Virtual Church – August 9, 2020

8:30 am

August 9, 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 If you think we may have out-of-date/incomplete email addresses or phone numbers for your household please let us know.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

Welcome to this time of worship. Wherever you are, whether you are tuning in by computer or some other device, we are glad that you are joining with us. We hope this time will be a blessing to each one of us.

Call to Worship

For the living of these days let us heed promptings of possibility, let us evoke creativities of compassion let us be poised for flight on soaring wings of faith and love. O come, let us worship!

* Reprinted with permission of the publisher from Touch Holiness, ed. Ruth C. Duck and Maren C. Tirabassi. Copyright ©1990 The Pilgrim Press.

Opening Prayer

Loving God, we thank you for this day and this opportunity to worship you. We come to this time with hopes and disappointments, with celebrations and with hurts and other needs. Bless us, we pray, as we worship. Bring us your hope, your peace, your humility, your insights, your encouragement and help us to grow into being who you created us to be. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ who taught his followers to pray:

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.

A New Creed

We are not alone,
we live in God’s world.

We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others
by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.

Anthem – Beyond Ourselves

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

Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favour with his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy.

Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

So Naaman went in and told his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said. And the king of Aram said, “Go then, and I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.”

He went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten sets of garments. He brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of his leprosy. When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.”

But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel. “So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean,” But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, “I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?” He turned and went away in a rage. But his servants approached and said to him, “Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it?” How much more, when all he said to you was, “Wash, and be clean?” So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.

Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company; he came and stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel.

Morning Message: Humble Pie

Here’s a trivia question for you. What are the ingredients for authentic humble pie? Humble pie was a popular and rather nutritious meat pie eaten by the poor in England in the 17th Century. It contained the heart, liver, and kidneys of a deer. Yikes! That’s definitely what I would consider a humble meal!

Today, you may be more familiar with the expression ‘eating humble pie’ meaning ‘eating your words’; humbling yourself to admit that you have made a mistake.

That was the kind of humble pie that was on the menu for Naaman. Naaman was considered a great man. He was a valiant and respected soldier. Unfortunately, he also suffered from the dreaded skin disease ‘leprosy’. Leprosy not only created problems physically but also emotionally because in those days it was considered to be highly contagious. Therefore those who suffered from leprosy often were shunned or avoided. ‘Physical distancing’ was a given because no one would have wanted to get too close to Naaman!

Naaman was also inflicted with another kind of leprosy. When told to wash seven times in the Jordan River, Naaman thought that the prescription was beneath him. The Jordan is a significant river in our faith tradition. However, beyond that it is quite ordinary, slow moving, rather murky – greenish brown where I saw it. Naaman did not consider the Jordan River mighty enough for his lofty status! Naaman’s leprosy of pride almost cost him the opportunity to receive the healing he needed for his physical leprosy.

This infliction called pride can also plague us, affecting our lives in many ways including our relationships with others.

Pride can keep us from admitting that sometimes we are wrong. It can keep us from taking the first step of apologizing. It can keep us from realizing that often a problem in a relationship is not just one person’s fault. It can even keep us from accepting someone else’s apology or their attempt to bring reconciliation.

Pride can also cause us to miss opportunities to grow in our relationship with God. It can encourage us to allow the line between Creator and creature to become fuzzy. We lift ourselves up to take the place of God. We follow our own will rather than God’s will. How does that song go – “I did it my way”. A better song for us would be ‘I tried to do it God’s way”.
And so, like Naaman, who almost missed the opportunity to experience healing for his leprosy, our pride can cause us to miss chances to experience relationships the way God wants us to know them – relationships with others and our relationship with God.

Naaman came to Israel to receive healing relying on the credentials of wealth, position, and pride. He arrived with silver and gold, ten sets of clothes, and a letter of recommendation from his king. Yet he soon discovered that the only credential he needed was humility. When he finally humbled himself to wash in the Jordan River seven times his skin was cleansed.

In a similar way, humility can move us toward healthier relationships. The healing and wholeness that humility brings into our relationships is because of what it means to be humble. Humility is not failing to recognize your positive points and qualities. Humility is not pretending that you aren’t good at things you are good at. If Sidney Crosby said he was an average hockey player that would not be humility. It simply would be downplaying his extraordinary ability!

Humility is seeing ourselves for who we are with all our strengths and limitations. It’s recognizing ourselves as a part of the Creator’s creation. It’s understanding ourselves to be an equal member – no more, no less, – of the human family.

Such an understanding of oneself nurtures healthy relationships. When we see ourselves equal to others we’re not so apt to put them down because we think we are superior. We’re not so apt to ignore them or disregard them. There is no need for us to keep the position that we know more or are better than someone else.

The way is opened for us to listen to others, not so we can prove them wrong, but so we can understand them, get to know them better, and appreciate who they are as a person. These kinds of things go a long way in building healthy relationships.

Humility can also help with bringing some healing to our troubled relationships.

Perhaps you have heard the advice ‘to meet someone halfway’. However, I wonder what would happen if instead of meeting someone 50% of the way, we met someone 75% of the way. We take the initiative to begin the process of saying ‘I’m sorry’. We make the effort to look at why there is a problem. We take the first step in putting some ‘give and take’ into a relationship. There is no guarantee that any of this will make our relationships perfect but the door will be opened so there will be a chance of reconciliation.

However, a word of warning. An emotionally or physically abusive relationship is a different matter. It is never God’s will for us to humble ourselves to be abused.

Like Naaman who was healed when he humbled himself to wash in the Jordan River, we grow in experiencing healthier relationships with others when our lives are anointed with humility.
And it doesn’t end with our relationships with others. Naaman not only experienced healing for his leprosy, he also experienced spiritual healing. He exclaimed, “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel.” In his humility Naaman acknowledged the presence of the one true God.

Our greatest blessing occurs when we humble ourselves to be encountered by the one true God. We don’t need to try to make ourselves worthy enough to receive God’s blessings because we could never accomplish that. We need only to humble ourselves so we can experience the God who blesses us with forgiveness, acceptance, compassion, care, and new life that comes to us through Christ. In this we experience the greatest relationship in life – sharing our life, day by day, with God, a God with whom we may be humble and honest and open. God longs for us to acknowledge our needs and our need of God.

Well, do any of you plan to have humble pie for lunch? How about a nice big slice for dinner? Probably not literally. However, let us respond to God’s invitation to be humble. Let us increasingly know healthy relationships.

Pastoral Prayer

Creator God, we praise you for the beauty of the earth – for blue skies with fluffy white clouds and for rain that refreshes the trees and flowers; for sparkling lakes and rushing waterfalls; for golden sunsets and the rising sun as we greet a new day. Help us, God, to live with respect within your creation.

Compassionate God, we praise you for the gift of relationships – for family who love us no matter what; for long-time friends who bring stability to our lives and more recent friends who enrich our living; for neighbours and co-workers and class-mates. Help us, God, to open ourselves to your Spirit, so we may grow good relationships. Fill us with humility, with respect of others and for ourselves, with openness to accept those different from ourselves and to celebrate the diversity of our country and world.

Ever-Present God, reach into our lives and bring us your Blessings. You know us better than we even know ourselves. Grant us healing, a sense of purpose, patience, kindness, and the hope that rests in you. Mold us into being the people who proclaim your goodness through our words, our actions, and our way of being.

We pray this prayer in the name of Jesus, the Word made flesh, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope. Amen.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Our offering will be received.

♥ 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

Our offering takes many forms; time, talent and treasure. In these days of Covid, our offering takes new form. Whatever the form we give out of our love of God to make a difference in the name of Jesus. Let us pray.

Offering Prayer

Loving Father, you powerfully fill the voids in our lives. You reveal your compassionate grace by the simple act of always being present. You unselfishly feed us when we are hungry and quietly walk with us when we feel alone. Combine this offering with others so that all of your children can be filled with the power of your redeeming spirit. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

(Copyright © 2020 David S. Bell. Reprinted with permission from www.DavidSBell.org.)

Commissioning & Benediction

Be humble and loving.
Wherever you are, share understanding, kindness, and care with others.
Bring the peace and love and hope of Christ into the world around you.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God and the communion of
the Holy Spirit rest upon each one of us this day and forever.
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 You Teach Us To Be Humble
♬ The Servant Song
♬ Take, O Take Me As I Am
♬ Spirit of the Living God
♬ Olde Irish Blessing

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update from Wednesday, August 5th