Virtual Church – Good Friday – April 10, 2020

8:30 am

April 10, 2020

Virtual Church - Good Friday

Welcome to virtual church!

Each Sunday morning we will be sending email to everyone in the congregation for whom we have email addresses, offering an abridged Sunday morning service — “virtual church.” For the latest news and updates from Walton, please check our Facebook page, Instagram and website.

Please contact hello@waltonmemorial.com if you would be like to added to our email list.

Announcements

• If you would like to submit a prayer, reading or thought to be considered for inclusion in this weekly mailing, please send to jamescgillwuc@gmail.com.
• Walton’s prayer chain is not closed. Confidential prayers requests can be sent to office@waltonmemorial.com
• There is a new option for making your regular offering. You can now set up your own weekly or monthly ‘offering’ from your bank account or credit card, using our secure online payment page. Simply choose the schedule that suits you, and when you wish the recurring payments to start and stop. When each donation is processed you’ll receive an email confirmation, and of course, all donations are eligible for a tax receipt at the end of the year. Go to waltonmemorial.com/donate-recurring, or to find out more contact stuart@waltonmemorial.com
• Walton Church remains closed until further notice. All services, meetings and programs are postponed.
• All staff are still working from home and can be reached through their usual contact information or by the central email office@waltonmemorial.com or the central telephone number 905-827-1643. Both are monitored throughout the day.
• If you need Rev. Jim for a pastoral emergency, please email him directly at jamescgillwuc@gmail.com.
• If you are on your own and unable to get out, or don’t feel safe doing so due to risk factors, the church has an army of volunteers ready to assist with picking up and delivering necessities, prescriptions, groceries, etc. All requests for assistance are confidential; please email the church office or leave a voice mail.

Today’s service will be offered in 2 formats – a video and text. If you wish, you can download and print the service from this document – link – or you can read the complete service below.

The hymn-sing is at the end.

Good Friday Service (30 minutes)

Welcome

Call to Worship

We have gathered here in front of our computers, phones or ipads, to remember and give thanks for Jesus Christ,
the one who knew human joy and sorrow,
yet also the one in whom we discover God.
We give thanks for His life- how He healed, forgave, and brought hope.
But we also gather to remember His death, to remember –
How those in power, feeling threatened by Him, conspired to kill Him;
How He was betrayed, denied, and abandoned by His friends.
Yet in His death, He bore the sin, grief, and suffering of the world.
We give thanks for Jesus Christ.
He lived for us, and He died for us.
That is why we join together online to worship today.
Thanks be to God.
(adapted by F. Flook, The Gathering 2020 L/E)

Prayer of Confession

Invitation: We have come together as one family in Christ.  On this day when Jesus expands our understanding of family – drawing the connections between his mother and his beloved disciple – we come before God in confession. In recognition of our brokenness, of the ways we have wounded the relationship we have with God and with each other, we come not so much in shame, but with trust. So now, let us trust God as we confess our brokenness:

Holy God, you call us to walk the way of the cross,
But we choose the way that is easy, or the one that promises us the best return.
You call us to seek out the lost, the lonely, the rejected,
But we prefer those who are secure, good company, “together.”
You call us to stop at the foot of the cross on our journey,
But we would rather bypass death on the way to new life.

A time of silent prayer

Words of Assurance

Receive the good news. Jesus invites us into our true home – God’s embrace – where our relationships are tended into wholeness by the healing touch of God’s forgiveness.  In that abundant, unconditional forgiveness, as we commend our spirits into fullness with the Holy Spirit, we rejoice in the promise of what we continue to become. Thanks be to God! Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Let us say together the prayer that Jesus taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Solo – Chris Waldron – Beneath the Cross

Meditation on the Cross

Awe-inspiring symbol of a fearless, compassionate, and just way for humanity; the cross on which Jesus died.
The cross, a way of love without limits.
The cross, a clear symbol of those who refuse to give in to the powerful ones of our society.
The cross, a way of love without limits.
The cross, a strong symbol of forgiveness when a hateful response would be understood.
The cross, a way of love without limits.
The cross, a bleak symbol of abandonment by friends in time of deepest need.
The cross, a way of love without limits.
The cross, a courageous symbol of faithful ones, who would not stay away.
The cross, a way of love without limits.
The cross on which Jesus died.
We are moved and changed by the awe-inspiring cross.   Amen.
(D. Sparks, The Gathering L/E 2020)

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

God’s presence reaches us wherever we are and whatever our circumstances. God’s blessings and strength – comfort, support, endurance – embrace us in good times and bad. And as we are able, God calls us to make a difference to the day and place we find ourselves in, as we prayerfully consider our offering.

♥ by secure online payment from your bank or credit card.
♥ One-time payment –  waltonmemorial.com/donate
♥ Weekly or monthly payments – waltonmemorial.com/donate-recurring
♥ by cheque through the mail slot at the church office entrance or by Canada Post.
♥ by monthly PAR payments. To sign up contact stuart@waltonmemorial.com

Offering Prayer

Let us pray: And now with the cross of Christ before us, let us present our offerings in this time and place of worship, whether that be in your kitchen or in the backyard. That we might live for Christ and all that He lived for, that our world might be a place of justice and of peace. Help us to be His hands and feet in this world where sharing God’s love, peace and hope with each other, will bring healing and wholeness for all God’s people. Amen.

(adapted B. Root, The Gathering A/E 2018)

Scripture Reading: Luke 23:32-43 (NIV)

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the Jews.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Anthem – “Home” (Arms of God) – Heather Sorenson

Rev. Jim Gill’s Message

It is known by two names. But it is the focus of this meditation today. It is known as the Arms of God or Home. Jesus answered the criminal on the cross beside him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Home in the sense of Good Friday is with Jesus in his Heavenly Father’s eternal home. The mansion with many rooms made ready for us. Home every day for you and me is in the second name of the anthem the choir sang in their video this morning. Home every day is in “The Arms of God.” Let’s look at some of the  words in the song “Home:”

(1) “Every soul that is distressed there is rest.” Many people tell me they cannot sleep well. The underlying worry about what the next day’s news will bring. God promises us our distressed souls do have rest in his arms. Matthew 28:11 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” When we lay down at night and place our heads on the pillow let us turn our worries over to God in prayer.

(2) From our anthem these words: “From the darkness be released there is peace.” It is spring, but with all that is happening around us we can feel it is like the darkest day of the year. Both literally and figuratively, it is like the darkness of the first Good Friday.  John 8:12 reminds us, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” Faith is the perpetual light at the end of the tunnel.

(3) The anthem also reminds us, “There is hope for the broken.” Our daily living routine has literally been turned upside down. Who would think going to the grocery store would become both such a health challenge and also the most exciting thing in our day? With all the changes it is easy to give up hope. But remember the words of Romans 15: 13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope.

(4) We hear in this choir piece, “By the sin that has been erased there is grace.” God has made things right through Jesus’ action on the cross. We hear in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” It is not our works but God’s grace that makes things right. So it is in John 1:29, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

(5) Finally, the anthem reminds us, “Who has been shaken to the core. Strength that is not your own. Welcome Home.” These last weeks have shaken us individually and as a society to the core. In some ways March 2020 will be a watershed divide in our lives. It is hard not to be shaken. We hear this reminder written many centuries ago in Psalm 118:14, “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”

Welcome home in the arms of God, this day and every day. God bless you and yours.

Pastoral Prayer

We pray for those who struggle.
We pray for those who struggle at this time of huge uncertainty;
for political leaders faced with unforeseen challenges, uncharted ways, difficult decisions,
Holy One, we will acknowledge wise choices, we will offer words of support.

(time of silent reflection)

We pray for those who struggle.
We pray for those in situations never before experienced.
We pray for moms and dads who struggle with having children at home all day.
It is difficult to find new activities; it is hard to stay creative.
Holy One, we will listen carefully to the challenges, we will encourage fresh ways of communication with good friends.

(time of silent reflection)

We pray for those who struggle,
We pray for those whose day is radically different.
We pray for those who must leave their usual workspace,
for those breadwinners who must work at home.
Holy One, we will support the new priorities, we will not intrude into the working hours.

(time of silent reflection)

We pray for those who struggle.
We pray for those who have lost their jobs
We pray for those whose financial security has gone,
who have anxiety around paying rent or providing for family needs.
Holy One, we will be there in the testing times, we will assure them of their self-worth.

We pray for those who struggle.
We pray for those who have been affected by the COVID-19 virus.
Those who are sick at home and those who have been hospitalized,
in their suffering, and in their fear.
Holy One, we will hear and respond to their distress, we will be a safe but compassionate presence to their loved ones. 

This prayer we offer in the name of Jesus Christ,
Amen.

(United Church of Canada March 29/20) Faith Communities and Covid-19)

Commissioning

The Good Shepherd in great passion and desire, has laid down his life among us.  As we go from this place, our home, this house of worship for this morning, we pray to you, O God:  Keep our hearts company with your presence; into these temple-bodies of ours, sing a homecoming. We will listen, we will keep time to the song, and we shall learn of the One whose voice enfolds us, whose arms embrace us and the one who loves us completely. Amen.
(adapted, D. Webber, The Gathering L/E 2020)

Hymn-sing

This morning on Facebook and on YouTube, we’re sharing a video where Linda shares with us several of our favourite hymns!  Sing along!

Click here to go to YouTube to sing along! [Link]

– Lamb of God.
– There is a Redeemer.
– Safe in the Arms of Jesus
– O How He Loves You and Me

 
 
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