Virtual Church – May 10, 2020

8:30 am

May 10, 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 be like to added to our email list.

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.

Sunday Service Video (30 minutes)

Announcements

• 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
• 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.
Free tax clinic now available – Our tax filers do not want you to have to wait any longer. A plan has been developed to safely exchange your tax information so that we can file for you, as long as you have a modest income.  During the initial contact telephone call, we will ask you qualifying questions, advise what information you need to provide and arrange a time for a safe drop off/exchange of documents in the Walton parking lot. Your papers will be held in a quarantine place for 3 days (recommended) and then reviewed by the tax preparer. The preparer will follow up with you by phone. You may need to provide further information and you will receive instructions about signing the required permission form and picking up your papers again from the Walton parking lot. You may call Ruth for information at 905-631-6188

Love your neighbours

We are so blessed to have such a caring congregation at Walton, Many of you have asked about donating food, or other ways to help those in need during these difficult times. Here are a few safe and easy ways you can help:
Financial donations to Walton are always needed and much-appreciated to support our community partners such as the Fareshare Food Bank, Burlington Food Bank, the Lighthouse emergency shelter, and Wesley Urban Ministries. Donations can be dropped off through the mail slot at the office entrance, or made online at https://www.waltonmemorial.com/donate/. Please make cheques out to Walton United Church, and designate which organization you want your gift directed to. Thank you!
•  Film.ca Cinemas, located at 171 Speers Road, is operating a self-serve food bank from their front porch. Donations of non-perishable food, personal care items, and baby supplies can be dropped off there any time and placed in the bins provided.
•  Church of the Epiphany (141 Bronte Rd.) is holding a drive-through food drive in support of Kerr Street Ministries on Friday, May 15, from 9am-12pm. Simply drive in and drop off at the front entrance to the church.

Welcome

Call to Worship

Come, mothers and those who mother!
Come, all who have mothers-
Through birth, adoption, or fostering, or simply by being taken
under the wing of someone with a kindly, mothering soul.
Come, those for whom today is difficult and confusing,
Those for whom today brings anger or grief.
Today, we worship in music and prayer the God who loves us
with a maternal love beyond anything we could ask for, or imagine,
beyond what we hope.
Come let us worship God.
(C. Masterman, The Gathering L/E 2020)

Reflection: “We are truly blessed! Praise be to God!”

We are thankful for each day, and today is no exception. (applause)
We give thanks for the sound of laughter that fills our hearts and minds. (laughter)
We give thanks for the shouts of joy that come from our bodies. (shouts of joy)
We give thanks for the hugs that our arms can give out. (little one shouting Mommy)
We give thanks for the family and friends that we each have. (Happy Birthday)
We give thanks for the food that we grow, prepare, and eat. (Mmmm, delicious)
Today, by our gathering here at our computer or on our iPhone, we truly give thanks.
We are truly blessed! Praise be to God!
We’re truly blessed! Praise be to God!

Opening Prayer

God, on this day, Christian Family Sunday, when we celebrate and give thanks for our families, some of whom we have only seen electronically, or standing at the end of the driveway these last weeks. We know we all have different backgrounds and histories, experiences and memories. Some of us feel blessed and hold tight to many happy, treasured memories, and some of us are hurt, abandoned and have bitter memories. We dread the thought of when “family togetherness” is unavoidable. Many of us carry a mixed bag of blessing and hurt; sometimes we give thanks, and other times we mourn. It doesn’t matter who we are, or what we bring with us today, may we all find a place in God’s family, in His loving embrace. Amen.

Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer

In a minute you will meet Kayla Strike and Emma Kelly. Both these young ladies wanted to help people feel better and decided dancing was one way they could do that, so they videoed themselves dancing to the “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Emma & Kayla are part of Walton’s Sunday School and Junior Youth Group, as well as the “Spirit Moves” dance group that blesses Walton each year, by helping lead us in worship through dance. Thanks Kayla and Emma for sharing your gift of dance with us.

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, For ever and ever. Amen.

Reflection

This is a conversation in the future about 70 years from now……. between a girl and her Nanny.

Child – “How old are you, Nanny?”
Nanny – “I’m 81, dear.”
Child – “So does that mean you were alive during the Coronavirus?”
Nanny – “Yes, I was, I was alive during the Coronavirus. I was just a kid.”
Child – “Wow. That must have been horrible, Nanny. We were learning about that at school this week in History.”
They told us about how all the schools had closed. And moms and dads couldn’t go to work so didn’t have as much money to do nice things. They said that you weren’t allowed to go and visit your friends and family and couldn’t go out anywhere.
They told us that the shops and stores ran out of lots of things so you didn’t have much bread, and flour, and toilet paper. They said that summer holidays were cancelled. And they told us about all those thousands of people that got very sick and who died. They explained how hard all the doctors and nurses and all essential workers worked, and that lots of them died, too.
That must have been so horrible, Nanny!”
Nanny- “Well, that is all correct. And I know that because I read about it too when I was older. But to tell you the truth, in my mind and in my heart, I remember it differently…I remember playing in the garden for hours with mom and dad and having picnics outside and lots of BBQs. I remember making things and fishing with my Dad and baking with my Mom.
I remember making forts and learning how to do handstands and backflips in the backyard. I remember having quality time with my family, and laughing, lots of laughing.
I remember Mom’s favourite words becoming, “Hey, I’ve got an idea…” Rather than “Maybe later, Honey, I’m busy,” or “Tomorrow we’ll do it, right now, I’m a bit busy.”
I remember making our own bread and pastry. I remember having movie night three or four times a week instead of just one.
You know, it was a horrible time for lots of people, you are right. But I remember it differently.”
Remember how our children will remember these times. Be in control of the memories they are creating right now, so that through all the awful headlines and the emotional stories that they will come to read in future years, they can remember in their hearts and in their minds, the happy times.”
– Author unknown

Scripture Reading – Psalm 23

A Psalm of David
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.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Solo – “10,000 Reason” – Chris Waldron

Message

This morning we were supposed to hold our annual Mother’s Day Tea, put on by Walton’s youth groups in Bronte Hall after each service. Here’s to you moms, grandmothers, great- grandmothers, stepmothers and all those who have, are, and will mother us in one way or another.

Whether we can fulfill our usual planned Mother’s Day activities or not on this Christian Family Sunday, we say from the bottom of our hearts a huge thank you and God bless. This is a Mother’s Day none of us will soon forget.

This morning we continue our theme of the 23rd Psalm, commonly called “The Lord’s My Shepherd.” We are looking at the verse, “I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Spring brings a desire to get out and about in the budding and blooming countryside. I hear the trilliums are out. We are blessed to have so many great local places from Mount Nemo to Rattlesnake Point, Bronte Creek Park to La Salle Park. Unfortunately, they are all closed due to social distancing.

Maybe when these parks do open again you will be taking along with you what I recall my mother doing when I was a young kid. She took my brother and I to the Niagara Glen. Have you ever been there? You can walk right along the roaring Niagara River, seeing it close up. She gave each of us a rod or a staff as a walking stick. The stick protected us and made the hike more comfortable and secure. Maybe you use such a stick for walking just up Burloak in the Bronte Creek Provincial Park?

Back in the days of the 23rd Psalm a good shepherd carried a rod or a staff when herding the flocks. Not only were the hills steep and high, there was the constant worry of wild animals trying to carry away a sheep from the flock. The rod or staff protected the flock.

In our beautiful Walton Sanctuary there are two historic stained glass windows portraying Jesus as the Good Shepherd. In one Jesus has a rod, and in the other Jesus has a staff. Each day I do my rounds of the church, checking on everything in the building and I look at those shepherd stained glass windows when I walk through here. I sure miss seeing you all here. It is just not the same without you here, on Sundays and throughout the week. The most important part of Walton is its people.

Every night before I fall asleep, I say a prayer for all the people of Walton, their families and friends. I ask the prayer in Jesus’ name. Those windows here in the Sanctuary remind me that Jesus has his rod and staff there to help each one of us – his sheep. Those windows remind me that God, as our heavenly parent, sent Jesus with his rod and his staff to care for us.
Many of us know the word “comfort” attached to the “rod and staff” of the 23rd Psalm. Other translations of the Bible use the words “protect me” or “make me feel secure.” When we are back here together worshipping again, look afresh at these stained glass windows and know Jesus was there with his rod and staff through these challenging times we are living in.

The message paraphrase of the Bible describes it as a “trusty shepherd’s crook.” I agree with the word “trusty.” There is a shepherd’s crook here which we use every Christmas Eve for the Walton storytellers play. Often it is the first time that the actors and actresses coming to the stable to worship the baby Jesus have ever spoken in Church. These young shepherds in the pay are both worried and excited about saying their first lines ever. I see some of them tightly clutching the shepherd’s crook for support as they stand around the manager.

You and I can do the same thing. We can, in these Covid days, clutch our faith like a 5-year-old clutching this crook and waiting to say a line on December 24th like, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened.”

Parents are often our shepherds, the way Jesus is for each one of us. We give thanks for parental shepherding on this Christian Family Sunday and Mother’s Day. I thought of this parental safety and security while watching a mother putting her three kids properly into their car seats the other day. Quite the balancing act of the trio! I saw another mother out biking with her two children. Not only did they have strong helmets on their heads and secure footwear on their feet, but what impressed me was that they all had bright fluorescent tops on so they could be seen better. Mom made them all stop at each stop sign, no matter how deserted the street they were riding on.

As a society, as a church, as families and as individuals, we all are certainly learning a brand new way of going about our daily lives. I see it as modern-day rods and staffs. It is not to protect us from a wolf in the hills around Bethlehem trying to steal a sheep from the flock, but from the wolf stealing life in the form of a virus.

I purposely go to one grocery store over others, for they have such well-enforced and safe protocols in their crook of care for both customers and staff. Another change to protect all of us as a flock is the move to drive-by events such as graduations, retirements, and birthdays. This is safer than everyone sitting down together for a big party. I think today there will be many drive-by Mother’s Day celebrations. Some call them drive-by wavings.

Walton’s storytellers’ crook was borrowed for a drive-by birthday recently. To allow for safe distancing, people driving by the birthday person could give a gift in a very different way. This over 7-foot-long crook was extended by a parent to someone in the car, so they could attach the bag with the gift to it. They put the gift bag on the end of the crook and it was safely delivered, to be given to the person celebrating.

You see the rod and the staff of Jesus is a gift to all of us. His teachings, his parables, and his example are all ways that a rod and a staff have been given to us. I think of Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

How often could those words which comfort like a rod, staff or the Good Shepherd’s crook be read over these days of self-isolation? Deal with today. Do the best you can do. Now, more than ever, we do not know what tomorrow might bring. We do know our loving heavenly parent did send us a shepherd to protect us, for we are Jesus’ flock.

Pastoral Prayer

Loving God, we thank you for your presence with your children through the anxiety of the COVID-19 situation.

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).

Thank you for wise leadership and health authorities that guide us in making good decisions for our communities.

“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).

Thank you for doctors, nurses, medical researchers and technicians, and all those who are working to care for the sick and develop treatments for this illness.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).
Thank you for cleaning staff and caregivers and volunteers, and all who are working to keep our environments clean and safe.

“My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2).
Thank you for pastors, elders, neighbours, and friends who are working to care for those who are vulnerable, alone or afraid.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning” (Psalm 130:5–6).

Thank you for the peace and comfort that comes from knowing that we are not alone. God, grant us patience as we wait; grant us courage as we serve you and care for one another; grant us hope as we trust in you for the future.

“O [People], hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem” (Psalm 130:7).

Amen.
(The Rev. Amanda Currie Moderator of the 2019 General Assembly)

Invitation to Offering

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.

Since this is a virtual service and there are no ushers, there are different options where those of you who are able can make an offering. The offering will now 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

Offering Prayer

Loving God, we come to you praying that you will enlarge our vision of family until it includes everyone that is part of your family. As a family, we are asked to love and care for each other, and we have been working hard on that, especially since the coronavirus, where we pray for one another, and offer what help we can, in what way we can. We bring our gifts to you, to support the members of your family, because they are also members of our family. Receive and bless our offering in the name of the Risen Christ. Amen.
(adapted Fern Gibbard, The Gathering L/E2018)

Benediction

God sends us out from where you are at, as his beloved children.
We go prepared for the rain, but ready to splash in the puddles, delighting in the joy of sharing God’s love with others.
God sends us out as her beloved children.
We leave this time of worship still warmed by God’s generous hugs, motivated by God’s kisses, and smiles of encouragement, eager to bring more friends home to meet her.
God sends us out with promises to always be near us.
We go, trusting in God’s unconditional love, tingling in anticipation at exploring new relationships, laughing with joy in the gift of life and of faith.
(adapted G. Dunbar, The Gathering L/E2019)

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!

    • All Things Bright and Beautiful (VU 291)
    • Would You Bless Our Homes and Families (VU 556)
    • God Of the Women (Carolyn Gillette)
    • We Are Called (LUYH 296)
    • Go Now in Peace
 
 
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