings’ College, Cambridge, in the UK), each day you’ll be sent either a Scripture passage or an excerpt from a carol, as well as a short reflection and a prayer. Internet links will also be provided so that you can watch and listen to the carols and readings offered up in worship.
– Throughout Advent, we will affirm and remember our endeavours across the centuries to glorify God and give thanks for the birth of God’s Son. Each day, the devotionals will remind us of God’s enduring relationship with humanity and encourage us to welcome and praise God in our world today.
– If you’ve received the Advent emails in a previous year, you should have received the Advent emails automatically, starting today, Nov 29th. To sign up to receive the emails, please visit: waltonmemorial.com/advent-devotional


•  Food Bank: On behalf of the Burlington and Oakville Food Banks, the Walton Outreach Committee would like to thank you for your generous financial donations since we entered the COVID-19 world. The need has increased hugely in our local areas – families who used to be able to scrape by have been forced to use the services of the food banks to put meals on the table. Families who were already registered are feeling the severity of their situation more than ever. The demand on the food banks is well-documented and we’d like to ask you to donate if you possibly can spare something. You can donate online at the Walton website, which means that the amount will go through your Givings Statement, or drop a cheque through the mail slot at the church, or post your donation to Walton Church, 2489 Lakeshore Rd. West, Oakville, ON L6L H9. We have been able to send your donations of $1400 to date – thank you for your generosity and for thinking of others through our current situation. Please be sure to designate either Oakville or Burlington Food Bank if you have a preference and add your envelope number if you know it.


 •  Walton’s prayer chain is open. Confidential prayers requests can be sent to office@waltonmemorial.com


•  If you need Rev. Jim for a pastoral emergency, please email him directly at jamescgillwuc@gmail.com


• Your generosity is so appreciated! The Mitten Tree is up and ready for your donations! We know many of our knitters have been working hard on mittens, hats and scarves. Our shoppers have been picking up items when they see them on sale. All donations welcome!
“Warm hands …and feet… and hearts”


2020 Advent Devotional – Day 1

Presence

Once in Royal David’s City
Words by Cecil Frances Alexander, 1848

“With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior holy.”

Video: Once in David’s Royal City


Reflection

“Once in Royal David’s City” provides one of the most iconic moments in the Kings’ College service of Nine Lessons and Carols. The congregation sits in candlelit silence. The choir wait at the entrance of the chapel. And then, in the still shadows, one voice rings out. The service begins and through the purity of the soprano solo, we are invited to welcome the peace and presence of God.

The lyrics emphasize the essential humanity of Jesus, born into humble surroundings, dependent on the nurture and care of his mother. While the city of Bethlehem may have a royal history, home of King David, Jesus comes into the world in ordinary and plain surroundings. The carol affirms that this is not just ‘God with us’, present on earth, but ‘God as one of us’, embracing the struggles and pitfalls of human life.

The presence of God then that the carol evokes is that of a God who understands us, who knows the difficulties we face and the problems we encounter and meets us where we are. We do not have to have it all together to encounter Jesus in our lives; rather we are invited to embrace the love of God precisely because we do not have it all together.

Like the child in the manger dependent on his mother, we recognize our utter dependence on the love of God and give thanks that through the life of Jesus our humanity can be a bridge to God and not a barrier.


Understanding God,
You meet me in my life, however abject or dark my circumstances are. You love me through my pain and seek me out when I am lost. You comfort me in my despair, slow down my impatience and reassure my anxiety and fears. Embrace me in my daily life and help me seek your peace in this season of preparation. Prepare my heart to respond to your love for me and for this your world. Amen.

Reading

Once in royal David’s city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior holy.

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in heaven above,
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; but in heaven,
Set at God’s right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned
All in white shall wait around.


Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2021.

► What you need to know this week

Daily Advent Email Devotional – Find greater meaning and inspiration as you prepare for Christmas, with a daily moment of guided reflection and prayer. Inspired this year by the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (made famous by Kings’ College, Cambridge, in the UK), each day you’ll be sent either a Scripture passage or an excerpt from a carol, as well as a short reflection and a prayer. Internet links will also be provided so that you can watch and listen to the carols and readings offered up in worship.
– Throughout Advent, we will affirm and remember our endeavours across the centuries to glorify God and give thanks for the birth of God’s Son. Each day, the devotionals will remind us of God’s enduring relationship with humanity and encourage us to welcome and praise God in our world today.
– If you’ve received the Advent emails in a previous year, you should receive the Advent emails automatically, starting Nov 29th. To sign up to receive the emails, please visit: waltonmemorial.com/advent-devotional


 

Offering Envelope @ Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontario

• 2021 Givings Envelopes are available for pick up from the church office. You are invited to drop by Tuesdays through Fridays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm to pick yours up. Please come to the back door and ring the doorbell. Thanks so much for your help. If you are unable to drop by during those times, please contact the church and make an appointment. 905-827-1643, office@waltonmemorial.com
For the 2021 giving year, Walton has reallocated congregational envelope numbers. This to reduce the range of envelope numbers in circulation, and thereby reduce excessive waste and administration costs. As a result, please check your envelope number to see if there has been a change; this change will be effective January 1st, 2021. If you are on PAR you will no longer receive a box of envelopes, but if you would like the special envelopes used throughout the year, please contact the office and a set of envelopes will be made available for you to pick up through the church office. Thank you.


• Thank you from the  Outreach Committee!
Please know what you are doing helps!
Please know what you are doing is acknowledged and it is appreciated!
Please know that the people on the receiving end are so grateful and thank you for continuing to support and help them. Thank you!  Thank you!
Our modified Spaghetti Dinner raised over $2,000 with your very generous support, this amount will go to Wesley Mission in Hamilton. As well, your response to our Thanksgiving Food Banks appeal enabled us to pass on almost $2,000. to our local food banks.
Walton’s Outreach Committee is trying to maintain some of our Christmas programs. We want people to remember this time of year and the happiness that goes with it, even though we are in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic.
We plan to have a food drive (monetary contributions are appreciated)
A White Gift program (with gift cards to basic retailers, ie. Food Basics, Giant Tiger, Walmart, Shoppers, etc.
Monetary givings through the church givings would be appreciated as well. Donations can be dropped off at the church Tuesday to Friday 9:00am to 12:00pm. If these times don’t work, please contact the office to arrange an appointment: office@waltonmemorial.com or 902-827-1643


Christmas Memorials – Everyone has the opportunity to make a special Memorial Gift to Walton at Christmas time. There are two ways you can do that this year — you can make a monetary donation or you can donate a virtual poinsettia in loving memory of a loved one. The cost for a virtual poinsettia is a minimum donation of $10.00 and all donations go to the Walton Benevolent Fund.
— Please donate online or contact the church office at office@waltonmemorial.com to make your donation either Christmas Memorial Fund or Virtual Poinsettias. The deadline for donations Wednesday, December 16th. These memorial gifts will be made into a list and will be emailed out to all those who donated by early in the New Year. They will be dedicated in the Virtual Service on Sunday, December 20th. More information – https://www.waltonmemorial.com/benevolent-fund-christmas-memorials/
What is the Benevolent Fund? This confidential fund, managed by Rev. Gill with help from some of the staff, is to help people in need due to Covid, illness, unemployment, unexpected accident, setback, or tragedy. Every year it helps people in our congregation and in the wider community who are in need, through financial and material assistance. The work of the fund remains highly confidential to allow for anonymous support of people in need. For more information, please speak to Rev. Jim Gill jamescwaltonwuc@gmail.com


 

Upper Rooms for November and December are now available at the church. Please contact the office if you would like to purchase one. Thanks.


•  Walton’s prayer chain is open. Confidential prayers requests can be sent to office@waltonmemorial.com


•  If you need Rev. Jim for a pastoral emergency, please email him directly at jamescgillwuc@gmail.com


The Mitten Tree is up and ready for your donations! We know many of our knitters have been working hard on mittens, hats and scarves. Our shoppers have been picking up items when they see them on sale. There is a big need for thermal socks!! All donations welcome!
“Warm hands …and feet… and hearts”

► What you need to know this week

Offering Envelope @ Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontario2021 Givings Envelopes are available for pick up from the church office. You are invited to drop by Tuesdays through Fridays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm to pick yours up. Please come to the back door and ring the doorbell. Thanks so much for your help. If you are unable to drop by during those times, please contact the church and make an appointment. 905-827-1643, office@waltonmemorial.com

For the 2021 giving year, Walton has reallocated congregational envelope numbers. This to reduce the range of envelope numbers in circulation, and thereby reduce excessive waste and administration costs. As a result, please check your envelope number to see if there has been a change; this change will be effective January 1st, 2021. If you are on PAR you will no longer receive a box of envelopes, but if you would like the special envelopes used throughout the year, please contact the office and a set of envelopes will be made available for you to pick up through the church office. Thank you.


•  Thank you from the  Outreach Committee!
Please know what you are doing helps!
Please know what you are doing is acknowledged and it is appreciated!
Please know that the people on the receiving end are so grateful and thank you for continuing to support and help them. Thank you!  Thank you!

Our modified Spaghetti Dinner raised over $2,000 with your very generous support, this amount will go to Wesley Mission in Hamilton. As well, your response to our Thanksgiving Food Banks appeal enabled us to pass on almost $2,000. to our local food banks.

Walton’s Outreach Committee is trying to maintain some of our Christmas programs. We want people to remember this time of year and the happiness that goes with it, even though we are in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic.
We plan to have a food drive (monetary contributions are appreciated)
A White Gift program (with gift cards to basic retailers, ie. Food Basics, Giant Tiger, Walmart, Shoppers, etc.

Monetary giving through the church givings would be appreciated as well. Donations can be dropped off at the church Tuesday to Friday 9:00am to 12:00pm. If these times don’t work, please contact the office to arrange an appointment: office@waltonmemorial.com or 902-827-1643


Christmas Memorials – Everyone has the opportunity to make a special Memorial Gift to Walton at Christmas time. There are two ways you can do that this year — you can make a monetary donation or you can donate a virtual poinsettia in loving memory of a loved one. The cost for a virtual poinsettia is a minimum donation of $10.00 and all donations go to the Walton Benevolent Fund.
— Please donate online or contact the church office at office@waltonmemorial.com to make your donation either Christmas Memorial Fund or Virtual Poinsettias. The deadline for donations Wednesday, December 16th. These memorial gifts will be made into a list and will be emailed out to all those who donated by early in the New Year. They will be dedicated in the Virtual Service on Sunday, December 20th. More information – https://www.waltonmemorial.com/benevolent-fund-christmas-memorials/
What is the Benevolent Fund? This confidential fund, managed by Rev. Gill with help from some of the staff, is to help people in need due to Covid, illness, unemployment, unexpected accident, setback, or tragedy. Every year it helps people in our congregation and in the wider community who are in need, through financial and material assistance. The work of the fund remains highly confidential to allow for anonymous support of people in need. For more information, please speak to Rev. Jim Gill jamescwaltonwuc@gmail.com


• Kids and teens – last call to share your gifts!
Like all our services, White Gift is going to be different this year. Our virtual White Gift service this year will be led by our children and youth, as always, but instead of participating in a play, we’re asking Walton’s kids and teens to share their special gifts via photo and video. Whether their gift is singing, playing an instrument, dancing, juggling, or creating art, we want to share it with Walton’s congregation in this special service, as we encourage everyone to share their gifts of support with Wesley Urban Ministries this Christmas season. Think of it as a virtual talent show for a great cause!

Submitted videos should be no more than 2-3 minutes in length.
Videos should be recorded horizontally, not vertically.
Subject matter/music should be church-appropriate .and related to the message of the Christmas season.
Videos and photos will be included in the virtual service video, which is sent to Walton’s subscribers and shared on social media. Participating children will be identified by their first names only.
Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, November 18th.
Email videos and photos to sundayschool@waltonmemorial.com


Upper Rooms for November and December are now available at the church. Please contact the office if you would like to purchase one. Thanks.


• FALL SPECIAL….MIKE’S SEVILLE MARMALADE is available for curbside delivery through the church office – $3.00 per jar. Please contact the office at 905-827-1643 or email the office at office@waltonmemorial.com to make arrangements. All proceeds go to Walton Treasury to fund programs and ministries.


•  Walton’s prayer chain is open. Confidential prayers requests can be sent to office@waltonmemorial.com
•  If you need Rev. Jim for a pastoral emergency, please email him directly at jamescgillwuc@gmail.com


The Mitten Tree is up and ready for your donations! We know many of our knitters have been working hard on mittens, hats and scarves. Our shoppers have been picking up items when they see them on sale. There is a big need for thermal socks!! All donations welcome!
“Warm hands …and feet… and hearts”