Virtual Service – February 27, 2022

8:30 am

February 27, 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 TODAY- Hope you can join us.  Walton’s Annual General Meeting will take place virtually via Zoom today at 12:15 pm. Please check your inbox for the instructions and reminders we emailed on February 11th and February 25th or you can email office@waltonmemorial.com for instructions.
• 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.
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:
Room Rentals @ Walton United Church− 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. It’s the final week of our “Ewwww!” curriculum and we saved the grossest for last!
• 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

Good Morning and welcome to Walton United Church’s Virtual Service.  Today, it seems most appropriate to see the sun bounce off Lake Ontario on this Transfiguration Sunday. I image the light was similar to the light the disciples had, when they saw the light on Jesus on the transfiguration mountaintop.

Wow, it was blinding. Yes, very bright, and they wouldn’t have had polarized sunglasses either.  It was probably a light like they had never ever seen before. That kind of light, that is incredible, a gift from God. It seems most appropriate as we celebrate Transfiguration Sunday.

Let us worship.

 Call to Worship

If you have come seeking a sign, may you find it here today.
Yes, we have come seeking signs.
Open yourselves to all possibilities for sometimes signs come from places we least expect them!
In the fashion of the moment, we come to experience the Holy Mystery that transcends all.
(Jim McKean, The Gathering A/C/#2010/11)

Opening Prayer

Loving God, help me to take my day and use it.
Take my indifference and lose it.
Take my friendships and grow them.
Take my family and love them.
Take my dreams and nurture them.
Take my hopes and foster them.

Take my fear and face it.
Take my weakness and embrace it.
Take my prejudice and lose it.
Take my sense of justice and use it.
The day has begun. Loving God, transform and use me.
Amen.

(adapted David Sparks, The Gathering L/E 2022)

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 “God’s Transforming Love”

(Jim is working away at the computer, then picks up some cars and starts rolling them around on his desk.)
The cars are to help with the Youth Story this morning, about God’s transforming love.
Cars for me?
They look like cars, but they aren’t cars, they are transformers.
I want to talk about God’s transforming love. God’s transforming love is amazing.
It sure is.
Sometimes we don’t think we can change do we?
No, but God can help us change.
And sometimes we think we have done something bad, we aren’t going to get over.  But if we trust God and let God work through us and on our hearts we can change. Lots of times God puts people in our paths to help us work through things, and move forward in and through our problems.
We can transform, change into something new. Trust and love that God is going to do what is best for us. Let us say a prayer together…

Prayer: Dear God, we pray that you will transform us, in ways big and small each day. That you will change us in the ways that will make our lives more abundant more the type of lives you want us to live. Transform and change us in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Anthem: “Let It Shine”

 

Scripture Reading:  Luke 9: 28- 36

The Transfiguration

Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.  And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.

Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him.  They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake,[b] they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings,[c] one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. 35 Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”  When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.

Hymn:  “You Are My Hiding Place”

 

Morning Message

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 listen I often learn an important life lesson. Often it is the most unexpected person in the most unexpected place who can teach us the most in life. They can offer lessons that our so critical for us to learn if we open our ears and hearts. Today I conclude my series of messages entitled, “Here’s what I know” about life lessons for us in these early months of 2022.

Today’s passage is one people often want to know more about. Why did it happen and what does it actually mean? It’s an event that does not seem to fit with other stories in the life of Jesus. The setting is this. Not very long after Jesus clearly tells the 12 disciples that Christ would suffer, be killed, and be raised to life, Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a mountain to pray. Jesus would go often away to pray. We think of the garden and the wilderness where Christ went to pray. Maybe you go off somewhere to pray? I have a place both in the church to pray but also here in Bronte to go and pray. There is an intentional aspect about it that is transforming, setting yourselves aside in prayer.

Over COVID, I have been praying even more for you and for this church. I know many of you have been praying daily as well for the people of Walton and the church itself. Today is our second virtual Annual Meeting. Prayer has given us not only strength but direction in facing this pandemic and its waves, health mandates, and pivots – often happening daily as we adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the last two years.

Here is what we know: people have given generously over the last 23 months as we have only had a small fraction of our normal yearly fundraising and room rentals come in as income. Keep praying please. Especially pray for the General Fund, which keeps the church building functioning and the staff working.

This time away with Jesus up on the mountain praying, however, was unique. While praying, Jesus’ personal appearance was changed into a glorified form. Here’s what I know: the word “glory” is one of the most common praise words in scripture. The Hebrew word has meant in different places in scripture “importance,” “weight,” “deference,” or “heaviness,” but primarily it means “glory,” “respect,” “honour,” and “majesty.”

So Jesus was glorified. His clothing became dazzling white. Imagine thousands of sequins hit by an incredibly powerful spotlight. Then, if that wasn’t enough of a shock, Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with Jesus about his death that would soon take place. That trio of disciples with Jesus must have been completely stunned. I know I would have been.

The gospel writer then tells us that Peter, not knowing what he was saying and being very fearful, offered to put up three shelters for them on the mountain top. Like tents on a hill. This we know is a reference back to the booths that were used to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths, when the Israelites dwelt in booths for 7 days. It was not that they needed shelter on the mountain top, but more Peter expressing a wish to stay in that place.

We can all feel that way when we have our own mountaintop experiences in life. Being accepted to our first choice for post-secondary, first falling in love, buying our first property. You name your mountain tops. This mountaintop experience is called the Transfiguration. It is celebrated the Sunday before Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, which we celebrate this week, and the first Sunday of Lent which is next Sunday.

Here’s what I know: the Transfiguration story did not end there. A cloud enveloped those on the mountain and a voice said, “This is My Son, whom I have chosen, whom I love; listen to Him!” When the cloud lifted, Moses and Elijah had disappeared, and Jesus was alone with his disciples who were still very much afraid. Jesus warned them not to tell anyone what they had seen until after his resurrection. The three accounts of this event are found in Matthew, Mark and Luke, known as the synoptic gospels.

So what does it all mean? Undoubtedly, the purpose of the transfiguration of Christ was so that the “inner circle” of his disciples could gain a greater awareness of who Jesus was. We could call it a “dramatic knowing.” Christ underwent a dramatic change in appearance in order for the disciples to behold Jesus in his divine glory. The disciples, who had only known Jesus in his human body, now had a greater realization of the deity of Christ, though they could not fully comprehend his divine nature. This event gave them the reassurance they needed after hearing the shocking news of Jesus’ coming crucifixion.

The “time warp,” if you will, of Moses and Elijah appearing symbolically, represented the Jewish Law and the Jewish prophets. Christ’s coming fulfils both law and prophets. God’s voice from heaven saying, “Listen to him!” clearly showed that the law and the prophets must give way to Jesus. Christ, who is the new and living way, is replacing the old. Jesus is the fulfilment of the law and the countless prophecies in the Old Testament.

The disciples never forgot what happened that day on the mountain. John knew the importance when in his gospel he wrote, “We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only.” Peter also knew and wrote of it, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with Him, I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain.”

Jimmy Akin writes about what he knows about what the Transfiguration means today, beyond setting us up for Lent. “The Transfiguration was a special event in which God allowed certain apostles to have a privileged spiritual experience that was meant to strengthen their faith for the challenges they would later endure. But it was only a temporary event. It was not meant to be permanent.”

Akin is right. Mountaintop experiences are the exception in life, not the rule, just like the valleys of our lives. Most of us live day-to-day on the flatter routine plains of life.

Akin continues, “In the same way, at certain times in this life, God may give…special experiences of his grace that strengthen their faith. We should welcome these experiences for the graces they are, but we should not expect them to continue indefinitely…They may have been meant only as momentary glimpses of the joy of heaven to sustain us as we face the challenges of this life, to help strengthen us on the road.”

I have found for most of us those precious rare Transfiguration experiences are few and far between. But are they are one of the graces to sustain us. Sometimes we can even miss them, wanting to build booths or shatters on the mountain top.

Here’s what I know: Just be in those transfiguration times. Savour them. Be inspired by them. Be blessed.

Pastoral Prayer

Let us pray to God,
who alone makes us dwell in safety:
For all who are affected by the pandemic
through illness or isolation or anxiety,
that they may find relief and recovery:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.
For those who are guiding our nation at this time,
and shaping national policies,
help them make wise decisions:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.
For doctors, nurses and medical researchers,
that through their skill and insights
many will be restored to health:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.
For the vulnerable and the fearful,
for the gravely ill and the dying,
that they may know your comfort and peace:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.
We commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,
to the mercy and protection of God.
Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

(from the Church of England website)

Solo: “You Raise Me Up”

 

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

With wonder, we recall all that God has done in and through our lives and our life together.
We are the Body of Christ – God’s love in the world. Let’s then offer our gifts to God’s ministry in our congregation, in our community and in the world.
The offering will now be received.

♥  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

Generous and loving God, we bring our gifts to you today, praying that both the giver and the gifts will be transformed by you. Amen.

(Fern Gibbard, The Gathering A/C/E 2021/22)

Benediction

Go into the world as people transformed.
We go into the challenge of living as Christ’s disciples.
Go into the world as people with a mission
We go into the challenging work of God’s call to peace and healing.
God into the world as people Spirit-led.
We go into the wilderness to find meaning and wholeness.

(adapted Gord Dunbar, The Gathering A/C/E 2010/11)

Hymn: “We Pray for Peace”

We pray for peace, O God of love and justice,
as once again, we face a time of war.
The meek and humble try— amid the crisis—
to love and build, to nurture and restore.
May leaders hear the truth the prophets teach us—
that gifts of peace are worth the struggling for.
We pray for peace, O Christ who calmed the waters—
who stilled the storm, who stilled disciples’ fear.
You spoke with love and with amazing power
be with us now when trouble is so near.
May leaders see the miracle you offer—
that words and deeds can calm the nations here.
We pray for peace, O Spirit here among us;
your love emboldens, judges and restrains.
Take any hate and acts of impulse from us;
make leaders wise, amid competing claims.
May we seek peace, O God of love and justice;
may love and mercy be our highest aims.

(Biblical references:  Psalm 34:14; Psalm 85:10; Proverbs 12:20; Isaiah 11:6-8;
Matthew 5:9; Luke 8:22-25; Luke 19:41;1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Galatians 5:22-23.
See also: PCUSA’s “Prayer for International Crisis.”
Tune: Jean Sibelius, 1899 (“This is My Song”)
Text: Copyright © 2022 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.)


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 for Wednesday, February 23, 2022