Virtual Church – August 2, 2020

8:30 am

August 2, 2020

Virtual Church

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 If you think we may have out-of-date/incomplete email addresses or phone numbers for your household please let us know.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

Call to Worship

Good Morning God of Grace, we come this morning filled with our morning beverage of choice, yet still feeling a thirst – a thirst for clearer thought, a thirst for a revelation in your word, a thirst for a deeper connection with you and with others in this quest to follow you, a thirst to be satisfied, if only for a moment by taking this time to download this service and be in this oasis of peace with you God, where each of us is welcomed wholeheartedly.
As we drink in your peace, your joy, your love, and your hope, and your grace may it flow through us and make us ready for the changes you are working in us; for we have come to be inspired – to be encouraged, to be changed, to worship you. Amen.
(adapted Sheryl McLeod, The Gathering Pentecost 2, 2020).

Opening Prayer

Dear God,
Longing for your love, we pray.
In the midst of confusion and loss, we pray.
In need of your help and guidance, we pray.
For your protection and your love, we pray.
In gratitude, we pray.
Not only for our own need, but the needs of others, we pray.
To be messengers of love, to be a light in the shadows, to bring hope and to carry joy every step of our way, we pray.
To see and nurture love with the love we receive from you and the Holy Spirit we pray.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.
(adapted Julie Ng, The Gathering Pentecost 1, 2020)

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.

Scripture Reading: Acts 16: 6-10

Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Morning Message: “Knowing about no!” – Rev. Jim Gill

No Mask- No Entry
No Social Distancing- No Service
No Temperature Check- No Haircut
No Drinking and Driving
No Receipt- No Refund
No Life Jacket- No Riding In The Boat

There are many “NOs” in life. And that is a very good thing. Hear me again; NOs are a very good thing. NOs are so often a blessing not a curse. But so many people see them as the opposite. They want the freedom and liberty of unlimited yesses. But we need to be reminded of the power of NO. It’s as simple as what we were taught as kids: wash your hands before dinner. Now we simply wash our hands all the time.

Today I am the fill-in preacher. Our scheduled preacher was not able to be here today. It was not Gill or Karen who was to speak, but someone else and that person is fine. So I am the fill-in preacher today. Back long before Covid, we set up the preaching schedule and then things changed. Today I am NOT preaching on my summer series, the Colours of the Bible. Instead I am continuing the message of earlier Sundays this year on “The power of no”.

I call this message “Knowing About No.” Earlier this year we saw photos of protesters – some armed – taking over the state Capitol in Michigan because the Governor said no to the fast opening of businesses and activities in that state to the west of our province of Ontario. If Covid has taught us anything. it is the power of NO to protect, heal and provide safety. No, we cannot have huge parties with people who are not in our bubble. No, we cannot over crowd our beaches including, Bronte Beach in front of the church. No, we cannot cross the border in Michigan or New York. All these are very good things, very good NOs. Knowing about no is knowing often in life that “no” is the best way ahead.

A while ago Garth Brooks had a hit song called “Unanswered Prayers.” One of the verses of that song goes,

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care.
Cause some of God’s greatest gifts Are unanswered prayers.

I would add to Brooks’ hit song by saying when God says no, that in itself is an answer to prayer. God answers prayers at times with a simple no, and that is not only OK but an example of God’s grace to us. It happened to Paul in today’s scripture reading.

Paul wanted to go one direction on one of his missionary journeys. God said a firm NO. In fact, we are told Paul and his team were actually forbidden, probably by a direct revelation through the Holy Spirit at work in Paul’s planning. The reason was that it was the intention of God to extend the gospel further into the regions of Greece than would have been done if they had remained back in Asia Minor or today’s Turkey. In fact, this NO was what made possible the first introduction of the gospel into continental Europe.

What a striking story this is in that unique biblical book, The Acts of the Apostles! Twice in this short story in Acts of which we read part today, Paul and his team heard NO, and were led by the Spirit in another direction. All this kept Paul aligned with God’s plan to keep going through Asia and on to Europe. Perhaps we can sum all this Divine power of NO with this verse from Proverbs 16: 9 when it says, “The mind of the human plans their way, But the Lord directs their steps.” Or maybe you have heard that popular expression of our time, “We plan. God laughs.” As we commit ourselves to God, we know that God will lead us day by day. God’s strategy will prevail. In fact, a No is often a big Yes for something else, probably much better.

Julia Hogan, a counselor, wrote in her article The Power of No – Why Christians Need Boundaries: “Defining boundaries is a way to identify psychologically healthy limits regarding what you are—and are not—responsible for in your life, so that you can give of yourself without depleting your energy, time, and resources.”

“Boundaries are related to the biblical concept of self-mastery,” says Dr. Cloud, whom Hogan quotes, referencing Titus 2:12: “…to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” Boundaries can also protect you from enabling someone else’s destructive behaviour—Leviticus 19:17: “Rebuke your neighbour frankly so you will not share in their guilt.”

It may seem counter-intuitive, according to Dr. Cloud, but by putting up fences we will accomplish more, not less. We thrive when our goals and responsibilities are well-defined when our Yes means Yes and our No means No. Dr. Cloud claims that boundaries are the secret to good, healthy relationships, happy kids, and even a successful business. Healthy boundaries help us resist our inclination to control others, and they protect us from those who would attempt to control us. Clear boundaries respect the dignity, limitations, and responsibilities of the giver and the receiver, helping both sides to flourish.

You can now see maybe why I called this message, “Knowing about No.” God can use NO to be a blessing. I have often been asked to go on this or that board or committee outside the congregation, whether in the larger United Church or in the local community. I have been asked to run for this or that office, to put my name forward to be in this or that position. I learned finally back in 2004 to take it as a compliment but say a firm NO. I am a local congregational minister only. Nothing should draw me away from that calling. Neither Walton nor myself would be blessed by me serving beyond this family of faith.

On this Civic Holiday weekend maybe sit down and reflect. How can the power of no be God’s blessing in your life? Pray to know more about no.

Pastoral Prayer

We pray this morning for those who we might say are feeling blue: Those of us who are hurting, Lord, those who struggle with the day to day worries of life, for those who are mourning, mourning a loss, the loss of a loved one, the loss of income, the loss of their old lives, loss of joy, the loss of hope. Hold tight to them, Lord, and grant your healing love, peace and hope to shine light into those dark corners where we tend to hide when we are feeling all consumed in worry and in pain. Lord, we ask you to shine your light and love into those places today.

We pray for our families and friends, our neighbours, our community, our country and our leaders, our world. As things change and fear steps in to shake up our bubbles, we ask you for strength to not fall into the trap of all the gossip and half-truths, but to stand up for what Jesus taught us, and to keep ourselves and our neighbours safe. To put a mask on, not for ourselves, but for others. Help us to keep our distance when we want a hug so badly it hurts. Help us to love our neighbours and care for them in safe ways that we can. And we offer them up in prayer when it is hard to watch them endangering themselves in our eyes. Help them, oh Lord. Help us, Lord, to learn and grow from these changes COVID has created, holding tight to your Word, and your teachings. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Anthem: A Joyful Jubilant Song

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Bill Hybels writes, ‘If the request is wrong God says “No”. If the timing is wrong God says “Slow”. If you are wrong God says “Grow”.

But if the request is right and the timing is right and you are right, God says “Go”.
So this morning God says “go” to share our love to others, to give our gifts to help someone else who is in need. Let us present our offerings this morning:

♥ 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

Thank you God that out of our abundance we can joyfully share with others. Please take these gifts and use them for your glory and the well-being of all. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Benediction

May the God of the unexpected, surprise us this week, with blessings were we thought were only burdens, life were we saw only death.

Then may we be the ones who offer life, surprising others with our generosity and love. Amen.
(adapted Wanda Winfield, The Gathering, Pentecost 2018)

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!

♬ One More Step
♬ You Are My Hiding Place
♬ Thy Word
♬ Be Thou My Vision
♬ Go Now in Peace

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update from Wednesday, July 29th

 
 
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