Virtual Good Friday Service – April 7, 2023

2:00 pm

April 7, 2023


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

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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.


One: From the busyness of our lives, we have come here on a day that is different.
All: In the midst of the world which holds the promise of spring and new life, we have come to share a story of betrayal and execution.
One: Come and hear the tale. Come and share the tragedy. Come and embrace the darkness.
Val & Jim: The Christ candle is lit.
One: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.
Two: And the Word was God.
One: Jesus came into our world.
Two:   He brought life, and his life was the light of all people.
One: The light shines in the midst of chaos, tyranny, and destruction.
Two: On this day, his light was extinguished by the powers and principalities of this world.
One: We mourn his death.
Two: We mourn that such powers crucify people again and again, even till this day.
The Christ candle is extinguished.

Hymn:  “Don’t be Afraid” 90MV

Don’t be afraid.
My love is stronger, my love is stronger than your fear.
Don’t be afraid.
My love is stronger
and I have promised, promised to be always near.

Jim:   Let us pray.
All:  O God, we mourn when innocent people are killed. Especially, we mourn those who are being killed because they dare to speak the truth, because they defend the environment and challenge racism, and because they seek justice and peace. O God, who cries with us, stay with us through these times and through the loneliness of the night. Comfort us as we mourn, as we pray for a world to come, a world of blessing you promised to those who mourn. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

Hymn: “Old Rugged Cross” vs. 1 & 3  327 Celebration

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame,
And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Chorus: So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.

In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see;
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.

Call to Worship

One: On this day we gather to remember Jesus our Saviour, who loved us and gave himself for us. Let us draw near in full assurance of God’s endless love and mercy.
All: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son..” 
One:  A Story of Love, gather round… I have a story to tell of one who reached inside himself,  took a handful of love like a pile of stardust and said: “This is for you, it is all you need. It is all you will ever need.  There is enough here to change the whole world. Take it!”
All: Many laughed at him, mocked him, and ignored the invitation.
One: But some dared to take it. And those who did, noticed something about this love; they found they could do what the gift-giver could do.
All: They could stand with the lost, welcome the traveler, eat with the hungry. They found themselves doing what the man first did to them. 
One: Give something of themselves to others.
All: They became like the man, offering themselves.  And as they offered themselves, others took the invitation. And many still do, and many still trust, it is enough to change the whole world.
One: It is enough to change the whole world.  Amen.
written by Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Listening to the Stones.  

Opening Prayer

All: We gather today, O God, in the shadow of the cross.  
Our world is full of the same fear, anger, and hatred that drove the very nails into Jesus’ hands. 
How can it be that we keep failing to learn the lessons that history has presented to us over and over again?
Yet we gather here because we long for something else. 
We long to get out from under the fear, anger, and hatred;  because of this day we dare to believe that it is possible.  
So, we ask for your presence, O God, in our worship, in our doubts and fears, and in our living and hoping.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.
adapted Catherine Tovell, The Gathering L/E/ 2023

Prayer of Confession:  “Where are you?

One: Where am I?  I confess I am not always at the cross.It’s easy to be distracted and let my attention move here and there.
Two: I confess, I’m not always grateful for the death of Jesus. A person gets busy with all sorts of things.
One: Good things, mind you, like family and church committeesand responsibilities to ageing parents. Community projects.
Two: Doing homework, shopping.  Part-time work. Life gets hectic.
One: And burdensome.
Two: I confess I try to carry my own burdens.
One: And work out my own salvation.
Two: I like to be in control.
One: I wonder, do I betray Jesus with my self-sufficiency?
Two: Do I deny him with my self-centered living?
One & Two: We like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way.
Two: We have been ungrateful.
One: Our hearts have not been humble.
Two: Our spirits are not contrite.
One: Teach us how to find your presence, God, at the cross.
Two: Teach us how to share the death of Jesus.
One &Two:  But he was wounded for our transgressions,
One: crushed for our iniquities,
Two: upon him was the punishment that made us whole
One: and by his bruises, we are healed. (pause)
Start singing “Were you There?”
Congregation & choir join in the singing of “Were you there?” 

Hymn:   “Were You There?” verses 1  & 2  315 Celebration

The Arrest and Crucifixion of Jesus

A meditation in which we pray with the disciples.

One: Come with the disciples to the place of crucifixion.
All: We go reluctantly.  It is easier not to get involved.
(a time of silent reflection)

One: We think we are all united for Jesus, and then Judas proves a betrayer.
All: It is hard to believe that a good friend will let you down.
(a time of silent reflection)

One: Even Peter denies he knows Jesus.
All: We thought our leader was made of stronger stuff.
(a time of silent reflection) 

One: Jesus is brought to trial on trumped-up charges.
All: He speaks the truth, but Pilate doesn’t want to know.
(a time of silent reflection)

One: The crowd has a chance to free Jesus.
All: But they shout, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
One: And he is crucified, an agonizing death.

All: But we do not come close enough to share his pain.
(a time of silent reflection)
One: The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross.
All: We don’t hang around.  We leave the dreadful scene.
(a time of silent reflection)

One: For us, it seems that it is all over and finished.  It seems that the force and power of the Romans and the religious authorities have won out.
All: Jesus is dead.
One: It seems that the only ones with courage enough to stay with Jesus are the women:
All: A group of family members, friends, and disciples.
One: It seems as if the influence and leadership of Jesus was fine while it lasted,
All: but now time has run out for those of us who follow Jesus.
(a time of silent reflection)

One: It remains only to wind up the movement and return home
All: to resume jobs and household tasks, to restore traditional religious ways.
One: Nothing has changed.
All: Three days of despair and desolation and then…
(a time of silent reflection)
One: Amen.

David Sparks, The Gathering L/E 2023

Chancel Choir:  “Surely He has Borne our Sorrows”

Good Friday Litany:  inspired by John 3:16

One: God loved the world so much…that God sent Jesus, the son, so that all who believed in him would have eternal life.
Two: God loved the world so much…  love gave everything it had, that anyone who grasped the story of love would be grasped by love’s story and find what is eternal.
One: God loved the world so much… heaven opened up itself completely so that whoever welcomed the kingdom in, through works of love and justice, would find the lasting wholeness of life.
Two: God loved the world so much…Jesus put on flesh and lived among us so that the face of God would be clear to humanity and the word of God would be clearly heard, that no life is cheap enough to destroy.
One: God loved the world so much… God went there Gods-self so that anyone who banked on love would discover life’s ultimate value and in so doing, live in its fullness.
Two: God loved the world so much…God let Jesus gamble everything on love through to crucifixion and death, so that all who ventured to love in that way would know what had been distilled in eternity.
One: God loved the world so much…that God sent Jesus the Son, so that all who believed in him would have eternal life.
by Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Mucky Paws.

Response:   “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us”  vs 1

Morning Message:

The cross is so many things. It is pain and healing. It is defeat and victory. It is death and life. But one of the things that the cross is to me is a declaration–an unashamed declaration–of God’s love for us.

The birth of Jesus was a small affair, just a few shepherds and a wise man or three, but His death was public. It was out in the open. It wasn’t hidden away in some corner. It was God saying to the whole world. “You want to know how much I love you? You want to know how far I will go to make sure you know I care?   Well check this out! Here is my love.”

INRI   “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews”

One: Greed, power, fear.
Two: (loudly) Crucify!  Crucify!
One: Corruption, hate, persecution, jealousy
Two: (louder) Crucify!  Crucify!
One: Truth, love, strength.
Two: (becoming tentative) Crucify!  Crucify!
One: Hope, forgiveness, peace.
Two: (very softly) Crucity! Crucify!
One: Acceptance, inclusion, humility.
One and Two: (after a moment of silence) Amen.
Jamie Miller, The Gathering, L/E 2023

Reading: “The Cost”

So this was the cost
the price you had to pay for me
to be with me
to save me
to redeem me
You laid down here for me
Hung here for me
Died here for me
You laid down here for me
As they laughed at you
And said who’s hitting you
You laid down here for me
As they nailed you
Impaled you
You laid here as nails cut you, pierced you, raped you
You laid down here for me
You hung here for me as they mocked you
Jew King, here’s your crown so come down and be king
You hung here for me as your breath wouldn’t come
And the blood wouldn’t stop
and nails or no nails you still are God
and could have come down
and made the pain stop and made the laughs stop
but you hung here for me
You died here for me
As you said
it is finished
And now there is nothing left,
But the horror of this place
And I want to turn away, to walk away, to run away
To just forget without regret
All the horror of this place
Of the blood on your face
And the pain of the nails and the hole in your side
But I can’t turn away cause I need to be saved
And if this is what it takes for me to know you
To be with you
to find you
if this is what it takes for you to save me
Then I can’t look away
Cause I need you to save
this soul that cries out for you,
dies for you,
reaches for you
If this is what it takes then I all I can say is
Crucify! Crucify! Crucify!
Cause I need to be saved
And I
I can’t pay the cost

Sacrament of Holy Communion

Invitation to Communion:

Jim: God calls us to him.  Through Jesus Christ we are forgiven, all we have to do is ask.

All: “God, we ask you to be with us today as we come to your table, as we share this meal together.”

Jim:: All are invited to this table, to receive God’s gift of love to you.

Val: It is a “come as you are” dinner, made just for you.

Jim: Whether you are just starting your faith journey or you have been travelling for years.

Val: Whether you have done something you wish you hadn’t, sinned against another.

Jim: Whether you are sick of mind, body or spirit, or struggling with things in your life, you are welcome here.

Val: God loves you and wants to share this special meal with you. You are worthy and loved!

Jim:  Here is that bread, broken.  Jesus said, “The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

All: They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

Val: Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, andwhoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Jim:    Let us pray the prayer that Jesus taught us.

The Lord’s Prayer (in unison)

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.

Consecration & Distribution of Elements

Sharing the Bread and Cup

Prayer after Communion:

All: God of passionate and vulnerable love, you enable our loving service in the world.  We thank you for Jesus, who, on the night he was betrayed, gave himself to his friends in humble service and in bread and wine.  May we be a continuation of Christ’s service in the face of life’s sin, pain, suffering.   Amen.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes – Val

As we stand here looking at the cross, this plain, old piece of wood, I am torn between the beauty of it, the pain of it, the hope in it. Maybe it would be different if I didn’t know the story. Maybe it would be different if I thought this was the end. Without my faith and belief in heaven, what a burden that would be. So that is why the story doesn’t end here. Sunday is but a few days away, so I live in the hope of Jesus overcoming death and living on each in one of us.

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Offering Hymn: “Give Thanks”

Offering Prayer – Jim

All: Loving God, you have shown us the depth of your love through the cross.

May these gifts we share also show the depth of our love for you, and help build your kingdom here on earth. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Hymn:  “There is a Redeemer” verse 1  308 Celebration


Benediction:  Val & Jim

(Take the pieces of paper off, leaving our sins hanging on the cross for all to see. Hand them off to each person to take out into our hurting world.)

Lord Jesus, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross, taking our sins and shame on you, that all people might come within the reach of your saving embrace.
We take these gifts you gave us and go into the world sharing them with one another leaving only our sins and burdens here on the cross, asking for your forgiveness.
Clothe us in your Spirit, that we, stretching out our hands in loving service for others, may we bring those who do not know you to an awareness and love of you; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit live and reign,  One God forever! Amen.
adapted C.H.Brent (1862-1929 AD)

Closing Hymn:  “O How He Loves You and Me”  vs.1  349 Celebration


Important Covid precautions update – Walton’s Council members have voted unanimously to approve the following resolution: Be it proposed that masks become optional in all areas of Walton’s church life beginning Thursday, April 6th. We still recommend masks if you may have been exposed to someone with Covid, and ask you to stay home if feeling unwell. As of Thursday, April 6, masks are now optional in all areas of the church building. Those who still wish to wear masks are, of course, encouraged to do so. If you have been exposed to illness in your household, mask wearing is recommended as a courtesy to others. If you are feeling unwell or showing symptoms of illness yourself, we ask that you stay home.

Worship with Walton on Easter Sunday – On Sunday, April 9, our Easter Sunday Pier Service is at 8:00am on the Bronte Harbour pier, or under the gazebo if it’s raining. Coffee and hot cross buns will be served in Bronte Hall beginning at 8:30am. Easter Sunday worship service will be held in the Sanctuary at 9:30am (with Sunday School and Youth Groups as usual) and 11:00am. 

Walton’s Outreach Committee would like to offer a different way to recognize the season of Lent this year. Starting Ash Wednesday we have prayer themes for each week taking us to Easter Sunday. Please join us in praying for these areas of concern. Each week there is a short scripture and prayer, please add your own as you feel guided to. The sheets will be available on the table near the entrance to the Sanctuary on Sunday and a soft copy will be posted with the Sunday service for each Sunday of Lent. Thank you for your faithful support for Outreach activities at Walton. See the end of the service document for this week’s theme.

Easter Food Drive –  The Outreach Committee would like to thank all families who have donated recently, you are greatly appreciated. As many as 750 families use our Oakville Fare Share Food bank and more families register weekly. The need continues to rise. Donations of food items can be placed in our decorated food boxes within the church or monetary donations can be given through our weekly ‘giving’ envelopes or through the church website: www.  Please share with others in our community by donating generously throughout April.  Thank you for your thoughtful gifts.

The UCW and Fruit of the Vine would like to thank the Walton congregation and friends for their huge support and great generosity at the Munch-a-Muffin Morning on Sunday, March 28th,to raise money for fare Share Food Bank. The sales and donations raised more than $914 for the Oakville Food Bank. With grateful hearts, thank you to all the bakers and buyers.

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.

NEW Tuesday morning video study starting this Tuesday, April 11th.  Reverend Jim Gill, Parish Nurse Cathy Winn, and Family Ministries & Worship Coordinator Val Waldron will lead our spring video study “Good Boundaries and Goodbyes: Loving Others Without Losing the Best of Who You Are.” The 6-week study takes place Tuesdays from 10:15-11:45am in Bronte Hall. There is no cost and no preparation required. Please sign up online or in the church office.

LIVE or VIRTUAL TRANSFER OF MEMBERSHIP SUNDAY, May 28 at the 10am 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.

Could you be a driver for Walton? Now that more people are returning to church, we need more drivers to bring a couple of people to and from church on a Sunday morning. You can select which service that you prefer attending and we’ll match you up with someone to bring when you plan to attend on a Sunday. We need both regular and occasional drivers. Please notify the office if you can be a volunteer driver. Those who need a drive are very grateful for  Walton’s driving ministry! If you need a drive to church, please contact the church office.

Would you like to learn how to record a service? We would love to have you join the team! Training and tryouts are 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 11:00am 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

The CVITP Committee (Community Volunteer Income Tax Program) is taking appointments for 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.  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.

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