Virtual Church – August 23, 2020

8:30 am

August 23, 2020

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

•  The church office is open by appointment. Most of the 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.
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 If you think we may have out-of-date/incomplete email addresses or phone numbers for your household please let us know.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
•   If you need Rev. Jim for a pastoral emergency, please email him directly at jamescgillwuc@gmail.com

Welcome

Green the colour of creation, trees, chairs, broccoli, cabbage, zucchini, green apples,chairs, green with envy…

Call to Worship

In the midst of darkness & chaos… God imagined.

In the fury & darkness… God imagined a world filled with trees, every shade of green, and blue skies and fluffy white clouds.

In the meadow, God stood and… imagined foxes, bluebirds, and slithering snakes.

In a world of rainstorms and wildlife and cattle and green grasses blowing in the breeze…

God imagined humanity. God imagined the continuum from man to woman. 

In a world teeming with billions of people…God imagined me. 

God imagined you and God imagined me.  We are created in the image of God. God imagined us all. God loves each of us. 

Let us worship with the same imagination as the creating One! Amen.

(written by Tim Graves, and posted on LiturgyBits. https://liturgybits.wordpress.com)

Opening Prayer

This prayer was written by a Youth Group on Zoom Nakonhaka Regional Council for the most part, and a few other youth from all over Quebec.

Creator God, be with us as we struggle to process, learn and understand the magnitude of the injustice in our world. Help us be brave in facing our own prejudices. Help our eyes to see what is happening.
Be with the people on the front lines, and keep them safe from violence and danger

Creator God, seek us and challenge us to do better, to love bigger and to be the people you call us to be. Help us to stand up for each other no matter what. Lend strength in mind, body, and soul to those who are actively protesting these injustices and attempt to sway the minds and hearts of those in positions of power, so that change, and justice, may rise from the ashes of what has been lost.Help our eyes to see even when we get pepper-sprayed and help us quench the fires of racism.

Open our spiritual ears to listen to the stories of the ones most affected and be slow to judge and offer our options.

Loving God, grant us the strength and compassion to stand together and make change, for justice for all those you created in your image. Amen

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: Psalm 1:1-3, Psalm 23:1-3 Mark 6: 38-40

Psalm 1:1-3
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

Psalm 23:1-3
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.[b]He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.

Mark 6: 38-40
“How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.” Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties.

Morning Message: The Colours of the Bible – Green

I began writing this message in a time of drought. The lawns without sprinklers were so brown and dead looking. Then on Civic Holiday Sunday, as I completed this message, the lawns overnight had turned green from that holiday weekend soaking.

When this Covid all began for us back in early March, I discarded my original preaching plans which had already been laid out for late winter, spring and summer of 2020. Today on this fourth Sunday of August, I want in one small way to continue the return to normal. For many years I have planned a summer sermon series. Today I want to continue my summer series of messages originally planned back in late 2019.

Today this message is part of my series entitled The Colours of the Bible. In particular today I want to consider the colour green 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.

Green is the color of most vegetation. It symbolizes life, restoration, and new beginnings as we see so well in the psalms read today. Green is also the color of the resurrection we experience through the miracle of Easter, which we in the northern hemisphere experience in spring and its greening after winter.

So much of the Holy Land is quite arid, desert or semi desert. Imagine the American Southwest. Water except in the rainy winter season is quite rare. That is why water is so valuable and fought over in the Middle East. Hear those words about green from the first psalm as it talks about walking in the way of God, listening to God’s counsel for our lives. Studying the word of God is like a tree planted by a water source, making it prosper as a green plant, not a brown one.

Psalm 1
Blessed is the one who delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

Green in the Bible is a good colour! A very good colour. Jesus talks negatively about plants and trees that do not produce fruit. Green is about being fruitful. Green in our day is seen in many different ways. Green is the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy, and is associated with growth, harmony, freshness, safety, and the environment. There are many green agenda’s to restore the earth to be more like God created it – which is a very good thing too.
Green can also be a negative colour. Think of the green-eyed monster that can take over our lives. Envy and greed are two of the 7 deadly sins. Envy and greed have that green-eyed monster of jealousy as part of their DNA. We need to guard too our living from the thinking that other fields are greener than ours. We can get caught up in those self-defeating “if onlys” and “what ifs” of life. Behind every door there is a story. The life people try to present on social media is often not what their lives are like in reality but more what they wish their lives could be.

Remember King Herod in the Bible. Not only was Herod jealous of the baby Jesus, and that’s why the Holy family fled to Egypt in exile, but Herod was also jealous of his own family. That green-eyed monster of jealousy can literally kill and destroy back in Herod`s day and today.
We are told by people who study colour that green has healing power and is understood to be the most restful and relaxing color for the human eye to view. It is why people flock to the indoor gardens at the RBG in January`s snows. Apparently green can help enhance vision, stability and endurance. I know if I go too long away from nature, especially the forests, I am off base. I crave the tall pines, for example, or a stand of maples. I don’t think we were made to live in concrete and glass all the time.

Green takes up more space in the spectrum visible to the human eye and it is the dominant color in nature, especially in this Great Lakes region we live in. It is a natural choice in interior design as an ideal background or backdrop because we as humans are so used to seeing it everywhere, hence the colour of our Bronte Hall.

Think of what it says about the colour green in one of the most beloved passages in the whole bible:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.

Psalm 23 echoes the power of green, read earlier in Psalm 1. Green pastures. As God`s hungry sheep, the Lord wants to feed and nourish us. Part of the reason you are watching this virtual service is to be fed by God, who uses the humble words we pray each week to share the Good News.

At the front of Walton there are two liturgical fiber art hangings. On one the underlying colour is blue. On the other the underlying colour is green. We read the story of the green one in Mark: “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.” Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.

Wow, the feeding of the 5000. So much like the 23 Psalm, which is green pastures. In the feeding of the 5000 the feeding is done on green grass. Jesus feeds the 5000 with a few fish and some bread. It’s one of the greatest miracles of the Bible. You maybe never noticed in hearing that story read, that it mentions the crowd sat down on green grass. Audrey Gill-Gratham (not a relative), who created these two hangings, included the green of the grass in her liturgical art.

The Bible is full of colour. Often it just becomes simply the landscape of the story. But so very often the colour has a message for us that was relevant back then and still is here and now today. It is a symbol, metaphor, illustration or a connector to another Bible story and hence a connector to our lives.

The color green is associated with renewal, growth, hope and rebirth. Green is a gift from God with its soothing, relaxing, and youthful presence. Green is a color that can help alleviate our darker moods. Green brings with it a sense of hope, health, adventure, renewal, as well as self-control, compassion, and harmony.
May God`s green bless you this day!

Pastoral Prayer

Thank you God for your gift of creation, the gift of love, and peace, of joy and hope in how things grow and thrive, without us humans ever stepping in the midst of it. Help us to remember Lord that we are to look after and care for your creation, be stewards, thank you that Covid19 has made us see how we treat what you have created for us, the cleaner waters, the oceans regrowing, help us to be better stewards and take care of the gift you gave us. Help us to do our part in this change, and do our part to help take care of your Earth. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Anthem – Shine, Jesus, Shine

 

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Green the colour of money, but God asks us for much more than our money, he asks us for us, our time, our talent and then our treasure. My treasure is my faith, my family, my friends, my church family, the material things of life will come and go, but God’s unconditional love and support and the love and care of my family far outways the material things in my life. So today as I give my offering, I give thanks that I have money to share, but I am most grateful for the unconditional love, hope, peace and joy in God, and the forgiveness I am given in all that I do, and don’t do. The offering will now 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

We offer to you this morning our gifts, our tithes and offerings of ourselves, that you Lord will use us in your service to others. We thank you for our treasures that we are blessed to share what we have with others and ask that these blessings will be used in your glory and Jesus’ name. Amen.

Commissioning & Benediction

As we go into the world, help us Lord to watch over one another, to not see life through a green eyed envy lens, but in a lens of gratitude, love, peace, hope and joy in sharing what we have with others. Just as God has shared nature, growth, creation with us, let us share and look after his gift and be stewards of our green lands, both here in our community and in the world.

May that green light be the light to go… go out into the world and share God’s message of love, forgiveness and peace with one another. This day and always. Amen.

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!

Lord Prepare Me to be a sanctuary
I’m Gonna Live so God Can Use Me
The Lord’s my Shepherd
Go Now in Peace

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update from Wednesday, August 19th