Virtual Church – September 6, 2020

8:30 am

September 6, 2020

Virtual Church

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

•  *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

•  *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.

•  Your contact information needs to be updated! Walton is implementing a new software system which can accommodate all our varied administrative requirements: people & membership database and facilities scheduling, donation tracking and receipting, and event registrations. “Planning Center” has been selected by the office staff, council and financial committee as the program that will best suit our needs. However, in order for us to be able to use the new program effectively, we need your help to update your contact information.
→ In many cases, we only have one email or phone number on file for each household. (For example, do you get this Virtual Service directly to your email, or does your spouse have to forward it to you?) Accurate email addresses and mobile phone numbers for each adult are key pieces of information for staying in touch with many in our congregation. If you think we may have out-of-date/incomplete email addresses or phone numbers for your household please let us know.
→ For those who receive letters or tax receipts we also need to make sure we have the correct postal address on file. If you have recently moved or are not receiving any correspondence from us, we may not have your new address.
•  Email office@waltonmemorial.com with the subject line being “CHANGE IN INFORMATION”, or call the office 905-827-1643. This would really be helpful to make our new program work to benefit both staff and congregation. Thank you!

•  RED PEPPER JELLY by jerry & MIKE’S SEVILLE MARMALADE are 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.

•  Walton’s prayer chain is open. Confidential prayers requests can be sent to office@waltonmemorial.com
•   If you need Rev. Jim for a pastoral emergency, please email him directly at jamescgillwuc@gmail.com

Welcome – Light of the World

Call to Worship

As we gather together this morning we are excited, scared and a little apprehensive as we call this the last day of summer usually, but with the school start-up pushed back a week, that doesn’t seem to matter. The coolness in the evening, the frosting of orange on the tips of the trees tells us that summer is coming to a close. We usually look forward to this Sunday as this is startup week, a return to routine, new classes, new experiences, groups and clubs starting up, joining together in church again with those we haven’t seen all summer. Unfortunately, this year that won’t be possible.

So we gather virtually today, in spirit, with gratitude for our safety, and our health and with excitement “where two or three are gathered in my name…” We reunite with the Spirit to worship and to do God’s work in our world. Let us worship God together.

Opening Prayer

Lord, we come to you this morning with so many mixed emotions with it being Labour Day, and what would be the end of this summer season, a time of rest and restoration, and the start-up of the new school year. Please help us, Lord, to be patient, to be caring, to not be afraid of choices we have made for our children. Help us to pray for those whose choices we struggle with, help us not to judge, or condemn, as only you know what challenges they face each day in their lives. Help us to be supportive, loving, caring and not judgemental.

We ask you, Lord, to be with our teachers who are in the middle between government officials, unions, parents and children. We thank you for those teachers who have been called to do this work. We ask you to bless them as they prepare for this new year. Please give them strength to lead, grace to guide them and wisdom and hope to thrive in their classrooms and schools. We ask you to keep the teachers and the children safe and healthy.
We pray for our children, Lord. Please give them gratitude in knowing that they are blessed to have an education. Give them courage and strength, confidence as their foundation, grace as their guide and hope in learning and growing in and through their education. Although it might be different from their usual school experiences, and their usual companions in school, help them to adjust to the changes and not to be afraid of experiencing a new way of learning both in the classroom and virtually. Help the children to remember they are not alone; you Lord walk alongside them in everything they do.

As we come to you this morning, Lord, we ask for your peace and light and focus on you. We seek your peace; we look to your light and love as we gather for worship wherever we are. Remind us of your promise to us, that you will provide. When hope wavers, when our faith seems insufficient, when our strength falls short, we trust in your promise that you will provide. Lead us and teach us to lean on you in all things. Amen.

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.

Children’s Time – “Twas the Night Before School” by Aoife Driver

‘Twas the night before school
When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring except for this spouse!

Schoolbags sat by the front door with care
She had bathed the kids and blow-dried their hair
Lunches were made and shoes had been shined
“I hope they don’t catch it” raced through her mind

The children were sleeping fast in their beds
With dreams of reunions with all their friends
Where classes are bubbles and tables are pods
Their safety in the hands of the government.

When down in the kitchen arose such a clatter,
Husband ran down to see what was the matter.
Away to the kitchen, he flew like a light
His wife sat crying at the table
he knew something not right
“I want them to go but I want them to stay
I want this bloody virus to just go away” 😢

For the first time in months, her bubble had burst
She thought she’d feel happier but now she feels worse
The ‘what-ifs’ were racing around in her mind
Her husband hugged her and tried to be kind

We’ve waited for this day for schools to reopen
But the mixture of change and fear had her quite frozen
She feigned a smile and sipped on her tea
And persuaded herself “I’ll have more time for me”

But six months has passed
The country none the wiser
Schoolbags now packed with masks and hand sanitizer

But this is a good thing, for schools to reopen
The children deserve it, its what they’ve been hoping
Children of Ireland have shown such resilience
Positive attitude and absolute brilliance!

You might feel nervous or perhaps feel okay
To release your babies back to school today
But whatever you feel know it’s not for forever
We’ll get through this and we’ll get through together ❤

———-

Let us pray; Loving God, we ask for your protection on each of your children, but we ask for your protection on the blessing you have given us, our children, as they head back to school. Help us to teach our children the best we can to wear their masks, keep their distance, sanitize their hands, and protect each other, help us to trust that you are watching over and placing a teacher (s) to care for and guide our kids to be safe, just like we would. As you trust your children to us, we trust our children to others, as it does take a village to raise a child…. Lord, keep us safe and healthy, this is my prayer today. Amen.

As you trust your children to us, we trust our children to others, as it does take a village to raise a child…. Lord, keep us safe and healthy, this is my prayer today. Amen.

Scripture Reading: Mark 16:1-7, Matthew 18:15-20 (NIV)

Jesus Has Risen
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”

Dealing With Sin in the Church
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Anthem: “Glorious Light”

Morning Message: The Colours of the Bible – White

Do you know the old adage, “Do not wear white after Labour Day?” As both the magazines Marie Claire and Time have pointed out, wearing white in the summer months may have been a way for the ultra-rich to self-identify as separate from the working masses (and the nouveau-riche). In short, if you lived in the big dirty city, you wore dark clothes. If you were wealthy enough to escape to a vacation home for the summer in places like the Toronto Island, Bronte or Lake Muskoka, you wore white “leisure” looks — until it was time to return to urban life, that is after Labour Day.

It is Labour Day Sunday and I am both wearing white and going to be talking about the colour white today. But I did not escape for the summer to a vacation home on a steamship like the Seguin out of Gravenhurst off a train from Toronto where that wearing white idea began. I was in the air-conditioned church office most of this summer while those coming and going who were working on the Walton commercial kitchen did that huge upgrade. Today is the last of my series of summer messages on the colours of the Bible which I began a few months ago.
White biblically refers to holiness, light, purity, redemption, and the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Jesus is often portrayed in art as wearing white garments, or with a white countenance around him in some way. We see it in paintings, sculpture, mosaics and tapestries, both ancient and modern.

White, we are told, is an uplifting colour which is defined in terms of purity, light, goodness, heaven, safety, illumination, understanding, cleanliness, faith, beginnings, possibility, humility, sincerity, protection, softness, and even perfection.

Think of the white sheets of a hospital bed, or the white gown at a wedding, or the white table cloths at a fancy restaurant. In movies, the colour white is typically worn by the good character in the plot. People who have had near-death experiences talk about going towards a white light.

One of our readings today is the Easter account from the Gospel of Mark:
“Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise (see the white light here in this description), they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, ‘Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?’

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe (the angel is always in white, whether it is in a Christmas Eve Nativity play or the Easter story). They saw the angel in white sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen.’”

The angel in white delivers the greatest news of all time. Death has been defeated. Jesus is risen. Hallelujah! We are Easter people. We are people of the light of the empty tomb and the Risen Lord Jesus. Our Jesus is not still in the darkness of the 3pm Good Friday crucifixion. For us, Sunday is always coming. No matter how dark Friday may be. Let us remember that in these days of the darkness of uncertainty there is always the light of Christ. Our text reminds us: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

The colour of snow, white is often used to represent coolness and simplicity. Some of the most incredible photos of Jerusalem I have ever seen are those rare years when it snows in the Holy City and the lens of the camera captures that rare whiteness. Have you seen a full moon rising on a clear night out over Lake Ontario in front of Walton Church? What a blessing. I think of the wise men following the white starlight to Bethlehem to worship the Christ Child.
The colour white’s association with cleanliness and sterile conditions is often seen in hospitals, medical centres, and laboratories to communicate safety – even more so in these COVID days. I was thinking of that the other day while using white Lysol wipes to disinfect the Walton washroom sink. The angels in white told us about Jesus, who can help us wipe away those things in our past and in our present that are making us sick – both literally and figuratively.
That is what a prayer of confession is all about. We can confess. We can repent. We can totally change direction through faith. We can start again walking in the steps of Jesus. It is never too late.

Our other reading today talks about how to resolve conflicts the biblical way. Not by putting all the problems out all over social media, but privately in person. Jesus says we are to try to resolve issues one to one with the other believer. Too often people discuss a conflict with everyone except the person they really need to talk with – the person they have the difference with.

To the human eye, white is a bright and brilliant colour that can cause headaches when it is in abundance, like the person who does not dim their car high beams as they get near you on a country road. In cases of extremely bright light, the colour white can even be blinding, for example, searchlights.

Conflicts can blind us. We think we are so much in the right, so much in the white light, due to pride, stubbornness or fear, we can’t admit we may not be as pure as we think we are in this or that situation. Jesus says work it out. Go and talk to them. Sort it out. Work on it.
One author writes that the colour white affects “the mind and body by aiding in mental clarity, promoting feelings of fresh beginnings and renewal, assisting in cleansing, clearing obstacles and clutter, and encouraging the purification of thoughts and actions.” Think of the expression “turning the page on something,” comes to mind.

This year’s school start-up is like none we have ever known after Labour Day. Our prayers are with the students, parents, teachers, administrators and families, whether the children are learning at home, working in pods, learning online, or back in the redefined classrooms. It is a new page. A blank page. A fresh start after not going back to school after March Break. I do not know about you, but it seems to me this is the greatest challenge our society is currently facing in this COVID battle. There are no easy answers. May the white light of God guide us all. May the white light of God give us wisdom. May the white light of God help keep us safe. Amen

Pastoral Prayer

Lord help me to rise to the light of today. Help me to shine forth and let your glory radiate over me. That others will see you working in me and through me.” Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

If I have been ignoring your calling, I’m sorry. Please help me to see your plan for me to be that beacon of light to rise and shine now, today. Help me to shine your light in the darkness of fear, and uncertainty in my job, education, business, family and relationships. Create in me a clean heart.

Help your light to shine through my addictions, my worries, my fears, my loneliness, my grief, my anger, and my longing for normal. Help me to focus on you and your promises, your love for me and each one of your children no matter our age or stage of life. That helping one another, living out your promises and loving one another shines your light in each of our darkness. We lift all those challenges to you Lord, and ask for your help as we travel this road of life together through this pandemic time. Create in me a clean heart.

We pray for our government leaders, our medical doctors, nurses and staff, our educational leaders, teachers and custodians, our religious leaders and all those who have someone they are looking after, or have someone looking after them, each person Lord needs you now more than ever, we ask for your love and light to guide us, and protect us. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Invitation to Offering
We sometimes think of our offering as a sacrifice, and it is; but, more to the point, we often think of a sacrifice as negative. Yet, we don’t see sacrifice as negative when we are thinking of the sacrifice of athletes to practise, or when we get off Facebook to do our homework or help our children with theirs, or when we sacrifice a previous lifestyle to have children in the first place. When Jesus calls us to be disciples, he’s calling us to sacrifice, but no one benefits from our discipleship more than we do. A sacrifice can be a positive investment with a purpose, even for those who have sacrificed their lives, like Jesus did. So yes, our offering is sacrifice. It is also discipleship, it is an investment, and it benefits us all. We give our offering.
(adapted David Lander, The Gathering Pentecost 1, 2017)

♥ by secure online payment from your bank or credit card – waltonmemorial.com/donate
♥ 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, accept these gifts as thanksgiving for your many blessings. Accept these gifts as our commitment to your kingdom. Accept these gifts and accept our lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
(France Flook, The Gathering Pentecost 1, 2017)

Benediction

God in Jesus calls you even above the roar of the storm, the fear of the unknown, and making the wrong choice. As you walk into this new week, “Reach out to your neighbour, do justice, love kindness and together, walk humbly with your 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!

♬ For the Beauty of the Earth
♬ Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying
♬ We Are One
♬ KIndred in Spirit through Jesus Christ
♬ May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You/p>

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update from Wednesday, September 2nd

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