Virtual Church – October 11, 2020

8:15 am

October 11, 2020

Thanksgiving Service

Happy Thanksgiving! 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 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.


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.
We respectfully ask you to donate if you possibly can spare something. You can donate online, which means that the amount will go through your Givings Statement, or drop a cheque through the mail slot at the church, or surface mail your donation to Walton Church, 2489 Lakeshore Rd. West, Oakville, ON, L6L 1H9. 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.
Thank you for your generosity and for thinking of others through our current situation in this Thanksgiving season. Until we meet again…

Walton United Church & other area churches are sponsoring this Grief Support Group starting up on Wednesday, October 28th, running for 6 weeks 7:00pm -8:30pm on line by Zoom.
This education and support group is designed for those who are struggling with the death of a loved one. We will explore various aspects of grief, how grief affects our emotions, behaviours, body, mind and spirit, in a faith-based perspective. We will look at ways to work through our grief, making suggested adjustments and help find ways to find hope and a future in meaningful ways.
The course is based on materials by Dr. Bill Webster, Centre for the Grief Journey.
The cost per participant for the course materials is $20.00. Please contact Maeva Donalson 905-845-7454 or for more information or to register.

Lead by: The Rev. Dr. Deborah Hart
Minister of Deer Park United Church in Toronto, who has been facilitating grief support groups for over 25 years.

•  If you need Rev. Jim for a pastoral emergency, please email him directly at

• THANKSGIVING SPECIAL….MIKE’S SEVILLE MARMALADE is available for curbside delivery through the church office – $3.00 per jar. Please contact the office at 905-827-1643 or email the office at to make arrangements. All proceeds go to Walton Treasury to fund programs and ministries.


Happy Thanksgiving! We are blessed to have our wonderful church family and friends with us virtually today and we thank God for watching over and looking after each one of us while we are apart physically from one other. We welcome our new friends who are watching today as well. May God bless you this Thanksgiving and every day.

Call to Worship

We gather together virtually this morning, ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. We are surrounded by the beauty and bounty of nature. We gather with hearts filled with gratitude as our senses take in all that we have received: virtually, the warm embrace of our church family and worshipping together, the sight of produce fresh from the garden, apples, pumpkins and squash. The aroma of roast turkey and fresh-baked pumpkin pie; the crunch of leaves beneath our feet; the sound of the geese flying overhead, the expectation of a feast that awaits. For the bountiful blessings, in praise and thanksgiving, let us worship God!
(adapted Phil Hobbs)

Opening Prayer

God-of-All, we have set aside this day of thanksgiving, because we sometimes have difficulty remembering to live our thanks-giving. We sometimes have difficulty remembering to be thanks-giving. So- thank you, for everything!

Open our hearts to realize where thanks need to be given.
Open our spirits to share the words.
Open our lives to be your love.
Open our spirits to share the words.
As disciples of Jesus, we ask this.

May it be so. Amen.
(Richard Bott, 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.

Youth Story – “Thank you, God”

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 9: 6-15

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Morning Message: Bountifully Abundant

The Walton Sanctuary would usually be decorated yesterday by the Walton Sanctuary-Worship Committee from their own personal resources and from Cudmores Garden Center and their loaners to us. While it doesn’t look exactly like Thanksgiving here at Walton this year, most of us are probably more thankful than ever on this Canadian Thanksgiving.

Why, you ask? We are in the 7th month of Covid, the numbers are rising, and who can understand what is happening to the south of us? But yes, we can be thankful on this 2020 Canadian Thanksgiving. Let me tell you why.

First, we’re thankful we have the technology and skill in the congregation to produce this virtual service each week that reaches many hundreds and sometimes over a thousand views at a time. Some congregations have just gone dark on line – or worse, they have closed completely. Then you yourself can also be thankful that you have the technology to view this on whatever device you use and that you have the bandwidth to view it. Many places – not only in Ontario, but in the rest of Canada and the world – are in internet deserts without access. This is especially frustrating for those trying to work or learn remotely. Can you imagine having no Netflix over the last six months?

Second, we can be thankful that we are Canadians. Most of the time the three levels of our governments are working together to fight Covid, rather than fighting each other. They are also trying to bring economic relief. They believe in science and try to follow the experts’ medical recommendations. If we do get sick our medical bills will not bankrupt us. Let me ask you this question: Have you had a Covid test and did you have to pay for it? No one I know has had to pay for their test.

Third, we can be thankful that we really never did run out of toilet paper. Did any of you need to use leaves or newspapers? Yes, the store shelves are not as full as they once were. Not everything you want is always there every time you go to the store. But over time it seems things do reappear on the shelves. Even in the scarcest times of Covid we had far more available in our stores than so much of the world ever does even in their pre-Covid times.

Fourth, we are so very thankful that we live in such a beautiful part of God’s creation by the Great Lakes and the Niagara Escarpment, with our beautiful harbours, creeks, streams, and forests. What a gorgeous summer and fall we have had so far. With less pollution the skies, water and air are all clearer and cleaner than usual. While not being able to travel too far from home we have been able to experience the beauty of areas we live in with our summer stay-cations. From the Bruce Trail to Bronte Beach, from the Royal Botanical Gardens to Burlington Beach, from Bronte Park to Hamilton Beach and hundreds of other places with names like Rattray, Kelso, La Salle, Mount Nemo, and Coronation, we have been blessed that there are places in God’s Creation to spend time and commune with our Heavenly Creator and God’s Creation.

Fifth, we are thankful for family and friends who keep in touch while socially distancing -whether at the end of a driveway or on the Allen Entrance area outside the office door. I look out my office window at a seniors’ residence. I know there were people lowering ropes down from their balconies to waiting family for the delivery of care packages. They are like the four friends who lowered their friend down one day on ropes through the roof to reach Jesus.

Sixth, I give thanks that life with all its happiness and joys goes on regardless of the pandemic. Births, baptisms, graduations, engagements, weddings, home purchases, retirements, and passing on to the next life, to just mention a few. Yes, how we acknowledge, celebrate, remember, organize and process these life events has changed fundamentally. Weddings on the front steps of Walton, baptisms with masks on, and outdoor funerals are just a few of the new Covid ways.

Seventh, are you thankful you have yeast? Thanks for home baking, sourdough and freshly baked bread.

Eighth, we are thankful for gardens in backyards, on balconies, window sills and community plots. Thanksgiving is typically a celebration of the harvest. There are so many new harvests this year.

Ninth, we’re thankful for home projects from cleaning out the closet, basement or garage to redoing that fence or deck.
Tenth, we are thankful for the economic support for wages, rents and keeping people employed.

Eleventh, we are thankful for front line workers, both seen and unseen, from those cleaning facilities and delivering essential supplies to those helping people most at risk.
Twelfth, we are thankful for funny bones. God created us with a sense of humor. We can laugh as well as cry.

Thirteenth, we are thankful for books to read and puzzles to put together.

Fourteenth, we give thanks for paths and trails to walk on and to bike on.

Fifteenth, we give thanks for God’s living creatures from birds to watch in trees and bushes to pets to play with on the grass.

Finally, we give thanks for those individuals, organizations and businesses that do follow the bylaws and the recommendations on cleaning, masks and social distancing.
There is so much to be thankful on this 2020 bountifully abundant Thanksgiving. Have a blessed one.

Thanksgiving Reflection


Pastoral Prayer

Loving and compassionate God, you call us to love our neighbours and to be bearers of your hope and grace in our world. Expand our hearts and vision to respond with compassion to those around us who are struggling in this time of uncertainty, anxiety, grief, and suffering.

Give wisdom and strength to our health workers and government officials, as they provide leadership in bringing our country through this crisis.We bring before you and into our hearts and minds: Those whose work and income are uncertain.Those who are isolated. Those who are fearful of an unknown future. Those who are homeless, and all those who offer them support and care. Those who are involved in aged care, our agency leaders, staff and residents and their loved ones. Businesses whose futures are uncertain, their leaders and staff, school staff and students. Those with health conditions that put them at greater risk.

Give wisdom and care-filled discernment to all our Church leaders, our Councils, and local congregations as we seek to creatively live out our worship, witness and service in ways that offer Christ’s life-giving love and presence. Strengthen and sustain us to be your people, shaped by your abundant grace, bearers of your generosity and overflowing love.

Through Christ our Light and Hope, we pray, Amen.
(Prayer from the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly)

Anthem – Never Forget to be Thankful

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Invitation to Offering
A boy who was visually impaired was flying a kite one day. Another child asked why he would fly the kite when he couldn’t see it in the sky. The boy responded, “I maybe can’t see it, but I can feel it tugging.” So too, in many of the ways that we express love, it isn’t always necessary to see the results. We touch someone on the shoulder, keeping our distance of course. We offer encouragement. We speak to a stranger. We offer loving constructive, helpful criticism. We support a grieving family. We write an email, make a zoom call. We offer food to the foodbank. We support a charitable organization. We often cannot see the results, but we feel the tug in our hearts. We give our offering.

♥ by secure online payment from your bank or credit card –

*Important Note*Please enter the donation in one person’s name (preferably the name shown on the credit/debit card) even if you give jointly with another person. As with cheques and cash, donations made online are automatically credited to both adults in the same household regardless of which one made the donation.

♥ by cheque through the mail slot at the Church office entrance or by Canada Post.
♥ by monthly PAR payments. To sign up contact

Offering Prayer

With these gifts God, we bring our hopes for a world where there is enough for all. Enough what? Enough bread for this day, enough trust for tomorrow, enjoy joy to fill your people with song, enough love to care for each other, to find forgiveness and to give hope, enough faith to know that these gifts to you, are your gifts to us. Magnify them in your name, to heal, to create, and to bless. Amen.
(adapted Wendy MacLean, The Gathering 2016)


And now we give a final word of thanks: thanks to the One who is Creator and Creating. Be aware of what is around you and know that God is with you, in water, land, air, and sky. Know that God is continually creating within you. Never stop learning about this world that is ours as stewards, that is God’s give to us and to all of creation. Know this earth as an expression of God’s love and live in gratitude. Amen.
(Peter Chynoweth, The Gathering 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!

♬ Come, you thankful people, come
♬ For the Fruit of All Creation
♬ As Those Of Old Their First Fruits Brought
♬ Give Thanks, My Soul, for Harvest
♬ We Plough the Fields

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update from Wednesday, October 7th