Virtual Church & Hymn Sing – March 29, 2020

8:30 am

March 29, 2020

Welcome to virtual church!

Each Sunday morning we will be sending 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 hello@waltonmemorial.com if you would be like to added to our email list.

1 Peter1:2

“May grace and peace be multiplied to you.”

Announcements

♥ If you would like to submit a prayer, reading or thought to be considered for inclusion in this weekly mailing, please send to jamescgillwuc@gmail.com.
♥ Walton’s prayer chain is not closed. 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
Walton Church remains closed until further notice. All services, meetings and programs are postponed.
♥ 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.
♥ If you are on your own and unable to get out, or don’t feel safe doing so due to risk factors, the church has an army of volunteers ready to assist with picking up and delivering necessities, prescriptions, groceries, etc. All requests for assistance are confidential; please email the church office or leave a voice mail.

Call to Worship

Adapted from “Ministry Matters“

One: Wrap ourselves in the healing love of God!
All: We seek God’s presence in our lives.
One: Know that God continually surrounds us with patience and persistence.
All: Even though we have not produced the “fruit” of patience that God wills, yet God forgives and heals.
One: Rejoice! Great is the Mighty One, and greatly to be praised!
All: We will turn our lives again to our Creator, to serve and seek God’s presence with persistent patience. Amen.

Opening Prayer

Your Holy Word, God, is a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths. Your Holy Word teaches us wisdom and fills us with new creation. As we come together to worship through this virtual service, let us bring to you today our heartfelt needs. Help us to honestly lay down our worries and fears at your feet in prayer. Help us to lay down all our tangled and restless emotions of this Covid-19 season in our lives.

Loving one, we are seeking your peaceful patience. We want to learn to wait patiently for you to bring your support to our prayers. We want to cooperate with your plans for us, even in the midst of the endless changes of daily life and living this March as we look into April. Thank you for reassuring us that your plans for us are good.

As we wait on you, may we continue to turn to your Holy Word for comfort and direction when so much around us seems beyond our control. Remind us that your Holy Word is solid, reliable, and steadies us. Your Holy Word brings us truth, gives us strength and can chase away our worry and fears. Thank you, God. Amen.

United Church – 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. Thanks be to God!

Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Anthem – Let His Love Be Found in You

Time for Personal Prayer

~ Patient Pause ~

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, the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

God’s presence reaches us wherever we are and whatever our circumstances. God’s blessings and strength – comfort, support, endurance – embrace us in good times and bad. And as we are able, God calls us to make a difference to the day and place we find ourselves in, as we prayerfully consider our offering.

♥ 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

Hymn- In Christ There is No East or West

In Christ there is no east or west,
In him no south or north,
But one great fam’ly bound by love
Throughout the whole wide earth.

In him shall true hearts ev’rywhere
Their high communion find;
His service is the golden cord
Close binding humankind.

Join hands (symbolically only), disciples in the faith,
Whate’er your race may be!
Who serve each other in Christ’s love
Are surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both east and west,
In him meet south and north,
All Christly souls are one in him
Throughout the whole wide earth.

Rev. Jim’s Message

If you have walked or driven by Walton Church in the last week you have probably noticed the message on our outdoor sign. It captures a helpful two-fold response to Covid-19 for believers to implement: “Pray and Wash Your Hands.”

It says to do all you can with hand washing, social distancing, self-isolation and other actions recommended by the health experts. But also it says to apply your faith specifically to pray. On top of prayer, we can do such things as read the scriptures and share these virtual services and other Walton inspirational social media postings.

So far we have received feedback about our virtual service from across the province and country. People have also shared their highs and lows of this season of Covid-19. One person said, “Honestly, I had not planned to give up this much for Lent.” It allowed them to appreciate how much they took for granted before this virus hit. Another person said not being able to go to church gives them a small sense of what people go through in countries where they are persecuted or even jailed because they do go to church.

Other people have shared wise words such as the medical professional in the congregation who reminded us, “This is a marathon, not a sprint”. I think this a good prescription for life, for it will not be the same for quite a while, even if there is great success “planking the curve.” People have talked of their fears for the future and their worries over finances. Others have spoken about being bored, but even more than that about how they have lost their patience with all this.

Patience is the theme of this week’s service. It comes from that First Corinthians 13 passage, “Love is patient.” Waiting is hard. When will all this be over? When can I go back to work, see my friends and go out like I used to? We ask ourselves those questions and countless others.
My childhood doctor had a sign in his office that said, “ Patience, Patients.” We want to go. We want to do. We want to get out and about. As I write this, I am locked into the church and into my office. There is no one around the building, for the rest of the staff are working at home. It is hard to be alone all day long, especially as the extrovert which I am. It is great when people see my car in the parking lot and do what I call a “drive by wave” at me as I work away at my desk. They slow down and everyone in the car waves at the minister.

Others put notes, jokes, suggestions, and even donations through the mail slot by the top of the ramp outside the Allen Entrance. A member who lives in Amica sent me this reminder: “What did the ocean say to the beach? Nothing; it just waved, ha ha. We need to laugh and wave.” It was great to break up all the waiting by going outside at 730pm every evening, and banging pots and pans from our doorstep with neighbors in support of those caring for those who are on the front lines.

Love is patient. Maybe it is hard waiting for friends, loved ones and fellow Walton folk to call, email, text or face time you. Why not reach out first? Love is patient. Maybe it is hard being isolated with the same people for 14 days, especially in tight quarters. Maybe it is hard self- isolating by yourself. Maybe it is hard being isolated with a house full of kids who want to be school or playing on the playground area at the park, but they cannot.

Love is patient. Another Walton person reminded me, “This too shall pass. It might be like a kidney stone, but it will pass”. Everything in life passes. This Covid-19 is not proving to be easy. My 95-year-old Mom says all this reminds her of life at the peak of the polio epidemic, which eventually did pass.

Life has changed in so many ways. The Walton Auction and Fun Fair have both been postponed. Grocery stores and those who work and supply them have taken on an importance which we have never seen before. A Canadian broadcaster said, “we are in this together, apart.” It is true, and love that is patient will make it so much easier to face all these changes.
I saw this the other day when I was out at a grocery store buying food for a Walton member in self isolation. People were dancing around each other with a three-metre distance between the dancers, often smiling and laughing at each other as they stepped around doing this new jig. It was like a retail ballet. Even more revealing was how all the customers seemed to let the staff have the right away in any encounter they had. No impatience with people blocking the aisles, even those filling up the shelves – especially with paper products. Another Walton member reminded me that, “When the “I” is replaced with “We” even illness becomes wellness.” Love is patient.

The other day I encountered a couple in their early twenties in the lower level of the Church. I did not know how they got in with locked doors. I thought at first they were looking to be married, though some wedding couples are now postponing or not booking weddings. It turns out they both went to the nursery school here at Walton and wanted to look around – a walk down memory lane for them. At a times like this there is strength in looking back to allow us to move ahead in the future. Going down memory lane helps us continue walking down the uncertain lane which lies ahead.

As I speak to so many Walton people electronically and/or by phone every day, they talk about looking back to move forward. They talk about times they had to wait before in their past. Wait for a job, test results, a ring, to buy their first home, graduation, a baby and so many other things in life. As Philippians 4:6 reminds us all, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

It is ok to pray to God for patience. There are probably very few of us who have too much patience. It is in the 12 step slogan of “one day at a time.” Best way to be patient today is to be patient day by day, and sometimes even hour by hour. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln once referred to it this way: “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

It is funny how God can reassure us. I have received lots of ideas about what we should be adding to our mission as a congregation. Some are very helpful for sure and others have or are being implemented. Thanks so much. One was as simple as adding a wicker basket under the mail slot to catch what people have put through, to posting mid-week check in videos online. Our priority is always is worship, pastoral care and community.

Someone beyond the congregation told me I should start a dog walking service at the church. Another wanted me to post an agenda of what I am doing every day. While I love animals, I am allergic to most dogs and I do not think pastors should be celebrities with their personal timetables posted publicly. So I confess, I was getting a bit impatient about this all, and within five minutes two people came by and left lovely notes in the church mail slot saying how they are touched by what we are doing as a congregation. It is funny how God can reassure us.
I think a local talented photographer captured it best in his Facebook post: “I took these shots during the brief time there was a bit of sun. When I looked through the viewfinder I saw more than Walton Memorial. It became clear, this building has a different meaning to each of us. For myself, it is the stalwart, the constant, the soul. The chaos of change around it, yet it continues to stand and draws your attention.” I think that says it all. The building may be temporarily closed but the congregation endures. It is why so many come by to visit, even though they can’t come in. They want to touch base. Maybe just being here helps give them a sense of patience.

Pope John XXIII had 10 tips for living a better, more patient life day by day, known as The Daily Decalogue of Pope John XXIII:
1. Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.
2. Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.
3. Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.
4. Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.
5. Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.
6. Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.
7. Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.
8. Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.
9. Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.
10. Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for 12 hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.

“Love is patient.” Our text today from I Corinthians 13 is the most beloved passage in the whole Bible about love. It is so often read at both weddings and celebrations of life, for this chapter serves as a pattern for all life’s varied relationships. Yet many have not reflected on its implications for today’s message on patience. After making the point that love is a necessary ingredient in all life, Paul begins to describe love. “Patience” is at the top of the list — “long” patience or “endurance,” according to some other translations of the Bible. Godly love and a patient spirit go hand in hand.

Patience is also noted as part of the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5. Love is also mentioned there, revealing again the close connection between these two attributes. Both love and patience are products of the Spirit’s presence, or Fruit. May each of you reading this be blessed in the unknown and unsure days ahead by both yours and others’ loving patience. “May the Lord direct Your hearts into the love of God, and into the patience of Christ,” (2 Thessalonians 3:5). Amen.

Words of Inspiration sent in by Walton Folk

True Story of a Walton Member

Keeping social distance, I was checking out at Walmart. The fellow ahead of me had only a few items. Very basic things: a can of beans, a few other things and a package of butter tarts. He was a man in his late 70s or early 80s, packing each item in his small knapsack. As each item was rung in he counted out his change from a change purse he had in his hand. He kept putting the butter tarts to the back of his things. Before the butter tarts were rung in, he stopped the cashier… He didn’t have enough to pay for them.

The cashier ended his transaction and was putting the butter tarts behind her when I asked her to give him the butter tarts and put them on my bill.The man gestured his thanks to me. Until then, I hadn’t realized he was totally hearing impaired. He was so happy. He put his hand to his heart and gestured his thanks to me.

Just telling this to you brings tears to my eyes. Such a small thing can make a difference. The cashier looked at me and said, “He will never forget you.” In truth, I will never forget him. How often does something like this happen to a person? I feel so blessed that I was there at that moment.

Hymn-sing

This morning on Facebook and on YouTube, we’re sharing a video where Linda shares with us several of our favourite hymns!  Sing along!

Click here to go to YouTube to sing along! [Link]

♥ Come in and Sit Down. (VU 395)
♥ The Church is Wherever (VU 574)
♥ What a Friend We Have in Jesus (VU 664)
♥ Blest Be the Tie That Binds (VU 602)
♥ Listen to Your Children Praying (VU 400)
♥ Healer of our Every Ill (VU 619)
♥ Here I am Lord (509)
♥ Irish Blessing

Blessing

May the blessing of God the Creator, Christ and Comforter be with you this day, and every day. Amen.

 
 
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