Virtual Service – April 3, 2022

2:00 pm

April 3, 2022

Virtual Serivce

Welcome to virtual church!

Today’s service will be offered in 2 formats – video and text.

• View the video below
• 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 office@waltonmemorial.com if you would like to be added to our email list.


Announcements

•  Ukraine Relief-Support for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine – If you would like to make a donation for relief for the people of Ukraine, you can do it through your givings account at Walton. No amount is too small in such dire circumstances and we will be sure to direct your donation carefully through the Canadian Red Cross.

To donate by credit card – You can click on this Walton link: https://waltonmemorial.churchcenter.com/giving/to/disaster-relief-outreach-ukraine
• You can also text a donation by sending a text to 84321 with a dollar amount followed by “ukraine” e.g. “$25 ukraine” (Standard Message & Data Rates May Apply — Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions)
• You can also drop a cheque made out to Walton United Church with “Ukraine” in the memo line, through the mailbox slot at Walton Church, or sent by Canada Post, Walton Memorial United Church, 2489 Lakeshore Road West, Oakville L6L 1H9. Any donation for Ukraine will be added to your annual givings and will be included in your end of 2022 official tax receipt from Walton.

Thank you in advance for anything you would like to donate. ~ The Walton Outreach Committee

• The CVITP Committee (Community Volunteer Income Tax Program) will begin making appointments in 2022 for March and April. If you need help filing your return, have a modest income, and a simple tax situation, the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program may be able to help you. For details about the Free Tax Clinic, you can visit the following online page: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/free-tax-help.html or call Ruth at 905-631-6188 or John at  905-869-1484 for further details. Tax assistance will be by appointment only – if we remain on COVID watch, we will operate out of the Walton parking lot, and by phone and by e-mail/internet.  If the closure has been somewhat lifted, we will have you come to Walton masked for an appointment with a tax preparer.

•  Gift Card Sale – Now’s your chance to  “Shop ‘Til You Drop” and support Walton’s Ministry and Mission at the same time, with our Gift Card Sale.
Here’s how it works:

• Many generous businesses and individuals have donated gift cards to the Church for local businesses, services, restaurants, and experiences.
• The Church office is selling these cards at face value, with all proceeds going to support our General Fund, on a first-come, first- served basis.
• At each entrance/exit of Walton, there is a paper list of gift cards.  Please pick up a copy and take it home if you wish.
Read it at your leisure, and select the card(s) of your choice from the list (link to website page)and contact the Church Office, Tuesday through Friday to arrange a payment and pickup/delivery time, office@waltonmemorial.com or  905-827-1643

It’s that easy!  Have fun!

•  Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. This week we’re talking about sin and we have some bad news and good news for everyone.

•  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


Land Acknowledgement Video

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.

Welcome

Good morning and welcome to the service this morning.

Hey, Jim what is that you have in your hand?

Val, I know it has been a long time since you held one, but really a red book in church – what else could it be?

I’m just so excited to see the hymn books and the blue bibles back in the pews, ready and waiting to be used again.  Come let us join together in worship. Let us with our masks on, stand as we are able and join together in singing one of our favourite hymns.

Hymn:  “Here I Am, Lord” vs. 1 & refrain – 509VU

Call to Worship

One:   Some of us started the morning with the fragrance of freshly brewed coffee, tea or hot lemon.

All:     It settles us into our day and prepares us for all it might hold. 

One:   When we take the time, as we do this morning,  to be with our living God,

All:      it settles us and prepares us for the week ahead. 

One:   The scent of flowers also fills a room, evoking love and memory.

All:     God’s presence in our worship connects us to memories all the way back to our wandering Biblical ancestors and to Mary and the perfume with which she anointed Jesus. 

One:  These stories remind us that God’s eternal love continues to surround faithful people.

All:    Let us worship our faithful God.

(adapted Karen Boivin, The Gathering L/E2022)

Opening Prayer

All: Compassionate God, 

Mary moved to the table, holding the precious ointment, her eyes meeting and holding the gaze of the One preparing to die.

Mary fell to her knees and broke open her treasure, massaging the fragrant oil into his feet, and wiping them with her hair.

Mary kept her eyes on His, as a collective sigh arose, followed by a bitter criticism, an attempt to disqualify her action.

Mary’s tense shoulders relaxed at His words “Leave her alone.” Defended by Jesus, she could take on the whole world.

Jesus, friend and defender, may we who remember Mary’s story be emboldened to live with sensitivity, courage and passion.  Amen.

(adapted Ann Siddall, and posted on the website of the Stillpoint Spirituality Centre)

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 Story – Look and you shall find

Val and Alison are so excited to have kids back in person for Sunday School and Youth Group. We all had so much fun last week! Alison shows an Easter craft the kids in Bronte Hall made last week. The outside shows an Easter egg – a symbol of Easter that everyone knows. When you open it up, the real symbol of Easter is revealed: a cross with a heart in the middle.

But not everybody in Sunday School knows why the cross is a symbol of Easter. For some kids, it’s been two years since they attended Sunday School. Others came last week for the first time ever and are just starting to learn about Jesus. So we are going to be talking about the cross a lot in the next few weeks. And you know how when you talk about something you suddenly start seeing it everywhere? Look around. How many cross shapes can you see? Not just actual crosses in the church, but start noticing trees and hydro poles in the shape of a cross. Maybe your window frames form a cross. They are everywhere!

It’s not that surprising we see crosses everywhere, is it? Because Jesus is everywhere! And just like the crosses, the more you look for him, the more places you will see him, the more places you will feel his love. So that’s your homework this week: keep your eyes open everywhere you go for Jesus at work. Think about what that cross shape means, and how it’s a symbol of just how much Jesus loves you. And if you don’t yet know what the cross has to do with Jesus’ love, keep coming to Sunday School or following our virtual Sunday School lessons. It’s something we’re going to be talking about a lot in the next few weeks. Let’s pray together:

Loving God, thank you for the gift of your son, the gift of your love, and the gift of the miracle of Easter. Help us to share those blessings and to feel your love everywhere, every day. Amen.

Anthem: “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

 

Affirmation of Faith

One:     We believe in God who has created this world and all that is in it.

God continues to create new things, people, times, and experiences.

God sends us the changing seasons and weather, sun and rain alike, full of beauty and wonder and power.

All:       God feels emotions like we do. God mourns human destruction, holds us accountable for the things we do or don’t do. Seeking goodness in humanity, God offers us forgiveness and encourages us to change so we can be better people and do our part in making this world a better place.

One:   God sent us Jesus to remind us that we are all part of the family of God. We are all related, and as God cares about all people, we are told to do the same.

All:       We remember the life of Jesus, a life that was powerful because it was full of love and concern for all people. Jesus spent his life serving others, offering healing, happiness, and help, in dealing with all the circumstances of life. Jesus helped people who were hurt, hungry, and lonely, even washing their tired, blistered feet. He showed us the beauty of living a new and resurrected life. Jesus taught us about the joy that God feels in having a relationship with us.

One:    We remember the Spirit, Sophia, full of Wisdom, always with us, whose presence is known in many ways, offering friendship and comfort.

All:      We are thankful for the stories contained within our Bible, stories of people like us, and the lessons they teach.  In these stories of people like Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, Rebecca, Jacob, Joseph, Jonah, Peter and Zaachaeus, we learn of God’s unfailing forgiveness and love. We learn how difficult and important it often is to love and care for others. Even when we do things that are wrong, even when we think or behave badly, God still wants to be part of our lives and help us start over again.  

One:    The Bible teaches us that God expects us to be good human beings. Accepting that we are not perfect, God wants us to listen faithfully and to follow God’s direction for our lives. Recognizing that the world we live in, is one that is always changing, we give thanks for being able to live where we do.

All:      Too much of this wonderful world is slowly being destroyed by pollution, war, and greed.  We need to be more careful, to change our ways. We need to strive for others. We need to insist that our leaders be responsible, fair and caring. We want to do our part in making this world a place where all are respected for who they are. We hope for world peace and the fair sharing of the Earth’s resources so that our world will be what God wants it to be.

One:    We are happy that we have our church, and our virtual service. May our time together be a happy loving place where we can get together to pray to God and to have fellowship. 

All:      Sometimes, it is hard to get up for Sunday worship, but it is worth doing; church is a good place to be even when we don’t understand it all. And that’s okay.  God never expects us to have all the answers, and we have a whole lifetime to keep learning.
Thanks be to God!

(adapted Cordelia Thompson & Lindsay Meyers, Youth Confirmation Class, The Gathering L/E 2013)

Hymn: “Amazing Grace” vs. 1 & 5 – 266VU

Scripture Reading: John 12:1-8

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.

Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honour.

Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected,  “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.”

He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Scripture Response:  “Change My Heart O God”

Morning Message:  “The Intent of Lent #4”   Rev. Jim Gill

This day certainly came a lot sooner than expected. When we paused live worship on the 4th Sunday of Advent, December 19th, 2021, we expected that Omicron would pause in-person services until at least late spring, if not early summer. Yet we re-started live worship last Sunday. It is such a blessing to be back here live and virtually with you in this hybrid service before Holy Week begins a week from today on Palm Sunday.

We have missed you. It has been so much more challenging to preach to only a camera over these last three months. It is better to receive feedback from those of you here in person, even with your masks on.

The theme of our Lenten series of messages this year has been what I call the “Intent of Lent.” We have looked at various pieces of scripture to consider during these 40 days of Lent with the intention to look inward into our lives. How can Lent be a time to reinvent ourselves with God at work? It can be an inside job with the Divine working on our hearts and souls.

We have talked about those behaviours, beliefs, and ways of being that limit who we can truly be as children of God. Lent can be used to transform, transition, and turn them upside down. Lent is more than giving up chocolate. It can be far deeper than that. It can be a time of radical change for the better.

 

Today’s story of Jesus’ life takes place just before Jesus’ death. It is fascinating. In it, Mary the sister of Martha, is anointing Jesus’ feet at a feast. Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, is also present. You will recall how Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead. Lazarus was not resurrected like Jesus will be shortly after the crucifixion; Lazarus was more resuscitated. So there was much reason to have this dinner in Jesus’ honour in Bethany.

The pivotal event at the meal is Mary anointing Jesus’ feet with an expensive nard, or perfume. Recall that there were no cars and very few roads were paved by the Romans. Except for the very wealthy or powerful people, generally, the average person walked everywhere. Feet, one would imagine, were both very dry and very dirty. It was also before the daily showers we know today and products such as Lubriderm to protect our feet.

Household servants would wash guests’ feet, especially at a feast. Recall too what Jesus would do in a mere six days’ time. Christ would set the example of servanthood for all of us by washing the feet of his disciples in the upper room on Maundy Thursday. Certainly, this was both a powerful and public act of care and concern by Mary for Jesus. However, Judas criticizes what Mary did, saying that this expensive perfume could have been sold. It was worth an average person’s yearly wages. Judas’ argument was that the money raised could have been given to the poor.

Judas looked after the disciples’ money and was known to have sticky fingers. Jesus hears these words of Judas and responds. As followers of Jesus, our actions are at times challenged. Our acts of worship especially are targets of people with Judas-like personalities and hidden motives.

Jesus responds, “Leave Mary alone. She has kept this for the day of my burial. For you always have the poor with you, but you don’t always have me.”

Hear Jesus again: “Leave her alone. She has kept this for the day of my burial.” Jesus chooses not to unmask Judas as a betrayer here. He will do that at the Last Supper when Jesus was with the disciples for the feast of Passover.

Of course, Mary has no intention of anointing her beloved Jesus for burial. She surely understands that Jesus is in danger like he often was over his three years of ministry. Jesus shook up the status quo and there were always those plotting against him. However, Mary cannot imagine that Jesus has only a few days to live on this, his last trip to Jerusalem for Passover. Mary’s anointing of Jesus has meaning beyond her understanding.

God often works in our lives beyond our understanding. God, I believe, works through the historic intentions of the 40 days of Lent to bring meaning to others and ourselves, both in the present and in the future.

Jesus and the Gospel writer John are very aware, however, what the next few days will bring. So much of the Gospel of John involves the last week of Jesus’ life. We are in the midst of what is called the “passion narrative.” For some time now, Jesus has been on the road to Jerusalem. It has been at the background of the events leading up to Palm Sunday. It is a trip to Jesus’ death and to his resurrection. Now in this story with Mary, Jerusalem is quite near. It is not just geographically near to Bethany where this banquet takes place, but the time is near. The Sanhedrin has already decided to kill Jesus. Their plan is hatched.

How do we understand how Jesus resolves the issues of the anointing? Mary’s extravagance is appropriate in the circumstances, because she is preparing his body for burial. We treat burials in many ways with respect. The writer Donovan says about this expensive perfume, “On funeral days, we do things in grander fashion than on other days. The deceased may have preferred overalls, but now is dressed in coat and tie. He may have driven a modest car, but he rides to the cemetery in a limousine coach. His comfortable chair may be worn, but his casket is satin-lined. In Jesus’ day, people considered expensive perfume to be appropriate for funerals, just as we consider expensive floral arrangements to be appropriate.”

Well that may be a bit of overreach, especially about the flowers, but you get the point. Mary’s actions with the perfume were pointing to a burial, just like the myrrh that was one of the three gifts the wise men gave 33 years before pointed to Jesus’s death. Myrrh was used to anoint the body for burial. What the two Marys headed out to do in the garden on that Easter morning was to anoint the body. You see, the burial of Jesus was so rushed on Good Friday as dusk and the Sabbath approached that day.

The most contentious line of this whole passage today is, “For you always have the poor with you, but you don’t always have me.” These words have often been quoted to justify not being generous toward the poor. This was not the intent of Jesus; rather, Jesus is referring back to the Torah.

The complete verse Jesus is quoting is from Deuteronomy 15:11. It reads, “For the poor will never cease out of the land: therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall surely open your hand to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor, in your land.’”

The real intent of Jesus’ comment to Judas is this: You will have many opportunities to help the poor, but you won’t always have Jesus present. The disciples need to take advantage of his presence while they can, for his days on earth are limited. So let’s use these 40 days with the intent in Lent to worship Jesus as Mary did, not with expensive perfume but fully with our hearts, minds and souls.

 In conducting funerals, celebrations of life, and burials, I often hear family and friends gathered wish that they had done things differently. They regret their failure to tell the deceased of their love, to apologize, to help out, to have visited or called more. You name the regrets; there can be many. The day of the funeral is too late. In today’s passage Mary seized the moment. Mary made this loving gesture while Jesus was still alive. Who in our lives this Lent do we need to make a gesture of one kind or another to before it is too late? The person you stopped talking to. The person you have been too busy to see. The person you have left by the wayside. The intent of Lent is that things can change! Be Mary today.

Solo:  “Like a River of Tears” Linda Fletcher

Pastoral Prayer

God of all hopefulness, God of my life.

Today as our Lenten journey heads into completion, through pain, sorrow, despair, illness, losses of all kinds, through fear, anger, hatred, vitriol, and finger-pointing.

We come to recognize the varied ways we work against you, O God, against your hopes and dreams for creation against your love poured out in flesh and blood, we hang our heads and bow our hearts seeking your forgiveness yearning for your guidance, desiring your compassion.

Fill us, we pray, with the ability to turn to you, kneeling before you may your grace open our spirit that we may let you in, receive you, take you in.

Into our hearts and minds and souls let you in that we might turn and return to you, that we might be transformed in you, through you, by you, for you.

Transformed once more, this day, this week, into a new self, me, you.

May we become a new people, a gentle people, a people of love and compassion, born anew from our deepest sorrow through the breadth of your forgiveness and love.

And then, may we do likewise. Forgive. And, love. Amen.

(adapted by Terri, and posted on the RevGalBlogPals website)

Hymn:  “Be Thou My Vision” vs. 1                                                                                 642VU

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Most generous God: with thankful hearts we rejoice in your goodness towards us and in the many blessings that we receive each day. In love you provide for your people’s needs and you walk alongside us. We are very thankful for those who have been so generous towards us, giving of their time, their skills and their love.

As a token of our gladness, may we also bless others, being generous with all that you have given us. The offering will now be received.

(adapted on the Starters for Sunday website of the Church of Scotland) 

♥  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 Text to Give. Donate securely at any time just by texting a dollar amount to 84321 (eg. $5).  See our Text-to-Give page for more information.
♥ by monthly PAR payments. To sign up contact stuart@waltonmemorial.com

Offering Music: “Give Thanks”screen

Offering Prayer

Extravagant God, lavishing your love on our poverty of heart: inspire us to give with generosity, to love life so that we may find it again, and thus the world will be filled with the fragrance of your love; through Jesus Christ, who offers himself for us. Amen.

(from Prayers for an Inclusive Church 2009, alt. Posted in “Trial Use Collects and Prayers Over the Gifts for Year C”on theAnglican Church of Canadawebsite)

Benediction

Let us go from here to ask ourselves:
Who can we anoint with the fragrance of our faith?
Where are we called to let down our hair and be vulnerable for Christ?

(Karen Boivin, The Gathering L/E2022)

Announcements

Intro of Peaceful Sky

Father Mark who has preached at Walton before sent this video to us and our neighbouring churches.

Peace to you!  I am writing to share with you Peaceful Sky, a prayerful song for peace, dedicated to the people of Ukraine. The music and lyrics were written by Rev. Mark Curtis, Grace Anglican Church, Milton, Ontario and the video was produced by Rev. Steve Rothery from Knox Presbyterian Church, Milton, Ontario. The video contains images of the people and places in the Ukraine. Please feel free to share this song & video with your congregation at your Sunday services.

Let us share this prayer for peace with the world.  For peace comes in small pieces.

Closing Song: “Peaceful Sky”

Words & Music by Fr. Mark Curtis,  ©WordSong Communications, 2002

And the world cries once again

Tears of fears they never end

When will hearts start to defend

A world of love where peace is a friend.

Peaceful skies and silent nights

This my prayer, I hope takes flight

Peaceful skies and silent nights

This my prayer, I pray with all my might

This my prayer, I pray with all my might

What a wonderful world it could be

If all hearts would one day agree

Color blind, love always sees

The gift of same in you and me

 

Postlude


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, March 30th

https://youtu.be/exfQCye54JU