Virtual Church – May 3, 2020

8:30 am

May 3, 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 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

• 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.

Welcome

Can we uninstall 2020 & install it again? This version has a virus.

Tweet others as you would like to be tweeted.

Ipod. Ipad? Try ipray God is listening.

God loves you whether you like it or not

Can’t sleep? Counting sheep? Talk to the Shepherd

Call to Worship

The disciples were at sea in the midst of a storm. They were frightened by the danger they faced. They wondered if anyone – even Jesus – cared about them.
Then Jesus cried out to the storm: “Quiet. Be Still” And so it was.
There are days when we feel lost and alone. The challenges of life overtake us and the struggles of everyday existence overwhelm us. The demands are many; the burdens are great.
Then Jesus cries out: “Quiet. Be Still.” And so it was.
We look to the future with hope, and yet we see uncertainty and have many concerns. The world is filled with the unknown, fear and next steps. We seek the dawning of a new age- a new community of peace, of love and goodwill.
For still, Jesus cries out: “Quiet. Be still.” And so it will be.
(adapted Bill Steadman The Gathering Pentecost 1)

Scripture Reading – Psalm 126, Nehemiah 8: 9-12 (NIV)

Let us worship together this morning starting with our Scripture reading:
This video of Psalm 23 was videoed by our Junior Youth Leader, Susan Derrah in 2016. These young people were in grades 6,7,8, and most of them are part of our Senior Youth Group now. They studied Psalm 23, then put together their reading of it.

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,[a]
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.

Scripture Reading: Luke 8: 23-25(NIV)

As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement, they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

Opening Prayer – Psalm 23 Litany

This has been another busy week. I don’t know whether I can focus on worship this morning.
      Something is nagging at my feelings.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
     Life is busy. There seems to be no end to work, looking after the kids, making meals, I can’t relax.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.
     I am scared, I am worried, I have bad, painful memories. I am hurting inside.
He restores my soul.
     I struggle with sin. The good I want to do I cannot do. The evil I do I do not want to do. Who will rescue me from this body of pain and destruction of myself?
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
     I am getting older and may soon die. Someone I love may soon die.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
     My fellow workers look down on me. My boss gives me a hard time. I have few friends at school.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
     Life is full of worries. My health is not as it should be. Where can I find meaningful work?
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
     I am worried about the future. Will I meet a partner? Can I repay my debts? Is my business going to fail? Will my marriage last?
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.
     Lord, I believe. Lord, I believe. Help me in my unbelief.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.

Reflection

Charlotte, one of our Sunday School children, shared her thoughts, love and assurance with others on Facebook…. “It’s going to be ok.”

The Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray together the prayer that Jesus taught us.

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.

Anthem – The Lord will be my Shepherd

Message

I started writing this message on Saturday, April 25, at 11:30 am. That would usually be the time Don Colling, our live auctioneer, would be putting up the big value items for auction at Walton’s largest fundraiser. Instead of Bronte Hall being full to overflowing with bidders and items as it should be, it was empty but for me. There was no auction. Like so many things in our lives, it has been postponed.

Every day while working alone in the office I will take a break from working on the computer or on my smartphone and look out the main south window of Bronte Hall. I did it after reading about the tragedy in Nova Scotia or hearing about those in the congregation in long term care facilities with outbreaks.

If you look out that Bronte Hall window it is quite the view. First, there is the Bronte Memorial Cenotaph, dedicated to those who fought and sacrificed. Then you see the boats still resting in their winter cradles with the delayed spring launch, and then you see two bodies of water. There is the Bronte beach and its sand in the distance, but before that lies the inner Bronte harbour.

Some days when you look out the window Lake Ontario is as flat as glass but most of the time it is choppy. With the storms of April, there were times the waves were so high you could body surf with a board and wetsuit. The harbour is different on those stormy days; it stays flat and still, not covered with whitecaps like on the Bronte beach.

Today we have two bible readings. The first is the beloved 23rd Psalm or popularly called “The Lord’s My Shepherd.” The other is the story of Jesus quelling the storm. To most of us, these last two months have seemed like the world around us have been hit by those wild April storms on Lake Ontario off Bronte beach. We get hit by one after another crashing wave of loss, change, worry or fear.

In the 23rd Psalm, there is a phrase I think we all need to hear during these Covid storms of life. It is the phrase, “Still Waters.” The verse is, “he leads me beside still waters.” Don’t you just yearn for still waters? Those peaceful calm times before these recent turbulent ones. We wish to get our lives back.

To me, that is what our faith is: “still waters.” Like the protected inner harbour we see through Bronte Hall’s main window, it is our desired destination. Faith can be those still waters, sheltering each of us. In the story from Luke, the disciples are out on the Sea of Galilee with Jesus in a small fishing boat. The Sea of Galilee is not really a sea, but an inland lake. While it is about the size of Lake Muskoka in our Ontario terms, it is the Holy Land’s Great Lake, like our Lake Ontario.

The disciples went and woke Jesus, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” You see, Jesus had fallen asleep and a storm came up suddenly, as they do in the later afternoon. A lesson here for all of us is that we need our sleep in the storms of life. Jesus got up from his rest and rebuked the wind and the raging waters. The storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” Jesus asked his disciples. Jesus is there in the storms of our lives, constantly offering to us “still waters.”

Faith is the harbour away from harm. In April there were many wild storms with flooding, especially along Lake Erie’s north coast. On Lake Erie there is a place the big freighters travelling west from the Welland Canal to Detroit and beyond seek out protective still waters. It is in the shelter of Long Point where I know some of you cottage, camp and live. There was a book written about this Lake Erie quadrangle and the shelter of Long Point. In the book that shelter is called “The Waters of Repose.” Repose is a state of rest, sleep, or tranquility.
Many people tell me they can’t sleep well. They wake up in the middle of the night and their minds start whirling with all the “what ifs” or “if onlys” of these self-isolating days. It is like being bounced about by huge waves in a small boat on one of the Great Lakes or the Sea of Galilee which, due to its surrounding high hills and warm desert winds – can quickly create great waves.

Faith offers us “waters of repose” or “still waters” from those life storms. In biblical times the shepherd would find still sweet water for their sheep. They would often divert water to a safe place for the sheep to drink, and also to graze. In fact before the phase “still waters” in Psalm 23 we read, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters.”

The green pastures and still waters stood for both food and drink in those often dry and barren places. Through faith we are fed by the Good Shepherd. In these times of storms we need to be fed. That’s why we continue with our virtual services like this. More than one of you have said you like having our services available on YouTube so you can play them again throughout the week or send to family and friends.

Prayer, devotionals, bible readings, reading Christian books, spiritual journals and talking with other believers are all ways to be fed by “still waters.” These days can be so emotionally exhausting with children at home. online learning, closed parks, worrying about finances, caring for older family members, trying to work from home, being on the front lines as an essential worker, being separated from loved ones, not having enough things to do to fill the hours and countless other scenarios playing out behind every door in each of our communities.

I invite you today to turn to the Good Shepherd. The “still waters” are there for each one of you. God bless you. Keep safe and healthy. Amen.

Pastoral Prayer

Loving God, 

We pray for all the worry and anguish that have been overrun by the focus on COVID-19; all the concerns we’ve pushed below the surface, but which still simmer uneasily in our hearts.

 Comfort those who are struggling with their health.

The patients who need ongoing hospital treatment and care; those facing delays in surgery or tests and diagnoses; those who need daily care to tend their wellbeing.

Keep them safe from further illness. Grant them strength and patience.

Reassure those who are struggling financially.

Those who are looking for work, inhibited by stalled opportunities and hiring freezes; those who have seen their hours, shifts or earnings drop; those whose businesses are challenged by shrinking markets and customer uncertainty.

Protect them from discouragement and despair. Grant them hope and endurance.

Strengthen those communities who are struggling with additional hardships.

We pray for those in Nova Scotia as they deal with their grief, and grapple with how to mourn together as they are kept apart.

We pray for the township of Fort McMurray as they try to cope with the damage and destruction caused by spring flooding.

We pray for all those whose lives and everyday struggles have been made harder and more complicated by the spread of COVID-19.

Keep them safe from further loss and devastation. Grant them rest and healing.

Be with us all Lord, in our time of need.

Keep us close to you that we can recognize your love. Grant us peace and restore us to face another day.

Amen.

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

Generous, gracious God, what a privilege it is to share in your mission to help others in what way we are able today. As we offer up our financial gifts from whatever we have right now Lord, we support the many ministries of this 170-year-old church community. We thank you for the many blessings you offer us each day, and we offer what we can to help our neighbours both here in our community and in your world. Amen.

Benediction

Good Shepherd,
Your presence in our lives gives us great comfort, like the stillness of the water.
We remember that we are always in your care, held in your loving embrace.
When we are afraid, we know that you are there. Your goodness and your love are with us in all circumstances, celebrations or challenges, as long as we live.
Thank you for the blessing of knowing that you care for us and love us, and that we will live with you 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!

    • Good Shepherd, we are not alone.
    • A Shelter in the Time of Storm
    • God Will Take Care of You
    • The Lord’s My Shepherd
    • The Olde Irish Blessing
 
 
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