Virtual Church – September 27, 2020

8:30 am

September 27, 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 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.

Announcements

•  SPAGHETTI DINNER A DIFFERENT WAY?????
WALTON FRIENDS OF WESLEY URBAN MINISTRIES: Every September the Outreach Committee holds a Spaghetti Dinner. With COVID this is not possible. We would still like to do something for Wesley Ministries as they are struggling to feed so many more people during our COVID times. With the job loss situation in both in Hamilton and Halton Regions which Welsey serves, there has been a doubling of their meals served from the 3,000. per week pre-pandemic to well over 5,000. We ask for your financial donations through Walton Church. You can give online through the website, mail a cheque to the Church made out to Walton United Church or drop one off through the mailslot at the Allen Entrance in any amount you can afford. Truly, all donations really add up.
As it is not possible for the Walton Outreach Committee to host the annual spaghetti dinner this year,  we would like to deliver to your front porch if you would like the ingredients for a modest spaghetti dinner for 4; a sample of what families going through difficult times can afford. Let us know you wish this optional drop-off.
Questions to the Church Office: 905-827-1643 or email office@waltonmemorial.com

•  GRIEF SUPPORT GROUP
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 off 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 maeva.k.d@hotmail.com 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.

•  *CHOIR NEWS* – Understanding the strong need for social interaction, this fall Walton singers can continue to experience the joy of singing from the safety of your own home. Choir rehearsals will take place online via Zoom due to COVID-19 restrictions. New members are always welcome!
Please contact Linda Fletcher – music@waltonmemorial.com

Chancel Choir will resume on Thursday, Sept 17th at 7:45. We will work on musicianship skills, learn new songs for our virtual choir projects, and continue to foster a sense of community within our choir.
Youth choir
will resume on Thursday, Sept 24th at 6:45 -7:30. The youth choir will be a time of social interaction, working on musicianship skills and vocal production, building confidence, and the joy of singing with friends.

•  WALTON SURVEY RESULTS – Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our survey or to share their thoughts with us personally. After carefully considering the survey results, and evaluating the risk presented by the recent increase in new COVID-19 infections locally, the Council has decided not to resume in-person services at this time. For now, we will continue with the current virtual service format and Council will re-evaluate at the end of October the feasibility of opening at a later date. We appreciate your continued prayer support as we continue in virtual worship together.

The results of our three survey questions are as follows:
1. Do you think Walton should resume in-person worship services?
54% – No
46% – Yes
2. If we did resume in-person services, would you attend with your pre-COVID regularity?
76% – No
24% – Yes
3. Instead of attending in person, would you prefer to watch the current virtual services until there is a vaccine widely available?
82% – Yes
18 % – No

•  CAN WALTON BORROW A POP-UP TENT / FOUR POST CANOPY COVER?? Do you have an easy to assemble pop up tent / four post canopy cover 8 X 10 or larger than we could borrow as needed? Please contact the church office.

*NEW OFFICE HOURS* As of Tuesday, September 15th, the church office will be open from 9am – 12pm Tuesdays through Fridays.

–  A locked door policy is in effect to limit traffic flow. Please use the rear entrance and ring the white doorbell to the right of the window.
A reminder that masks are required to enter the building and all staff and visitors must read the health declaration and sign in and out.
– Not all staff members will be in the office each day during this time; please make an appointment if you need to see a specific person.
– We encourage you to continue dealing with staff by phone or email as much as possible. Staff can be reached at their individual emails, via the central email office@waltonmemorial.com, or by the central telephone number 905-827-1643.

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

• MIKE’S SEVILLE MARMALADE is available for curbside delivery through the church office – $5.00 per jar. Please contact the office at 905-827-1643 or email the office at office@waltonmemorial.com to make arrangements. All proceeds to Walton Treasury to fund programs and ministries.

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

Welcome

What a Wonderful World….

Call to Worship

We come to worship this morning, some of us with joyful hearts, some of us
hurting and feeling so overwhelmed.
Christ is here, ready to celebrate, ready to heal and comfort.
We come to worship this morning, some of us tired, exhausted, and some of
us full of energy.
Christ is here, giving us strength, giving us purpose.
We come to worship this morning, some righteous, some guilt-ridden.
Christ is here, full of grace, full of forgiveness.
We come to worship this morning, some of us full of questions, some of us sure in our faith.
Christ is here, present in doubt, present in assurance.
We come to worship this morning, all of us, knowing…
Christ is here!
(adapted Sandra Jenkinson, The Gathering, Pentecost 2, 2020)

Opening Prayer

End of summer! Beginning of autumn! Trees changing, nights lengthening, seasons turning. The world keeps moving on. And so do we, although it feels like we are standing still. We have started back to school, whether in person or online. We’ve headed into the office for work, and have met up with some of our groups and programs on Zoom. We’ve been called by you, O God, to return to this gathering together. Although it’s virtual, we gather together as Christ’s people. For the unique and different summer fun, thank you God! For the autumn harvests and incredible colours, thank you God! For being with each one of us, so we can truly celebrate your presence in our lives, thank you, God! Alleluia, Amen!
(adapted Richard Bott, The Gathering, Pentecost 2, 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: Philippians 2: 1-13

Imitating Christ’s Humility
If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should end, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Shining as Lights in the World
Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Children’s Story – “Be Careful little mouth what you say….”

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Proverbs 12:25

Morning Message: The Intentions of God

If only they had closed the borders sooner. If only they made masks mandatory sooner. If only people listened to science more and political agendas less. Life is full of the “if onlys” or “what ifs.”

Rudyard Kipling wrote that famous poem with so many “if“ lines in it:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

The word ‘if’ is an interesting word. It’s one of the most important short action words in the Bible because it speaks directly to our personal relationship with God. Many promises in the Bible have conditions attached, and the word ‘if’ speaks to those conditions in the relationship. Almost half of the 574 occurrences of the word “if” are in the New Testament’s four Gospels. Jesus always put the ‘if’ on humanity’s sides. The following are just a few of the many ‘ifs’ in the Bible:

If and Hearing
If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.” – Mark 4:23, and Revelation 13:9

If and Listening
If your brother or sister sins, go and show them their fault in private; if they listen to you, you have won your brother or sister. – Matthew 18: 15

If and Obeying
And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’, and it would obey you. – Luke 17:6

If and Voice of Invitation
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into them and will dine with them, and them with Me. – Revelation 3:20

If and a true heart
My heavenly Father will also do the same to you if each of you does not forgive his brother or sister from your heart.” – Matthew 18:35

If and Faith for action
If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. – I Corinthians 13:2

If and Believing
For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. – John 5:46

If and the Word of God

“Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My Word they will never see death.” – John 8:51

If and Jesus Christ
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, they must deny themselves, and take up their cross and follow Me. – Matthew 16:24

And finally this IF
My child, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the respect of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God. – Proverbs 2:1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Today’s scripture from Philippians is also an “if” passage.”If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy.” The answer, of course, is yes there is. There is in Jesus’ encouragement, consolation, sharing, compassion and sympathy. Great words to describe the Christian life. Amen to those traits in our walk.

Paul continues building off the opening “if” statement, asking us as a family of believers to try to “be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” We certainly try to work like that as a family of faith here. For years Walton has built this congregation under a trio of priorities that fall under the general categories of welcome, accessibility and inclusiveness.

Six months ago, those priorities were lowered to second-place when health and safety became the #1 priority for us during this pandemic. I don’t like that the Allen Entrance office door is now locked 24/7. You need to ring the bell to enter, then be screened, give us your contact information, sanitize your hands and wear a mask. But health and safety are now #1. They supersede everything else.

Paul continues to build off the if statement saying to us as a family of believers: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.” When you do get into Walton after everything at the door and have to use the washroom, it can be humbling. We have to leave the washroom door propped open. Only one person is allowed in the room at a time, and everyone is asked to clean and disinfect whatever surfaces they touched. Just to clarify, you do get to close the door on the toilet stall you are using!

By doing this, we are regarding others more than ourselves. Paul says it even more clearly: “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” To me, this is the biblical reason to wear a mask and social distance.

Paul summarizes this building off the if statement by saying to us as a family of believers: “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” I have found with COVID I am making far more critical decisions every day than before March 15th. What about you?

When you are faced with tough decisions, go back to this biblical principle: “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” This is a prime directive for us all as believers and a family of faith within our local congregation when we are confronted by the “if onlys” and “what ifs” of daily life and living.

Pastoral Prayer

We are frightened, God, worried for our loved ones, worried for our world. Helpless and confused, we turn to You, seeking comfort, faith and hope. Teach us, God, to turn our panic into patience, and our fear into acts of kindness and support. Our strong must watch out for our weak, our young must take care of our old. Help each one of us to do our part to halt the spread of this virus.

Send strength and courage to the doctors and nurses In the frontlines of this battle, fortify them with the full force of their healing powers. Send wisdom and insight to the scientists working day and night across the world to discover healing treatments. Bless their efforts, God.

Fill our leaders with the wisdom and the courage to choose wisely and act quickly.
Help us, God, to see that we are one world, one people who will rise above this pandemic together.

Send us health God, watch over us, grace us with Your love, bless us with Your healing light.
Hear us God, heal us God. Amen.
(Rabbi Naomi Levy nativitychurch.org)

Anthem – Order My Steps

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Invitation to Offering
We thank you Creator God for the wonder and beauty of this time of year, let us, from our grateful hearts, give back to you God, for your work in and around the world. Our offering will be received.

♥ by secure online payment from your bank or credit card – waltonmemorial.com/donate

*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 stuart@waltonmemorial.com.

Offering Prayer

God of abundance, we thank you for your many blessings and ask that you take these gifts, prayers and love which we give to others, for the work of your church here in our community, and in our world.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Benediction

As we go, may we know the blessing of God no matter where we are.
May we see God’s blessing in each masked face that we meet and greet.
May we be God’s blessing to each person we encounter in our day.
God is with us, we are not alone. Thanks be to God. 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!

♬ Holy, holy, holy!
♬ The Servant Song (We Are Pilgrims)
♬  They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love
♬  The Church’s One Foundation
♬  All Praise To Thee
♬ The Olde Irish Blessing

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update from Wednesday, September 23rd