Virtual Service – December 5, 2021

2:00 pm

December 5, 2021

VIrtual Service - recorded at 9:30am

Welcome to virtual church!

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

      • View the video below
      • read this week’s announcements and complete service on our website
      • 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

• Christmas Benevolent Fund memorials- Benevolent FundEveryone has the opportunity of making a special memorial gift to Walton at Christmastime, in memory of a loved one, friend or family member.
You are invited to make your memorial gift:
By credit/debit card through the website by clicking here
By texting a dollar amount followed by the word “Christmas” to 84321. Please also email your dedication message to stuart@waltonmemorial.com
By cash/cheque through the church office — remember to attach your dedication message.
These memorial donations will be dedicated at a special time in the worship service on Sunday, December 19th, 2021. This list will also be emailed out after Christmas. In order for your donation to be included in the Christmas dedication, it must be received by Friday, December 17th, 2021.
All Christmas memorial donations will go to the Benevolent Fund, which is a confidential fund, managed by Rev. Gill with help from other staff, to help people in need due to illness, unemployment, or some unexpected accident, setback or tragedy.  Every year it helps people in the 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.
All donations to the Benevolent Fund receive a tax receipt.

• Walton’s 2022 givings envelopes Offering Envelope @ Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontarioare now available for pickup.  You are invited to drop by the church and ring the doorbell and we will bring your box out to you during the week. On Sunday mornings, you may notice your givings box is sitting in your assigned pew. Yes, if your name is on the top, those are for you.

The Prayer Box has returned to our worship services. You are invited to drop your prayer into the Prayer Box on your way into service, it is on the table as you enter the Sanctuary.  Each week the box filled with prayers will be brought forward with the offering plate and placed on the Communion table, and then will be passed onto the prayer chain. Of course, you can always call the church or email any prayer request you may have through the church office any day of the week as we did through our Covid closure.

• Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. Today’s Advent character teaches us how to be like a sheep.

• 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.


Honouring the Land and Territory

Halton Region, as we know it today, is rich in the history and modern traditions of many First Nations and the Métis. From the lands of the Anishinabe to the Attawandaron, the Haudenosaunee, and the Métis, these lands surrounding the Great Lakes are steeped in Indigenous history. 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

Welcome this morning to our White Gift Sunday.

Traditionally our White Gift Sunday is led by the children and youth of Walton sharing in worship. This year some will be sharing in videos as not all the children have been vaccinated. So they are in Bronte Hall right now worshipping and you are here as together we celebrate the spirit of White Gift Sunday: the spirit of hope, peace, joy and love that this Christmas season brings.

Let us join together in worship, whatever that may look like for you today.

Soloist:  “Sweet Little Boy Jesus”

Advent II Candlelighting: Peace

(as the first candle is lit)

One: Good morning, on the first Sunday of Advent we lit a candle for Hope.
(The second candle is lit)
Two: Today we light a candle for Peace.
This is the Peace we search for:
Three: Peace of mind that enables us to think clearly and act with confidence,
Four: Peace in our hearts that enables us to feel calm and share compassion,
One: Peace in our spirits that puts us in touch with God’s love and Christ’s Way.
Two: Peace in our homes, peace at work and school. Peace when we are among our friends. Peace within the family circle.
Three: Peace within us.
Four: Peace around us.
One: A Peace to hold us strong.
Two: A Peace that encourages us to work as Jesus did, for justice and sharing.
All: Amen.

Hymn: “Hope Is a Star” vs. 2

Peace is a ribbon that circles the earth,
giving a promise of safety and worth.
When God is a child there’s joy in our song.
The last shall be first and the weak shall be strong,
and none shall be afraid.

Call to Worship

One: The impossible is about to happen in a stable.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
All: Those who lived in a land of deep darkness,
on them has the light shined!

One: On Christmas eve,  when creation stood still and held its breath,
for God was doing the most unbelievable, dangerous thing.
All: This is the evening when God embraced humanity
from the inside, as one of us, from birth to death.

One: In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
All: And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,
full of grace and truth.  That is Christmas!
Amen!

(adapted  Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s homepage)

Opening Prayer

God of true peace, we pray that in the little things each day, we will be at peace within ourselves and bring peace and harmony to all our relationships.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me!

Let it begin with us.  Amen.

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 Intro

The tradition of White Gift Sunday has its roots in a small Methodist church in Ohio in 1904. Before the United Church of Canada Church Union in 1925, Walton United was Walton Methodist United Church. So we relate to the Methodist roots of White Gift Sundays.  What began as a humble way to reflect on the love and devotion of the giver and not the value of the gift has grown into today’s white gift services held in so many churches across several denominations in North America.

The story behind White Gift is that a minister’s wife wanted to solve the problem of inequity of gifts given at the Sunday school annual Christmas party.  Instead of focusing on receiving gifts, the focus shifted to bringing gifts to Jesus that could in turn be shared with people around the community and world who did not have much.  All the gifts would come wrapped in plain white paper so that no one would know which was an expensive gift and which was a more modest one.  No one would feel ashamed of their gift and everyone would share in the joy of giving to others.

For decades Walton has observed White Gift Sunday with a child-centred service led by the Sunday School. These take place during the season of Advent usually on the second Sunday of Advent. In keeping with the spirit of the first White Gift service, we are able to bring a gift today to observe White Gift Sunday.

Gifts today do not necessarily have to be wrapped in white paper or bags. White Gifts can be new, unwrapped presents, gift cards, cash, or electronic donation online or by text.  Our Walton Outreach Committee members make sure everything so generously donated on White Gift Sunday and during Advent goes to help those in need in the Oakville to Hamilton area.

Since they can’t perform our traditional White Gift play, to illustrate the spirit of White Gift, some of our Sunday School and Youth Group kids have worked together to produce this video. It’s called “What Will You Give?”

White Gift Video: “What Will You Give?”

 

Anthem:  “Carol for Advent”

 

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 25:35-36, 40

For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
I was naked and you gave me clothing,
I was sick and you took care of me,
I was in prison and you visited me.’
And the king will answer them,
‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,
you did it to me.’

Message:  “What will I give?” Rev. Jim

 It seems to me they are building them every place you turn today.  Self-storage units. In Canada, there are 3,000 self-storage locations. Futurist James Wallman, author of “Stuffocation,” believes a lot of people simply have too many possessions.

How much stuff could Mary and Joseph take with them to Bethlehem? How much stuff could the wise men from the east carry on their camels to worship Jesus? Today is our annual White Gift Sunday and the theme of the service is, “What will I give?”

 “We are all suffocating from too much stuff,” Wallman, with evident frustration, told CBC News. He notes that most people instantly understand the title of his book. “If you are storing stuff and there’s not enough room in your house to keep the stuff that you use, I think that’s the universe telling you something. It’s telling you that you’ve got more stuff than you need.”

Maybe the answer is to give away some of your stuff that others can use. Maybe sell some of your stuff? Use the money then for a good cause. “What will I give?” Our theme reminds us on White Gift Sunday that giving is a gift. Jesus said, “ life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’” —Luke 12:15

One writer says, “ We live in a fascinating time. Consumerism and materialism are running rampant in our culture, and yet at the same time, people are discovering that living with less can bring them more joy.”  Note if you will that the 3rd candle of our Walton Advent wreath is the candle of joy. What joy we can have by having less rather than more.

It has happened numerous times over my years here as minister. Those to whom I had planned to surprise items of assistance at Christmas show up at my door first. They come to my door with assistance for those not as well off as they are. I am speechless. So taken back. “What will I give?”

Have you seen the meme that goes: “saying Christmas is at risk due to supply chain problems leads me to believe you do not know the reason for Christmas?”

There is still Christmas even though boats are stuck off the port of Los Angeles or the port of Vancouver. This is still Christmas, though we do not have our usual in-person Sunday School skit. There is still Christmas, even though this year the Carol service is virtual once again.

As the Book of Isaiah first tells us and Handel’s Messiah musically reminds, “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Community at Prayer

God of Hope, you hear our silent prayers and urgent cries.
Hear us now as we pray for your world and its people.
God of hope, hear our prayer.
God of Peace, on this day we pray
for the people of Bethlehem, of Israel, and of Palestine;
for Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Haiti, and flood victims here in Canada;
for refugees who have nowhere to lay their heads;
for those who find themselves in strange lands.
God of the morning star, protect all people. Guide us in the ways of mercy and justice.
God of Joy, on this day we pray
for those who will spend this day alone;
for those whose tables will have an empty place this year;
for those in care homes and hospitals;
and for our loved ones who live again in your eternal joy.
God of heaven and earth, of anticipation and promise, be with us and heal us.
God of Love, open our hearts, that we might receive you and hear your voice.
Open us to the possibility of true change, in us and in others.
Remind us of your promise, made again to every generation, of your enduring love.
May things on earth be as they are in heaven.
We pray these things in the name of the One who comes, Jesus Christ. Amen.

(© 2020 The United Church of Canada.. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence.) 

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

We thank you, Lord, that we are blessed this morning to be able to come to worship, whether that is here in the Sanctuary or at home watching our computers.  To be able to gather together to worship you, to even be able to sit next to someone, to be in your presence, when so many others must hide, and live in fear of others knowing of your love and your word but not being able to share it.  We offer this morning some of our blessings to help others, and we offer up prayers to those who worship in silence.

Offering Refrain

(VU 55, v. 4 tune: CRANHAM)
What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a wise man, I would do my part;
yet, what I can, I give him—give my heart.

♥  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

Holy One, this Advent season we wait in peace, and we give in peace.  A peace deeper than our anxiety and fear. A peace growing from our trust in your loving power. Receive these generous offerings, and use them to bring your peace to our world. Amen.

Benediction

God comes to us as a stranger, a messenger, a child, and a parent.
Let us seek this God of Peace and Love in all we meet.
May God who is Giver, Gift, and Grace among us be with you today
and always. Amen.

(© 2020 The United Church of Canada/L’Église Unie du Canada. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence. To view a copy of this licence, visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ca.)


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, December 1st