Virtual Church – August 16, 2020

8:30 am

August 16, 2020

Virtual Service

Welcome to virtual church!

Each Sunday morning we will be sending an 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 office@waltonmemorial.com if you would like to be added to our email list.

Sunday Service Video (30 minutes followed by the hymns)

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.

Announcements

Your contact information needs to be updated! 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 your 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 If you think we may have out-of-date/incomplete email addresses or phone numbers for your household please let us know.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.
•  Email 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!

•  RED PEPPER JELLY by jerry & MIKE’S SEVILLE MARMALADE are available for curbside delivery through the church office – $5.00 per jar. Please contact the office at 905-827-1643 or email the office at office@waltonmemorial.com to make arrangements. All proceeds to Walton Treasury to fund programs and ministries.

•  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 for 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 1H9. 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
•  A reminder that the church building is still closed, with absolutely no access for congregation members and volunteers. 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

Welcome

Yellow bananas, sunflowers, daisies, buttercups, sun, moon, stars, part of the rainbow of hope and love. Brightens up the day, it’s hard to look at yellow and not feel a smile coming on.
“Here comes the Son…..”

Call to Worship

Lord, we thank you for this new day, a new beginning to whatever bad habits, whatever doubt and frustration I have been carrying. As that beautiful golden sun rises ever so cautiously through the clouds, help me, oh Lord, feel you lifting me out of my cloud of fear, worry, sadness and wanting everything to go back to “normal.”

Help me to appreciate that you give us a new morning everyday, a new day to look to you, and ask you to guide us, forgive us, change us once again, give us hope and understanding that you are in control, and that each new day, you will be reaching out your hand to me, to us.
This morning, we set aside all those worries and look to you, we grab your hand, bow our heads and come to give thanks and worship you, Lord.

Song: Lord You Are More Precious than Silver

Lord You are more precious than silver,
Lord you are more costly than gold,
Lord you are more beautiful than diamonds.
Nothing I desire compares with you.
Gonna praise Him in the morning light, as I watch the sunrise.
Gonna praise Him in the noon day sun, as it shines so bright.
Gonna praise Him at the end of day, as I watch the sunset.
Gonna praise Him all through the night.

Opening Prayer

A prayer as I put on my mask
Creator, as I prepare to go into the world, help me to see the sacrament in the wearing of this cloth – let it be “an outward sign of an inward grace” – a tangible and visible way of living love for my neighbours, as I love myself. Christ, since my lips will be covered, uncover my heart, that people would see my smile in the crinkles around my eyes. Since my voice may be muffled, help me to speak clearly, not only with my words, but with my actions. Holy Spirit, As the elastic touches my ears, remind me to listen carefully – and full of care – to all those I meet. May this simple piece of cloth be shield and banner, and each breath that it holds, be filled with your love. In your Name and in that love, I pray. May it be so. May it be so. Amen.
(with permission by Richard Bott, Moderator)

The Lord’s Prayer

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 and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Children’s Time

This summer in Sunday School we’ve been following the same theme which Rev. Jim has been preaching about in his weekly message – the colours of the Bible. Last week we discussed the colour yellow, and since it’s Jim’s theme this week, we thought it would be fitting to include our Sunday School object lesson here for you to enjoy:

 

With the longest March break in history almost over, we know so many parents are struggling with the choices involved in the start of a new school year. We ask for God’s help with this prayer:

Lord, we pray you will grant each of us the wisdom and clarity of choices we need to make for our children and youth of all ages in going back to school.

Help us to share our worries with the school board, or government officials who can make a difference, rather than just venting, releasing our frustration to those around us and worrying others who have already made their committed choice.

You know Lord, that it is hard to live in fear and worry on whether we are making the right choices, just as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, so we pray now about critical choices.

Help us to remember to listen and let go and let God. Please grant us your grace and peace in our decisions.

Thank you, God. Amen.

Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 5:1-15a (NVSV)

Psalm 67
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you.

May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth.

May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Matthew 2:7-12
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Morning Message: The Colours of the Bible – Yellow

No, you are not in a COVID time warp. Even though some stores like Canadian Tire have Christmas items out on their shelves, it is not Advent or Christmas yet. But Jim, you say, the Bible text read for today is about the Magi, the wise men coming to the baby Jesus in Bethlehem.

Today is the second in my series of messages entitled The Colours of the Bible. In particular today, I want to consider the colour yellow in the Bible. God created all the colours of the world and we celebrate each colour. We do live in a world full of God’s vibrant colours, especially in the summer, and I want to talk of the colours of the Bible over these remaining summer Sundays that lie ahead.

One of the three gifts of the wise men was gold. Today I would like to talk about yellow in the Bible. Yellow is referenced in the Bible by the Hebrew word charuts, which refers to the precious metal gold the Eastern Magi presented to Jesus. Many scholars believe it was this gift of gold that sustained Mary, Joseph and Jesus in Egypt when they were refugees from the tyranny of King Herod. Today we live in a world of increasing tyrants in charge of countries, who want to set themselves up as modern-day Herods protecting their rule and power at any cost.

Gold biblically represents the sovereignty of God. The sovereign nature of God simply means God’s sovereignty is God’s right and power to do all that he decides to do. Note that God is a very benevolent sovereign, full of graceful love for those he created. This is an important concept. So often we act as if God is not in charge, but rather as if God is there to do our bidding and to do it on demand. We pray saying, “God, this is my plan that I have laid out. God now make it happen.” It is just not like that. We are not God. We need God. “We plan, God, laughs,” that popular expression goes.

In the Old Testament, Solomon had this incredible temple built and overlaid in gold; even down to the priest’s utensils, it was golden. It was a marvel of its time. The temple represented the nation at its zenith of wealth and power. It stood until the Ruler of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar the Second laid siege to Jerusalem in 587 BCE. The period in which the first temple stood in Jerusalem, is known in academic literature as the First Temple Period (c.1000–586 BCE).

The kings, the history and the dates are not as important to remember as is the truth that the empire ended like all empires end, from the Babylonian, to the Greek, Roman and so on throughout history. There was a time it was said the sun never set on the British Empire. Earthly empires’ gold is transitory. God’s golden sovereignty is eternal.

When we went to the Holy Land, as we climbed out of the valley into Jerusalem the tour guide played this stirring version of music of the song “Jerusalem.” It was unforgettable. In the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, it talks of the new eternal Jerusalem. The new Jerusalem is referred to as a city of pure gold in Revelation 21.

Those verses from Revelation are often read at funerals: “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’”

I also see God’s golden, graceful blessing in our Psalm 67 today. The first verse helps form a popular blessing often chosen to be read at weddings. When I read it I have this sense of God beaming down on you and me. Often over Lake Ontario, here in front of Walton Church, you see the sun streaming through the clouds onto the waters as if God is beaming down on us with those golden rays or on his creation.

Hear that verse: “May God be gracious to us, and bless us, and make his face shine on us.” Over the lake, often out in a boat, I have seen our Maker shine his face on us. For yellow and gold also represent the presence of God, we are told in Deuteronomy 4. I don’t know about you but I have needed God’s presence even more in my life since the beginning of March. We live in times that are so tentative. Plans are so tentative. We know any minute things can and will change. But God’s face shining on us is not changeable. Empires come and go. Directives from the health experts change as numbers change. We live life dictated by daily total counts. Do not get me wrong; we need to live like that. But underneath it all, know that God is making his golden face shine on us.

Pastoral Prayer

by Right Rev. Richard Bott written on March 15/20 (Moderator of the United Church of Canada)

In this time of COVID-19, we pray: When we aren’t sure, God, help us be calm; when information comes from all sides, correct and not, help us to discern; when fear makes it hard to breathe, and anxiety seems to be the order of the day, slow us down, God; help us to reach out with our hearts when we can’t touch with our hands; help us to be socially connected when we have to be socially distant; help us to love as perfectly as we can, knowing that “perfect love casts out all fear.”

For the doctors, we pray, for the nurses, we pray, for the technicians and the janitors and the aides and the caregivers, we pray, for the researchers and theorists, the epidemiologists and investigators, for those who are sick, and those who are grieving, we pray, for all who are affected, all around the world… we pray for safety, for health, for wholeness.

May we feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked and house those without homes; may we walk with those who feel they are alone, and may we do all that we can to heal the sick— in spite of the epidemic, in spite of the fear. That we might help each other. In the love of the Creator, in the name of the Healer, in the life of the Holy Spirit that is in all and with all, we pray. May it be so. Amen.

Anthem – Shine, Jesus, Shine

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

The journey with life is a blessing, made more wonderful when it is shared with each other.
God invites us to share what we have with others, not only do we help our church family, we help out our community, our province, our country and our world. Our offering will be received.

♥ by secure online payment from your bank or credit card – waltonmemorial.com/donate
♥ 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

Lord, we bring you our gifts, gifts from our hearts, gifts that are meant to be shared with others, as we face our hopes and challenges. Bless these offerings this morning in the spirit in which they have been given. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

Commissioning & Benediction

In all our rainbow spectrum of diversity, send us out, O Christ, to live your symphony of richness, teaching others the melodies of your self-giving. In all our tentative approaches to challenge, send us out, O Spirit, to listen for your direction, proclaiming the Good News with living dynamics.  In all our disbelief that you, O God, embrace us, send us out to live within the stuff of life, that we may find the courage to perform daring acts of love.

Walton’s Musical Message

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

♬ Shine Jesus, Shine
♬ In the Garden
♬ Now Thank We All Our God
♬ God of Mercy, God of Grace
♬ The Closing Prayer

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update from Wednesday, August 12th