Virtual Service – January 16, 2022

8:30 am

January 16, 2022

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

• Looking for accessibility equipment? – We have had quite a few gently-used items dropped off at the church, which have been cleaned and disinfected, and are ready to be used again. We have walkers, toilet extenders, a bedrail, shower chair, and more, and would love to lend them to you if needed. Please contact the church office.
• Grief support group – This education and support group is designed for those who are dealing with the death of a loved one. Taking a faith-based perspective, we will explore various aspects of grief, how grief affects one’s emotions, behaviours, body, mind and spirit. We will look at tasks one can do and adjustments one can make to move through grief, and help find ways to reinvest in one’s life in meaningful ways. The contents of the course are based on the materials of Dr. Bill Webster, Centre for the Grief Journey.
Leadership: The Rev. Dr. Deborah Hart – Minister of Deer Park United Church in Toronto, who has been facilitating grief support groups for over 25 years. Sponsored by Christ First United, Maple Grove United, St. Cuthbert’s Anglican and Walton United churches.
Location: On-line by Zoom
Dates: 6 Wednesdays, Jan. 19 to Feb. 23, 2022 + one follow-up session – date TBD
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Cost: $20 per participant for the course materials
Contact: Maeva Donaldson – 905-845-7454 or maeva.k.d@hotmail.com  for more information or to register
•  Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. In our “Ewwwww” curriculum this week we meet a Bible character who comes to a bitter, salty, end.
•  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

Welcome

This morning is Outreach Sunday, and we would like to welcome you to reach out to someone, someone who needs Jesus in their lives.

 I guess it is a bit of a challenge right?

 How do we know who needs Jesus and who doesn’t????

Duh!  Everyone needs Jesus in their lives, for without Jesus, there is something missing. There is a hole, a loneliness, an unhappiness that alcohol, food, shopping, or any of those vices just can’t fill.

So this morning it is your turn to reach out, to do some outreach. Even if it is just copying the service and sharing it with someone else this morning.  Or dropping off something for the food bank. Check in on the grouchy neighbour down the street. Clean out your closet and donate items to Goodwill or Safetynet. Buy a coffee for the guy working out in the cold. Call and tell someone you miss them. Drop off some muffins to a senior who doesn’t want to bake for just one person.

Reach out. Reach out today, on this Outreach Sunday.

Call to Worship

“And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind,
and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.” Acts 2:2

A wind breathes among us, calling us to gather in the name of the Holy One.
fire burns within us, calling us to service, calling us to prayer.
A spirit moves around us, calling us to turn in joy toward the sorrows of the world.
Burning, breathing, Spirit of Compassion, we bring our lives to you. Let us worship

(~ from Pentecost 2005, a liturgy from the Seekers Church website. http://www.seekerschurch.org/)

 Prayer of Confession (inspired by John 2:1-11)

Lord, we need a miracle today.
Like Jesus changing water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana,
we need a miracle today.
We are tired, Lord, of the hurts of this world.
We are discouraged in the face of injustice, war, poverty, and indifference.
We need a miracle today, Lord.
Your steadfast love, like a mighty mountain, will not be moved.
Your gifts, as many as the mighty winds, cannot be counted.
Your glory, like a mighty torch, will not be put out.
Lord, crown us with your love.
Show us your glory, that in you we may be moved to acts of kindness, love, justice, and mercy.
Lord, we need a miracle today.  Amen.

(written by Erik Alsgaard, and posted on the Worship Elements page of the Ministry Matters website – http://www.ministrymatters.com/)

The Lord’s  Prayer, Praying during a Pandemic

(inspired by the prayer Jesus taught his disciples
as recorded in Matthew 6:5-15, Luke 11:1-13)

O Lord, we confess our sadness and our fears. We feel stuck, trapped inside, overwhelmed, helpless, and even hopeless. Help us to believe that our present does not control our future, that we can look forward and not just backward. Enable us to change our situation now by bringing the future into it. Only the radical values of your new order — of love and justice — will bring your kingdom into our community right now, lived in this and all moments. Inspire and sustain us to bring your kingdom to earth even right now — in this moment of crisis.

Lord, in this moment we pray especially for those fighting on the front lines of the pandemic — our first responders, nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals — to save as many lives as they can. Shelter them from this virus and grant your healing mercies to those who will inevitably get sick despite their best efforts to protect themselves. Help our government and society mobilize to provide the protective and medical equipment they need to keep up as best they can with the onslaught of patients that is already here or on its way. And help those of us not in the health care sector to do the most important thing we can to protect them and lessen the severity of the strain they face — help us to stay home.

O Lord, we are all ultimately afraid of hunger, and that fear grows during a time of modern plague when we see even more people going without their daily bread and suffering from food insecurity. Give us the strength not to hoard, but the courage to share what we have in order to provide daily bread for all. There is always enough for all if we find the creative personal, communal, and political ways to share it together. Lord, we know that we find you and each other at the table, so please make us hungry for larger tables. Even in times of social distance, show us how our daily bread can bring us together.

O Lord, we owe you everything. You have forgiven our sins and trespasses, and for that, we are indebted to you. You have asked us to forgive others for their sins and trespasses, and perhaps their debts, too. Help us all to ask what a prayer for debtors would mean in this health and economic crisis. Where can we forgive the debts of others when we have the opportunity to do so? Oh God, how do we treat others they way you have treated us? Lord, you have never exercised foreclosure on our sins, trespasses, and debts. How can we follow your lead in our relationships with others, with our neighbors during a pandemic? Lord have mercy, Lord teach us to have mercy — right now.

Dear Lord, forgive us for the temptation to retreat from our neighbours in this health crisis, taking social distance into social withdrawal from the most vulnerable. Forgive those who feel exempt from this disease and therefore exempt from any responsibility for those who get sick. Forgive our prime minister, and other people of wealth and power, who value economic activity over public health, and who are willing to sacrifice the worth of other human lives for their own political and economic gain.

Lord, give us the faith and the courage to make this proclamation even in a time of a deadly virus. Give us the “patience in tribulation” that the Apostle Paul calls us to.

Because we know what your kingdom on earth brings, give us the hope of that kingdom in our hearts, lives, communities, and the nations. Let that future we believe in help sustain us in the present, even when things we can’t control seem to dominate our lives. Lord, help us to believe that the virus, the threats, the injustices, and the fears they create are NOT in control and never will be, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, now and forever. Amen.

(adapted Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners. Posted on the Sojourners website. ttps://sojo.net/articles/lords-prayer-pandemic)

Youth Story – Nothing is impossible with God

Since today’s Scripture reading is about Jesus’ first miracle, where he did impossible things, Alison is going to try and do something that seems impossible in today’s youth story. She can’t perform miracles herself, but she can try to transform something ordinary into something extraordinary, like Jesus did when he turned water into wine.

Alison has a plain sheet of letter-sized paper, and she’s going to put her whole head through the piece of paper. Seems impossible, right? Try it at home. You can use scissors, but no other tools. Can you figure out a way to make your whole head go through the paper?

Cutting a big hole through the middle might work for little kids and people with tiny heads, but it didn’t work for Alison. The hole is smaller than her head. But it’s not impossible. She demonstrated how, with a series of alternating cuts, she turned the piece of paper into an expandable ring that easily fits over her head.

It’s not a miracle. God didn’t show her how to do this; a YouTube video did. But she used it to illustrate a really important lesson she wants you all to remember: Nothing is impossible with God. Say it to yourself again because it’s really powerful: Nothing is impossible with God.

God performs miracles for us all the time, and transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. Even more importantly, he uses us to perform miracles. When we love our neighbours, when we are kind, when we reach out to others, or put others’ needs before our own, we can become the miracle which someone else was praying for.

Let us pray:

Loving God, thank you for your incredible power and your amazing love. Remind us to turn to you for help when things seem impossible, and help us to listen to your voice, guiding us to be the miracle someone else needs. We ask this in your son Jesus’ name. Amen.

Scripture Reading:  John 2: 1-11, 1Corinthians 12: 1-11

Jesus Changes Water Into Wine
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there,  and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so,  and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said,
“Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Concerning Spiritual Gifts
Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.  You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols.
Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,  to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,  to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Morning Message:  “Here’s What I Know #1”   Rev. Jim Gill

Have you ever realised 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 to what they know, I often learn an important life lesson.

It seems many times we want to impress others with what we know, rather than being open to hearing what others know. It is so frustrating to watch 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.

Let me ask, how many pairs of gloves or mittens do you have? Think about it for a few minutes. I did a list of my gloves. I have two pairs of tan work gloves, one pair of golfing gloves, three pairs of white cloth gardening gloves, one set of dish gloves, one set of black leather dress gloves for outdoor winter funerals, two sets of ski gloves for tobogganing, three sets of oven mitts and of course a box of rubber medical gloves. I imagine most of you could make a similar list.

How many pairs of mitts does a person living on the streets or from shelter to shelter have? Maybe one?  What condition are they in? Today is Outreach Sunday. Every year our Outreach Committee collects bags and bags and bags of gloves, mitts, scarves, touques, and hats in all sizes from kids to adult, so people can have warm hands. And don’t forget all the warm socks they collect too!

Here is what I know: our wooden mitten trees are just one of the ways Walton makes lives better in a practical sense for those with housing instability. We could say what we do is a “hands-on” ministry. Though it’s a very bad pun, it’s nevertheless true that Walton tries to help in practical, one-on-one ways.

In our John reading today Jesus is at a wedding reception and he performs his first miracle. They run out of vino and Jesus turns the water into wine. Not any cheap box type wine, we are told, but a rare vintage of exceptional wine. Here is what I know: Jesus constantly does the unexpected. We may feel we are at the last drop in the bottle of our lives, but Jesus fills up our empty souls and spirits with the amazing new wine of possibilities and opportunities.

In the story of Jesus’ first miracle there is a verse I think many miss when reading the text. It is the direction Mary gave to the banquet servers at the reception. Let us hear John’s words anew: “His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’”

Here is what I know: Mary is right. John knew that too. So did Paul. “His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’” Wise advice as we begin 2022.

Now a very personal question. You don’t need to answer; you can plead the 5th. Have you gained weight over Covid? It’s called the Covid curves or the pandemic paunch. I don’t know about you, but I give thanks that our local grocery stores are still well-stocked. Maybe not stocked like before March 2020, with as wide a selection or as large a quantity, but you can usually find what you want.

The real question when we grocery shopping is do you have sticker shock when you go to check out? Prices, it seems, are just not going up a quarter or fifty cents at a time but often increase by a buck or two. Many of you watching this virtual service can certainly afford the rising cost of groceries. But many others cannot afford the new prices at Food Basics, let alone the new prices at Farm Boy.

The Outreach Committee tries to create their own version of the when Jesus fed the 5,000 with the fish and loaves. As a church family we support the food bank – not just with donations of food, which can still be left at the Church, but with thousands of dollars in financial donations. These financial donations allow the food bank to buy in bulk the most needed items at the time. Walton feed others every day by our physical and financial donations of groceries. We also have Walton people who volunteer at the food bank, helping in this critical outreach to those whose cupboards are very sparse.

In our First Corinthians reading today Paul reminds us that: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”

Outreach is just one of the many different opportunities Walton provides for us to walk in the footsteps of Jesus helping others known and unknown to us.

Here is what I know: Outreach is our largest committee and does such diverse ministry. Today we say thank-you to those who serve in Outreach and those who support it in one way or another.

Soon it will be income tax time. Have you been keeping all your receipts over 2021 you need for things like medical expenses to prepare your taxes? Some of us have accountants to prepare our taxes. Other people do it all themselves. But there are those who can neither do the income taxes themselves nor pay others to submit their taxes. Many government benefits can’t be received each year unless you file your taxes each year.

The Walton Outreach Committee has a team of volunteers who help those with modest income to file their taxes. This is a free service to those in the congregation and those in the communities which we serve, another hands-on way Walton helps others. Even during Covid, this tax preparation program has continued. In March and April, especially as I am working at my computer, I look out my office window and I see members of the Outreach team doing people’s taxes while socially distanced in the Walton parking lot, using their car hood or trunk lid as a table.

This is what I know: Walton is helping people one-on-one. What a practical service this truly is.

Did you receive any unusual Christmas gifts this year? This is one Christmas gift I received. It’s an apron. You see I am blessed to be able to work in Walton’s new commercial kitchen almost daily, and always wear an apron when washing dishes. I pray many of you later in 2022 will be able to spend time in the commercial kitchen as well. This gift apron has on it a ketchup bottle. The bottle says: Catch Up With Jesus. Lettuce Us Praise and Relish Him, cuz He loves me from my head To- mat-toes. I pray we can finally have a BBQ this September 2022 for Rally Day, and I will wear the apron.

Another of Walton’s Outreach ministries involves making sure many, many families – including many kids, both young and teens – receive Christmas gifts on December 25. Not unusual aprons, but gifts people who live on very meagre means truly relish, Our White Gift program reaches many families, allowing them to have a better Christmas.

As you are able and socially-distanced, please ask a member of the Outreach team what they personally know about helping others through their ministry. Let’s celebrate the Outreach Committee today. God bless their service.

Miracles Liturgy

Here’s a thought-provoking litany exploring faith and doubt, and the miracle-making of Jesus.  It comes from Grace Church in London.

Lord God,
You spoke into darkness and chaos and then there was light;
You imagined this earth in its complexity and beauty and called it into being
You created humanity in your own image and gave us a home to live in
We believe you can do miracles
But even if you don’t, you are still God

Lord God,
You walked with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego through the fiery furnace
You shut the mouths of hungry lions and kept Daniel safe until morning
You gave Hannah a family when she despaired of ever having a child
We believe you can do miracles
But even if you don’t, you are still God

Lord God,
You changed water into wine so the wedding party could continue
You calmed a storm and your disciples with words of quiet authority
You transformed a boy’s picnic into a meal for a multitude with plenty left over
We believe you can do miracles
But even if you don’t, you are still God

Lord God,
You healed a woman from 12 years of bleeding and rejection
You asked Bartimaeus what he wanted and then restored his sight
You watched a paralysed man being lowered through the roof and helped him to his feet
We believe you can do miracles
But even if you don’t, you are still God

Lord God,
You called Lazarus from the tomb and restored him to life
You walked past the mourners at Jairus’ house and gave his daughter back to him
You suffered a horrendous crucifixion  in order to defeat sin and death and give us life
We believe you can do miracles
But even if you don’t, you are still God

Lord God,
You told your disciples that they would do greater things than you had done
We hear and read stories of miracles in our world—of you healing the sick,
setting prisoners free, releasing drug addicts from their addiction,
providing the right amount of money at just the right time
We believe you can do miracles
But even if you don’t, you are still God

And yet, Lord, we don’t see many miracles happening around us
We have friends with cancer, and we pray, and they are not healed
We have friends who long for children, and we pray, and they do not conceive
Our doubt is mixed with faith
Our trust is accompanied by questions
We acknowledge the mystery of faith and prayer,  and the ways in which they are connected
We acknowledge that you often do things differently than the way we would do them
We long to know you better, to understand more of your ways
And we believe you can do miracles
But even if you don’t, you are still God

Lord we believe.
Help our unbelief

(written by Jen, and posted on the Grace website worship archive.  http://www.freshworship.org/)

Anthem:  “Beyond Ourselves Ensemble”

 

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts

As everything we have is a provision of our Creator, may we give back some of what we have been given, to help others less fortunate then we are. We are taught that giving is a blessing, and we know that we can never out-give God. Let us give of our tithes and offerings with cheerful hearts.

♥  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

Gracious God, you bless us with such an abundant supply, our every need met and with our cups overflowing, we thank you. Please accept our offerings so they may be used for the building of your kingdom here on earth.

We ask that you show us the ways that we can best serve you and use these gifts we offer to glorify you. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Pastoral Prayer: Sharing God’s Love for the World.

God our holy Friend, you allow to us share some of your love for the world. While we are here praying for the world’s healing, others are busy implementing that healing. Later, when we are out there trying to give of our best, may others remember to pray for us.

Give your grace to all peacemakers; those who endeavour to resolve with justice all conflicts between nations, and within communities, commerce and industry, parliaments, families, marriage partners, colleagues, and friends.

Let your grace support those who fight with and for neglected people; those small ethnic groups with no political clout, the little people who are being ripped off by the rich and unscrupulous, and the deserted wives or husbands who are raising a family alone.

Endow the merciful folk with your sustaining grace; those who treat diseases, bind up wounds, feed the hungry, re-settle the homeless, care for the orphan, visit the prisoner, encourage the handicapped, watch with the dying and grieve with the sorrowful.

Endorse the work of this church with your enabling grace. Keep it close to the agenda of Christ. Let us be joyful in worship, warm in fellowship, inclusive in outreach, open in decision making, humble and sensitive in evangelism, and gracious in our ecumenical endeavours.

Bless any servant of yours who is keeping the faith against the odds: those without the encouragement of other Christians at hand, or without even a distant congregation that can pray their names with affection. Please let your grace renew them daily, and may they know your Spirit as Friend and Counsellor.

Visit each of us with your grace, loving Friend. Dismantle our fears, build up our faith, deepen our love, clarify our goals, sharpen our insight, widen our compassion, and open our minds to the new words you wish to speak to our situation.

In the name of the patient, insightful, and healing Christ we offer these prayers. Amen.

(written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Homepage)

Benediction: (inspired by John 2: 1-11)

Go now from this place,  remembering that the God who calls us to mission also calls us to      feasting and dancing.

Let us remember that there are holy days described in the Jewish texts, in which there is to be no fasting, but eating, drinking, and sharing of miracles.

May the one who turned water into wine turn our tedium into festival, and show us how to alternate between commitment and carnival.

May God’s will be done here where we live; may impossible things come to pass.

May we find strength in the journey and joy in the struggle,  through the grace of God,

Amen.

(adapted by Katie Cook  From Sacred Seasons, Pentecost/Ordinary Time 2000. Posted on Simple Living Works)


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!

• The Servant Song
• When Hands Reach Out
• Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us With Your Love
• O for a World
• Make Me A Channel of Your Peace


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, January 12th