Virtual Church – May 31, 2020

8:30 am

May 31, 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.

Sunday Service Video (30 minutes)

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

Congratulations to Rev. Jim Gill! – On Wednesday, May 27th, he celebrated the 40th Anniversary of his Ordination! Once in a while, someone very special like you, Jim, comes along. Not only do you serve the church and its people faithfully, but you make your own life a living testimony of Christ’s love and serving.  Thank you for your many years of devoted and caring ministry. We, your Walton church family, thank God for your ministry at Walton and look forward to the many years ahead.
👍 Facebook post – https://www.facebook.com/WaltonMemorial/posts/3829559773783337

• 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
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.
• 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

Welcome

Call to Worship

The spirit of God is here with us now, as we gather wherever we are. It comes upon us like a gust of wind, filling us with power, with confidence. It comes upon us like a flame, igniting our souls with passion. It is like a breeze, nudging us like the leaves move on the trees. In this spirit of Pentecost, let us come into the presence of God and worship.
(adapted Fern Gibbard, The Gathering 2020)

Opening Prayer

O Holy One, Light of the Universe, we thank you for your gift of the Holy Spirit; its empowering and enlightening energy floods us with your light. Send your Spirit upon the world so that, no matter our gender, our status, our age, our context, we all may be filled with your light. We look to the heavens for your signs; we look upon the earth for your signs, and we rejoice when we discover you. With hope and joy, we wait for the day you will return to us. Your promise to those who call upon your name shall be fulfilled with your coming. Amen.
(adapted Cheryl Hutchcroft, The Gathering 2020)

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: 1 Corinthians 12:3B-13 (NIV)

No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Video

This is the video that we wanted to include into today’s video service. You can watch the video as a preview without purchasing it — https://skitguys.com/videos/ascension

Morning Message: Rev. Jim Gill

Those Skit Guys sure can really tell a story. Usually, they are live actors portraying humorous real-life situations believers face. Today The Skit Guys was all animated to help us connect more deeply with the Ascension and Pentecost. One of our young Sunday School kids who was helping put away their family’s Easter decorations said, “Next year I hope Easter is not about flu bugs, but about Jesus.”
Today, 50 days after Easter, we celebrate Pentecost Sunday. Just like you cannot have Easter without Christmas, you cannot have Pentecost without the Ascension – as the Skit Guys just reminded us.

It is like those lift locks on the Trent Canal system. People with boats have been dreaming of boat trips throughout this lockdown. In a lift lock like on the Trent one boat goes up as the other boat goes down. Sort of like a seesaw in one of those playgrounds closed for health reasons. One person at one end goes up as the other person at the other end goes down.

The disciples needed to let go of Jesus on Ascension Day so that the Holy Spirit would descend upon them at Pentecost. Really today we should be having a drive-by birthday party for Walton and every other church. For today is the birthday of the Christian church at the four corners of the world map. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHURCH!

I don’t know about you, but I never knew there were so many dogs in our community. I think they are now getting walked 4 times a day at least, so the owners can get out and about beyond their homes. I have a grand-dog who loves to play catch. The problem is he has only figured out half of the game of catch. I throw the ball. The dog chases after it and catches it. But he never gives it back to me. The dog does not let go of the ball so I can throw it again to him. You and I can be like that. We don’t let go. More importantly, we do not “let go and let God,” as the slogan says.

This time we are living in has been really tough. Our lives have been turned upside-down in a few short months. As long as I can remember, I have gathered with other believers in some sanctuary on Sunday mornings. I miss that. I miss you.

Today I was supposed to be baptizing my new grandchild. Now I cannot even hold her. Like the weddings I am rescheduling every week to the late fall of this year or next year, plans are always changing and always so tentative.

What I find so hard personally is not being able to be with those who are grieving. I have seven files on my desk with plans for people who have died. We will hold some future, undetermined memorial, celebration of life, tribute, burial or funeral for them. It is hard to say goodbye without something being held before God.

I can’t do anything about those seven files today. I just have to let go and let God. It’s not in my hands. In my daily prayers I pray for the Holy Spirit to be with those who are grieving, those who are trying to reschedule their weddings, and for those hundreds of life plans that have been turned upside down in the lives of the people I know.

So many have said to me, “Jim, this was to be the summer of — you fill in the blank—-.” Our faith asks what can this summer be, the summer of instead? How can we find some blessing even in the face of loss?

The disciples must have been mighty scared the day of Ascension. Jesus told them to build the church, taking it to all the ends of the earth, and then Christ immoderately left. They had to let go of Jesus, for something else was in store. They must have missed Jesus. having travelled the countryside with him for 3 years. Then, in an instant, Jesus was gone. But a blessing came out of that loss.

Out of our losses can come blessings too. Hear me clearly; it does not take away the pain and sorrow of the loss, change, or transition, but we can look for the blessing that is there.

I have always appreciated the message of these verses from our reading today. “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”

Hear again how those verses end! Through God’s Holy Spirit the same God is at work in every one of us. God is at work. Pentecost was the giving of the Spirit to the church. That is you and I, when we decide to turn our lives over to Jesus and follow Christ. When we decide to let go and let God in our lives, then the Spirit works.

I have found since early March my faith has grown. I have relied more and more on God and the Spirit’s leading. So much I did before was by routine and habit. This time apart has forced me to examine nearly everything I have done in the past from a sharper new lens or point of view.

It is not simply from a health and safety standpoint. There are things I have dropped for I realized they were not necessary, not uplifting or not positive. I have been more willing to just let go and let God. Why did I do this or that in the past? Often because I had always done it. So much is getting a prayerful reassessment.

If we are really open to how this time can be used by God’s Spirit there can be a blessing in the midst of such uncertainty. I invite you on this, the church’s birthday, this Pentecost day, to ”let go and let God.”

Pastoral Prayer

Let us invite the Spirit of God to blow through our lives and our world, as we lift our needs to God in prayer.
We pray, O God, for all who have lost faith in themselves, in others and especially in You.
May Your Spirit renew and inspire them again.
We pray, O God, for all who have lost their hope in what life can become for themselves and for all people.
May Your Spirit encourage and challenge them again.
We pray, O God, for all who have lost their ability to love freely and recklessly.
May Your Spirit comfort and soften them again.
Our silent prayers are offered.
Holy Spirit of God, fill the world with your peace. Fill the church with your purpose, and fill us with your power, for the sake of your kingdom. Amen
(A Communion Liturgy for Pentecost © 2005 John van de Laar)

Anthem: The Welcome Table

Sacrament of Holy Communion

Invitation

One: Come to this table, where bread and cup are transformed by the Spirit of God into a meal of love and grace, supper of visions and dreams, a table where all souls are welcome.

Prayer of Communion

Loving God whose Divine Lungs exhaled the Spirit into our World. Your breath continues to transform our world, from the still to the stirring. Before the earth was formed the Spirit of God swirled through voids and shadows. As humans were created the air of God filled the lungs of Adam and the soul of Eve. This Divine Air continues to fill us up when our bones are dry and spirits are sluggish.

On this day of Pentecost, when we celebrate the breath of the Spirit coming upon the disciples, we invite the Spirit to come upon these elements.

God of winds, pour out your Spirit to make the elements come alive for us. Make this meal awaken our sleepy hearts and stagnant souls. May this time of eating and drinking be one where we stir from our sadness and rise from our hopelessness. May we begin to celebrate visions and animate the dreams that have only been alive in our minds.

As we share this meal, let us remember our siblings in faith who came to this table. In decades and centuries past, and our children who will surround this table in the future. Each generation uniquely celebrates your presence, Spirit of Life.

The night before Jesus died was a solemn time around the table. Breaking bread. Drinking from the cup. Jesus asking to remember him in our eating and drinking. There was a time to mourn followed by a time to dance.

After the day of resurrection, the disciples ate on the beach with the risen Christ, celebrating new life, new hope, new vitality. On this Pentecost, as we come to the table, let us celebrate the Spirit of Resurrection and the promise of a needed second-wind in our own lives.
Let us partake of this celebratory meal together.

Distribution of Elements

Unison Prayer of Thanksgiving

Spirit of God, who fed the multitudes, provided the manna in the wilderness, and blessed the elements, we give great thanks for the meal eaten and the company surrounding us. Inspire us as we move forward this day and encourage us to transform our dreams into reality. Amen.
(Michelle L. Torigan, ccblogs)

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

Offering Prayer

When we think of your church, O God, we might think of the tall bell tower or the beautiful stained-glass windows. We might think of the grass that needs cutting, and Bronte Hall where coffee would be brewing. What we hear today is that your church is not the physical building, O God, but rather it is a sacred story of a life laid down in the outstretched arms of love, in a circle of friendship and a one-minute speech, heard in many languages, about what the Spirit is doing and how important this is to the betterment of people’s lives, as kindness and goodness are nurtured in this world. It is amazing God, that you can take what is offered and make of it your church, as you did on the day of Pentecost and now with us. Thank you for blessing these, our gifts. Amen.
(adapted Jeff Werner, The Gathering Pentecost 2020)

Benediction

The power of the creating and energizing spirit moved through us today in this place. The warmth of the Spirit has entered our hearts; courage has been offered, and loving mercy granted. The Spirit has hovered around us, dwelt within us, and moved beside us in this time of worship, in scripture, in song, in being together virtually in community, and in prayer. Now as we move beyond this time together, we know the Spirit’s nearness always, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
(adapted G. Allan, The Gathering, Pentecost 2020)

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!

    • One Bread, One Body
    • Spirit of Gentleness
    • They’ll Know We are Christians
    • As the Wind Song Through the Trees
    • Sent Forth By God’s Blessing
 
 
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