Virtual Service – August 22, 2021

8:30 am

August 22, 2021

Welcome to virtual church!

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.

Sunday Service Video (30+ minutes followed by the hymns)

Today’s service will be offered in 2 formats – video and text. If you wish, you can download and print the service from this document – link – or you can read the complete service below.

The hymn-sing is at the end.


Announcements

• Spaghetti Dinner Update – Greetings from the Outreach Committee.
We are disappointed we won’t be having our Spaghetti Dinner this September once again, BUT we are pleased we have chosen a charity we would like to support and offer what donations we receive to them. The charity we would like to support this year is Food4Kids Halton. They have sent us a postcard explaining what they do, (see below) and they currently are supporting 854 children in the Halton area. Wow, isn’t it amazing that they have been able to help so many kids during this pandemic time we are living in?!
We are asking if you would like to support our “Spaghetti Dinner Charity?” You can donate online at the Walton website, drop a cheque marked ‘Food4Kids’ through the mail slot at the church (ring the bell and say hi), or post your donation to Walton United Church, 2489 Lakeshore Road West, Oakville, Ontario L6L 1H9. You can also text “spaghetti” followed by a dollar amount to “84321” to give by text. All donations will be added to your annual Walton givings and tax receipt.
Thank you for your generosity, and for thinking of others in our current situation.

• RELIEF FOR HAITI — If you would like to make a donation towards a Haitian Relief Fund through Walton Church, please donate online to the “Disaster Relief” fund, or by cheque in the mail or “through the door”. Make your cheque payable to Walton Church and note “Relief for Haiti” in the memo line. All donations will be added to your annual Walton givings and tax receipt.
• Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual VBS At Home lesson online. Do you ever make mistakes and mess up? Don’t worry: When you do wrong, Jesus rescues!
Bronte Coat Drive cancelled for 2021. Thank you to those of you who already donated coats; they will be safely stored for use in next year’s drive.
Going to a beach, near or far this summer? We walk this journey together, so we would like to share our journey together. In the summer of 2019, we started our walkway at the front of the church by asking you all to bring a flat stone from a beach you are going to, or from a special place you would be going to during the summer. The project was put on hold for the summer of 2020, but we are working to finish it this year and would love to receive more stones. We are hoping to dedicate the walkway and garden project in the fall.
The idea is to fill the little walkway behind the trellis, where the angel is in the garden at the front of the church. We are asking for flat smooth stones from a beach you might visit on vacation, from your cottage, or from one of our Bronte beaches. The stones should be from the size of your palm up to the size of your hand.
Please let us know the specifics of where your rock came from, whether in Canada or beyond. Email Rev. Gill at jamescgillwuc@gmail.com with the details. Please contact the church office to drop your rocks off; do NOT add them to the walkway yourself. Thanks for walking our journey together!
• Walton’s prayer chain is open. Confidential prayer requests can be sent to office@waltonmemorial.com
If you need Rev. Jim for a pastoral emergency, please email him directly at jamescgillwuc@gmail.com.


 

Welcome

“Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord”
Good Morning and welcome to worship this morning.
Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord, I just love that song.
Those words come from our reading today.
Just imagine John the Baptist on the River Jordan, saying those words.
Today,  we are on the shores of Lake Ontario, and in this service, we are talking about buckets.
Just imagine how many buckets of water there are in this lake?
We are talking about what each of us can do to make a difference, just like each drop of water.
Let’s hear what Jesus has to say.
Come let us worship.

Call to Worship

Why have you come to this place?
We have come to find Jesus.
Why have you come today?
We are tired in body and spirit.
Jesus bids you sit and be at ease.
We are hungry with nothing to eat.
Come and eat your fill.
But there are only five barley loaves and two fish.
There is plenty for all.
Will we find wholeness here?
Jesus gathers the fragments of our lives,
that nothing may be lost.*

Opening Prayer

God of our hopes and dreams, let your living water pour in.
We are empty, and long to be filled; let your living water pour in.
We are hungry, and long to be fed; let your living water pour in.
we are lost, and long to be found. Let your living water pour in.
Gather us into your love, and pick up the pieces of our lives; let your living water pour in.
Just as Jesus gathered up the fragments of the five loaves and two fish that remained after feeding the five thousand, call us anew to eat our fill and to find our true nourishment in Jesus, the bread of heaven. Let your living water flow in and pour out all over the world. Amen.*

(*adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2009, © 2008 Abingdon Press. Posted on the Ministry Matters website)

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: “How full is your bucket?”

Sandy, one of Walton’s Sunday School teachers, is here with her grandsons Nate and Sam to help us with the youth story today. Reverend Gill’s sermon about buckets this morning reminded Sandy of a wonderful children’s book, called How Full Is Your Bucket? 

This story teaches us that everyone has an invisible bucket and we can either help fill it or empty it, depending on how we treat them. When we are mean or unkind to someone, we empty their bucket. But when we are kind, or caring, or helpful, we help fill it up. When your bucket is empty, it makes you feel grumpy and sad, but when your bucket is full, you are filled with joy and positivity.

The funny thing is when we are unkind to someone, it’s not just their bucket that gets empty – our own bucket does too! And every nice thing we do to fill someone else’s bucket up adds to our bucket too. Doesn’t this remind you of what Jesus taught us? To share God’s love by treating everyone the way we want to be treated? We all want to be bucket fillers, don’t we? Let’s say a prayer:

Dear God, thank you for putting so many people in my life who fill my bucket. Help me to be a bucket filler, showing your love and care to others every day. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen!

 

Children’s Song: “Fill My Bucket Up Let it Overflow”

 

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 40:1-15, John 6:1-9

Isaiah 40:1-15 – God’s People Are Comforted

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry!”

And I said, “What shall I cry?”

All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.

The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people is grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.

Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings;lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”

Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, or as his counselor has instructed him?

Whom did he consult for his enlightenment, and who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?

Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket,  and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the isles like fine dust.

John 6:1-9 -Feeding the Five Thousand

After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tibe′ri-as. And a multitude followed him, because they saw the signs which he did on those who were diseased. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there sat down with his disciples.

Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”  This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.

Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.”

One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him,  “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?”

Morning Message: “A Drop in a Bucket”Rev. Jim Gill

Sermon series: “Common Phrases You Didn’t Know Were From the Bible”

It has probably happened to you. Stu, our Walton financial coordinator, emailed me one day. “Jim, the water usage at the manse sure went up on the most recent bill,” he said. We had not been taking more showers, nor did we have house guests staying at the manse. The answer was simply a very slowly running toilet. It did not take very long for those few drops of water every day to quickly add up to extra charges on the bill.

Today, I continue my short summer series of messages entitled, “Common Phrases You Didn’t Know Were from the Bible.”  Bible literacy is an important part of our walk of faith. I hope this series will help you better understand the Bible for yourself. Today we focus on these words from the book of Isaiah: “a drop in a bucket.” Today in daily usage the phrase means that a drop in the bucket is a very small and insignificant proportion of the whole. For example, the tax I pay every year to the government is just a drop in a bucket compared to the national debt.

Biblically this phrase originates in the Hebrew Scriptures in Isaiah 40:15. It comes right after some of the best-known words in all of Isaiah’s 66 chapters of prophecy in the Bible – words you will probably recognize from the life of John the Baptist, from our Advent-Christmas service reading and from hearing or singing George Frideric Handel’s musical masterpiece, “The Messiah.”

The voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Isaiah goes on to bring even more comfort to God’s people by assuring them that God has not forgotten them, but will come to their rescue and tend to their needs. This is a message for us today. Even in the midst of masks, social distancing and vaccinations God has not forgotten us. There have been blessings as well as challenges. God is alive and at work in the world. Thanks be to God.

It is then Isaiah says this: “Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket and are accounted as the dust on the scales;”

Israel was just a distant backwater in the vast Roman Empire of Jesus’ time. Over its long history, both before and after Jesus living on earth for 33 years, numerous great empires had ruled Israel. God’s people may have felt intimidated by the mighty nations around them from Egypt to Babylon. What they needed to remember was that in the eyes of God, those nations, those great empires, were like a drop from a bucket. When you think about it, those Empires have all disappeared.

Notice if you will that the original expression that Isaiah recorded in Scripture is “a drop from a bucket.” We tend to say “drop in a bucket.” Apparently, God’s concern was the loss of a drop rather than the gain of a drop, though scholars tell us this makes no difference to Isaiah’s meaning.

The English Standard Version Study Bible interprets the verse so simply and powerfully: “The nations of humankind may seem insurmountable to Israel, but they are as nothing to God.”

John Oswalt, the former distinguished professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary, says the passage implies this question. “What are the nations—so impressive in their glory, and earthshaking in their power? They are the drop of water falling back into the cistern as the bucket is pulled up, the speck of dust on the pan of the balance scales that does not even cause the scales to flutter. Both are lasting for a very short time and neither is cause for a moment’s notice.”

In our reading from John today we hear the story that is portrayed in one of the liturgical banners at the front of the Walton sanctuary. It is the feeding of the 5,000. The setting is out in the wilderness. A huge crowd had come to Jesus. There was no Uber Eats. The disciples did not know what to do to give them a meal. Then there is that drop in a bucket or drop from a bucket moment in the story. “Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

“But how far will they go among so many?” asked that disciple. In life we struggle often between the fear of scarcity and abundance of faith. Inside we feel we never have enough. We want more. Not only want but need more. We feel we need more toys, more speed, more shoes, more square footage, more horsepower, more likes, more channels, more gadgets, more memory and more and more… you fill in what comes after that word more.

“But how far will they go among so many?” In the hands of our Almighty God, no contribution is meaningless. None is too big, none is too small. None is too old, none is too young. None is too behind the scenes, none is too upfront. None is too Sunday focused, none is too weekday focused. You get the idea here, I pray.

We tend to use that Isaiah rooted expression “drop in a bucket” when we feel that our contribution is too small to make a difference or perhaps, worse, when we feel that another person’s contribution is too small to make a difference. In this way, it is an expression of hopelessness or pessimism. But in the hands of an Almighty God, no contribution is meaningless — none is too big, none is too small. God is not bound by the limits of what we can offer. God is far more concerned with the state of our hearts than the magnitude of our contributions.

In the blog “The High Calling” they remind us, “But the Kingdom of God is more than enough. It’s an act of faith to live with the narrative of abundance instead of the fear of scarcity.”

I love this story you may have heard before. It bears repeating: “One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” “Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!” After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, “I made a difference for that one.”

The young boy’s offering of fish and barley loaves seemed like just a drop in or from a bucket to feed the crowd that day out in the wilderness. Yet with God at work the 5,000 were fed to abundance. “Common Phrases You Didn’t Know Were from the Bible” sure have lots to say to us in 2021!

 Pastoral Prayer

We praise you for feeding our hunger for bread and for “the bread of life.”
We praise you for taking our little basket of fish and barley loaves and using it to feed others.
Lord, we ask you for your care and healing touch for those who are sick.
We ask for your compassion on those who are suffering in our world.
We ask for your comfort for those who are grieving.
We thank you for your daily tender mercies.
We thank you for your daily love.
We thank you for your daily grace.
We call upon you, Lord, to empower us
as we declare who you are to a world who needs you.
We call upon you, Lord, to inspire us as we seek to inspire others.
We call upon you, Lord, to strengthen us in our own weakness.
We ask all this in your son’s name,
Amen.

(adapted, by Rev. Abi, and posted on her Long and Winding Road blog)

God Moment:  “God works in so many ways… finding the bucket.”

 

Anthem: “Flying Free”

 

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

When we reach out of our comfort zone, not always the traditional way, we can accomplish so much. Like the little boy offering up his lunch, little did he know how that gesture to share those five fish and two loaves would multiply, to feed 5,000 people. With God’s blessing and love we can all share together in the feast he offers. The offering 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 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 Prayer

What we offer this morning seems like little more than pieces of paper, or small circles of stamped metal, or a few numbers of a digital code. But used for your purpose, insistent Spirit, it becomes transformed.  Bless us in our giving, O God, that all we are and all we can be spread love and justice worldwide. Amen.

(adapted, Gord Dunbar, The Gathering, Pentecost 1, 2019)

Benediction

As you watch this plant being watered right outside the church, it is nourished and cared for and it’s beauty shines for all going by.  Go now and leave this time together filled with thanksgiving and God’s love in your hearts. May the love of God pour out from your soul, run wild, and make this a community, city, province and world of love, grace, understanding and forgiveness.  Amen.

(adapted Robert Partridge, The Gathering 2019)

Walton’s Musical Message

This morning on Facebook and on YouTube, we’re sharing a video where Linda shares with us several of our favourite hymns! Sing along!

  • Be Thou My Vision (Lift up Your Heart #859)
  • True Faith Needs No Defence (More Voices #139)
  • What a Friend We Have in Jesus (Lift Up Your Heart #897)
  • God of Grace and God of Glory (Lift Up Your Heart #926 verses 1 and 4)
  • Go Now in Peace

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, August 18th