Virtual Service – December 4, 2022

2:00 pm

December 4, 2022

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

• Cookie Walk Compromise:  Thank you to everyone who baked, donated, and bought cookies to support the UCW Cookie Walk Compromise yesterday.

• Welcome to our White Gift Service: . We traditionally collect donations of new, unwrapped gifts for all ages from babies to adults (no stuffed animals or toy guns please.) Gift cards for supermarkets, drug stores, Walmart, Dollarama, restaurants, and movie theatres are also a popular choice. Financial donations gratefully received as well. Donations go to support the Wesley Mission No Cost Christmas Store. If you are not able to get to the church this morning, you can make a financial donation online at https://waltonmemorial.churchcenter.com/giving/to/white-gift-outreach. Or you can drop something off to the office this week Tuesday – Thursday 9:00-1:00pm.

• Walton’s UCW – is hosting its final gathering of 2022, on Thursday, December 8th at 1:30 and all Walton ladies are warmly welcome. A brief business meeting will include a review of the cookie walk, elections of officers and plans for the upcoming year. There will be time to chat over coffee, tea and cookies and to play a couple of games. You are invited to bring a donation for the food bank.

• Carol Service Sunday, December 11 – The wait has been long, but Walton’s annual carol service finally returns on Sunday, December 11 at 7pm. This joyful celebration of Christmas through scripture and song features Walton’s Youth Choir, Chancel Choir, and instrumentalists and is one of our most popular events. To ensure a safe and comfortable experience for all, capacity is limited and pre-registration is required online or by calling the church office. Note: Chancel choir members and participating musicians do not need to register but their family members and guests do, along with Youth Choir members.

• Sam’s Lady Rose Relish & Three Pepper Relish – A limited supply isavailable through the church office for $5.00 a jar. All proceeds go to the General Fund.

• Christmas Benevolent Fund Memorials: Anyone connected with the Walton congregation live or virtually has the opportunity of making a special memorial gift to Walton at Christmas time. Donate online by visiting the Walton website and clicking the “donate” button, or contact the office.  These memorial gifts will all be dedicated on Sunday, Dec. 18th  at the 9:30 & 11:00am services. The donations go to the Walton Benevolent Fund (see below for the write up on “What is the Benevolent Fund?”)  The deadline for your donations to be included in the December 18th dedication, is 9:00am, Thursday, December 15th. We would not want to miss your gift, so please contact the office, office@waltonmemorial.com or go to the Walton website.

• What is the Benevolent Fund??  How does Walton  help people? The Benevolent Fund is a confidential fund, managed by Rev. Gill, with help from some of the other staff, to help people in need due to illness, unemployment,  financial hardship or some unexpected accident, setback, or tragedy. Every year it helps people in this congregation in need through financial and material assistance. It also helps those in the community and occasional transients who stop by the church looking for assistance. This fund helps any youth/adult in the congregation who cannot afford to attend a retreat or church event that involves a cost, and helps with special organization needs in the community from time to time. The money for this fund comes from two main sources. The largest is the Christmas Memorial program (see above notice on Christmas Memorials) and the other is individual donors throughout the year.  All gifts to this fund receive a tax receipt. The work of the fund remains highly confidential to allow for anonymous support of people in need. For more information, please speak to Rev. Jim Gill 905-827-1643 or email jamescgillwuc@gmail.com

• Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. Let it snow!

• 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.

Join us again next Sunday for thoughtful worship, uplifting music, Sunday School for all children & youth, and coffee/tea and cookies between services.


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.

Welcome

A: Welcome to Walton’s White Gift service – one of my favourite Sundays of the year. Not just because the service is led by our Sunday School children and youth, but because it gives us a break from the stress of shopping, buying, entertaining, and busyness to focus on the real meaning of Christmas – giving.

J: Thank you to everyone who brought a new toy, or gift, or gift card, or who made a financial donation for White Gift. Your generosity will help make Christmas bright for those in need who are served by the Wesley Mission in Hamilton. For some, the gift you donated may be the only present they receive this year, so we thank you.

V:   We welcome this morning Heidi Knapp and the beautiful dance ministry of Spirit Moves to lead us in worship this morning. Welcome, we are very blessed and grateful to have you joining us in worship.

Take a deep breath, let all your holiday stress melt away. Close your eyes and let the peace of Christ fill you instead, as we take a pause from the rush to reflect on the reason for the Advent season. Come, let us worship together.

Spirit Moves: “Undivided”

Call to Worship*

When life is messy and not going well,  remember that God is with you and come to worship.

When people are blaming you for something you haven’t done, remember that God is with you and come spend time in God’s community.

When you step in the muck or hit your thumb with a hammer, take a deep breath and remember that God is with you.

Come find comfort today in this gathering of God’s people.

All: We know that God is with us. That’s why we’re here to worship.

 

Lighting the Advent Wreath

One: (First purple candle is lit)
Two: Last week we lit the candle of hope.
One:  Today is the Advent of peace.
Two:  As we light this candle, we remember all who live in the midst of conflict, in their own homes, in their communities, in their countries, anywhere in the world.
One: We live in an upset world of racial tensions and economic disparity.
Two: We light this candle as our commitment to embracing diversity.
One:  We are the peacemakers in this world.
Two:  We light this candle to herald the coming of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
(The second candle is lit.)
One:  Let us sing the second verse of, “Hope is a Star” it is on the screen.

Candlelighting Hymn: “Hope Is a Star”  verse 2 7VU

Opening Prayer*

All: Compassionate God, sometimes life is messy. Sometimes we feel frightened, angry, confused,
excited or frustrated, happy or sad, delighted or nervous, and sometimes just discombobulated.
Sometimes we don’t know what to feel.
Give us a sign that it won’t last forever.
Remind us that a feeling is just a temporary thing, but you are always there for us, no matter what we are feeling, no matter how messy life gets.
You are our God, and we are not alone.
Thanks be to you, forever and ever. Amen.

Spirit Moves:  The Lord’s  Prayer

Hymn: “The First Nowell” verse 1  91VU

White Gift Skit – Act 1

Narrator: A long time ago in a town called Nazareth there lived a young woman called Mary and a young carpenter called Joseph.

(Enter Mary and Joseph from piano door, walking across stage as narrator speaks. Mary stops and sits in chair. Joseph exits via pulpit door)

They loved each other very much and they also loved God very much. Mary of Nazareth was very special because God had chosen her to be the mother of his only Son.

(Angel Gabriel enters from pulpit door and speaks into centre mic)

Angel Gabriel: Do not be afraid, Mary. God has chosen you to do something special. You are going to have a baby, and it will be God’s child. You will name him Jesus, which means ‘God saves us.’

Mary: How can this be? I’m not married yet.

Angel Gabriel: The Holy Spirit will come to you. This will be God’s holy child. Nothing is impossible for God.

Mary: I’m ready to do what God asks.

(Angel leaves by pulpit door)

Mary: It was amazing when the angel came to me. But now reality is setting in. (pause) What will Joseph say? What will my family say? What will the community say? How can God ask this of me? I think I’m having a panic attack! (she takes several quick shallow breaths and sits down) 

Oh dear, I said “Yes” to this. I really think I’m having a panic attack! (fans herself, clutches her chest)

(Sheep enter from pulpit door, come up to Mary, brush against her, and say into center mic)

Sheep 1: Baa! God is with you

Sheep 2: You are not alone.

(Mary calms down as she pats the lambs and smiles, and they leave together via pulpit door.)

Narrator:An angel came to Joseph in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife. Her baby is God’s child. It’s true. When her son is born, name him Jesus. He will also be called ‘Emmanuel.’ That means ‘God is with us.

(Joseph enters via pulpit door, sits in chair)

Joseph: I know that was a dream but my life feels like a nightmare right now. (pause) I was working so hard to build a house and all of the furniture that Mary and I would need when we get married. Now she tells me she’s pregnant and the child is from God! What am I supposed to say to that?

(He pauses.) And then this dream—telling me it will be alright. I love Mary and I trust God. I’ll do what God asks, but it still seems crazy.

Sheep enter via pulpit door, come up to Joseph, brush against him, and say, (centre mic)

Sheep 1: Baa! God is with you

Sheep 2: You are not alone.

(Joseph pats the lambs, shrugs, and gives a big sigh, and they leave together via pulpit door.)

Narrator: Soon after the angel’s visit, King Herod, the ruler of the land, gave an order.

(Enter Messenger with scroll from pulpit door, opens it and reads into centre mic:)

Messenger: By order of the emperor, everyone must return to the place they were born to pay a special tax.

(Exit messenger out pulpit door. Mary, Joseph and the donkey walk up the centre aisle from the back while Narrator is talking, and exit out the pulpit door)

Narrator: Joseph was worried. He was born in a place called Bethlehem. It was far away and Mary’s baby was due any time. But they had no choice, so they set off on the long journey. Mary and Joseph were very grateful to their faithful donkey who carried Mary so bravely and so carefully.

It took many days to reach Bethlehem. When they arrived, Mary was very tired. They needed somewhere to stay, but the town was crowded with lots of other travellers and every inn was full.

(Backstage the innkeeper knocks loudly on the door then enters, goes to centre mic)

Innkeeper: Do people expect they can just come knocking at my door any time of the day or night and find a room? Especially with the census going on and all these extra people here. What do they think I am, a miracle worker? I was just tucked into my cozy bed for the night, when I heard it again. Knock, knock, knock. It was a young couple. She was pregnant and she was in labour. What was I to do? I had no rooms left.But, I’ve got a soft heart when it comes to babies. So, I took them to the barn. At least they have a warm spot…a bit stinky but still warm. I’m heading back to bed. (Shakes his head) I do feel sorry for that young couple, though! Having their baby in a barn!

(Sheep enter via pulpit door, come up to the Innkeeper, brush against him, and say,)

Sheep 1: Baa! God is with you

Sheep 2: You are not alone.

9:30 service – Junior Choir – “A Song of Sharing”
11:00 service – Hymn: “While Shepherds Watched Their  Flocks” verse 1 75VU

White Gift Message – Act 2

Narrator: Nearby on a hillside some shepherds were watching over their sheep. As they did so a very bright star shone and the sky was filled with angels.

(Light shines on star. Enter angels. Little angel dances around while Gabriel goes to centre mic)

Angel Gabriel:  Do not be afraid! I have good news. The Son of God has been born. You will find him in a stable in Bethlehem.

(Angels exit out pulpit door and shepherds enter from pulpit door)

Shepherd 1: That was amazing. Astonishing, inspiring, remarkable, incredible, surprising!

Shepherd 2: The angels. Hundreds of them. No, thousands of them. (speaks faster and faster) I was there and still I don’t believe it. And then one spoke and told us we should go and find God’s baby in Bethlehem. So that’s what we’re doing. I just can’t believe it. It’s so amazing.

Shepherd 1: But wait a minute! We left all the sheep in the field!  I don’t know what to do.

(Sheep enter via pulpit door, come up to the shepherds, brush against them, and say,)

Sheep 1: Baa! God is with you
Sheep 2: You are not alone.

(The shepherds pat the lambs)

Shepherd 2: Yes, little lambs, you’re so good at helping me remember that!

 

Spirit Moves – “Light of the World.”

White Gift Message – Act 3

(Jim shines bright light from front pew onto star on the wall.  Wise Ones enter from the back and walk up the aisle as narrator is talking. Each is pointing a different way and looking confused as they walk up to the center mic and wait for narrator to finish speaking.)

Narrator: Far away in the East three wise kings saw a new very bright star shining in the sky. They knew that this meant a great ruler had been born.They went to the palace and asked King Herod where to find the newborn king. They had gifts for the baby and wanted to worship him. Herod was really angry as he thought that this new king might take away his throne.He told the wise travellers, “Go, find the child, and when you find him, let me know where he is. I want to worship him, too.”

Wise One 1 : Talk about confusion! And what to bring for a gift for a royal baby? Gold, frankincense, myrrh? I thought it should be a soft blanket, stitched with gold embroidery.

Wise One 2: There were so many arguments before we left. Which way to go, what gift to bring. It’s a wonder we even made it to the palace! King Herod welcomed us but I don’t trust him. He said to come back and tell him about the baby, but I don’t think he’s happy… It’s all quite confusing.

Wise One 3: Now, which way is Bethlehem? We’re supposed to follow a star and we’ll find the baby in a stable? That’s not where I would expect to find a king, but I guess there’s only one way to find out.

Sheep enter via pulpit door, come up to the Wise Ones, brush against them, and say,

Sheep 1: Baa! God is with you
Sheep 2: You are not alone.

(Wise Ones and sheep stroll off and exit pulpit door.)

Narrator brings in the manger from backstage and places it at the front of the church, followed by Mary and Joseph with the baby. Then angels, shepherds, innkeeper, wise ones enter and stand or kneel by the manger. When they are in place the sheep enter and say:

Sheep 1:  That’s Emmanuel; that’s God with us.

Sheep 2: We are not alone!

Jim: Thanks be to God. We all have a place in the nativity story. We are all welcome at the manger. Please join us as we sing together verse 1 of Away in a Manger.

Hymn: “Away in a Manger”  verse 1  69VU

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes Jim

With the giving of our offering, it  is  the way we say “Thanks” to God for the gift of Jesus. With our gifts, we offer our gratitude that God-is-with-us; we are not alone.

As we sing this hymn, let us present our gifts.

♥  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 stuart@waltonmemorial.com

Offering Hymn: “In the Bleak Midwinter” verse 4  55VU

Offering Prayer Jim

All: Generous loving God, With these gifts, and our white gifts, we are able as a congregation to share the good news with others. Through these gifts, we can help others know that you are with them, Lord,  they are not alone. Amen. 

Benediction  Jim

One: God’s love is big love.   God’s arms can hold everyone in the world.   God’s heart keeps our hearts warm with compassion.
(Sheep come to stage once more and say)
Sheep: Baa! God is with you! You are not alone! No matter how baaad and messy it gets!
One:  Amen.

Closing Hymn:  “Joy to the World” verses  1 & 4  59VU

Announcements

*https://united-church.ca/worship-theme/advent-unwrapped


In case you missed it…

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