Virtual Service – February 14, 2021

8:30 am

February 14, 2021

Welcome to virtual church!

Each Sunday morning we will be sending an email to everyone in the congregation for whom we have email addresses, offering an abridged Sunday morning service — “virtual church.” For the latest news and updates from Walton, please check our Facebook page, Instagram and website.

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 – a 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

• Annual General Meeting – Virtually – on Sunday, February 28th at 12:00 pm. Please follow the linked instructions to take part in the Zoom meeting. If you would like an electronic copy of the Annual Report emailed to you, please contact the office. If you want a printed copy please drop by the church on Wednesday, February 17th or Thursday, February 18th between 9am – 12pm. Thank you.

• Cudmore’s Closing this Month – We thank Cudmore’s for being a great neighbour and for decades of supplying Walton with a beautiful live Christmas tree from the East Coast for our Sanctuary. The trunk of the tree over the years has been made into a cross for Good Friday and even used through Easter. Cudmore’s has also loaned us decorations every year to decorate the Sanctuary for Thanksgiving. We will miss our neighbours and wish them all the best in their future endeavours. We greatly appreciate all your kindness and generosity through the years.

• Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. In honour of Valentine’s Day, this week we are learning about the greatest love story of all – the Bible! And all our Walton families are invited to take part in a special “Love your neighbours” outreach project.

•TAX PREPARATION for people with modest incomes: The Walton Tax Clinic will start up again March 1st, 2021, as part of the Walton Outreach Committee. Due to COVID precautions, we will manage with an “exchange of documents” in the Walton parking lot and follow up telephone calls. If you have an interest in having us assist you, please call: 905-631-6188

• To mark Lent this year – Sadly there can be no Shrove Tuesday Pancake/Sausage Supper. The Outreach Committee would like to suggest a modest program for your household Lenten givings.
– If you choose to participate, you decide on an amount of money you can afford to donate over the period of Lent, which is February 17 – April 4, 2021.
– There are two ways to participate:
1. You make a straight donation of suggested $0.50 per day to the Lenten Givings fund, for 40 days, equalling $20.00. Click here to donate online, or send in your donation marked “Lent”
OR
2. You put a non-perishable item into a box each day throughout Lent, which can be dropped off at the church after Easter (April 4, 2021).
– As we usually ask you to make a financial donation, or to bring a non-perishable item for our Easter food drive, this program would replace that initiative.
– As always, we appreciate anything you can donate, however, the food bank does have a list of “really required” items: cake mixes, prepared icing, dish soap, bar soap, shampoo for both babies and adults, body wash, deodorant, baby wipes, Goodnights pull-ups for girls and boys.
– We miss seeing all of you!

•  Walton’s prayer chain is open. Confidential prayers requests can be sent to office@waltonmemorial.com

 • Church office open by appointment only – Church office hours have been suspended to comply with the provincial government stay at home order. Staff members are working from home and may be reached via their individual email addresses. For general inquiries or to schedule an appointment please leave a message on the church voice mail at 905-827-1643 and/or email the church office at office@waltonmemorial.com. Both the voicemail and email are checked regularly.

•  If you need Rev. Jim for a pastoral emergency, please email him directly at jamescgillwuc@gmail.com


Welcome

Welcome to Transfiguration Sunday, Valentine’s Day & Family Day Sunday – a triple header this morning.
I miss the tree here, having the tree at the top of the stairs at the front door of the Sanctuary. That was such a great idea to have the Christmas tree here all through Advent. It looks bare up here….What if we added these red hearts… we can celebrate Valentine’s Day, and Family Day. The symbolism of love, of God’s love on the front doors of the church. Now when people drive by they can see the red hearts of love too. Let us join together in God’s love, let us worship.

Call to Worship

We come together today cause we are looking for something; some of us are here looking for comfort, for support, for love, longing for the way things used to be on Sunday mornings — hoping that God can fill this gap that is here. As I lift my head in worship, push aside those feelings; I feel your presence, your always and forever unconditional love. May we renew our relationship as we bow in prayer….

Opening Prayer

The mountain top
the shining face
the glowing clothes
the voice of God speaking from the cloud
the commandments etched in stone

Sometimes God shows up in ways
we cannot deny
in a place we can go
a light we can see
a voice we can hear
a stone we can touch

Sometimes.

Sometimes
there is the veil
the overshadowing, terrifying cloud
the questions
the appearing and disappearing
the excitement
the wondering
the silence

Sometimes God shows up
in ways we cannot deny.

Always God shows up
somehow.

So we have shown up
here, now
May God give us eyes to see.

(written by Joanna Harader and posted on Spacious Faith. https://spaciousfaith.com/)

Litany of Blessings

Let’s go up the mountain. Let’s go up to the place where the land meets the sky where the earth touches the heavens, to the place of meeting, to the place of mists, to the place of voices and conversations, to the place of listening.

Let us pray:
O God, we open our eyes and we see Jesus, the months of ministry transfigured to a beam of light, the light of the world, your light.
May your light shine upon us.

We open our eyes and we see Moses and Elijah, your word restoring us, showing us the way, telling a story, your story, his story, our story.
May your word speak to us.

We open our eyes and we see mist, the cloud of your presence which assures us of all we do not know and that we do not need to fear that.
Teach us to trust.

We open our eyes and we see Peter’s constructions, his best plans, our best plans, our missing the point, our missing the way.
Forgive our foolishness and sin.

We open our eyes and we see Jesus, not casting us off, but leading us down, leading us out –
to ministry, to people.
Your love endures forever.

We open our ears and we hear your voice, ‘This is my beloved Son, listen to him!’
And we give you thanks. Amen
(written by William Loader (2/2001), and posted on Bill Loader’s Home Page.)

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: “Ugh, Wendy”

A third grader, Kevin is at the table. All the Valentine cards are scattered on the table. He’s searching through them as his Dad enters.
DAD: Kevin, it’s eight o’clock. Are you still working on those Valentines?
KEVIN: Sorry, Dad, I just have one more to do.
DAD: Well pick one and sign it. You have school in the morning.
KEVIN: I can’t find the right one.
DAD: Who’s this for?
KEVIN: Wendy Carter.
DAD: Wendy Carter?
KEVIN: Yeah.
DAD:Oh, I think I understand.
KEVIN: You do?
DAD:Do we have feelings for little Wendy? Do we need a Valentine that says we think she’s extra special?
KEVIN: Wendy?
DAD:Uh huh.
KEVIN: No! No way! I can’t stand Wendy! She’s my sworn enemy!
DAD:Now Kevin, really.
KEVIN: No, Dad, it’s true. Wendy’s mean. She’s a bully. She calls me names all the time.
DAD: Girls do that sometimes when they like a boy. I used to call your mother names.
KEVIN: Did you ever call him Snot Head? Barf Bucket? Toilet Breath?
DAD: No.
KEVIN: I’m telling you, this girl is ugh….She’s always mean to me. Always mean to my friends. She hits me, she steals my pudding snacks, she’s always telling on me.
DAD: She’s a real pain, huh?
KEVIN: And I can’t find the right Valentine for her. These are all sweet and nice. I need something that says, I don’t know, “Drop Dead.”
DAD: Kevin, I hate to tell you this, but you don’t need to give her a “Drop Dead” card. You need to give her a nice one.
KEVIN: No way!
DAD: Kevin, what did Jesus say was the most important commandment?
KEVIN: To love God.
DAD: And what was the second commandment?
KEVIN: To love other people.
DAD: That’s right. Love others. Including your enemies.
Kevin does a double take.
KEVIN: You must be joking.
DAD: Not at all. If this girl is your “enemy,” the most important thing you can do is to love her.
KEVIN: Ewww, Dad! Don’t say that!
DAD: Maybe Wendy needs a friend. Maybe she’s mean because other people are mean to her. Maybe she’s going through a bad time at home.
KEVIN: Maybe she’s evil.
DAD: She’s not evil but even if she’s just plain mean, God wants you to love her. Tell her she’s loved, tell her someone cares. And mean it when you do.
KEVIN: Does Jesus really want me to love her?
DAD: Jesus died for you and for Wendy. He even died for the people who killed him. If he can do that, you can love Wendy Carter.
KEVIN: All right. I’ll do it. I’ll give her this one.
DAD: Let me see. Darth Maul is red, blue is R2, you are as sweet as a girl from Naboo.
KEVIN: It’s a Star Wars card.
DAD: It’s a start.

Scripture Reading: Mark 9: 2-9

The Transfiguration
After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.)

Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

Morning Message: “Say Nothing” – Rev. Jim Gill

It really doesn’t seem like the typical mid-February winter long weekend does it? People aren’t jetting off here and there in groups like they do on most Family Day weekends. There are no large gatherings of the clan. Yet maybe this year, because we can’t do so many of the things we did last year on this weekend, we will really appreciate family even more than ever.

Today is also Valentine’s Day, and again it’s being celebrated in a way like never before. Yet because of the Covid changes we appreciate those we love and those who love us even more – even if we have to do it through plexiglas, in a Zoom gathering or by visiting at the end of a driveway.

Today is Transfiguration Sunday, another Sunday in the year which, along with Epiphany Sunday, many people aren’t too sure what it actually means. And since today is Transfiguration Sunday, that means this Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday and this Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. Which means that next Sunday is Lent One.

I think this year I will find more meaning in those special days because I won’t be eating pancakes and maple syrup with you in Bronte Hall or anointing your foreheads in the Sanctuary afterwards. Often it is in not having something we experience a greater meaning than when we had it in abundance. Like when your hot water heater breaks and there are only cold showers, or – like we have experienced a lot lately – no Cogeco and no internet connection.

All three of the synoptic gospels – that is Matthew, Mark and Luke – tell a story of Peter, James, and John accompanying Jesus to the top of a holy mountain. There, before their eyes, Jesus is transfigured or transformed into a dazzling brightness. Beside him appear Moses and Elijah, two historic pillars of the faith from Hebrew Scripture.

Peter thinks they should build some shelters and stay in this holy moment forever. Then, as at Jesus’ baptism, a cloud appears and a voice declares: “This is my son, the Beloved. Listen to him.”

This story can be difficult to explain and to understand, although we all long for those powerful, life-changing, mountaintop experiences that help us to see and experience the Divine in new ways. Often preachers speak about that line, “Listen to him.” We would be blessed if we all did so more often in our daily lives.

Other preachers rightly say that as believers we will have mountaintop experiences during our lifetimes, but that’s not where we live out our day-to-day lives. We live more in the valleys or even the flat plains than the mountain tops.

Still other preachers talk about how God can speak to us even when we are in dense, cloudy skies and it’s hard to even see what our next step will be, let alone our destination.
I have entitled this Transfiguration message, “Say Nothing.” It’s a message that comes out of the words of Peter, who didn’t always think before he spoke. Do you ever do that? I know I do. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

Now there is great debate about these three shelters. Some say they show that Moses and Elijah are not ghosts but real. Some say they go back to the festival booths, and others say they are an attempt to have this mountaintop experience last forever. There is truth in all these and other interpretations of the three shelters. But today I’m going to take the scripture as it is written, at face value if you will “(He [Peter] did not know what to say, they were so frightened).”

Sometimes in life we are far better to say nothing, zero, nil, zip or nada. There often is a blessing in keeping one’s mouth shut. Ecclesiastes 3:7 says, “there is a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to be silent and a time to speak;” This is especially true on social media. Say nothing. Do not respond.

Peter was frightened and rightly so. Peter was face-to-face with Elijah and Moses. What would you say if you were nervous? Ever met a very famous person? A sports star, a famous politician or celebrity? Maybe you have met royalty? What do you say?
Maybe Peter could have said something like, “Moses, could you sign the Book of Exodus for me?” Instead Peter wants to build the three shelters. It might have been best for him to just be silent, listen, and watch Jesus, Elijah and Moses.

A few years ago the Calgary Herald ago asked a variety of religious leaders about the value of silence. Rev. John Pentland, a well-known minister at Hillhurst United Church wrote:

“The psalmist says God is the still small voice within. So often our lives are so noisy we can’t hear that voice. We need to be intentional about creating it…Silence is something people both fear and love. Some fear it because they are afraid of what they might hear or may have to take notice of. They are too busy doing and not being. Others love it because it is like a well filling us with water. The silence provides inner listening. Our soul is inside us, what is it saying to our life? You can only hear when you pay attention to it…”

Paul was with that holy trio of Jesus, Moses and Elijah. It was probably better for Peter to have said nothing. In our day-to-day life it is better at times to know silence too, or to really think about what we’re going to say before we say something to put our foot in it. How often do misspoken words, poorly thought out remarks and ill-conceived points of view cause hurt and heartbreak?

On this Family Day and Valentine’s Day weekend remember that many times that’s what happens with those we love. Many times with family and friends it’s maybe best to say nothing. If you don’t know what to say when you find yourself on those mountaintops with God, remember these words: ”Be still and know that I am God.”

Pastoral Prayer

Radiant God, source of light, as you surrounded Jesus with your glory, so you come to us in penetrating brightness. You catch us off guard and expose our weakness.

We choose the limelight while you call us to explore the shadows and brighten the darkness.
We seek the spectacular while you bind up the broken in countless acts of mercy.

We seek to stay on the mountain or on our couch, while you walk to the valleys of need.
Radiant God, fill us with light and courage to carry good news into all the corners of the world and to bring back the joy of your presence. Amen.

(Adapted Reconciling Congregation Program from Shaping Sanctuary: Proclaiming God’s Grace in an Inclusive Church, copyright 2000)

Anthem: “Shine Jesus, Shine”

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

We are here in Bronte Hall. Now traditionally we think of the offering being presented on the communion table, at the front of the church in the chancel. But here in Bronte Hall, throughout any year, people offer gifts as well. The offering of their time, their talent and yes, even their treasure. So much is done in this room, as an offering to God. Let us present our tithes, our offerings, our gifts.

♥ by secure online payment from your bank or credit card. Click here to go to our donation page to make a single or recurring donation. Multiple funds (including Sleeping Children) 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 Prayer

Revitalizing God, transform our gifts with your immense love, so that they may make a difference to anyone in need in our world. Transform our hearts, so that we worship joyfully and give generously. Transform our lives, that we may affirm your grace in everyone we encounter. Amen.
(Gill Le Fevre, The Gathering L/E 2021)

Benediction

In the coming week,
may you experience the presence of God with joy.
May the holy cloud comfort you.
May the divine voice encourage you.
May the power of the Spirit transform you,
transform us,
transform our world. Amen.

(written by Joanna Harader and posted on Spacious Faith. https://spaciousfaith.com/ )


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!

♬ Lord My Heart is open
♬ With All My Heart Medley
♬ Shine Jesus, Shine
♬ We Have Come at Christ’s Own Bidding
♬ Transform us
♬ We Receive Your Blessing


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update from Wednesday, February 10th