Virtual Service – January 22, 2023

2:00 pm

January 22, 2023

Virtual Service

Welcome to virtual church!

It’s Bring a Friend Sunday so please share this service with your friends!

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

We are hiring! Do you take pride in a job well done? Are you looking for a part-time opportunity to serve your community? Walton United Church is searching for a part-time weekend Building Superintendent / Custodian. This role is available as either a part-time employee position or as an external, independent contractor. The weekend superintendent/custodian is responsible for the weekend maintenance (Friday – Sunday) of the church building and property to ensure they are clean, safe, and well-maintained, as well as setting up / taking down rooms for scheduled activities and rentals.

For more details and information on how to apply — click here.

 

Offering Envelope @ Walton United Church, Oakville, OntarioGivings envelopes  – If you have not yet picked up your 2023 givings envelopes, please take a moment on your way out of church this morning to pick up your box from the back table. Envelopes may also be picked up in person during office hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 9:00am – 1:00pm.

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.

HPIC has a team building day offered to the Walton Outreach committee filling medical boxes on February 17th, be there for 8:45am,  packing 9-11am then break, pack continues  11:30-1:30pm, must be able to lift 25 pound boxes, closed toe shoes, bring reading glasses if you need them, follow covid rules, form must be filled out.10 Volunteers are needed. If you are interested, please contact Catherine through the church office.

Room Rentals @ Walton United ChurchRooms 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 and see our webpage for photos.

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

Val:Good morning, and welcome to Bring a Friend Sunday, which is also Name Tag Sunday.

Alison:  Did you notice on your name tag today we have the Armour of God?

Jim:   That is kind of a weird thing to have on the nametags, isn’t it?

Val:Funny, you aren’t the only person who has said that. But really it’s a great idea to use the Armour of God as that was the scriptural theme of our VBS last summer; “Knights of North Castle.”

Alison:It was a great week of fun, and everyone had a great time. It’s not just a week of learning about God; it’s a week of making friends. Our campers and volunteers come from all over the place, go to different schools, like different things, but the thing they have in common is God. God’s love for them, and God’s love they share with others.

Val:Yes, I love watching them grow in friendship, in sharing and caring for one another.  Friends truly are an amazing gift from God.

Jim:  I hope everyone here and those watching know that you always have a friend here at Walton. There is usually someone in the building most days of the week, and you are welcome to drop by,  but to be sure to get someone, I would recommend you call ahead.

Val:During Covid and it still continues, so many friends meet out back at the bench and then head off for a walk either by the creek or down to the pier. Some friends meet out on the benches out front and enjoy a coffee together and a catch up chat. Some friends just need to gather together outside around a fire, like the Fall Fruit of the Vine event in the parking lot.

Alison: Walton is a great place to make friends and to share some wonderful friendships as God works  in and through one another.

Jim:Let us join together in singing about our friend Jesus.

Hymn: “What a Friend We Have In Jesus”  verses 1 & 2 664VU

Call to Worship

One:Here I am Lord, I arrived on time, or I opened up the computer, or looked at my phone today.
All:  We’ve come because we need to meet you. Perhaps we’ve been asked to come, perhaps God is giving us a nudge to try to fill the empty feeling we’ve been feeling lately.
One:We may have come out of habit, because this is what we do Sunday morning.
All:  We come because we hope the music will lift our spirits.
One:We have come because we are hungry for your Word, for hope, for meaning.
All:  We come to hear scripture, to be reminded of what you call us to do.
One:We have come because we feel alone.
All:  We come because we want to be in community with our church family and friends.
One:    We have come because we are looking for your love and peace,
All:  We’ve come because you offer that peace and love, and you are the friend we need most of all, Jesus.

One:Here we are Lord. Touch each of us gathered here in your presence, for when two or more of us are gathered in your name.

All:  We worship you, shape us into the people and the family of faith you want us to be.

Opening Litany

One:We bid you welcome if this is your first time here.We welcome you who come with a weary spirit seeking rest.
All:Who come with troubles that are too much with you,  who come hurt and afraid
One:We bid you welcome who come with hope in your heart.
All:Who come with anticipation in your step, who come proud and joyous.
One:We bid you welcome who are seekers of new faith.
All:Who come to probe and explore, who come to learn.
One:We bid you welcome who enter this place as a homecoming.
All:Who have found here room for your spirit, who find in this people a home.
One:Whoever you are, whatever you are, wherever you are on your journey,we bid you welcome.
Adapted  Brevard Episcopal Mission Order of Service, posted on the Worship Well website

9:30 Junior Choir with Video  “You Got a Friend in Me”

 

Opening Prayer

One:  O Lord, please bless our friendship.

All:Our friendship is like a long steady soft rain. It’s not so harsh that it will destroy. Yet it is not so soft that it goes unnoticed. Our friendship is growing in your grace. 

One:Please bless our friendship, and keep it holy at all times.

All:Friendship is a gift from you, O Lord, and we thank you.  May our friendship always produce the fruits of the spirit. And may the soft rain of our friendship nourish the heart forever.  Amen. 

(anonymous)

One:And let us say together the prayer our friend, Jesus taught us:

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.

9:30 Youth Hymn:  “Be Strong In The Lord”

 

11:00 Youth Hymn: “Jesus Loves Me”  verse 1 365VU

 

Youth Story: “The Banner”

For some reason, there is a ladder set up in the chancel, with a bundle on top of it. What could it be?

Alison: How many of you were part of our Knights of North Castle VBS last year? A lot of us started off the week as total strangers, yet we were friends by the end of it. What a gift friendship is; it’s just as wonderful to give it as to receive it. I’m so glad you are all my friends. And welcome to any new friends who came here on this Bring A Friend Sunday. Hopefully we’ll see many of our VBS friends back again next summer. Val, do you remember what the Biblical theme was last year?

Val: Last year? I can’t remember what I did last week! Do any of you remember? The Armour of God. Not metal armour that real knights wear, but the different armour God gives us to protect ourselves from bad choices and bad feelings. In camp we even made our own pieces of armour. Who remembers what they were?

Belt of Truth
Breastplate of Justice
Shoes of Peace
Shield of Faith
Helmet of Salvation

Alison: We were very blessed last year to have Kathy Morch as our craft leader. Each year she comes up with creative ideas and leads the campers in building and creating the most amazing crafts and keepsakes. Last year she did something more. Her vision was for the campers to create something the whole congregation could enjoy for many years. So many hands worked together in friendship on this project. Are you ready to see it? I think we need a drumroll…

Val opens the bundle and a quilted banner in the shape of a stained glass window is revealed.

Val: What do you see in this banner? A stained glass window, like the ones in our church. The different pieces of the Armour of God. The individual crests that each camper designed and made. And here are the names of everyone who worked on this project. Someday when you’re all grown up, one of you might come into the church and look for your name on this banner. You’ll read all the other names and remember those friends and all the fun you had with them at VBS. This fabric banner is now part of the fabric of Walton, with all the love and friendship woven right into it. I’m going to turn this over now to Rev. Jim, to officially dedicate it.

Dedication of the Banner

Jim thanks Kathy Morch along with the children who made the banner, dedicates it, and leads the congregation in prayer.

VBS 2023 Announcement

Alison: Speaking of VBS, we have one more thing to unveil…our camp theme for 2023! Can I get another drumroll?

After drumroll, Galactic Starveyors promo video plays

 

Val: Galactic Starveyors is going to be out of this world! I’m over the moon about it! (Jim and Alison groan)

Alison: I think a lot of people are going to be excited, because it is the number-one VBS program and music that we get requests for. Every year I get asked if we are ever going to have Galactic Starveyors again and this year, the answer is yes! It won’t be exactly the same as before, with some fresh ideas and new adventures, but the Biblical message remains the same: All things have been created through Him and for Him.

Val: We’ll still have our favourite songs though, right?

Alison: Absolutely! We saved all our DVDs and program materials so we could use them again – this helps us also be good financial stewards for the church and to be environmentally responsible. We won’t need to order a bunch of new books and posters and worksheets.

Val: I can’t wait! It’s going to be so much fun. Let’s grab our friends and go to Sunday School and Youth Group – maybe we can talk about VBS more down there.

(Children and youth leave)

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

9:30 Chancel Choir: “Raise Your Hands”

11:00 Video “Raise Your Hands”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erjj9IqujY8

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 6:10-20  Susan Sheppard, Rachel Hawes

The Armour of God

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.  Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,  for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

Scripture Response: “Surely It is God Who Saves Me”(First Song of Isaiah ) refrain 74GB

Morning Message:  “Friendship Is A Blessing” Rev. Jim Gill

Welcome, welcome, welcome. If you have been invited by someone to church today, a huge welcome!

An anonymous writer wrote in this tribute to a friend: “ Friendship is a blessing, and a friend is the channel through whom great emotional, spiritual, and sometimes even physical blessings flow. Friends can cheer us when we’re sorrowful or depressed. Friends can challenge us when we allow ourselves to get beyond our reasonable boundaries. Friends can motivate us when we’re ready to give in, and they can provide for us when life falls apart.They are there when all is well, and when we want someone with whom to share life’s pleasant and memorable moments. We often just want them around to have a good time, to laugh, to act silly, to enjoy some mutually-liked activity. In how many ways have friends enriched our lives and made us feel loved, accepted, respected and cared for? Probably too many to list, and the list grows daily. It is safe to say that when God created the world and all the majestic things in it, when he streaked the heavens with radiant color and the earth with grand mountains and awe-inspiring canyons, when he painted the plains with waving grasses and erected noble forests of towering trees, he outdid it all by creating friends.”

Bring a Friend Sunday is when churches encourage their people of all ages to reach out and invite friends and family to a special service where friendship is honoured and encouraged.Thank you friends for being here.

Everyone involved in last summer’s VBS camp has been invited here today. Welcome to you as well.

Our bible reading today is the biblical focus of last summer’s VBS. It is Ephesians 6:10-20. I must offer a disclaimer here. This is a controversial passage for some. I know some preachers who would never use this text for Sunday services let alone VBS. Let me explain.  Doug Bratt from the Centre of Excellence in Preaching writes, “Of course, Ephesians 6’s military imagery makes at least some Christians nervous.  We, after all, continue to witness the effects of war on those who wage, lose and even win it.  We’ve also witnessed the abuses of Paul’s imagery that have been misguided wars like the Crusades.  What’s more, we’re committed to loving God above all and our neighbours, including our enemies, as much as we love ourselves.”

To me, this passage from Ephesians is not Paul writing to encourage war-like behaviour. Rather Paul is saying protect yourself. Being a Christian is not easy. There are those forces which will oppose you. Be safe. Be ready. Be on guard. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Paul says, “Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil.”  The devil, the evil one, the powers of darkness, whatever word or imagery you want to use, there are those at odds with Jesus’ message to love our neighbour like ourselves.

Val and Alison have explained to you why the tall yellow ladder, why this banner, why individual patches like a quilt and why campers’ names at the bottom. We had our grand unveiling this morning. We thank Kathy Morch for the creative vision and all her work putting this project together. The roots of VBS (aka Vacation Bible School) go back to the 1870s . It is usually a week in the summer but can also be held the week of March Break. Many of last summer’s junior leaders and high school volunteers attended VBS themselves as children ,starting in SK.

This banner was made in 2022, which was our first VBS at Walton since July 2019.

–You will note the banner is formed in the style of the wooden 1912 sanctuary windows, which the town of Oakville has designated historically significant. You can see the white and black wooden historical plaque on the east side of the main double wooden tower doors and the brass plaque on the west side. Take a look after the service.

–At the top of the window on the banner is faith  – about which Paul says, “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” A shield protects us. Think of the face shield a welder wears when joining two pieces of steel together. Faith shields us, whatever we face.

–So we are to put on the full armour of God, Paul encourages us. Sitting at the manse dining room table about 6:10pm each evening I see a young man on an electric scooter go zipping down Jones Street at full speed. He is wearing dark clothes and has no light on the front or the back. Recall what time sunset is at this time of year. He has no leather gloves, knee or elbow pads, or helmet. Worst of all, he zips through the four way stop, never stopping, or even slowing down. Paul would say wear your safety equipment! Put on the armour to protect yourself.

Now to the four patches on our VBS banner

Truth: “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.” Ever reached up to change a light bulb or reach for something on a high shelf, and then your pants fall down? How embarrassing. Belt not tight enough. Paul says truth is like a belt firmly done up around your waist. Nothing will embarrass you by not telling the truth.

Justice “And having been clothed with the breastplate of justice.” Some versions say “ righteousness” instead of “ justice,“ but our banner uses justice. Goalie pads protect the goalie from the slap shots of pucks shot at you. Being just and pursuing justice pads you and I against the slap shots of life.

Peace  “and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” How often do you see people riding a motorcycle in flip flops? If they touch the hot muffler or fall off, there’s no protection. Peace of the gospel gives us protection when facing the dangers of life.

Salvation  “Take the helmet of salvation” My daughter’s crashed on her first day trying to ride a bike, hitting sand on a paved road. Her bike helmet saved the day. The helmet cracked and had to be thrown out, but her head was ok. God’s saving power protects us from the rough patches on the road of life.

Friends, thanks for being here today. Please join us for coffee hour in Bronte Hall following the service. You are welcome at that time to come forward for a closer look at this armour banner.

Prayers of the People

Heavenly Father, you call us to be your friends and to make friends of others – more even, to recognize in them our brothers and sisters, your family in Christ. So we pray for ourselves and for the world and its people:

We pray for all areas in the world where deep divisions run between ethnic groups because of race, religion or past history. Lord, help your people to be your friends and to make friends – your family in Christ.

We pray for our communities where different traditions shape different outlooks on things. Lord, help your people to listen well to each other, that we may learn to live together knowing that, though different, we are your family in Christ.

We pray for our own families where growing up is difficult, where harsh words spoken in anger are not easily taken back, and hurtful or thoughtless actions are endangering relationships. Lord, empower your children to be patient, slow to anger and to become wise in their speaking and acting as your family in Christ.
In your ever loving and forgiving name we pray.

Amen

adapted by Rev. Andrea Price, and posted on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday website

11:00 Solo

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

We do not come to church to be blessed for our personal fix; we come to church because of the privilege it is to be part of the gospel mandating us to be blessers.  Hence we do not come to church to take from the offering plate, though this has happened, and there are no doubt times when it should happen, but we come to participate in that glorious dream or mandate of giving and sharing for a renewed reaction.  So we add something to the offering plate.  We celebrate that all time is giving time for God. Now it’s giving time for us.
We give our offering.
David Lander, The Gathering, A/C/E 2010/11

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Offering Hymn: “Thank you Lord on This Day”

Offering Prayer

One:Lord, you give us life,
All: a life to share with others.
One:Christ, you give us faith,
All:a faith to share with others.
One:Spirit, you give us hope,
All:a hope to share with others.
One:Lord, Christ, Spirit, bless this moment of giving as we pray that these gifts we offer will reveal to the world that the Kingdom of God is at hand!
All:Amen.
Sandy Ferguson, The Gathering A/C/E 2010/11

Hymn: “Be Thou My Vision”  verses 1,3,5, 642VU

Benediction

As we leave this time together, my friends, let us remember what we learned today, and let’s go out into the world, confident in knowing God made us just the way we are for a reason, and that we should be using those gifts to build God’s kin-dom here on Earth. Don’t be afraid to befriend someone and bring someone the gift of God’s hope, love and peace this week. Amen.

Closing Hymn: “You Shall Go Out with Joy” 884VU

Announcements

Scripture Readers: Susan Sheppard, Rachel Hawes
Soloist: Linda Fletcher


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, January 18, 2023