Virtual Easter Service – April 9, 2023

2:00 pm

April 9, 2023

Welcome to virtual Easter Sunday service!

Today’s service will be offered in 2 formats – view the video below, 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.


Important Covid precautions update – As of Thursday, April 6, masks are now optional in all areas of the church building. 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. 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.

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.

Transfer of membership (live or virtual), 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.

Volunteer delivery drivers needed  – If you are able to help deliver givings envelopes to addresses in the Oakville and Burlington areas, please contact the church office. This is a one-time delivery and does not require an ongoing commitment.

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

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.

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.

Introit: “Hallelujah Chorus”


One: Christ is risen.
Two: He has risen, indeed.
One & Two: Hallelujah!
One: In Christ’s resurrection, God has spoken.
Two: This indeed is God’s world.
One: God’s power is stronger than the earthly powers.
Two: God’s way of peace and justice will ultimately prevail.
One: This is the news that we have been waiting for.
Two: Christ is risen.
One: He has risen, indeed.
One & Two: Hallelujah!

All the candles are re-lit, starting with the Christ candle.
At the lighting of each candle:

One:& Two:  Christ is risen.
All:  Christ is risen, indeed. Hallelujah!

All sing: “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” verse 1 only 155VU

Two: Let us pray:
All:  O God of the universe, yours is the glory. Your heartbeat echoes in our heartbeat. Your breath is our breath. Your vitality pulsates in us and throughout this vast universe. You are the creator of the universe. In you, we live and love and rejoice in the gifts of life. We thank you and praise you for the gift of Easter resurrection that we may put our ultimate trust in your goodness and gracious love. In the indomitable spirit of the risen Christ, we pray. Amen.
Won Hur, Ebenezer U.C., Midland, Ont.

One: Let us continue in singing,  Jesus Christ is Risen Today.

Hymn: “Jesus Christ is Risen Today”  verses 2 – 4  155VU

Call to Worship  Alison & Val

(inspired by John 20, John 21)
We are here today because the weeping Mary of Magdala once said:
“I have seen the Lord!”
We are here because Jesus still comes into our locked spaces and says:
“Peace be with you. Receive the Holy Spirit.”
We are here today like doubting Thomas who finally cried:
“My Lord and my God.”
We are here like Peter, tempted to forget the call of Jesus:
“I’m going fishing.”
We’re here this morning because of Jesus, who asks us face-to-face:
“Do you truly love me?”
We gather here to whisper timidly.
“Yes, Lord, you know that we love you.”
We are here as a congregation only
because many faithful disciples have listened to Jesus’ words:
“Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid!
Go and tell, ‘Jesus has been raised!”
from the Mennonite Church Canada website

Opening Easter Prayer – Cathy

All: Loving God, who sent your son Jesus to us,
We praise you for the power of your forgiving, life-giving love.
We thank you for raising Jesus from the dead.
We thank you for the wonderful gifts of forgiveness and salvation
that we can enjoy because of Jesus.
We thank you for the Bible, which has helped us see
how God’s love transformed the lives of Jesus’ first followers.
We thank you for the way your love transforms
our own lives and communities.
We love you and want to follow Jesus.
We see your love at work in our faith community,  reaching out,
helping and supporting one another, teaching your holy word in Sunday School,
Youth Groups, Bible studies, our choirs, the prayer shawl and prayer chain ministries. 
Our outreach programs, our virtual ministry reaching out into our communities and the world,
helping grow your kingdom here on earth.
Thank you for continuing to live in and around us.
Thank you that your love leads through suffering to joy.
Thank you that your love is stronger than death. Amen.
adapted Called and Shaped by Jesus: Lent-at-Home 2011 written by Elsie Rempel, and published by Mennonite Church Canada.

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: “This is the Day”  verse 1  175VU

Youth Story:  “Cross, New Life”

Val: On Friday, the world was a dark place. The Light of the World had been extinguished. Snuffed out like a candle. Jesus was dead and buried in a cold, dark tomb.
Glenda: The word felt hopeless, barren, empty like the cross that still stood on the hill after they took Jesus’ broken body away. That was Friday.
Wendy: Today, everything feels different. The world is full of light, hope, and new life. Jesus is alive and today we rejoice.
(Hand out flowers and start decorating the cross while Alison is talking)

Alison: It feels like the whole world is rejoicing with us! Did you hear the birds singing this morning? Did you see the daffodils out in the front garden about to bloom? Just as Jesus rose from the tomb with new life, the world around us is full of new life too. And to celebrate, we have a beautiful Easter morning tradition here at Walton that we ask our children and youth to help with. And it’s even more special this year, because we get to do it in person again! Hallelujah! Walton’s kids take our Good Friday cross, that sad, barren, empty symbol of death and despair, and they transform it into a glorious symbol of hope. A symbol of life. Are you ready to see it? Let’s raise up the cross together and on the count of 3 we’ll all shout Hallelujah. 1,2,3…Hallelujah!

Let’s say a prayer: Loving God, thank you for bringing us out of the darkness and into the light. Thank you for replacing sadness with hope. Thank you for the resurrection, the gift of forgiveness, love, and new life through Jesus. Amen

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

Chancel Choir:  “The Trumpets Shall Sound on Easter Morn”

Scripture Readings:  John 20:1-18, Acts 10:34-43 (NIV)  Debbie McGill, Evelyn Taggart

John 20:1-18

The Empty Tomb
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.
So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.
Finally, the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)  Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Acts 10:34-43

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached— how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

“We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross,  but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.

He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Scripture Response: “The Strife is O’er”   verse 1  159VU

Morning Message:  “Bed, Bath and Beyond” Rev. Jim Gill

It was the “Kiss of Death”. Planning my sermon months ahead, as I do, I have learned things can certainly change. When I chose today’s sermon title and planned this service, Bed, Bath and Beyond was not in receivership.

Then on March 3rd, 2023, the U.S. based retail chain announced it was closing all 54 Bed Bath & Beyond stores in Canada. They were granted bankruptcy protection by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The company told CBC News its Canadian stores are set to close sometime in April.

So why did I choose this title? The answer is that in today’s account of the Resurrection of Jesus, linen plays a huge role in the story. The linen in the borrowed tomb mentioned in the account from John this morning is better than any of the linen that Bed, Bath and Beyond once had in all its stores.

Rhona Rubinson writes, “ This morning we celebrate that empty tomb. We call the tomb empty because Jesus’ body is no longer there, for He is risen as the Christ.”  Then Rubinson points out, “ even though we call it “empty,” it is clear from the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John that the tomb was not completely bare. There was something still left inside – that is Jesus’ burial linens. He must have intentionally left them. We know that Jesus never did anything without a purpose. All of Jesus’ actions were meant to teach us something, so no doubt we are meant to learn from those linens.”

A very powerful Easter Sunday point for sure. The burial linen is left at the burial site for it is evidence first of what death had done at the Crucifixion. But secondly, it is evidence that death could not hold Jesus. Death had been defeated. The linen was about the past, not about the future. Jesus is not still on the cross over there against the wall by the men’s section of the choir. Nor is Jesus still on the cross there on the communion table. Jesus is for us the risen Jesus, not Jesus wrapped in burial linen still lying inside the tomb.

Do you remember another time the scriptures mentioned someone coming out of a tomb? It was when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. At that time, Lazarus did not leave his linens behind in his tomb. John says it happened this way: That when Jesus was standing by the dead man’s tomb he, “cries out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to those gathered around, “‘Unbind him, and let him go.’”

You see Lazarus was reborn, resuscitated, brought back from the dead, but he was not resurrected. Lazarus would die again. We do not know the date but we know he died again. Jesus does not die again. Jesus was resurrected. Hence why that linen is better than any in a linen store. Hence why this day we proclaim, “Jesus Christ” is risen today.

There are other stories in scripture about Jesus and linen. Maybe you recall them? This first one sets up today in fact.  It is from Luke 2:  “ Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Of course the incarnation, the Nativity Story, the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem. The baby of the Christmas Story. Born in a borrowed stable wrapped in linen clothes. Died and buried in a borrowed tomb wrapped in linen cloths.

During Jesus’ 3 years of ministry with the disciples, we also hear this story concerning cloth in this account from Matthew 9: “Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.  She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” The woman was healed just by touching the cloth, the linen of Jesus’ outer garment. The cloak of Jesus was a source of healing from 12 years of bleeding. Imagine a woman seen as ritually unclean from gynecological related bleeding of a dozen years totally restored to health.

Then we hear again about the cloth and the cloak on Maunday Thursday, which was last Thursday night – The night when Jesus was betrayed just before the trial and Good Friday crucifixion. It is there in the Upper Room with the breaking of the bread and pouring of the cup the first Lord’s Supper that John 13 tells us: “so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” The cloth of the Upper Room wrapped around Jesus’s waist which was used to wash the feet of his disciples powerfully sets the example of serving one another, which we are called to live out in our lives. We are to minister to one another in the name of Jesus.

Then what happens to this healing cloak of the bleeding lady and the serving cloak of the Upper Room a few short hours later after the washing of the discipline’s feet? Mark 15 tells us: “ Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. It was nine in the morning when they crucified him.” The Roman soldiers at Golgotha gambled for his clothes, either for the soldiers’ own personal use or to sell for a few coins.

You see on this Easter 2023, linen plays a critical part in the story of crucifixion and resurrection. Turn to the cross behind the choir. What do you see? White linen cloth. Last week it was green palm branches. Today white linen. The cross is not a crucifix. The cross holds only the abandoned linen. The stone has been rolled away. The cloth is redundant. Jesus Christ is risen today. Hallelujah!

Mother Cecelia writes,  in her poem “The Linen Cloth”

Clean linen cloth,
Joseph purchased you
to wrap this precious body.
You were the last one
to touch Him at the end.
You held Him close, or rather
He pressed into you
as He rested on the Sabbath.
Cold stone, cold body
and silence, darkness.
Linen shroud,
unlike the cloth of Lazarus,
no one needed to unwind you
from around His tender body.
He sprung from within you,
leaving you whole.
Now you are resting in the tomb,
imprinted with His image,
and when the disciples see you,
they will believe.
He tells me that I am the linen cloth,
and I am to be a witness
to His Resurrection.

Pastoral Prayer

Living God, who came to this world and entered human pain, come and be in every painful place in our lives, be in every painful place in our world.
Also be in our joys and in our celebrations, for you give us blessings each day.
Living God, who in the secret darkness rose from the grave, come and be in the secret, dark places in our lives, be in every secret, dark place in our world.
We see you so often in the light, the brightness of your love and caring, in creation and in one another.
Living God, who sent the women to proclaim the resurrection to the frightened, imprisoned apostles,
come and empower us in every frightened, imprisoned place in our lives, empower all in every frightened, imprisoned place in our world.
Give us courage and help us to leave behind the linen that holds us back.
Living God, Risen Son, Easter God, come and make us your living Church, Your risen Church, Your Easter Church, in every place in our world. Amen.
  adapted from the Education for Justice website

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Easter morning is here, a time to celebrate and share the Good News. Why is it in this mixed up crazy world of ours news is of all the bad things? What happened to news of hope, of love, of helping the stranger? Today I challenge you not be “news worthy” but to be exceptional. To write an email to someone you have been estranged with, from using the excuse it has been too long. Be braver still and pick up the phone or drop by and visit. Today is the day of new beginnings. Our offerings will now be received.

♥  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:  “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Give Thanks”  179VU

Offering Prayer

All:  Generous and surprising God, when we thought that death had claimed your only Son, you amazed us with the resurrection. Surprise us again with your ability to turn these humble offerings into gifts that will transform the world through our witness to your love. We lay our very lives at your feet, O God, knowing that you will use us to proclaim and embody the gospel. Amen.

by Laura Jaquith Barlett, and posted on Ministry Matters.

Hymn: “Thine Is the Glory”   173VU

Easter Benediction

In the dark of the early morning,
It descended.
The very breath of God.
Dawn approached.
The Spirit filled the lungs of our fallen king,
And his heart began to beat anew.
At the rising of the sun,
He awoke. He opened his eyes.
He smiled. He rose.
They say the tomb was empty,
But we know otherwise.
Sorrow and mourning. Left behind.
Fear and shame. Left behind.
Sin and death. Left behind.
Our old ways and our old selves. Left behind.
Forever entombed by Christ the Son.
He who has conquered the grave.
He who is risen.
He who reigns.
by Mike Yager, and posted on Ecclesia

Closing Hymn: “The Day of Resurrection”  verse 3 164VU


Postlude:  “Lord of the Dance” Stephanie Spares

Scripture readers: Debbie McGill &Evelyn Taggart

Violinist: Stephanie Spares

Lenten Prayer Project

Your Outreach Committee would like to offer a different way to recognize the season of Lent. 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.

Easter Sunday – April 9, 2023

John 16:33
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.

PrayerWe pray for peace and understanding in our world near and far. Teach us to support our fellow humans. Amen.

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, April 5th