Virtual Church – August 30, 2020

8:30 am

August 30, 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

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 If you think we may have out-of-date/incomplete email addresses or phone numbers for your household please let us know.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

Thanks to all those who create and participate in the virtual services and welcome to Sheree Anderson.

Call to Worship

In the midst of the world’s chaos come to this place and find peace.
When your mind is overwhelmed with what you see, come to this place and find hope.
If your heart is heavy with fear, with worry, with sorrow, come to this place and find strength.
As you long for community in a world that is torn apart, come to this place and find love.

Come people of God, and in this place, in this moment, find peace, hope, strength and love,
as we worship and pray together.
(submitted by Rev. Nora Vedress, Calvary United Church in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada)

Opening Prayer

Here we are, God – a planet at prayer.

Attune our spirits that we may hear your harmonies and bow before your creative power,
that we may face our violent discords and join with your Energy to make heard in every heart
your hymn of peace.

Here we are, God – a militarized planet.

Transform our fears that we may transform our war fields into wheatfields,
arms into handshakes, missiles into messengers of peace.

Here we are, God – a polluted planet.

Heal our heart, that we might respect our resources, hold priceless our people,
and provide for our starving children an abundance of daily bread.

Here we are God, opening our hearts and lives to you. Amen (added by Sheree)
(from Earth Prayers, HarperSanFrancisco, 1991, p.84 Joan Metzner)

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: Romans 12:9-21 (NLT)

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.

Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them.If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.”

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

Youth Story

“What If…” by Thierry Lenain and Olivier Tallec, Enchanted Lion Books, 2019.

Morning Message: Recipe for a new world

What an amazing world it would be if we could follow these instructions in Romans 12 to a “T.” We know this is how we are supposed to live, but the ‘living’ of it is quite another matter. And, it’s getting harder. The world is polarising into opposing camps on almost every topic and issue there is imaginable.

How are we to live love in a world that seems so chaotically out of order? We are all doing our best in these trying times, but there seems little effect. It can be hard to hold on to a vision of a kingdom, a new world, such as given in this passage. Listen to this list:

– Love must be sincere
– Cling to what is good
– Honour each other
– Keep your spiritual fervour
– Be joyful in hope/ patient in affliction/ faithful in prayer
– Practise hospitality
– Bless those who persecute you (really!)
– Live in harmony with one another
– Don’t repay evil with evil
– No revenge! Let God do justice God’s way.
– Live at peace.
– Overcome evil with good.

That’s some list. Pretty daunting I think. Why has it become almost impossible for us to believe this can happen in our times? I mean, on a worldwide scale, let alone in our churches? We hang on to the possibility but can feel defeated as we look around at others…and even ourselves.

As it happens, as I was thinking over this passage, I was reading a book by John Philip Newell, former leader and Minister of the Iona community in Scotland. In his book, “Christ of the Celts,” he makes a statement that stopped me in my tracks. He writes, Christ comes to us “as the memory of what we have forgotten.” Christ comes to us as the memory of what we have forgotten.

I found this an intriguing thing to say. What have we forgotten? What is there in Jesus that strikes a forgotten chord in you? Take a moment to remember what you see and feel when you think about what Jesus said or did. What rings true at a deeper level for you?
Here’s what I noticed –

* I see someone who sees deep into the soul of others and understands the need behind their behaviour, doesn’t judge, but may call us to accountability.
* I see someone who sees themselves in solidarity with others, equal in honour and respect, on the same human journey together.
* I see someone who believes with every ounce of his body that God can work through him, that God is ever-present and ever ready to act, and therefore he can expect results.
* I see someone who trusts in the relationship of love that exists between him and God even when external events are tempting him to think otherwise.

John Philip Newell says that Christ comes as a ‘re-sounding of the original Word of God – a sound, a vibration, of the heart of God, that was the beginning of creation itself. Christ comes as the ‘note’ of God’s heart, God’s heartfelt intention, that is carried in all of created matter, a foundational truth.

So what do you see and feel as ’the note of God’s heart” when you look at Jesus? What rings true?

I see in Jesus, someone who hears and knows that the very foundation of the universe is the vibration, the emanation, of love. And that this love is the present and active, creative, healing energy of God. And that this energy of love, of God, is constant in creation and he can trust it to act powerfully when he stands in it, calls on it, and allows it to flow and shape his life.
It is no wonder to me that Jesus says that we could all do as he does, if this might be what he believes!

How do we bridge this gap between what Jesus thinks we can do and what we believe we are capable of? It seems idealistic to think we can emulate Jesus, but I believe that the way we are understanding our physical world is changing quite rapidly these days. I have spoken to you previously about how science and spirituality are catching up with each other and with the Bible!

A brief overview:
Quantum physics is telling us that we are not separate from anything in this world. Everything is energy, a web of interacting energy particles of differing densities. We are a conglomeration of waves of electromagnetic impulses. How astounding! Even what we think and feel emanates outward from us! We are constantly emitting the energy of our thoughts and feelings. That’s a little scary if you think about it. And now, it is known that the emotions we generate have different frequencies and different effects.

Would it surprise you to hear that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, humility etc. (remember those fruits of the Spirit?) have a higher frequency, a higher resonance and vibration and have been found to emanate a quality of well-being not only within yourself but to those around you? In other words, these types of feelings are healing, are restorative, to both ourselves and others. Are you making the connection between this information and the power behind the love of Jesus? Jesus opens his entire body, heart, mind and soul to that vibration of love. It fills him up and flows through him.

Science is telling us that everything is connected, one web of energy, all the way out to the stars and beyond. The Bible tells us we are made in the image of God. Jesus shows us what it is like when we believe and act as though we are one fabric of being-ness with others connected all the way to the very source of creation. Not separate; the energy is able to flow from one to the other.

This is empowering news! For me, it is a picture of how the Spirit of God works.
When Jesus says God is near, he means it. God is but a thought away from us, an intentional feeling away. When Jesus says we can do what he does, he means it.

We can call on the creative power of God-love to heal, to flow into any situation. We can stand in the fabric of the created universe and allow the love-energy of God to flow through us.
Easier said than done, I know. It’s a daily commitment to just remember this is our true reality.

And even more interior work for us when we recall the words of Romans 12:
‘Don’t just pretend to love others, really love them. Love from the centre of who you are; don’t fake it. Bless those who persecute you; no cursing under your breath! Don’t hit back or insist on getting even. Surprise your enemy with the goodness of your generosity.’

Yikes! We will have to pray every day for love to stretch us into new ways of being, sincerely wanting the discomfit that might bring. We NEED stretching if we are to bear within us the capacity for God’s love in all its power! We have to learn to trust that love no matter what….this is what is being asked of us.

Can we create a world such as the one described in the passage from Romans today?
We are discovering in science and spirituality the truth of our being in this world.

The Bible in its innate wisdom calls us again and again to ‘uplift our spirits,’ to remember God is near, to encourage each other to joy, to peace, to kindness, to the hidden treasure within this created world. Ask anything, we are told, the Spirit hears, the Spirit knows, every prayer is heard.

We have the capacity to be vessels of healing energy in the same manner as Jesus. Jesus tells us this.

Jesus comes, became Christ for us, as the memory of all we have forgotten; the power of love in human form, the power of love, present, in this created world.

(Reference: “Christ of the Celts”: the healing of creation, J. Philip Newell, Wild Goose Publications 2008, p.14)

Prayers offered in image and poetry

Poems from “Poetry of Presence’, editors Phyllis Cole-Dai and Ruby R. Wilson

“The Second Music” by Annie Lighthart (p.36)
Now I understand that there are two melodies playing, one below the other, one easier to hear, the other lower, steady, perhaps more faithful for being less heard yet always present.

When all other things seem lively and real, this one fades. Yet the notes of it touch as gently as fingertips, as the sound of the names laid over each child at birth.

I want to stay in that music without striving or cover. If the truth of our lives is what it is playing, the telling is so soft that this mortal time, this irrevocable change, becomes beautiful. I stop and stop again to hear the second music.

I hear children in the yard, a train, then birds. All this is in it and will be gone. I set my ear to it as I would to a heart.

“The Thing Is” by Ellen Bass (p.154)
to love life, to love it even when you have no stomach for it and everything you’ve held dear crumbles like burnt paper in your hands, your throat filled with the silt of it.

when grief sits with you, its tropical heat thickening the air, heavy as water more fit for gills than lungs;

when grief weights you like your own flesh only more it, an obesity of grief, you think, How can a body withstand this?

Then you hold life like a face between your palms, a plain face, no charming smile, no violet eyes, and you say, yes, I will take you, I will love you, again.

Pastoral Prayer

Let us pray
Heavenly Father, thank you for the many, many gifts, that you give us. The blessings we don’t always give you credit for. Lord, in the midst of all that is going on, help us to remember that you have this. You have us in your hands, you know what is going on and you will be there in the midst of everything. Give us peace in that knowledge and help us to help others to know you, to grow with you.

Please be with those today who are struggling, there are so many things out there that can be a challenge. When we feel that way, help us to turn to you Lord, for you offer us that peace and comfort that only you can give. Help us to remember to turn to you first, instead of last. For you hold the light and peace that we all seek.

Be with those this week who are going in for tests, finding out results, have medical issues going on. We lift them for your healing.

Please be with those, Lord, who are struggling in home situations, in relationships, in friendships, where there is a feeling of not knowing what to say, or what to do. Be with them.

Lord, we lift the people who are lonely, who live in fear of being with other people, of stretching that bubble too far. Help them, Lord, help them to know they aren’t alone. Help them to reach out to others by phone, by email or by Zoom or whatever way they can to take away some of that loneliness.

Thank you God for listening to each of our wants and each of our needs and discerning between the difference, and answering our prayers. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Anthem – Let His Love Be Found in You

 

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Invitation to Offering
Our God, I-Am-Who-I-Am, has seen great suffering among God’s children. God calls us to “let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection.” Jesus says, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew. 16:24) In humility, let us deny ourselves and bring to God some of the many blessings with which we have been provided, so that everyone might have hope, through the gifts of God. The offering will now be received.
(adapted Bill Steadman, The Gathering, Pentecost 2, 2020)

♥ 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

Dear God, I-Am-Who-I-Am, in humility we ask that you accept these gifts as a sign of our love for all of your children. May these gifts help to provide healing in the midst of adversity within the community of your creation. Make us ever mindful of your call to bring love, hope, and peace in the world. In Christ’s name, we ask for your blessing, even as we seek to follow his example in denying ourselves and following you. For this, we give you thanks. Amen.
(Bill Steadman, The Gathering, Pentecost 2, 2020)

Benediction

May all we say and think be in harmony with you, God of our being; God within us, God beyond us: with Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit; we walk in your world. 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!

♬ Turning of the World
Spirit, Open My Heart
God Who Gives to Life Its Goodness
Pass it On
Olde Irish Blessing

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update from Wednesday, August 26th