Virtual Service – January 31, 2021

8:30 am

January 31, 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

•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

• 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

We are standing outside Wesley Mission here in Hamilton.  We have talked about the Mission a lot, and we have supported this Mission for a long time. Back when I was the Youth Group Leader we used to write and prepare a service for the people who came to Wesley, then when the service was over, we would go downstairs and serve the meals that were so lovingly prepared by many hands from Walton.  Such amazing learning, caring and serving lessons were shared during these times of blessing, we met some incredible people, and learned many life lessons. When I close my eyes right now… faces flash before me…

Walton’s Outreach Committee and congregation have been prayer warriors and angels all at the same time to so many who use the Wesley Programs.

Call to Worship

One: One person is not enough.
All: Together we are powerful.

One: The world’s problems are many and great.
All: Together we can change the world.

One: So many people are in need!
All: Together we can help them! God calls us today to pray for one another, to share what we have with one another, to love our neighbours as ourselves.

Opening Prayer

O God, who cares for us, God’s people, call us to be caring people in this world. Teach us to look around with clear vision and see others as they are; others in need of food, shelter, kindness and love. Help us to guard children, uphold caregivers and welcome refugees, both those from outside our country and those within it. We need your help, O Lord, to tear off our blinders, which allow us to see only our own needs, those of our family and our close-knit group. In this Outreach service, we ask that you teach us to accept Your guidance, to love others and to be the hands of Your Son, the Christ. Amen.

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

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 Choir: “A Song of Sharing”

Youth Story: Sleeping Children Around the World

A world in which every child benefits from the comfort of a good night’s sleep. Our Mission: Through free-will donations and in partnership with our volunteers, we give bedkits to needy children in developing countries, thus helping each child to have a good night’s sleep.

Val and Jim talk about all the neat things that go into the $35.00 Sleeping Children’s Bedkit, a mattress, a blanket, mosquito netting, a school bag, pencil/pen, paper, a book, perhaps sandals, a t-shirt, shorts, a flashlight. Part of Sleeping Children’s work is to also have the items that go into the Bedkit manufactured and made in the area the bedkits are being given, it teaches skills and provides an income opportunity for the families involved. What a great program. Val is going to give Larry for his birthday a Sleeping Children Bedkit to help a child somewhere in the world. Jim explains how you can go to the Walton website and sign up to donate to Sleeping Children. What a wonderful gift to share with someone!

Scripture Reading: Matthew 25: 34-40, Luke 5: 17-23

Matthew 25: 34-40
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

Luke 5: 17-23 – Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man
One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?

Morning Message: Outreach Sunday – “Sleeping Children” Rev. Jim Gill

During this pandemic even more than usual there is no place like home. Our home bubble with the people we live with is critical to our health and safety when facing Covid. Stay home, we are told. Only leave home for essentials. I think for many of us, the best part of our homes is not the La-Z-Boy or even the fridge, but our own beds. We have less vehicle and aircraft traffic since the first lockdown; it’s so much quieter to sleep, especially with the windows open and fresh air coming in that is cleaner than it has been for years. But there are many in our world who do not have a safe home or a comfortable bed like the ones we sleep in every night.

Your Walton Outreach Committee constantly tries to be faithful stewards of the money you donate to their committee through your regular church offerings and the fundraisers they hold throughout the year like Walton’s Pancake Dinner and the Fun Fair, using those funds to support community organizations working with the most vulnerable people. Today I want to talk about a ministry that has always been high on the Outreach Committee’s list for support. But just don’t take my word for it; in 2020 Macleans Magazine rated this organization as one of the Top 100 Best Charities in Canada.

Some of you know I grew up in central Etobicoke. Walton is blessed with great youth programming through our junior and senior youth group gatherings on Friday nights and Sunday mornings, and our Youth Choir Thursday nights and most Sunday mornings. During my church youth group years, I still remember hearing another Etobicoke resident speak about the charity that he and his wife had just started. Murray Dryden was the speaker. He was also the father of Hockey Hall of Famer, goalie and later federal cabinet minister Ken Dryden.

In 1970 after retiring, Murray and his wife founded the charity Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW), whose mission is to “give locally sourced bed kits to needy children in developing countries.” He was made a Member of the Order of Canada for this work. As a teenager attending my church youth group, I was struck by Murray Dryden’s passion, humility and creativity in creating Sleeping Children.

Murray had a difficult life as a young man, often having no bed in which to sleep. During a retirement trip to Pakistan, he saw a child sleeping on the street. Recalling how difficult it had been for him, Murray thought, “What must it be like for a child not to have a comfortable night’s sleep?” Murray could have continued walking and accepted that this is a reality for many children. Instead, he chose to devote his 34 retirement years to helping children. This was the beginning of Sleeping Children Around the World.

When I think of Sleeping Children I recall our Scripture reading from Luke today. A man was living his life on a mat. He must have been poor, not being able to walk or work. “Some friends came one day carrying this paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus.” These friends cared about their friend on the mat and wanted to seek help for him. “When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowds.” A crowd of people wanted to get close to Jesus. The friends did not give up, and instead, “they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the roof tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.” The friends found a way to do it. Just like Murray and Margaret found a way to help those sleeping on mats, the street or on dirt.

You see, when there is a problem sometimes we need to cut a hole in the roof. Sometimes instead of giving up, you find a new way. It is like how Walton’s Outreach Committee coped last fall when faced with not having their annual Spaghetti Dinner; they came up with a new way. Their virtual spaghetti dinner actually raised more money than their live dinners.

Murray and his wife Margaret started a global movement in 1970, helping vulnerable children sleep better. Fast-forward to the present, and the numbers speak volumes. Sleeping Children has raised more than $45 million dollars and helped more than 1.6 million children who live in poverty. Murray and Margaret’s legacy continues to grow. The Sleeping Children values that they espoused and the vision they had then continues to guide them today:

PURPOSE – Increase the health and well-being of children in impoverished areas in developing countries, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. Health is defined as achieving a healthy mind, body and spirit through a good night’s sleep.

VISION – A world in which every child awakes refreshed and energized to a day of possibilities and promise.

MISSION – We lead a global community of volunteers who seek to transform the lives of children in developing countries through a good night’s sleep.

PASSION – 2,000 worldwide volunteers dedicate their time and energy to Sleeping Children because they believe passionately.

FREE WILL GIVING – Sleeping Children will not undertake telemarketing, door-to-door appeals, mass mailings, or use professional fundraisers to help their cause.

Walton started a program years ago to support Sleeping Children called Pennies for People, which became Coins for Care when the penny was phased out. (show container) These containers are placed with the paper bulletins at the back of the Sanctuary at every live service. But with virtual services any excess coins you may have can still be put in plastic bags and put through the Allen Entrance mail slot when we are allowed out of our homes. You can also put cheques through the mail slot made out to Walton United Church with a note attached that funds are for Sleeping Children. Donations by cheque this way will be added to your church givings statement. We also have an online giving option on our website. Click the Donate button on our home page and scroll down to Sleeping Children. Again donations made this way are added to your church givings with a tax receipt at the end of 2021.

Our Luke Bible reading ends with these words of Jesus, “Get up and walk.” It’s what the Drydens did when confronted with a massive worldwide social problem of millions having no place to put their head down. Instead of giving up, they got to it. They found a way to make a difference. Tonight when you lie down to go to bed, give thanks for your warm, cozy, dry and not bug-infested bed. As that bedtime prayer goes: “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.” Amen.

Pastoral Prayer

Heavenly Father: We thank you for bringing the peace, calmness and hope that we witnessed with our neighbours this month. We come before you today with open hearts and minds as we remember all of the blessings we have received over this past year, although it has been such a different, unique year. Help us to remember those in need, as we go about our daily lives. Help us to remember not to judge as we do not walk in the footsteps of our neighbours, we do not always see the challenges they face each day in their homes, in their finances, in their work, or in their relationships.

Help us to be grateful for the bed we take for granted, each one of us is blessed to rest our heads and bodies in comfort each night, without worry for our lives, and well being.
May we also try to follow in the steps Jesus showed us, through His gracious love and understanding of the different needs of His people. May we in our daily lives show our compassion, love and care for those with whom we share God’s creation with, our neighbours in this world. Out of our abundance, we pray. Amen.

Anthem: “Beyond Ourselves”

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Generous and loving God, we listen for your call, help us to discern the path you would have us follow, to open our hearts and our hands to help those who are in need of our prayers, our help, support and love. We give of our offering today.

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

Generous God, from whom all blessings are given, we contribute these gifts in grateful prayer for Your abundance and in hopeful prayer for the world, Your Creation. Please use our gifts, our time and energy, our talents and efforts and the offering we make today to comfort and heal, to nurture and cherish, and to bring Your light and love into the world. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Benediction

As people of God, we go out to serve our neighbourhood in the way of Jesus Christ. As members of the family of Jesus Christ in this nation, we go out to speak out compassionately, and with respect and work for justice. As members of worldwide Christian fellowship, we go out to bring closer the Realm of God, where no child goes hungry and without a bed, and every older person is treated with respect. Go in peace, Go with God’s love. Amen.
(adapted D. Sparks, The Gathering A/C/E 20/21)


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 from Wednesday, January 27th