Virtual Service – January 23, 2022

8:30 am

January 23, 2022

Virtual Service

Welcome to virtual church!

Today’s service will be offered in 2 formats – video and text.

♦ View the video below
♦ Read this week’s announcements and complete service on our website
♦  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.

Video:

 


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.
♦  Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. In our Bible story this week we’re really upping the “ewwwww” factor!
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.


Honouring the Land and Territory

Halton Region, as we know it today, is rich in the history and modern traditions of many First Nations and the Métis. From the lands of the Anishinabe to the Attawandaron, the Haudenosaunee, and the Métis, these lands surrounding the Great Lakes are steeped in Indigenous history. 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.  You know, we have started many services out here in front of the sign. We have gotten sun stroke, enjoyed the lovely autumn colours, and filmed when it was snowing, but never have we had this much snow. Isn’t it lovely though?

Today Sunday is Bring a Friend Sunday at Walton. And friends are helping out friends aren’t they?  Yes they have been, with shovelling and plowing, snow blowers going house to house. It has been fantastic watching how neighbours have been working together.  Friends and communities came together to deal with this exceptional snowfall this week.

Thank you for joining us in this virtual service. Thank you for being our friends.

Come let us worship.

Call to Worship

(Congregational Affirmation – based on 1 Corinthians 12: 12-31)

One: The body is a unit, made up of many parts.
Two: Are all prophets?
One: Do any speak in tongues?
All: We are the body of Christ.

One: We are baptized by one Spirit and given one Spirit to drink.
Two: Are any healers?
One: Do all work miracles?
All: We are the body of Christ.

One: If one part suffers, all suffer with it. When one part is honoured, all are honoured with it.
Two: Are all apostles?
One: Do any interpret?
All: We are the body of Christ.

One: God has bound us together as the church, so that we might share the good news that God’s realm is at hand.
Two: Are any leaders?
One: Do all teach?
Two: For we are the body of Christ,
All: Gathered in love to worship the One who brings us life.

( written by Torin Eikler, co-pastor Morgantown Church of the Brethren, West Virginia. Posted on the Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren website. http://rockhay.tripod.com/worship/)

Opening Prayer

Creator God, we praise you and thank you for empowering us to be part of the body of Christ, a gift received through your grace. Empower us to acknowledge each one of us as unique, not one of us is the same and we thank you God that you gift each of us differently. May we, as the body of Christ in this time of worship be the best evidence of your love, of your hope, of your peace. Help us to be good friends and neighbours and extend ourselves as the body of Christ to others, sharing God’s word and love to others in everything we do.

Amen.

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 – “Better Together”

Good morning! Aren’t we blessed to have so many friends on this Bring A Friend Sunday?  I bet you and your friends aren’t exactly the same. You look different, maybe like different things and believe in different ideas, yet somehow you just fit together.

It’s like salt and pepper, or cheese and crackers. I like them both, and they each taste good on their own, but they are so much better when you put them together!

Or like a piece of toast. It’s ok plain, but isn’t it so much better with a big blob of ooey, gooey, yummy jam on it?

Friends make everything better. They make life better. The Bible even talks about friends. Here’s what it says: “if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

That’s what good friends do, isn’t it? We lift each other up. Sometimes you’re the one doing the lifting; other times you’re the one who needs a hand up. That’s how we share God’s love with each other.

So today, on this Bring A Friend Sunday, I want you to check in with your friends. See who might be feeling down and needs you to pick them up. Or maybe you’re the one who could use a hug, or a laugh, or some help right now.

Friends are one of God’s greatest gifts. Let’s thank him for that.

Loving God, thank you for the blessing of friendship. Thank you for making us each unique by ourselves, but making us better and stronger together. Guide us to reach out and help those who need a hand, and to reach out when we feel down and need to be picked up. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Anthem: “Building a Circle of Love”

 

Scripture Reading:  Corinthians 12: 12- 31

One Body with Many Members

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.  For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

 Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.

If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.

And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be?  But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.  If all were a single member, where would the body be?

As it is, there are many members, yet one body.  The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”  On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,  and those members of the body that we think less honourable we clothe with greater honour, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect;  whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honour to the inferior member,  that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.

 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.  And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then deeds of power, then gifts of healing, forms of assistance, forms of leadership, various kinds of tongues.  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?  Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?  But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

Morning Message:  “Here’s What I Know” – Part 2 — Rev. Jim Gill

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 actually listen, I often learn an important life lesson. Often it is our friends who can teach us the most in life. They know us and can offer lessons that are so critical for us to learn, if we just open our ears and hearts.

However, the danger is wanting to impress others with what we know rather than being open to hearing what others know. I don’t know about you, but I find it so frustrating watching 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.

Today I continue my series of messages entitled, “Here’s what I know” about life lessons for us in these early days of 2022.

Let me ask you today about your friends. Are they all the same? Do they have the same interests, histories, priorities and passions? Or are they different with unique characteristics and personalities? Today is our annual Bring a Friend Sunday. It is a Sunday, usually in January, where we invite our friends to church and encourage them to be part of our worship and fellowship.

With our live services paused, this year we can enjoy Bring a Friend Sunday by sharing our virtual services on social media or emailing the link to the weekly virtual services to our friends. All ages are welcome to bring a friend virtually, and we pray that in the near future we can bring friends to live worship as well.

One of the great blessings of life are friends, especially in these days of isolation and social distancing. A friend is a blessing even if we see them only across a chilly driveway or on a screen. They are still the gift we give thanks for today in worship.

In today’s reading, Paul knows about all the varieties of friends. In this case the varieties of friends we may have in Christ or through church life called the body of Christ.  Not seeing these people every week in worship after March 20/20 is one the great struggles of Covid. It was such a blessing on those 9 Sundays we held live worship again leading up to Advent Four, 2021. But we have overcome and persevered, connecting as able with friends.

Masks, while essential, can limit those connections. I walked by a church friend who was wearing both a mask and winter hat and did not realize who it was until they recognized me and called out, “Jim!” I so appreciate it when people see me and I don’t see them, and they call out my name across the grocery aisle or across the street. Bring a Friend has now become more Find a Friend whether at Rexall or Metro or Home Hardware.

Paul says, “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” In Corinthians Paul describes you and I as all being parts of the body of Christ. However here the critical point is we all differ in what parts we are. Paul knew this important truth. Some of us are legs, while others are eyes, and still others are hands.  It is sort of like our friends. We may have school friends, work friends, a sport-we-play friends, neighbourhood friends and friends in Christ.

In fact our church friends are even in scripture called more than friends; they are called our sisters and brothers in Christ. Ever hear the expression, “my brother from another mother?” It is not about step-brothers, but how friends can be like family.

Paul knows,” As it is, there are many parts, but one body.” Ever wondered what part of the body you are? On this Sunday do you wonder what type of friend you are? Friends are not all the same and do not need to be just alike.

Paul wisely says, “And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?” All good questions. Ponder what part of the body you may be, from the knee to the knuckle, the shoulder to the shin, the hip to the hair.

I began this message by saying, “Have you ever realized that everyone can teach you something?”  As I was working on today’s message I was also working on the Annual Report for 2021. I came across something Val wrote in the 2019 Annual Report on this passage scripture on the body of Christ. Here’s what she knows and I share it with you on this Bring a Friend Sunday. I hope it will bless you.

 1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now you are the body of Christ, and each of you is a member of it.”

Inclusion, being part of the family, each one of us as the body of Christ, is a special and important part of our Walton family.  It’s not what we do, but how God works in us, and through us. Whether that is the newborn baby who played baby Jesus this year at the Storyteller’s Kids Service, when a little girl came up to me and said “That is really Baby Jesus, right?”  Or the wonderful 95-year-old gentleman who brought in an amazing picture to share on Remembrance Day, with a piece of metal of the plane he was flying in during the war attached to it.  Sharing his memories and stories of life back then, helping those of us who will continue the stories onto the next generation, showing our gratefulness of helping one another in such an awful time in war.

Or it’s the teen who is working hard to overcome their anxiety, and is able to share their gift of music on Sunday mornings because someone told them how much it meant to have them play, cause they can no longer play because of the arthritis in their fingers. Or it’s the daughter who made that huge pot of soup and then got some help to drop it off at “Mom’s” house (9 different Moms’ houses) cause Mom is finding it hard cooking for just one person.

Val continued by quoting Romans 12:5, “So in Christ we who are many are one body, and each member belongs to one another.”

Each person in the family of God shares their love and life through Jesus Christ and we are called to grow and learn in our faith and care for and respect, and love and serve one another. Family of God. God has brought us all here together to teach, grow, learn, and be in a faith community, a family of faith.

There is a place for everyone; slide over or pull up a chair; just come. Can’t come each week? That’s ok, we look forward to seeing you when you can be here!

We pray for you. We watch for you. We look forward to welcoming you home, back with the Walton family with acceptance, forgiveness, respect and joy. You are here and God is so glad you have found your way back. And so are we!

I think these are important lessons Val shared 3 years ago before Covid. They are even more true today.

So as I was working on this message, at the very same time this clip on the screen behind me came up in an email  titled, “You Got a Friend.” It was sent by a Walton sister in Christ. It shows different types of animals befriending each other. Here are a few minutes of it as I end today’s words.

Pastoral Prayer

Let us pray to the Lord,
who is our refuge and stronghold.

For the health and well-being of our nation,
that all who are fearful and anxious
may be at peace and free from worry:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For the isolated and housebound,
that we may be alert to their needs,
and care for them in their vulnerability:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For our homes and families,
our schools and young people,
and all in any kind of need or distress:
Lord, hear us,
Lord, graciously hear us.

For a blessing on our local community,
that our neighbourhoods may be places of trust and friendship,
where all are known and cared for:
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.

(The Church of England Coronavirus (COVID-19) liturgy and prayer resources)

Anthem:  “He Put a New Song in My Heart”

 

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit. ~ 1 Cor. 12:4

Was Puccini’s music for his ears alone?
Or was Starry Night only for Van Gogh’s eyes?
Are discerners of spirits better than those who prophesy?
Is it better to be a healer than a preacher?
Was Mother Teresa more important than the Jesuit brother who held the door?
Is red a better colour than blue?
All gifts are from the same Spirit.
They are each a part of the whole and given to each of us for each other or for the common good.
Lord, help us understand.
Thank you for all gifts.
Our offering will now be received.
(adapted by Anne Osdieck.  Posted on The Sunday Website of Saint Louis University.)

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Offering Prayer

Loving God, On my own what I have to give doesn’t amount to much in the light of all you have given to me and in the face of so much need. Put together as a congregation, as the body of Christ,  what we offer you here in love becomes more, not simply added together, but somehow multiplied in its usefulness.

We ask you to bless our gifts and with the addition of your blessing, just as it was with the loaves and fishes, there is enough for all. Amen

(adapted from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand website http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/)

Benediction

As we close, I’m going to invite you to rise as you are able and we will end with a prayer—in our bodies.

(First I invite you to place your hands over your heart): Breathe in the love of God in Christ. May God’s Spirit hold your heart. May God’s Spirit transform us to know love. May we be a people of love and freedom.

(Now holding out your hands): We hold out our hands to receive with joy the goodness of the love of God in our bodies. May these hands which cook and clean and mend be hands that heal, hands that restore, hands that create.

(Now to our minds and heads): May our minds be filled with the goodness of the love of God. May we think and reason together. May we seek and pursue this goodness of God. We give you thanks for this.

(And to our lips): May laughter and kindness, may the celebration of ourselves as persons who speak words of life, be ours.

(And one last one—hug yourself with your arms):  You are loved by God. In this body. Breathe in God’s Spirit. Celebrate and dance. Pray and serve…in your body. And may you be the body of God and the witness to Christ together.

In all things, oh good God, we give you thanks.  Amen.

(by Sara Wilhelm Garbers)

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!

♦ Part of the Family. verses 1,2
♦ Here I am Lord
♦ You Have Searched Me Lord and Known Me
♦ What a Friend We Have in Jesus
♦ Thank you, Lord, On This Day

 

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, January 19, 2022