Virtual Service – April 23, 2023

2:00 pm

April 23, 2023

Welcome to our April 23 virtual church!

Today’s service will be offered in 2 formats – view the video or read the text below or download and print the service from this document – link

For the latest news and updates from Walton, please check our Facebook page, Instagram and website. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos of service, the choirs and more!

Please contact if you would like to be added to our email list.


National Volunteer Week 2023  April 16-22, 2023 “Volunteering Weaves Us Together” Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers at Walton who together weave such a wonderful tapestry of caring and sharing, not only in our Walton Congregation but in the wider community. We are blessed to have so many volunteers who give of their time, energy and talents. Thank you so much for all you do.

Spruce Up Day If you have some time to spare on Saturday, May 13, between 8:30am and 1:00pm, help us keep Walton looking its best by volunteering for our annual Spruce Up Day. Come for the whole morning or just an hour – everyone’s welcome! We’ve got big and small jobs to suit everyone. Tasks include raking, trimming, weeding, sweeping, scrubbing, painting, staining, minor repairs, and more. Please contact the church office to sign up.

Blood Pressure Clinic  – Next Sunday morning, April 30th,  following both services in Rev. Gill’s office off of Bronte Hall. Drop by and have yours checked.

Change to one service – Sunday, May 21 – Sunday, May 14th is our last Sunday of two services 9:30 & 11:00. Starting May 21st will begin our summer schedule of 10:00 services until Sunday, September 24th.

Mother’s Day Tea – Mark Sunday, May 14th, on your calendar, not only is it Mother’s Day, but it is our annual Mother’s Day Tea at Walton. Come join us to celebrate all the wonderful people at Walton.

Are you Aware? Something shocking is happening in our town. Children, as young as 12, are being lured, groomed, sexually exploited, and trafficked by predators right here in the Halton region.  “Hidden in Plain Sight” Jennifer Potter will teach us the basics of trafficking, the stages of grooming and how to recognize it, the work being done locally by front-line agencies, and what You can do to help prevent and respond to this terrible crime. Join us on Wednesday,  May 10th at 7:30 pm at Glen Abbey Church, sponsored by United churches in Oakville.

Register now for VBS! – Registration is now open for Galactic Starveyors, Walton’s Vacation Bible School day camp running July 10-14, 2023. This fun-filled week will be jam-packed with music, crafts, games, Bible study and adventures all designed to teach kids that there’s nothing in the entire universe greater than Jesus’ love. Walton’s VBS is open to campers from SK – Grade 5 (select grade entering in Sept/23), junior leaders in Grades 6-8, as well as high school and adult volunteers.

Transfer of membership (live or virtual), Sunday, May 28 at the 10 am Service – If you are a confirmed member of any Christian denomination and would like to transfer to Walton from another congregation, we’d be pleased to arrange the transfer. Please contact the Church Office or Rev. Jim for more information.

The CVITP Committee (Community Volunteer Income Tax Program) is still taking appointments for April. If you need help filing your return, have a modest income, and have a simple tax situation, the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program may be able to help you.  There is no charge for this assistance. Details about the Free Tax Clinic are available online or call Ruth at 905-631-6188 or John at 416-840-9418. Tax assistance will be by appointment only – taxes can also be prepared by phone and by e-mail/internet.

Would you like to learn how to record a service? We would love to have you join the team! Training and practice is unlimited and we would love to have you take part, or watch to see how it all happens.  Please contact Wendy Silva through the church office or email

New to Walton? Are you visiting today? Welcome! Please feel free to ask the ushers if you have any questions during the service and we invite you to fill out a welcome card in the pew racks and leave it in an offering plate at one of the doors. Please join us for coffee, tea or cold drinks and conversation in Bronte Hall after the 9:30 service ends and before the 11:00 am service begins. There you’ll also find the Welcome Centre with information about Walton and someone to chat with. Walton nametags, hats, pickles etc. are also available for purchase.

Rooms for rent – Looking for somewhere to host a meeting, bridal shower, birthday party, or music recital. exercise classes, sports groups, craft lessons or more? Walton has room for you! We have a number of rental spaces to accommodate groups large and small, for a one-off event or weekly sessions. Contact the church office for more details. See photos on our website –

Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online.

Walton’s prayer chain is open. Confidential prayers requests can be sent to

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

Land Acknowledgement

As we gather today on these treaty lands, we are in solidarity with Indigenous brothers and sisters to honour and respect the four directions, lands, waters, plants, animals and ancestors that walked before us, and all of the wonderful elements of creation that exist. We acknowledge and thank the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation for being stewards of this traditional territory.


Good morning and welcome to worship at Walton on this second Sunday after Easter.

As many of you know, I’ve been studying part-time at Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto, and my main area of focus is the history of the early church, especially the second and third centuries. (Yes, it’s very niche.)

So for today’s service, I wanted to share some of that history with you, through our readings and prayers and the message. For me, learning about the experiences of Christian communities in the decades after Jesus’ death helps to connect me to the sense of energy and conviction that emerged through the apostles and early church. And so I hope you get a sense of some of that energy and commitment too.

Hymn: “We meet You, O Christ”   183VU


Call to Worship

One: We come in worship, seeking God’s guidance and love.
All: Fill us with the Spirit, to restore our faith and our hope in God’s presence.
One: Although we are well-intended, we need God’s word to renew our direction and commitment.
All: Strengthen our hearts to follow God’s way.
One: God calls us to support each other and draw on the example of those who went before.
All: Comfort us, with the truth of God’s love throughout the ages.
One: In worship, let us bring God into our hearts.
All: In worship, let us affirm our love of God and God’s love for us.

9:30 Youth Choir:  “I Am a Promise”
11:00 Chancel Choir:  “You Do Not Walk Alone” (with video)

Opening Prayer


Gracious God,

Welcome us now and nourish our hearts, that we may more fully accept you and your teaching. Through your immeasurable sacrifice for us, renew our lives and bring us closer to your way. Deepen our faith and make us more deserving of your generous love. Fill us with joy and life, so that we may share your love with others, praising you and serving you in all we say and do. Let our lives be a blessing to others and a testament to your enduring grace. 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, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Youth Hymn:  “I Want Jesus to Walk With Me”  verse 1 140 LUYH


Youth Story: Dandelions

Who can tell me what I have here? (show dandelion)

This is a dandelion, and it’s just a baby dandelion. Can anyone tell me how it’s going to grow? [It’s going to get a bright yellow flower] And we are just a few weeks away from all the dandelions around Oakville springing into life and creating beautiful carpets of yellow and gold.

And then what happens? [then it’s going to turn white and create seeds] And then what happens? If it’s a windy day, the breeze can blow through all the seeds and take them flying. [Or you can blow on the seed-head] And the seeds go up into the air and out into the world.

I’ve got some pretend dandelion seeds today. Can we pretend to be a dandelion here in church, and spread the seeds all around the sanctuary? [Gather children together; get ready for a big puff of wind; and go] [Great, and now all come back together]

Now dandelions might not be the first thing you think of when you think of Easter, but there’s an important way that dandelions can remind us of the amazing miracle of Jesus’ resurrection.

When the authorities arrested Jesus and put him on the cross, they wanted him to stop telling people about God and God’s love. They thought they could put an end to all of Jesus’ teaching.

But, as someone once said, that idea was like trying to destroy a dandelion seed-head by blowing on it.

What did we just see happen to dandelion seeds? [They went everywhere] And what happened to Jesus’ teaching about God’s love? [It went everywhere]

And so instead of stopping people learning about God’s love, the opposite happened. And every Easter, and every Sunday, we celebrate the way in which the story of God’s love was spread into the world for everyone to know.

And in a few weeks, when you see all the dandelions growing, I hope you’ll think about the amazing power of God’s love spreading around the world.

Will you say a prayer with me: Loving God, thank you for all the people in history who have helped spread the news of your love. Help us spread your love through what we say and do. Amen.


Youth Blessing: “Go My Children With My Blessing” 946LUYH


Scripture Reading: Luke 24:13-27;  An Easter text by Hippolytus, c. 202 CE

Luke 24:13-27

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?”

They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?” They replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see him.”

Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

An Easter text by Hippolytus, c. 202 CE

The books of the Gospels say, “The women came by night to seek in the tomb. These women ask the angels, “Have you not seen the one our soul has loved?” The angels, however, said: “Whom are you seeking? Jesus of Nazareth? Behold, he is risen.”

And as the women turned back and were leaving, the Savior met them; then the saying was fulfilled: “Behold as I withdrew a little from them, I found him, the one whom my soul loves.” But the Savior answered and said to the women: “Martha, Mary.” And they said, “Rabbuni,” which means “my Lord.” “I found the one I have loved, and would not let him go.” For in that moment, with his feet embraced, she holds fast to him. And he with a loud cry says to her, “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my father.” Indeed she held onto him and it was said, “I will not let you go, until I take you in and I bring you into my heart.”

O blessed women! Martha and Mary said this to Jesus. “We do not let you go. But go up to the Father and offer a new sacrifice. Offer Eve indeed no longer errant, but eagerly holding with her hand to the tree of life. Behold, I have clung to your knees, not as the cord which may be severed, but I have held to the feet of Christ, do not abandon me on earth!” O blessed woman, who did not wish to be separated from Christ.

For this reason she says: Receive, O my heart! Be mixed with the Spirit, strengthen it, perfect it, so that it also may be able to join with the heavenly body. Mix this my body with the heavenly body. Drink it as wine, take it, make it go up to heaven then a newly mixed cup. Behold, from now on she is made happy through the tree of life and through the confession. From that tree, she tasted Christ. She has been made worthy of the good and her heart desired its nourishment.

This is why the women evangelized the disciples. What is this new announcement of the resurrection, O women? And because of this the disciples regarded the women as deceived, because the disciples doubted. But the reason was that it was the custom of Eve to report deception and not truth. But in order that the women might not appear as deceivers, but as speaking the truth, Christ was displayed to the disciples at that time and said to them: “Peace be with you,” by this he taught that, “It was my desire, I who appeared to these women, to send them also as apostles to you.”

Scripture Response: “Speak O Lord”  verse 1 755 LUYH


Morning Message:  “Unreliable Witnesses” Gill Le Fevre

In the year 312, the Roman Empire had been devastated by a series of disasters: drought, famine, plagues, invading barbarians and eventually civil war.

Constantine — the presumptive emperor — prepared for battle, and as he did, he had a vision. Literally, he saw an enormous cross of fire in the sky. On one side of the cross were the words: “By this, conquer.”

The next day, Constantine had his soldiers put the sign of the cross on their shields before heading into battle. They triumphed, and Constantine converted to the new faith and forever changed the face of Christianity.

The disruptive, minority sect, mocked and sometimes persecuted, became the official religion of the empire. Cathedrals were built, as were hierarchies. Creeds were written and Councils formed and our beliefs of today took shape.

But before all that, there was a time when Christianity wasn’t safe, yet it was salvation. When faith did not enhance your status but diminish it. And when despite the odds being stacked against it, the transformative love of God, as remembered by a disparate group of nobodies, did not fade away, but spread and grew and embedded itself into the hearts and minds of hundreds and thousands of believers.

This is the period of Christian history that I study — the time after the apostles who had known Jesus, but before empire and authority took control. It was a period of debate between Christian thinkers, and a time of wide-ranging ideas and beliefs held by different Christian communities.

One of the tantalizing challenges of studying this time is the relative lack of source material from which to understand the Christian experience; and the range of issues around authorship and authenticity that complicate reading the sources we do have. A dominant theme of scholarship in this period is the question: whose stories get told?

The reading that we heard this morning is from a sermon that was preached to a congregation, not entirely unlike me talking to you this morning. It was probably delivered on Easter Sunday, when there would have been a ceremony of baptism for a group of new converts, and the preacher, a man called Hippolytus explained in detail his views of the power of God and Christ, and the wonder of the resurrection.

The story being told on the one hand is that of Jesus and the defining miracle of that Easter morning; and at the same time, it’s a story of the commitment and faith of two women followers of Jesus and their ministry in the Easter garden.

And the detail with which Hippolytus describes the women and their encounter with Jesus is startling and radical, because this was not a period of social harmony. Indeed, we can see from some of the comments made in the text, that women were routinely subject to prejudice and judgment.

For in the process of retelling the resurrection story, and explaining why the male disciples did not immediately accept the news of Christ’s resurrection, Hippolytus reminds his audience that women were frequently regarded as unreliable — reporting “deception and not truth.”

These views can also be found in our gospel accounts of Jesus’ resurrection, and notably in the Gospel of Luke. When Luke recounts the women telling the male disciples what they had experienced in the garden, he writes: “But these words seemed to [the male disciples] an idle tale, and they did not believe [the women].”

The unreliable impression can be seen again in our reading this morning, which shows two of Jesus’ followers describing being “astounded” by the news the women shared, and even when some of the disciples went to the tomb, without seeing Jesus himself, they weren’t prepared to accept the women’s story.

Their words were unbelievable; the implications impossible; the judgment inevitable.

Unbelieved words; inevitable judgment; the experience of telling their story to be met with disbelief and shame. That has been the experience for too many women today, who are likewise cast as unreliable witnesses.

The #MeToo movement over the last few years vividly demonstrates how difficult it still is for women to be believed. And the church’s role and response here often leave a great deal to be desired.

While many of the headlines have come from south of the border, Canadian churches and church leaders are not exempt.

Over the last twelve months, the Meeting House megachurch based in Oakville has hit the headlines, failing women in multiple ways. In each case, the allegations of sexual misconduct made against male leaders of the church community are just the beginning. In each case, the women struggled to have their claims taken seriously.

Citing incidents spanning decades, the Meeting House has been the subject of a range of accusations of sexual misconduct and crimes — some proven, some still in court — and involving a number of different leaders. What connects all of the cases is the resistance of the church to listen to the stories being told and to respond in a way that would acknowledge and validate the hurt caused.

One former member relates the extent to which her concerns about the over-sexualized culture of some leaders and groups were rebuffed. Talking to one male pastor, she was told that her levels of upset were not faithful concern for the community and its women, but a sign that she herself was damaged.

Instead of recognition and healing, those who spoke up faced denial and judgment. Inappropriate behaviour went unchecked and unaddressed for years, while those voicing concerns felt disbelieved or belittled.

Whose stories get told? Whose voices are heard?

It is one thing, perhaps, not to want to hear hard stories; but how surprising, how rigid in one’s views, not to want to hear good news. And yet that was the experience of the women on that Easter Sunday.

It is both a sign of how incredible the news was, as well as how little regard the disciples’ society had for women’s stories.

Jesus’ take on this situation is unambiguous. On the road to Emmaus, he scoffs at — insults even — the two men he is walking with. “Oh, how foolish you are and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared!”

In Hippolytus’ text, we see a similar response. Jesus appears to the male disciples because they’ve got it wrong. The judgments of society are not God’s judgment. Jesus desired a ministry that included everyone, where everyone’s story could be heard.

Both these passages are in keeping with the Jesus we see throughout the gospels, who consistently welcomes and includes. In numerous examples, he confronted and rejected the prejudice, sexism, and racism prevalent in his society. He talked with the Samaritan woman at the well; he intervened to save the woman condemned for committing adultery; he dined with outcasts and tax collectors.

Over and again, Jesus welcomed and included throughout his ministry, and rejected the ways others tried to use religion to judge and exclude.

When we look at the sermon from Hippolytus, we see this in more detail. And it’s an intriguing passage because of both the similarities and differences with our gospel accounts.

Hippolytus clearly knows the gospels, and we can link many of the things he says back to the different resurrection accounts. But he also describes events that aren’t in our gospels, and which likely came from a local oral history, and which gives us a glimpse of how his congregation probably remembered the resurrection.

The energy and commitment of the scene are powerful. Martha and Mary affirm their participation in Jesus’ ministry. There’s no fear — only courage — as the women ask for Jesus’ forgiveness for womankind, as represented by Eve.

And through Jesus’ resurrection, Eve is transformed. No longer errant, no longer shunned and shamed, but “eagerly holding with her hand to the tree of life.”

The tree of life: the promise of renewal and redemption; of acceptance and rebirth; demonstrating that the story of Eve did not end with sin, just as the women’s story would not end with disbelief.

Through Jesus, they could write a new story and have their voices heard.

This inspiration — and challenge — remains today. Whose stories get told?

How do we tell and celebrate the story and the work of Céire Kealty, a Ph. D. candidate studying theological ethics and clothing, and outspoken about the global textiles industry and the mounting problem of discarded fashion.

Yesterday was Earth Day, and so it’s timely to hear Céire’s urgent voice drawing attention to the costs of over-consumption and extent to which our approach to shopping and clothing conflict with our Christian calling to care for the world.

Céire has written extensively about the mountains of discarded textiles overwhelming the desert environment of Atacama in Chile. She tells a disheartening story of “discarded garments occupying space meant for the desert flora and fauna and, as Christian history notes, spiritual inspiration.”

Emphasizing both the tangible and spiritual aspects of the Atacama desert, Céire is sustained by the power of Christian hope and grace.

In hope, she celebrates the Latin American innovators who are “addressing clothing waste through creative action,” such as the company EcoFibra Chile who “transforms textile waste into insulation panels.”

And in grace, Céire wonders at the “creatures persisting throughout Atacama despite the demon of clothing waste” and who affirm “the enduring joy of created life.”

Christian hope and grace further combine in the work of the Chilean social enterprise, Ecocitex, who “convert textile waste into upcycled products.”

And while their work brings hope for the textile crisis in this area, even more than that the firm embodies the grace of salvation that we receive from Christ. Ecocitex employs and trains formerly incarcerated women, offering them the opportunity of renewed life, and expanding access to technical roles that are typically reserved for men. And the company donates garments made from its recycled textile yarn to vulnerable communities with limited access to clothing.

The work of these firms and others, the work of Céire Kealty, this work is writing a new story for our world: a story of hope and healing, proclaiming the enduring power of God’s love.

So what ties together all these stories, with their urgent need to be heard?

They remind us of the power of bearing witness; of the invitation we receive through God to show up and share our stories, to have our presence and experience affirmed; and of our calling to stand up for what is right, especially for the voiceless.

The women in the gospels bore witness to the wonder of Christ’s resurrection, even though they were disbelieved. The women in Hippolytus’ sermon bore witness to their faith and the power of Christ to forgive, affirming and uplifting each other. The women calling out sin in our world today — against the environment and against women — they bear witness to the values of God and God’s cry for human dignity, “rooting out injustice and creating communities where everyone can flourish.”

Moreover these stories remind us that when we proclaim the place of others in God’s kingdom, we equally affirm our own place, our own salvation, our own story.

For we belong to the great tradition of witnesses that have gone before us, and as God sustained them, so we too receive “the strength of God who empowers us to do more than we have ever imagined.”

We receive the peace of God’s compassion for our struggle and pain.

And by God’s grace, we are promised “joy and confidence as we walk in God’s unfailing love.”

Hallelujah. Praise be to God.

Pastoral Prayer

Gracious Lord Jesus, ever-loving God,
Receive our hopes, O Lord, and fill us with your Spirit.
Guide us to stay true to your teaching. Encourage us to support those around us with your love.
Receive our fears, O Lord, and fill us with your Spirit.
Sustain us when the world confronts us with anger. Reassure us when we worry we are not enough, or do not have enough.
Receive our dreams, O Lord, and fill us with your Spirit.
Nurture us to recognize your purpose and the places we can help. Lighten our souls to trust in your abiding love.
Receive our grief, O Lord, and fill us with your Spirit.
Comfort us through times of loss and pain. Restore to us our hope in each day.
Receive our shame, O Lord, and fill us with your Spirit.
Forgive us for the hurt we cause. Humble us to set aside our pride and repair the rifts we create.
Receive our joy, O Lord, and fill us with your Spirit.
Encourage us to see you when we delight in the world. Remind us of your presence and awaken us to the miracles in each day.
Strengthen and nourish our hearts, and join us to your love, that we are renewed to serve and to grow. Mix our desire to care with your grace to forgive and from this newly mixed cup, send forth a balm to heal our world.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Our gifts of our time, talent and material resources connect us with the work of Christians from the beginning of the church and through the centuries that followed. We give, as they did, to further God’s work, and to heal the broken places in the world. Despite persecution or division, plague or war, in times of plenty or poverty, Christians continue to give in hope, faith and love, and so we do today.

♥  by secure online payment from your debit or credit card. Click here to go to our donation page to make a single or recurring donation. Multiple funds can be included in one donation by using the “Add Donation” button
♥ by cheque through the mail slot at the Church office entrance or by Canada Post
♥ by monthly PAR payments. To sign up contact

Offering Hymn: “Give Thanks”


Offering Prayer (all)

Welcoming God,
Receive our hearts and fill us with your Spirit, that we may be able to offer ourselves in service to you. Strengthen us when our resolve weakens and we put ourselves first. Awaken us to recognize the needs around us, of others struggling to get by. Make us a community of love and service, joining with the efforts and energy of all those who strive to make your children whole.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Hymn: “Lord of All Hopefulness”  378 LUYH


Receive the love and mercy of God in your hearts. Let the Spirit strengthen and sustain you in each day. Accept the peace and compassion of Christ, making you worthy of the blessings of God’s eternal grace. Now and forever, Amen.

Closing Hymn:  “Blessing for Life’s Journey”


Scripture Readers: Don Rusk, Nicole D’Angelo

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, April 19th