Virtual Service – February 13, 2022

8:30 am

February 13, 2022

Virtual Service

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

• Virtual Annual General Meeting – Walton’s Annual General Meeting will take place virtually via Zoom on Sunday, February 27th at 12:15 pm.  On Friday, Feb 11th, we sent an important email containing the meeting agenda, step-by-step instructions for joining the meeting, a link to the 2021 Annual Report, and instructions for those requiring a printed copy of the Annual Report. If you did not receive this email, or if you require a printed Annual Report, please contact the church office.

• The CVITP Committee (Community Volunteer Income Tax Program) will begin making appointments in 2022 for March and 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. For details about the Free Tax Clinic, you can visit the following online page: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/free-tax-help.html or call Ruth at 905-631-6188 or John at  905-869-1484 for further details. Tax assistance will be by appointment only – if we remain on COVID watch, we will operate out of the Walton parking lot, and by phone and by e-mail/internet.  If the closure has been somewhat lifted, we will have you come to Walton masked for an appointment with a tax preparer.

Room Rentals @ Walton United Church• Do you need a space for your club, community group, or business service? Walton is now accepting bookings for rentals. We have large and small spaces available that are ideal for:

•One-on-one music instruction (piano provided)
•Tutoring
• Parent/child groups
•Small group fitness or dance classes
•Arts & crafts instruction
•Meetings and more

Our wheelchair accessible facility offers a convenient location, reasonable rates and plenty of parking. Rentals are subject to capacity limits and other Covid restrictions. For more information about available rooms and rates or to book a tour, please contact office@waltonmemorial.com

• Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. Sappy romantic love might make you go “ewwwwww” but we can all agree that God’s love is pretty awesome!

• Walton’s prayer chain is open. Confidential prayers 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.


Hymn: “Create In Me A Clean Heart”

 

Land Acknowledgement

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

Good morning and welcome to Walton Memorial United Church’s virtual service.  It is great having you here on this gorgeous day, on this Valentine weekend.

We are standing here in front of the sign for a purpose. Last June, we put a rainbow heart on the sign, a small one, and with all the weather changes this winter it has completely faded out. So we thought we would add some Valentine hearts on the sign to remind us of God’s love for us, and the love we can share with others in the name of God.

In our message today we are focussing on the Beatitudes and the love that is expressed in that message from Jesus.  Come let us join together in worship.

Call to Worship

Happy are we
when our treasures cannot be quantified.

Happy are we
when our knowledge is tempered by mystery.

Happy are we
when our pain is held in the balm of love.

Happy are we
when our delight comes from beyond ourselves.

(written by Katherine Hawker (2006),  posted on Liturgy Outside)

Opening Prayer

Creator God, help us as your children to play nice in life.

We all come from the same place. We are all your children, yet why do we long to be more, to be more important than our sisters and brothers in Christ?

Why do we put others down, make ourselves bigger and better than them?

Lord take away our jealousy, our fear, our longing to be more, to have more. Help us to be satisfied in knowing that we are loved, we are cared for, and your expectation is not ours.

Our human frailty enters into view of one another, and Lord I ask on behalf of myself, and my brothers and sisters in Christ for your forgiveness. For as our loving parent, choosing between which of your children you love more has to be the most difficult if not impossible job ever.

I’m very sorry that I have asked you to do that, in my life, in my family, in my job. Please forgive my selfishness and create in me a new heart, a heart of you, a heart of love, a heart of caring, a heart of unconditional love and support to others. Renew a right spirit within me.

Thank you God.  Amen.

Anthem:  “Change My Heart O God/With All My Heart”

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.

Introduction to Junior Youth Coordinator, Glenda Shortt

 

Youth Story – How big is God’s love?

Alison has a treasure box, filled with things that can teach us something about God’s love on this Valentine’s Day Sunday. What’s inside:

• A measuring tape
• A watch
• A thermometer

Not only do these three things have something to teach us about God’s love, they also have something in common with each other. Do you know what it is? They measure things. A measuring tape tells you how deep or wide or high something is. A watch measures time. A thermometer measures temperature. We can measure almost anything – even distances as big as a light year! (That’s 9.46 trillion kilometres, in case you are wondering.)

A light year is an ENORMOUS distance, but it can still be measured. But there’s one thing that’s so huge, there’s no way to measure it at all – God’s love. It doesn’t have a beginning or an end. It keeps on growing and getting bigger, every time someone shares God’s love with another. There is no measuring tape or scale or unit of measure that can tell us just how big God’s love is. Isn’t that amazing?

The Bible tells us just that in Ephesians 3:17-18, and those words are our youth story prayer this morning:

“I pray that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. I pray that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love. I pray that you can understand how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is.” Amen.

Scripture Reading: Luke 6:17-26

Blessings and Woes

He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon,  who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured,  and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.

Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.

Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

Blessed are you when people hate you,  when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as

evil, because of the Son of Man.

“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their

ancestors treated the prophets.

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.

Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry.

Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.

Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.

Hymn:  “Speak O Lord”

 

Morning Message:  “Here’s What I Know” Rev. Jim Gill

Have you ever realized that everyone can teach you something? I mean everyone. You may need to be patient, to listen, to observe and to reflect, but everyone knows something that can teach us an important lesson for living.

One of my mentors uses the expression, “Here’s what I know.” When I actually listen, I often learn an important life lesson. Often it is our friends who can teach us the most in life. They know us and can offer lessons that are so critical for us to learn, if we just open our ears and hearts.

However, the danger is wanting to impress others with what we know rather than being open to hearing what others know. I don’t know about you, but I find it so frustrating watching a serious news show where the person being interviewed can never get a word in, for the interviewer keeps interrupting the special guest with what they know.

Today I continue my series of messages entitled, “Here’s what I know” about life lessons for us in these early days of 2022.

Those who know the Bible far better than I do talk often about the differences among the four gospels. In reading Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John you soon realize that the four gospels are not identical but similar. Bible scholars suggest the four Gospel writers should be seen as artists interpreting an event rather than photographers recording an event. They each had their own truths about Jesus they wanted to share. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, each of the four gospel writers write their account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus as artists with their own creative viewpoint, with different audiences, and some unique sources. It is not that the Bible contradicts itself; it is that we are given the different views of four creative writers working their craft from their perspective in their faith in Jesus.

The beloved Beatitudes or “Blessed ares” from the Sermon on the Mount are best known from the Book of Matthew. Today’s reading is the lesser-known Luke version of that sermon.  Luke is not only writing to a different readership but writing a different message and focus than Matthew. Luke emphasizes the passing nature of not only life but privileged living. Those who have become accustomed to having plenty find it especially difficult to adjust to having less. Luke asks us back then, and today, where is our trust placed?  Is it placed in transitory things that fade away over time? Or do we put our trust in that which lasts, such as God, community and truths such as love.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. What do we know for sure about St. Valentine beyond Hallmark mythology? St. Valentine was a third-century clergyman, a martyr known for healing. In the Middle Ages Valentine became associated with love, and February 14th –  his birthday – became celebrated as a day of love. Jesus’ words as recorded in Luke 10:27 say, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’

Another mentor of mine, Dick Donovan, tells us that, “much of this material in Luke is also found in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. However Luke’s less familiar version is known as the Sermon on the Plain, because Jesus “came down with them, and stood on a level place.” Jesus delivered his sermon not above others, but on the same level as others.

This “level place” in Luke’s account contrasts with the Gospel of Matthew, where Jesus delivers his sermon from the mountain. I have been there to the Mount. What an incredibly beautiful rounded hill overlooking the sparkling water of the northern end of the Sea of Galilee. Luke has a heightened sensitivity to the lowly and poor. Perhaps having Jesus come down to the level place, Donovan says,  “is Luke’s way of emphasizing Jesus’ ministry to ordinary people in ordinary places.” To me, Jesus has met me not only on the exciting mountaintops of my life, but in the depressing deep valleys of life, as well as the very average plains of life. Oh, I should not forget along the beach sands in those times Jesus carried me.

Luke’s version of the Beatitudes also differs from Matthew, for it has nine beatitudes and no woes, while Luke has four beatitudes and four matching woes. The blessing here in Luke is the security of knowing that one is right with God. Both the blessings and woes in Luke describe what already is – that is being right or not being right with God. Do you know if you are right with God? Do you want to get right with God? Reach out to God in prayer. “ Oh God please help me get my life right.”

Luke knows what he is doing, which is turning things on their head with the words of Jesus. Luke challenges us about where we put our personal trust, our faith and our hope. As Donovan knows, “There is no mention of reward and punishment here. Instead, Jesus describes a reversal that is simply a fact of life. What you see is not what you get! He describes a mirror-image world where everything is backwards—where the rules are the opposite of what we expect. The kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God are very different—diametrically opposed. We know how things work in the kingdom of this world. Now Jesus tells us how they work in the kingdom of God.”

So here is what Luke knows. We are blessed this time to hear these words of Jesus from the Sermon on the Plain in The Message Paraphrase version of the Bible. Here is what Luke’s reading knows. First the woes from Luke in The Message:

“But it’s trouble ahead if you think you have it made. What you have is all you’ll ever get. And it’s trouble ahead if you’re satisfied with yourself. Your self will not satisfy you for long. And it’s trouble ahead if you think life’s all fun and games. There’s suffering to be met, and you’re going to meet it.”

Luke then records Jesus’ words of the blessings from the Sermon on the Plain, paraphrased here in The Message:  “You’re blessed when you’ve lost it all. God’s kingdom is there for the finding. You’re blessed when you’re ravenously hungry. Then you’re ready for the Messianic meal, which is Jesus’ sacrifice for us.You’re blessed when the tears flow freely. Joy comes with the morning.”

As I said earlier, Luke asked us back then in Galilee and asks us today where is our trust placed?  Is it placed in transitory things that fade away over time? Or is our trust in that which lasts such as God, community, and truths.  So what do you know?

Pastoral Prayer

(inspired by Matthew 5: 1-12, Luke 6: 20-26)
When you say blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God
do your eyes rest on me in the crowd
and see how weighed down I am with possessions?
When you say blessed are you who are hungry,
for you will be filled
do you place your hand in mine
and know the feasts I have eaten?
When you say blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh
do you anoint my head with oil
and sense that I have laughed long and hard?
Then bless me again Lord,
take my riches, my fullness, my laughter
all that I have in excess
and let it rise up in the poor, the hungry
and those who weep.
That together we may delight in good things
share bread and wine together
open our hearts in joy and sorrow
knowing that together we seek your kingdom
as one body.
(from I Am Making All Things New, written by  Rosie Venner.  Posted on the WSCF Europe website. )

Anthem:   “How Can I Keep From Singing”

 

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

One: Love with a love that defies fear.
Two: We will love with a love that will not give in.

One: Love with a love that seeks the best.
Two: We will love with a love that will not see the worst.

One: Love with a love that finds joy in community.
Two: We will love with a love that makes friends.

One: Love with a love that crosses boundaries.
Two:  We will love with a love that confronts evil, wherever it is found.We will now receive our offering.

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Hymn:  “We Are Called”

 

Offering Prayer

Great God of Heaven and Earth, you call us to leave behind our preoccupations and to follow you into the future. Sometimes we find your call challenging. We are comfortable, maybe even complacent, in our present. May this act of giving be a gesture of our willingness to follow where you lead.

In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

(posted on the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan. http://www.umfmichigan.org/offerprayers.html)

Beatitude Acclamation

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will receive it in full.” Matthew 5:6

Wonderful is the God of Christ, who gathers the poor of the earth.
Glorious is our God, who wipes away the tears of sorrow.
Wonderful is the God of Christ, who gives inheritance to the meek.
Glorious is our God, who satisfies the hunger of the just.
Wonderful is the God of Christ, who gives mercy to the merciful.
Glorious is our God, who gives vision to the pure in heart.
Wonderful is the God of Christ, who adopts the peacemakers.
Glorious is our God, who lifts high the persecuted.
Wonderful is the God of Christ, who finds the lost.
Glorious is our God, who awakens the dead.
(written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Home Page. )

Benediction

May the God of all directions, the God of day and night, be with you today and for all time.

Go out new to do the will of the creator, in the Way of the Son, with the constant presence of the Great Spirit.

Amen.

Hymn: “The Olde Irish Blessing”


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!

• We Are Gathered
• Be Not Afraid
• When we are Tested
• You are My Hiding Place
• Go Now in Peace

 


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, February 9th