Virtual Church – July 26, 2020

8:30 am

July 26, 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 If you think we may have out-of-date/incomplete email addresses or phone numbers for your household please let us know.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
•  There is a new option for making your regular offering. You can now set up your own weekly or monthly ‘offering’ from your bank account or credit card, using our secure online payment page. Simply choose the schedule that suits you, and when you wish the recurring payments to start and stop. When each donation is processed you’ll receive an email confirmation, and of course, all donations are eligible for a tax receipt at the end of the year. Go to waltonmemorial.com/donate-recurring, or to find out more contact stuart@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

BLUE,
Blue of the sky, blue of the sea, blue of the eyes that watch over me,
Blue in the rainbow, blue of Lake Louise, blue of the carribean ocean, blue freezies.
Blue on my walls that welcomes me home.
Blue of the bike, blue in the flame, blue of the blue jay, blue of the moon,
Blue in the sound of that wonderful tune.

We welcome you today to Walton United Church to share God’s creation of the colour blue, part of the rainbow, the rainbow of hope and love which God shared with us through his promise to Noah. Let us join together in worship….

Call to Worship

All God’s children are welcome and wanted here, no matter your need. God will give you rest of your weariness, comfort from your pain, balm for your soul, food for your mind, and hope for your tomorrow.God’s ability to tend and nurture, calm and inspire, knows no bounds and never ends. Let us open our hearts and minds to God’s loving-kindness and welcome for each other as we worship together virtually.
(adapted from Allison Abbott-Wiebe, The Gathering 2020)

Opening Prayer

Good Morning God, you who watches over my life:
I am able to get out of bed this morning by your grace,
I embrace all the unpredictable and uncontrollable things that will happen today, by your grace,
I accept all the gifts and blessings of today by your grace.
I hold joyfully and lightly the outcome of this day by your grace.

Creator God, we thank you for the beautiful blue sky you gave us this morning, with those big puffy clouds, hope that this day will be filled with sunshine and promise. We thank you for the wonderful variations of blue we see when we look over the lake, how many different shades of blues you created for us to enjoy. There are too many to label with a colour name, but the feelings those blue hues give us as the water changes and splashes against the shore, is like the feeling of you drawing into our lives, covering us and then drawing us closer to you. We ask you to draw us in to hear your words this morning and thank you that we can gather together wherever and whenever we reach out to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. 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: Exodus 24:9-18

Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.

The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction.” Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. He said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.”

When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day, the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites, the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Presentation to Susan Derrah

The United Church Creed:  Walton Junior Youth

Morning Message

“Welcome to another week of Sunday School at Home! Hope your summer is going well so far, even if we aren’t doing all of our usual things.” Now you’re probably thinking, “Jim there is a mistake, for this is supposed to be virtual sermon for Sunday July 26, not Sunday School.”

Every week since Covid started, our Sunday School Coordinator Alison King has emailed out a Sunday School lesson for families to do at home. If you are not receiving it and want it to have it emailed to you, please let us know.

A few Sundays ago, Alison wrote this as the introduction to that week’s lesson: “This coming week would normally be our VBS camp at Walton and I’m feeling a bit blue that I won’t be spending the week with all my favorite little people.” I know that I too missed having VBS in the building for that wonderful week together with more than 70 people.

Alison continued, ‘When I say ‘blue,’ of course I mean that I’m feeling a bit sad. Don’t worry – my skin isn’t turning blue! It’s a little strange that we use the word blue to mean sadness, isn’t it?” How many of us have not felt a little blue over these months since the start of March? In fact, maybe a lot blue.

Alison reminded us, “So many happy, wonderful things are blue: the big blue sky, our gorgeous blue lake, refreshing blue swimming pools, my daughters’ pretty blue eyes, tasty blue Slurpees and freezies…to me, blue is a pretty happy colour.”

“Since our Sunday School theme this summer is “Colours in the Bible”, what blue things can you think of in the Bible?” She continued, “The blue sky, of course, makes many of us think of heaven, where Jesus is with our Heavenly Father. What about the blue dot that is our planet Earth, and the blue oceans on it? We learned in the book of Genesis that God created both the earth and the sea.”

In the lesson Alison said, “Speaking of oceans, did you know that 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water? Our oceans make up 96.5% of that water, but of course we have lakes and rivers and streams too. That’s a lot of blue water! Maybe that’s why there are so many stories in the Bible that feature water. Can you think of some? Here are a few my kids came up with:

– Noah and the great flood
– Jonah and the whale
– The parting of the Red Sea
– Jesus calms the storm”

Alison ended her introduction by saying, “I hope you are feeling blue this summer in the best way – enjoying blue pools, and lakes and yummy cold treats!”

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 last Sunday of July, I want in one small way to 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 is the second in my series of messages entitled The Colours of the Bible. In particular today I want to consider the colour blue 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.

After doing some research for this service, Val reminded me that blue is a primary color in God’s incredible rainbow. It spiritually represents the healing power of the Creator we see so often in the miracles of Jesus, and today through answers to the prayers we lift up to God through Jesus. Blue is a most worthy subject and a color which represents, biblically, the living Word of God. The very fact that the sky is blue stands for the presence of our heavenly parent.

What else does the colour blue mean? Many studies have shown that blue is the most popular colour in the world. Val also found out that blue traditionally represents depth, trust, loyalty, sincerity, wisdom, confidence, stability, faith, heaven, and intelligence. Have you ever walked into a blue room and found the color blue has positive effects on the mind and the body? The color blue in many cultures is significant in religious beliefs, and brings peace and calm to our inner being through symbols such as the waters of Baptism.

What does a blue heart mean? Did you know there are at least 87 popular songs with the word blue in the title? Think of a few: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, Blue Bayou, Blue Moon, Blue Christmas, Blue Skies, Song Sung Blue and so many others. A heart is used to symbolize the emotion of love and it is often red, thinking of February 14th and Cupid and his arrows.

Humans have long associated the feeling of love with their hearts. Therefore a blue heart can symbolize a sad heart, but do you know traditionally a blue heart represents a more positive point of view? A blue heart represents a deep and stable love, as well as those enduring qualities of trust, harmony, peace and loyalty.

Blue also signifies the blue skies when we look up or take into our lungs that life-giving air we all need to breathe. Blue often signifies hope or good health. One good thing Covid has done is clean up the skies. The bluest skies in decades have been seen in so many places around the world, including locally. Covid has also cleaned up our waters, making them even bluer than they were before. Many of you have seen photos of how amazingly clear the canals of Venice are without all the visitors. When Covid is over we need to be inspired to clean up this creation God gave us. We are its stewards and caretakers. We need to hand it to future generations better than it was handed to us.

Blue is also a color for the season of Advent, leading up to the birth of Jesus on December 25. Some churches have blue Advent candles representing hope in their Advent wreaths. Mary is often pictured in blue clothing. As I said, blue in the Bible represents the heavens and the Word of God. In Exodus 24:10, when Moses, his sons, and 70 elders of Israel went up to Mount Sinai to worship God, they came in the presence of God. They described the foundation under the Divine as being bright as the blue sky.

Blue was the color assigned for priest’s clothing, in particular the hems of their gowns. In the Gospel of Luke, the woman who suffered for so many years was healed by our High Priest, Jesus Christ, when she touched the hem of his garment. That is why blue is accredited with being the color of God’s healing grace. This blue grace is still offered to each one of us. It did not stop back in Bible times. but is both here and now for us this very day.

We can all have blue days in the days of the pandemic. May the wonder of God’s blue in so many parts of daily life be that healing grace for each of us. Amen

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: How Can I Keep From Singing?

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Sharing our gifts of offering is a wonderful way we live our love for others.

Let us share together our love for God and each other with the sharing of our offering 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

Divine Spirit, there are no limits to your goodness, no limits to your love. We have received beyond anything we could ask or expect, and joyfully, we give in return. Bless these our offerings and remind us that as these gifts are used to bring compassion, hope and justice, you, Divine Spirit, are discovered to be at work with us. Amen.
(David Sparks, The Gathering, Pentecost 2020)

Commissioning

You were called here to this time together virtually, or you wouldn’t have opened your computer or phone. You are now called to share what you have learned this morning, to go out into the world and share the love of God with others, opening your heart, your soul and your mind to whomever your neighbours may be, wherever they may be found, just like Jesus did.

Benediction

We’re going to end this service with the blessing here in youth hall. This is where the junior youth meet on sunday morning and this is the junior youth group board. I thought it appropriate for the blessing here now.

May the blessing of God, the creator, Christ and comforter be upon us and remain with us 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!

    • 10,000 Reasons
    • To What Can the Kingdom of God be Compared
    • Seek Ye First
    • One People, Here, We Gather
    • Olde Irish Blessing

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update from Wednesday, July 22nd

 
 
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