Virtual Service – February 7, 2021

8:30 am

February 7, 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 – Walton’s Annual General Meeting will take place virtually via Zoom on Sunday, February 28th at 12:00 pm. Please check next Sunday’s announcements and watch your inbox this week for an important email containing the meeting agenda, step-by-step instructions for joining the meeting, a link to the 2020 Annual Report, and instructions for those requiring a printed copy of the Annual Report.

• 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. This week we begin a fun new lesson series about Bible Pets.

•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, for 40 days, equalling $20.00
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


A prayer to start this morning

Dear Lord, Help me remember what a difference it makes when I make time with You a priority in my morning. Awaken me in body and spirit each day with a desire to meet with You and to hear You speak words of affirmation, assurance, and wisdom over my heart as I prepare to go into my day. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Welcome

Jim… Jim, what are you doing?
(Jim has his hands out looking totally baffled.) Yes Val
Jim, what are you doing?
I’m trying to figure out where I put my car.
(a little laughter) Where you put your car?
It may be stolen?
What do you mean it’s stolen? Well, it’s nowhere on the church parking lot.
Jim when I drove in, your car wasn’t here.
Really, it was stolen before you got to work?
I don’t know, but your car wasn’t here when I arrived this morning. Do you think maybe you left your car somewhere else? Like when was the last time you saw your car, Jim?
Oh, I saw it at the manse when I walked to the church this morning to work. (sigh of relief)
Ok, the lost has been found!
No one stole my old car! Well, that is sort of what the sermon is about.
Well, there is a perfect example.
The service “Where did I put my….” It’s rather biblical, isn’t it? The lost shall be found.
Come, join with us in this service of worship. Come 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

Creator God, I stand before you today, confessing that I am wavering, stumbling in this what seems never-ending Covid restrictions. Help me Lord to be more patient, sympathetic, caring and loving, less judgemental, frustrated and accusatory. Help me to be positive, knowing what we do today will help us in the future, will help those around us and in our community. Help us to be more grateful for all that we have, and for the opportunities that Covid has presented us with…… our crazy, super busy lives have slowed down, we have more time with you Lord, more time to see the blessings you give us, more time to see the sunrises, the sunsets, more time with our families, more time doing things together, more time playing together, walking together, sharing together. Thank you for these opportunities we were longing for over a year ago….remember…… back when we were saying we wish life would slow down a little, so I could get more sleep, see my kids more, play more, get off the hamster wheel…. Well, here we are off the hamster wheel….help us, Lord, to appreciate this time of waiting, to look at the positives in this time. Like Jesus said, “‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ ” John 13:7

Litany of Blessings

One: Blessed are those who share what they have with others
All: God will share with them.
One: Blessed are those who give to the poor.
All: They will find happiness.
One: Blessed are those who trust in the goodness of others.
All: Their trust will be justified.
One: Blessed are those who appreciate the good things God gives.
All: Their lives will be full.
One: Blessed are those who do humble tasks well.
All: They will find everything they need in God’s kingdom.
One: Blessed are those who study God’s Word.
All: Their time is well spent.
One; Blessed are those who make time for good works.
All: They will never be bored with life.
One: Blessed are those who stand up for what they believe in.
All: They will make a difference.
One: Blessed are those who think things through and pray for guidance.
All: God will make their choices wise.
One: Let us say together the prayer that Jesus taught us.

The Lord’s Prayer

I don’t know about you, but some things you know so well, you can say them by rote. A prayer is an example of that, The Lord’s Prayer. I sometimes think when I follow it, in a bulletin, in a book, on a screen, it has more meaning to me than just saying it by memory. That the words jump out at me. The meaning of this powerful prayer that Jesus taught us all to say. Let us pray together:

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: D-O-G reminds us of G-O-D

This month in Sunday School we are talking about pets. What can they teach us about Jesus? Well, this week’s lesson focuses on dogs, and we can actually learn a lot from them about being loyal and faithful followers like Jesus asks us to. Dogs love their humans unconditionally, which is how God loves us too.

Dog owners adore their pets, even when they are sometimes naughty. What do you do when your dog eats your favourite stuffy, steals your sandwich, or has an accident on the floor? Do you just forget about them or go get a different dog? Of course not! Dogs are so loyal to their owners and we need to be loyal to them. We don’t give up on each other. We teach them to do the right thing and forgive them when they mess up. Who does that remind you of?

Scripture Reading: Mark 1: 29-39

As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Morning Message: “Where did I put my…?” – Rev. Jim Gill

Looking for someone to fix a leaking water heater. Looking for someone to lay a wood floor. Looking for good Indian food. Looking for a nearby toboggan hill.

Are you a member of a community group, maybe on Facebook? I belong to several of these groups. So often the posts there are about people looking for things or services. The ones I just quoted are just some of the recent postings which I have read. There are also postings, some losing their keys, or someone finding keys and looking for the owner. It’s like my sermon title today: “Where did I put my…?” How many of us spend part of our days looking for this or that?

Maybe you have noticed that during these most unusual of times you and others are searching for things that are not really things at all. At least not in the sense of looking for someone to fix your broken dryer or seal your leaking roof. You’re not trying to find that important email, or lost report, or forgotten password, but seeking something less tangible.
Do you recall the story of Mary and Joseph frantically looking in Jerusalem for their 12-year-old son Jesus? They eventually found him in the temple, talking with the leaders. Jesus was not lost, for he knew where he was all the time. In today’s reading, it’s not his parents searching for Jesus, but his disciples led by Simon.

Again, Jesus was not lost. Remember that. He knew where he was all the time. Jesus was out in a solitary place praying. Many people these lock downtimes are finding themselves in a solitary place too. What can we do in these solitary places in addition to puzzles, watching Netflix and cleaning out your cupboards? A member the other day told me how they are using this extra alone time for personal growth, mentally and physically. Others have children at home attending school online, while they themselves are working from home with full-time jobs. Yes, in that setting it is so much harder to find any solitary place for personal growth. But we still can. We can still find a place to be alone and be with Jesus.

We have heard so much about Washington lately. Charles Pope, a community pastor there in the American capital, writes about this concept of people looking for Jesus.

“Yes, Lord Jesus, everyone is looking for you; even those of us who forever run after worldly things to satisfy our infinite longing. Yes, we are all looking for you even if many of us do not know it,” Rev. Pope says.

“The consumer who looks for the latest thing, the most recent upgrade, the bigger car, or the fancier house is really seeking you and the wealth that is you.

The sports fan or hobbyist who spends enormous amounts of time and money on such pursuits is really seeking fulfilment and thrill in you.

The discouraged or angry divorced person looking for the perfect relationship and the priest who wants a “better” parish, are really seeking you and your perfection.

The young girl applying her makeup and the actor seeking applause and fame are really seeking you and the warm embrace of your love and acceptance.

The alcoholic, or addict, who tries to find relief at the bottom of a glass of wine, or the end of a joint is really seeking the peace that only you can give.

Even the atheist who denies you because he cannot see you and the atheist who is angry at suffering and evil in the world are actually confessing their desire for your justice and solace.”
“Lord Jesus, everyone is looking for you,” Simon said to Christ out in his solitary place.

Today we celebrate our winter Chancel Communion. The United Church Statement of Faith reaffirms this truth about finding Jesus in this holy meal: “We believe that the Lord’s Supper perpetuates the fellowship between Christ and His disciples sealed in the upper room, that at His table, Jesus is always present, and Jesus’ people are nourished, confirmed, and renewed. The giving and receiving of bread and wine accompanied by Jesus’ own words signifies the gracious self-giving of Christ as suffering and living Lord in such ways that Jesus’ faithful people live in Him and He in them.”

I am comforted by these words in the United Church Statement of Faith: “Jesus is always present.” This is why we say in the invitation to Communion that this is not our table, but Christ’s table. Come then to this table, those who are looking for Jesus. Come spend some solitary time with Christ. Eat, drink and be nourished by him.

Celebrating Community – Sacrament of Holy Communion

May these gifts be received in all graciousness.
For it is in hope and thanksgiving that we offer them.

Today, here we are at God’s table, outdoors in God’s wonderful creation. You know everyone is welcome to this table, whether you have been going to Church for years and years, or whether this is the first time that you have been invited. You are invited!
You may want to take a little time to pause your device right now and go to your kitchen and find the elements you are going to use today when you come to God’s table. It can be bread, or a cracker and some sort of liquid, it doesn’t have to be wine, it could be orange juice. But bring it back and let us join together at God’s table. He is calling you today to, come, join with him.

Thanksgiving

God is the heart of life.
And we are the heartbeat.
May your hearts be filled with thanks and praise and songs of joy.
We rejoice in the miracle of life
and delight in our participation. (SWeinberg)

We give thanks and praise for all that is good in the world.
For that mystery, we name God and call the creator of heaven and earth and all that is.
For the person we name Jesus and his message of peace, justice and inclusiveness, that is the realm of God.
For the renewing strength and freedom of the Spirit, always present on the breath of life.
We give thanks for the love, peace and justice, for prosperity, strength and freedom, and for the presentness of God in the midst of life.
God of winter, the unpopular, slandered season, we praise you.
God of lightning, wind and storm, we praise you.
God of brisk winter mornings, frosted back lawns and stark hillsides; of warm socks, coats and gloves, raincoats, umbrellas and warm fires, we praise you.

So we join our celebration to all people, saying:
Holy, holy, holy, re-creating God, heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of God.
Hosanna in the highest.

Breaking of bread & Sharing of wine

We remember the time when Jesus faced difficult decisions and destructive forces:
– in the days and nights of his searching,
– in finding ways to free others from images and ideas that kept them captive and dependent and fearful of God,
– in breaking down social and religious barriers,
– in facing failure,
– in facing death.(MMorwood/pns)

When we too experience the winter of our lives, may we find the courage to let go and trust in your guiding, warming light.
And we remember, Jesus has shown us that life is stronger than death.
And as we eat together at this common table, the Lord’s table, we remember the words and the actions of that meal…

He took bread, gave thanks, and he broke it, and gave it to his friends.
He poured a cup of wine, offered thanks for it, and shared it also with his friends. Response
Ancient symbols.
Common acts.

Jesus, human, like us,
reveals to us our true identity, temples of God’s spirit.
Jesus, human, like us,
reveals God present and active throughout human history.
Jesus, human, like us,
reveals God-always-with-us in our everyday living.
Jesus, human, like us,
challenges us to let his story be our story also. (J Nelson-Pallmeyer/wsj)

Communion

So we break and share bread and drink wine,
pledging ourselves to allow the spirit that moved in Jesus to move freely in our lives.

The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, nourish and strengthen you to do the will of God.
The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, grant unto you God’s gift of eternal life.

Prayer after Communion

God of amazing grace, in the cold, isolation of the winter months, we are grateful for your presence, warming us and holding us. We pray this presence will strengthen us to follow in the way of Jesus, in this Halton area and beyond. Amen.
(Adapted by Rev. Gordon Bannon, July 1/10)

Anthem: “The Welcome Table”

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Let us bring our gifts to God, in response to God’s gracious love. Let us bring to God our lives, in response to Christ’s call to serve others. Let us join together in our offering.

♥ 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

Help us to bring our offerings with a generous heart, not as a comparison with others, but as an act of worship to you. May we find the comfort we desire in you and the strength we need in your name. May your presence be with us every hour of the day, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Benediction

We receive the blessing; go now into this day, having tasted and experienced the gifts of God in this Holy Sacrament. Go into this winter day, with the grace, the love and the light of God in Jesus Christ, now and forevermore. Amen.


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!

♬ One Bread One Body
♬ Jesus Hands Were Kind Hands
♬ We Can Not Measure How You Heal
♬ When Jesus the Healer
♬ The Closing Prayer

 


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update from Wednesday, February 3rd