Virtual Service – February 19, 2023

2:00 pm

February 19, 2023

Welcome to virtual church!

Today’s service will be offered in 2 formats – video and text (below) or you can 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

New to Walton? Are you visiting today? Welcome! Please feel free to ask the ushers if you have any questions during the service and we invite you to fill out a welcome card in the pew racks and leave it in an offering plate at one of the doors. Please join us for coffee, tea or cold drinks and conversation in Bronte Hall after the 9:30 service ends and before the 11:00am service begins. There you’ll also find the Welcome Centre with information about Walton and someone to chat with. Walton nametags, hats, pickles etc. are also available for purchase.

Ash Wednesday Service – On Wednesday,  February  22nd, at 7:00pm in the Walton Sanctuary a time of quiet reflection and prayer as we begin our journey into Lent.  Join us as we journey to the Cross and beyond the Cross to the Resurrection.

Walton’s Outreach Committee would like to offer a different way to recognize the season of Lent this year. Starting Ash Wednesday we have prayer themes for each week taking us to Easter Sunday. Please join us in praying for these areas of concern. Each week there is a short scripture and prayer, please add your own as you feel guided to. The sheets will be available on the table near the entrance to the Sanctuary on Sunday and a soft copy will be posted with the Sunday service for each Sunday of Lent. Thank you for your faithful support for Outreach activities at Walton.

Annual Meeting – Please join us on Sunday, February 26th, at 12:00pm for the Annual Meeting in  Bronte Hall.  All are welcome to attend. The 2022 Annual Report is now available electronically and in print. Please contact the church office to request your copy.

Thursday morning Bible study – A new book study led by Parish Nurse Cathy Winn begins Thursday February 23rd, 10:15 to 11:45 and runs weekly in Bronte Hall through Thursday, May 11th. The topic is “David: Developing a Heart for God.” In this twelve-session LifeGuide® Bible Study, author Jack Kuhatschek introduces you to David the servant and the leader, the sinner and the redeemed, the man and the instrument of God’s creative purposes. As you explore David’s tumultuous story, you too will discover what it means to have a passionate heart for God. Registration is required online or through the church office. The study guide is $10 and may be purchased during the online registration process, or in person at the church office.

Naloxone Kits at Walton – Naloxone is a safe antidote for emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose. It’s safe for everyone and simple to use. We have two kits on hand at Walton in case of emergency: one kit is in the kitchen directly above the first aid kit and the second is in the office. Each kit contains 2 nasal sprays. For more info please speak with Cathy Winn, through the church office.

The CVITP Committee(Community Volunteer Income Tax Program) is beginning to make appointments for March and April 2023. 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.  There is no charge for this assistance. 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 416-840-9418. Tax assistance will be by appointment only – taxes can also be prepared by phone and by e-mail/internet.   As the pandemic closure has been somewhat lifted, we will have you come to Walton Church Allen Entrance for an appointment with a tax preparer, however, you must be masked. Details also found on our website – https://www.waltonmemorial.com/cvitp-tax-clinic/

Hospital – Please let us know if you are going in or are in hospital; access to patient lists in all hospitals by Walton volunteers and staff hospital visitors has become very limited. If you would like us to know of a procedure, operation, treatment or hospitalization please let the church office know.

Rooms for rent – Looking for somewhere to host a meeting, bridal shower, birthday party, music recital. exercise classes, sports groups, craft lessons or more? Walton has room for you! We have a number of rental spaces to accommodate groups large and small, for a one-off event or weekly sessions. Contact the church office for more details. See phots on our website – https://www.waltonmemorial.com/room-rentals

Turkey & Syria Earthquake Relief – Walton is now receiving donations to help those who are victims of the Earthquake. Donations can be made online through the Walton website, or by writing a cheque payable to Walton, please put on your cheque “Earthquake Relief,” or cash.  For more information please contact the church office.

Pickles by Sam– Lady Rose Pickles & 3 Pepper Relish are available in the Church Office – $5.00 per jar.  All proceeds go to the Walton Treasury to fund programs and ministries.

Smile! Photographs and videos will be taken throughout our services, programs and special events, to be used on our website, print media, or social media channels. If you do not wish to be photographed, please let us know by contacting the Church Office.

Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online.

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


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

Sometimes we have to step away from our daily life to examine its breadth and depth, to understand the distance covered and direction taken.

Jesus said he came that we might have life, and have it abundantly!

He shared how to plan and measure our journey and calculate the dimensions of abundance.

As we approach this Lenten season, let us examine, consider, and ponder in worship Jesus’ Way as a map and a path for living fully.

Hymn: “A Light is Gleaming”  verses 1,3,4  82VU

Call to Worship

One:  Beyond our busyness, above the cold winter floor there is a glory rising, born of heaven and reaching out to each one of us.

All: A light that shines through the clouds, an invitation seeking all of who we are, that transfigures the world, that transforms darkness into hope, that brings life from a cross where old life ends and new life is born.

One:In glory Jesus meets us here, raising us from depths of the valley to the height of the mountains, carrying the weight of our humanity to the heights of heaven’s glory.

All: Let us worship from the mountain and hear again, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”

 adapted Rev. Rob Smith, Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church, Apple Valley, MN

Opening Prayer

All: Our God,
We gather here today on Transfiguration Sunday.
We waited through the days of Advent for the arrival of your child, Jesus.
We celebrated the light of his coming throughout Epiphany.
Three days from now, we mark ourselves with ashes as we enter into the season of Lent.
But today, on this special Sunday, we pray that we may see Christ transfigured before us
and that we will be transformed by your grace to prepare us to follow Jesus through the days of Lent. Amen.
Fern Gibbard, for Osoyoos U.C., Osoyoos, B.C.

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 Hymn:  “Jesus Bids Us Shine”   verse 1 & 2  585VU

Youth Story Video: “Shine”

Alison and Val took advantage of the beautiful warm weather and sunshine earlier this week to video today’s youth story in the flowerbeds outside the church.

Val: Isn’t this sunshine gorgeous, Alison? It must remind you of last week when you were in Florida.

Alison: I had such a wonderful trip. It was so nice to be outdoors, to walk around in bare feet, and to feel the warm sun on my face. During the long, dark winter days I usually feel a bit like these trees in the garden – see how they are all bare and empty? I feel like the sunlight brought me back to life and filled me with new energy. We talk in Sunday School quite often about the light of Jesus shining in us, and through us – did you ever stop to think that the beautiful sunshine we have today is literally the light of Jesus?

Val: You’re right! It’s one of the first things God created when he made the world. He made darkness and light. And that light does amazing things to everything it touches.

Alison: Come look closely in the garden and see what the light has done. These little tiny green shoots came from bulbs planted deep underground. They feel the light and  reach towards it, growing up, up, up through the dark until they burst up out of the ground.

Val: Spring isn’t here yet, but before too long the light will help these little green shoots blossom into beautiful, sunshiny yellow daffodils. They are a great reminder that the light of Jesus is always working on us, even in the dark.

Alison: And they are a great reminder for us to be like the daffodils. Keep looking for the light of Jesus and keep growing towards it. The light will help us blossom too.

Let us pray:

Loving God, thank you for guiding us through the cozy, dark winter days. Thank you for each day that gets gradually longer, bringing more light into our lives. Help us to follow the light of Jesus and be filled with its warmth. Amen.

Youth Blessing: “Go My Children With My Blessing” 946LUYH

9:30 Hymn:  “Shine, Jesus, Shine”  verse 1 & 3  431 Celebration

11:00 Chancel Choir: “Shine, Jesus, Shine

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 17: 1-9    Don Rusk, Rachel Hawes

The Transfiguration

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became bright as light. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will set up three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they raised their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Scripture Response:  “Can You See the Light of God?”  Linda Fletcher

Can you see the light of God?
Can you feel the light?
Can you live the light?
Can you be the light of God?

We can see the light of God.
We can feel the light.
We can live the light.
We can be the light of God

Morning Message:  “Hiking off the Mountain”  Rev. Jim Gill

October’s Thanksgiving three-day long weekend, like this February Family Day long weekend, is often a time of adventures for your clan and extended clan. This past Thanksgiving weekend some of my clan took the “Halton Conservation’s Fall Tour,” on the Kelso Summit. I highly recommend it to you. On a clear day, you can go to see the incredible autumn colours by pre-booking your seats on the ski lifts of Glen Eden.

Today is Transfiguration Sunday – the Sunday just before Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent next Sunday, Feb 26. Jesus took his “A” team of Peter, James and John to the top of a high mountain. It reminds us of Moses up on Mt. Sinai receiving the Ten Commandants. Those Commandments were the focus of our service back on Sunday, January 29. You may  remember if you were here, or maybe you watched it virtually. The Junior Youth Group taught us their way to remember the 10 Commandments by cleverly using fingers while reciting them. I spoke that day of the former Hamilton Rabbi who created 10 Commandments on how to apply the original ten from Mt Sinai.

The Bible account is not clear on which mountain the Transfiguration actually took place. There is much scholarly debate between those favouring Mount Tabor and those favouring Mount Herman. There are pros and cons for both mountains. It actually doesn’t matter which was the actual place. Rather it is more important what the Transfiguration story means to us in our time and place.

Back to our local Glen Eden ski hill last fall… One grandchild went up in the chair lift but definitely would not come back down that way. So Poppa volunteered to walk down the ski hill with the unnamed child. It was quite the hike down that Thanksgiving Monday, especially when we were joined by a coyote. This Family Day weekend one could make that same trip down so much faster by skiing down in just a fraction of the time. When I was walking down in the fall I thought about Peter, James and John hiking down the mountain. Not only because Mount Tabor and Mount Herman are both far higher than Glen Eden, but most importantly because of what took place on that mount of the Transfiguration.

Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a mountain to pray. While praying there on the peak, Jesus’ appearance was changed and his clothing became dazzling white. If that were not enough, Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with Jesus about his death that would soon take place. The symbolism of the appearance of Moses and Elijah was that they represented the Law and the Prophets. Then God’s voice from heaven said, “Listen to Him!”

It meant listen to Jesus!  A very clear message that still echoes down the years to you and I today. Listen to Jesus!  This action by God clearly showed that the Law and the Prophets must give way to Jesus. It sets up the events of Easter week. For us it sets up Lent as we count down to Holy Week.

Truly, what a mountaintop experience for that trio of Jesus’ disciples. Now comes the tough part. It is what serves as our message title today, “Hiking off the Mountain.” It is not about the mountaineering skills of Peter, James and John; rather the question is what do you do after such an incredible event? How do you come off such a high?

They must have felt a big time let down, coming back to reality on the way back down. When we used to have our Walton Mount Carmel spiritual retreats above the falls in Niagara, it was always a challenge to face Monday morning.  After such an amazing weekend away, coming back to daily life was like coming down off the mountain. Now nothing with Jesus, I am sure, was ever normal and routine. However, the Transfiguration was surely a mountain top for those, “A Team” disciples.

Ever had times like that hiking off the mountain highs of your life? Maybe after the birth of a first child, marriage, buying a first home, graduating, dream vacation, buying that dreamed-of car, getting that promotion, retiring. The list goes on and on. Imagine if you will, the let down after winning last Sunday’s Super Bowl.

First, remember the Ecclesiastes words of wisdom from the Hebrew texts, “There is a season for every matter under heaven.” This too will pass, whether good or bad or even in between. We do not live permanently on the mountain tops, nor do we live in valleys forever. Most of the time we live on the rolling plains of life. Jesus said to the disciples, keep all this to yourself. This is our secret what happened up there on the mountain. Now let’s get to work. On to Jerusalem.

Second, when hiking off the mountaintop of life, remember to laugh. Best not to take it all too seriously. Last week, I was in Cooksville for the funeral of a Walton teenager’s grandparent. I got there early and went through a local drive-thru for some lunch. I get to the window to pay and pick up my lunch. The guy at the window looks at me with a stunned look of disbelief. I thought to myself, “I guess not many people have ordered a McFillet o’ Fish today.” Then with a hesitating voice he says, “Are … you…the … Pope?” I said, “What?” The server said it again, “Are you the Pope?”  Wish I could have seen the look on my own face.

Then the young clerk excitedly pointed to my car’s back seat window. There was my white clerical gown and red stole hanging from the clip. Then I got it. I said, “Sorry, I am just a minister on the way to a funeral down the street.” The server gave me my food and I drove to their parking lot to eat lunch.  I was chuckling about him thinking I was the Pope. I could not recall a Pope James in modern church history. It sounded rather good: Pope James the First. Quite the promotion from being the Bishop of Bronte. Just then I looked down on the coat I was wearing. Pope James the First had spilled the McFillet of Fish tartar sauce all over the front of his coat. I laughed. Cleaned it off and headed to the funeral.

Maybe Winston Churchill gave good advice about hiking off the mountain in these words: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” I would add it is to have the faith to continue that counts. Jesus was there with them on the mountain top of the Transfiguration to the hill called Golgotha and everywhere in between.

Our faith journey is far from straight, far from level, far from easy at times. But Jesus is with us. Jesus is with us whether we are climbing up or down the mountains of life.

So this week we start our Lenten Journey on Wednesday with the placing of ashes in the form of a cross on our foreheads. Join us at 7pm here in the sanctuary if you can. We stand at the start of our Lenten time. None of us know exactly what the next weeks leading to Easter will bring into our lives. We do not know if Jesus is with us on whatever mountain tops we may stand on top of. God bless our journey ahead.

Pastoral Prayer

Almighty God, before the passion of your Son, you revealed His glory upon the holy mountain.
Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of His countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross.
Indeed, O Lord, give us the vision to see beyond the turmoil of our world and to behold Him in all His glory…
Lord, hear our prayer…

O God, at the Holy Mountain 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 always shine upon us…
Lord, hear our prayer…

O God, we open our eyes and we see Moses and Elijah with Jesus, your word, restoring us, showing us the way,telling a story, your story, his story, our story.
May your word always speak to us…
Lord, hear our prayer…

O God,
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. Teach us to trust…
Lord, hear our prayer…

O God,
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 us our foolishness and our sin…
Lord, hear our prayer…

O God, we open our eyes and we see Jesus, not casting us off, but leading us down, leading us out –
to ministry, to people.  Help us to share his love, your love…
Lord hear our prayer…

O God, hear our prayers not just for ourselves, but our prayers for one another at this time:
our prayer that they who are lost might be found, that they who are lame might walk and they who are sick may be healed, that they who are enslaved may be set free and they that mourn may be comforted.
We pray, O God, for …. (bidding prayer)
Lord, hear our prayer…

O God, at your Holy Mountain we open our ears and we hear your voice saying “’This is my beloved Son, listen to him!’   We give you thanks and we pray in his name that we might always do your will and harken to his voice—
both on the mountains and in the valleys of life.
Amen

adapted  by William Loader.  Posted on Kir-shalom.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

As God blesses us in love and life, we share our blessings with others in whatever way we can, through our time, our talent, and our treasure. Thanks be to God for the ability and gifts to share his love with others. I invite the ushers forward please.

♥  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: “ To God, all Glorious Heavenly Light” (tune is old doxology)

To God, all glorious heavenly Light,
to Christ revealed in earthly night,
to God the Spirit now we raise
our joyful songs of thankful praise.

Offering Prayer

All: God of the transfiguration, we bring our gifts to you, ordinary gifts that you use to build our church in this time in our world.
Dazzling Mountaintop God, you use ordinary and challenging circumstances in life to reach out to us.
Help us to notice you and the ways you are calling us to serve in your name. Remove the fear that clouds our hearts and thoughts, and set us free to love and serve this ordinary world in an extraordinary way.
May these offerings be magnified and multiplied to bring love, justice, and compassion here in Halton and in our world. Amen!
Adapted Lori Van Santvoort-Jansekovich, The Gathering A/C/E/ 2022/23

Hymn:  “We are Marching in the Light of God”   646 VU

Commissioning

The light of Love has come to you this day.
We will let it shine in our lives.
The voice of Love has been experienced here this day.
We will open our lives to receive it each day.
The Christ has been present on this mountain.
We will travel with Christ wherever our journeys may lead.
Robin Wardlaw, Toronto, Ont.

Soloist:  Colin Brennan  “Olde Irish Blessing”

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.
Joanna Harader and posted on Spacious Faith.

Closing Hymn:  “May the Light of God Go With You”   D. Besig

Announcements

Scripture Readers: Don Rusk, Rachel Hawes
Soloist: Colin Brennan


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, February 15th