Virtual Service – January 24, 2021

8:30 am

January 24, 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

• Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online.

• 2020 Tax Receipts have been sent out
Emailed tax receipts were sent on Friday 15th January. The email contains a temporary one-click link to download your tax receipt. The link expires on 30th January, so for easiest access to your receipt please open the email and use the link by this date. After the link expires you can still access your receipt by logging in to your donor account.
If you receive your receipt by email and haven’t seen it yet please check your spam/junk folder for an email from no-reply@churchcenter.com, subject “Your 2020 Tax Receipt from Walton”.
Paper tax receipts were mailed out on Tuesday, January 19th. If you currently get yours by mail but would prefer to receive it faster next year, you can sign up for emailed receipts by contacting stuart@waltonmemorial.com

• 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


Welcome

Good Morning Val, would you like a nametag?
(Val has many, many nametags on)

Thanks, Jim, I think I have quite a few, don’t I? These are all the different names I’m known by, some are good names, and some I would rather not talk about, please? You mean Licorice Queen? Yes, maybe…. my favourites are Mommy and Nanny.

You know that is kind of a fun thing to do to name off all the names that you are known by and who you are those names to?.

It is fun and makes me very grateful for all the people in my life, the blessings that have come from being all these different names to so many different, special people in my life.

Those of you joining us in worship this morning, take a little time to think of all the names you are known by and give thanks for those wonderful relationships and blessings you have received. Let us join together in worship this Bring a Friend, Name-tag Sunday.

Call to Worship

One: Here I am Lord, I opened up the computer, or looked at my phone today.
All: We’ve come because we need to meet you.

One: We may have come out of habit, or this is what I do Sunday morning….
All: We come because we hope the music will lift our spirits.

One: We’ve 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 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.

Friendship Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up their friend. But woe to someone, who is alone when they fall and has not another to lift them up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a threat might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand the threat, a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (adapted)

 Friendship Prayer & Lord’s Prayer

O Lord, please bless our friendship. 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. Please bless our friendship, and keep it holy at all times. 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)

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

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: “Friendship – Reaching Out and Holding On….”

This is one of my favourite pictures, do you think it is God reaching out to me, or me reaching out to God?

Or maybe it is both, which is which? God’s love and friendship is like we should be with our friends, God blesses us with friendships. To be there during the good times and to help us, or carry us, in the not so good times. To check-in and check on one another and be there for each other. Notice how God helps us with our friendships helping us to be aware, loving, caring, reminding us, nudging us to reach out beyond ourselves. God evidently does not intend us to be rich or powerful, but he does intend us all to be friends. What a blessing that is!

Let us pray: Loving God, You have blessed us with the gift of friendship, the bonding of persons in a circle of love. We thank you for such a blessing: for friends who love us, who share our sorrows, who laugh with us in celebration, who bear our pain, who need us as we need them, who weep as we weep, who hold us when words fail, and who give us the freedom to be ourselves. Bless our friends with health, wholeness, life, and love. Amen

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 3: 1-11, Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-18

1 Samuel 3: 1-11
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down.

The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.”

Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Then the Lord said to Samuel, “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle.

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it

For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed. How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! I try to count them—they are more than the sand; I come to the end—I am still with you.

Morning Message: “If Samuel Had a Name Tag” – Rev. Jim Gill

What were the top baby names for girls in 2020 in Canada?

      1. Olivia
      2. Emma
      3. Mia
      4. Sophia
      5. Zoey

How about the top baby names for boys in 2020 in Canada?

      1. Liam
      2. Jackson
      3. Noah
      4. Lucas
      5. Oliver

Everyone has a name. What is the story behind your name? Why was it given? Maybe you are named after a relative or friend of the family. Maybe you have a Biblical name. My Mom was reading a book during her pregnancy with the name Cameron as one of the main characters in it, hence my middle name. Back when I could do pastoral visits in the hospital it was always a challenge to find a room for a person who is known by their middle name but their Health Card, under which the hospital registers them, is in their first name.

Maybe you have a pet name or nickname you are generally known by. Your name is important to you and to others. Today is our annual Name Tag / Bring a Friend Sunday. Maybe you can invite a friend to a watch party and share this service together. Usually, on this day our worship committee hands out name tags to everyone in the church. We also promote ordering Walton name tags like the one I am wearing now. It’s important to get to know people’s names in our church family. Hence the Walton photo directories we produce every 4 or 5 years and why they are so important.

Philippians 2: 9 tells us, “Therefore God exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.” Name-giving was so important in Biblical times.

The Bible Society lists 6 reasons why names are important in the Bible:
1. A biblical name could record some aspects of a person’s birth.
2. Biblical names sometimes expressed the parents’ reaction to the birth of their child.
3. Biblical names were sometimes used to secure the solidarity of family ties.
4. Biblical names could be used to communicate God’s message.
5. Biblical names were also used to establish an affiliation with God.
6. Biblical names were given to establish authority over another or to indicate a new beginning or new direction in a person’s life.

Some of you have a popular Biblical name like Mary or John. Maybe you don’t even realize you have biblical names but do with names such as Joanna and Justus. Look up your own name’s meaning sometime to see if there are biblical origins. In my case James means “supplanter or replacer, and may God protect.”

Today’s Bible passage is one of my favourite Hebrew Scriptures passages. It is this moving story of Samuel and Eli. The boy Samuel lying in his bed at night kept thinking the much older Eli was calling out to the younger Samuel for his help. You see God does not give up on us. God may change the approach but God is still calling our names. After the third time this happened in the bible story when Samuel went to help Eli after hearing his name called out, Eli realized God was calling Samuel.

In John 15:15 Jesus tells us that, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” The Good News in this story is that God has not stopped calling us. It did not end with the boy Samuel. The classic hymn titled “What a Friend we have in Jesus” reminds us of those words I just shared with you earlier – Jesus is our friend.

Most importantly, our friend Jesus still calls you and me the way Jesus called the first of his original 12 disciples from their work fishing by the Sea of Galilee. Sometimes too I find, here and now, that Jesus calls us through our friends who are believers. We hear our individual name being called by our friends in the faith as instruments of the Almighty. Jesus uses our friends to call us by name. Just as God uses our friends to answer our prayers, so Jesus uses our friends to call us in Samuel-like ways.

In John Chapter 1 we hear how Jesus used a friend to bring another friend to Jesus. “43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” So Jesus used Philip to call his fishing buddy Nathaniel.”
This month is Val’s 25th anniversary working at Walton Church. It happened in a similar way to Philip the fisherman being called, that is Val coming here to this congregation.

Claudia was our intern at Walton that year, 25 years ago. Claudia was one of a line of 20 student minister interns we welcomed here over the course of two decades. Claudia went to her friend Val and said, “Apply at Walton, for you would be so suited to the position they have just created for Youth Leader.” Val heard God using her friend Claudia to call her here to Walton. Val listened and responded, and the rest is both history and blessing to us. From her initial part-time job, at 6.9 hours a week, to her full-time role now as Family Ministries Coordinator and so much more, Val has helped Walton through a few times of great crisis and led us through times of great joy.

There is a lesson for all of us here. We just need to be quiet and focused enough to hear and listen like Samuel did thousands of years ago, laying down his head to rest, and like Val did 25 years ago. Then we need to echo the words the elder Eli taught the boy Samuel to respond with: “Speak, Lord, for your servant, is listening.’” Eli mentored Samuel in how to both hear and respond to God’s call. It is a two-step process. First, we hear. Second, we respond.
Today we give thanks for our friends and the true blessing of friendship. But I hope I have left you all with a new view of your Christian friends. I hope you see that God is using your friends to call your name, to call you to minister, to step out in faith, whatever your name may be.

Pastoral Prayer

Thank you, God, that you are with us always, that your presence is mighty, and you hear our prayers on behalf of us, and those we love. We ask that you would show yourself strong on their behalf. Remind them and us that nothing is too difficult for you, and you are leading us through this challenging time, covering us in your care. That your healing power is always with us.

We know and believe beyond any doubt, that your power and love will never fail. You are always trustworthy. You are all-powerful. You are fully able. You are Lord over every situation no matter how difficult it may seem as we journey through those scary, awkward times.

You are our healer and will never waste the pain we carry today. You promise to use all things for good in some way because you are a God of miracles and nothing is too difficult for you.

Thank you that you fight for us, even when we can’t see all that you’re doing, even when we can’t fully understand your ways. We know that nothing can ever separate us from your great love and care, and our loved ones are safe in your hands.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

(adapted Debbie McDaniell)

Anthem: “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” M. Hayes

 

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Thank you, God, that people are reaching out to one another for help, for food, for peace and calmness, for hope and acceptance. Help us to step forward and offer what gifts we are able to share, Your Word, Your love and Your hope with others. The offering will now be received.

♥ by secure online payment from your bank or credit card – waltonmemorial.com/donate

*Important Note*Please enter the donation in one person’s name (preferably the name shown on the credit/debit card) even if you give jointly with another person. As with cheques and cash, donations made online are automatically credited to both adults in the same household regardless of which one made the donation.

♥ 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

We are today because of our faith and fellowship with our faith community and beyond. Help us to be generous, because you have blessed us with grace and gifts beyond imagination. We share those gifts to do Your work here in our Halton community but also all around the world. We share your hope and love to bring your Light to the world. Amen.

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.


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 from Wednesday, January 20th