Virtual Service – July 3, 2022

2:00 pm

July 3, 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

Scripture Reader: Russell Derrah
Soloist:  Stuart Le Fevre
Organist: Jane Walmsley
• We’ve got gift cards for sale at face value to Season’s Restaurant and to Ardent Automotive for car detailing, a number of Stratford Festival tickets to a variety of plays for just $26.60 a pair, and of course our popular Mike’s Seville orange marmalade, Sam’s bread and butter pickles for $5 a jar. Contact the church office to purchase.
• Are you wanting to spread God’s love and help the wider community?  The Outreach Committee is inviting you to join them!  If you are interested in hearing about their current projects and suggesting future ongoing projects, please join them at Walton on the third Wednesday of every month at 7pm. Please call the office for information or just join us!
• Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. Today we’re learning why a rainbow is the perfect symbol for Pride Month, and for God’s amazing love.
• 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

Good morning and welcome to worship at Walton on this first Sunday in July. It is a pleasure to have you here with us today on this holiday weekend. Whether you’re a regular here or visiting for the first time, we’re delighted to have you join with us in worship today.

Hymn: “In Christ There Is No East or West” verse 1,3,4 – 606 VU

Call to Worship

One: We come carrying the burdens of our week, the scars of all our living.

All: Compassionate God, you see our weariness and share our pain. Lift up our hearts through our worship and prayer.

One: We come searching for renewal and comfort.

All: Caring Lord, heal our wounds of hurt and loss. Nourish us with your word.

One: We come seeking encouragement and hope.

All: Inspiring Spirit, open our souls to receive the reassurance of your presence here today.

Opening Prayer

All: Spirit of God, move through us we pray, like the wind moves the leaves on a tree. Open us up to your love as a gentle breeze. Blow away our doubts and uncertainties. Breathe hope into our hearts, softly reminding us of your constant love. Open us up to your love as a gusting wind. Blow away our prejudice and judgment. Breathe peace into our minds, welcoming those we encounter, just as you accept us. Open us up to your love as a fierce gale. Blow away our resistance to your plans for us; our reluctance to follow how you would have us live. Breathe faith into our soul, strengthening us to face our days ahead, sustained by your everlasting grace.

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 Hymn:   “I Come With Joy “ vs. 1 & 4    477VU

Youth Story: “Going Bananas”

Who here likes bananas? How do you like to eat bananas?(On their own, with ice cream, with pancakes, in a cake or muffin)

But what happens if you don’t eat a banana fast enough? Maybe it sits in the fruit bowl for a week or longer? (starts to go brown – ADVANCE SLIDE) And what about if you drop a banana on the ground? Or if something heavy gets dropped on the banana? (also goes brown) And then what do you do with the banana? (maybe you make a smoothie or a cake with the banana but you’ve got to use it up quickly or it will go bad)

Well that’s what I thought but I discovered I was wrong and there are other things you can do with your bananas. I want to tell you about a woman called Anna, and back in April 2020 Anna had to isolate because of covid and she was bored sitting around her home and she started drawing on the outside of a banana with a fork. She didn’t break into the peel, but she was pushing down on it, And gradually, because of the way bananas ripen and change colour, lines appeared where she’d been drawing with her fork. And she realized she could draw a picture on the peel of the banana. And so she started to draw a picture on a banana every day. (ADVANCE SLIDE)

And you might think Anna could only work on fresh yellow bananas, but that’s not the case. (ADVANCE SLIDE) Anna can take any banana, no matter how ripe or bruised it is, and turn it into art.

And that got me thinking about how God sees and loves us. Because when we get bruised – not just when we fall over and bump ourselves, but maybe when our feelings get hurt and you feel bruised on the inside. Or when you do something that you know is wrong and your heart feels a bit sad and bruised. Well, God can see past the bruises and God can see the art in each one of us.

And so if we’ve had a bad time and we’re feeling hurt; or we’ve been really angry and done something we shouldn’t have – to God, it doesn’t change how he feels about us. God says, I can see past what’s gone wrong for you, and you are still precious and beautiful to me.

And just like Alison said last week, if God loves us exactly the way we are, we should love ourselves and each other that way too. Right?

Shall we say a prayer. Dear God. Thank you for loving us no matter what happens. Thank you for loving us when we feel hurt, and for loving us when we feel angry. Thank you for loving us even when we do something wrong. Help us to love each other as much as you love us. Aaaaaaaaa-men!

Youth Blessing: “Go My Children With My Blessing”   vs. 1   946LUYH

Scripture Reading:  Luke 10:38-42 – Russell Derrah

Jesus Visits Martha and Mary

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to what he was saying.

But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her, then, to help me.”

But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things,  but few things are needed—indeed only one.

Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Scripture Response:  “Your Word is a Lamp”    956VU

Solo:  “Whole Again” by Sally DeFordStuart Le Fevre

Morning Message: “Whole Again”Gill Le Fevre

When I first came across the banana bruiser pictures that I shared in the youth story, I think one of the things I loved about them was their simplicity; the way in which they were finding creativity and beauty in the everyday, and maybe even in the discarded.

And the effort was gentle. The art itself only exists for a short moment – the natural oxidization process that creates the picture doesn’t stop working and in time each banana continues ripening and the art is gone. Sometimes, the image can look quite different within minutes.

And bearing this in mind, our banana artist Anna has a very straightforward approach to her work. When she’s happy with her sketch, she quickly takes a photo and then eats the banana – she doesn’t like waste.

And while the banana art began as Anna’s covid hobby – she accidentally started her first sketch in a period of self-isolation – it doesn’t have the same sense of relentless pressure that many other covid activities did.

For there was a period when you couldn’t watch the news or go on social media without coming across a myriad of ways people were making use of the time they uncovered as a result of lockdowns and the pause in everything from group activities to commuting.

And it began to feel as though if we weren’t using this time, we were somehow being wasteful. Create impressive art! Learn languages! Write books. Or redecorate and reinvent. Society it seemed was telling us that even this upheaval had to be put to good and productive use. “We must make the most of it all! Ideally, it should all be delightfully “Instagrammable”, too.”

If Martha and Mary from our reading this morning had lived through covid, this is how I suspect Martha would have responded. And yet, this urgent need to be productive, to perform and deliver, to complete the tasks that needed to be done – that was also oppressive for Martha.

If you had a big Canada Day gathering this weekend, perhaps you can relate to Martha’s experience, and you found yourself overwhelmed by the arrival of a large group of guests, and the need to make everything perfect and admirable and effortless. Because when we dig beneath the surface of this reading, that’s what’s going on for Martha. Acutely aware of what’s expected of her, and determined to provide for her guests, Martha finds it all too much and frankly starts to freak out.

In the biblical world, hospitality mattered, and so Martha knows what needs to be done. Hosts were to provide nourishment and comfort for their guests. Their feet would be washed, they might be anointed with oil, and food and drink had to be provided.

And this is not just any guest. This is Jesus. The teacher and healer and prophet, well-known to Mary and Martha – of course she wants to welcome him and honour him through her hospitality.

But this is not only Jesus. This is Jesus and his followers. The passage doesn’t say exactly how large the group is, but at the very least Jesus is accompanied by his disciples; possibly even a larger entourage, as frequently travelled with him.

So at a conservative estimate, dinner for 16, please.

Is it any wonder that Martha started to stress? All these guests, all the preparation, all the pressure. And the one person Martha would expect to have at her side, sharing the load, is sat down – in Martha’s view, doing nothing at all.

Isolated, close to breaking point, and utterly overwhelmed by expectations, Martha snaps.

Isolated, close to breaking point, and utterly overwhelmed – that’s a pretty good summary of the times we’re living through.

The international polling group, Gallup, affirmed what we all knew when its Global Emotions Report announced that 2020 had set records for negative emotions. Until the firm released its 2021 report and discovered that things had gotten worse. The second year of the pandemic was even more debilitating and disheartening than the first.

Worldwide, people felt more worried, stressed, and sad than at any time in the past 16 years. They also had fewer positive experiences than they did in 2020.

The report provides both worldwide and country-specific data and it likely won’t surprise anyone to discover that in 2021 Afghanistan was the most negative place to live. And Canada, well, our results are roughly average, but that doesn’t make them any less discouraging.

1 in 4 Canadians surveyed said they experienced a lot of sadness the previous day. And 2 in 5 had a lot of worry. And half – a full half of Canadians – experienced stress during a lot of the day.

Numbers don’t always have a lot of feeling associated with them, but if there’s one thing this report tells us, it’s that no-one is really ok right now.

So while humans can be determinedly and fiercely resilient, it’s also ok not to be ok.

We need to give each other – and ourselves – permission to simply be. To grieve or to be afraid. To sit with our emotions. To slow down. To slow way down, if we need to.

And perhaps to recognize just how hard we might find any of that.

I think this challenge might have resonated with Jesus, who always saw life differently.

“Martha, Martha.”It’s ok, my friend, it’s all right. Slow down. Breathe.

“You are worried and distracted by many things.”There’s no need for this stress, this hurry.

“There is need of only one thing.”

Join us. Sit down with me. You are welcome here.

Jesus’ words were full of compassion and comfort – and were utterly scandalous. Because in biblical times, Martha was right. Her place was in the kitchen, preparing the food and making their guests welcome. Mary was out of her senses to be lounging around, let alone listening and learning, behaving as a – male – disciple.

But Jesus doesn’t pay much attention to social expectations. And so he invites Martha into a deeper relationship. Amidst the commotion of meal preparation, Jesus wants to create time and space for connecting, for learning, and most of all for growing closer to God.

To be clear, Jesus isn’t dismissing the value of service or hospitality. If you read the whole of Luke chapter 10, you’ll see Jesus relying on hospitality to provide for the seventy-two disciples he sends out to teach and heal. You’ll read of Jesus praising active service, in the parable of the Good Samaritan. And in time to come, Jesus will himself wash his disciples’ feet.

But for now, Jesus wants to connect, for Martha to slow down and make time for God.

God even shows us how to do this. He gave us the Sabbath, and tells us to keep it holy.

Yet even in a pandemic we found this hard to do. Our all-consuming culture doesn’t like to stop or slow for anything, and the idea of the Sabbath, of a day of rest, has become obsolete.

The author Dorothy Bass recalls a dinner one Saturday evening, in her pre-pandemic life. She was sitting with a group of university colleagues, and they were all complaining about the work they had to do the next day – almost competing as to who had the most papers to grade before Monday.

It struck her suddenly that keeping the Sabbath was the only one of the ten commandments that we dispense with so comfortably. No-one at that table would dream of boasting about committing adultery or planning to lie or steal. Yet we have become so captivated by our work, so impressed by our own busyness, that we jettison God’s call to rest.

And yes, our God is certainly a God who creates and teaches, but God is also a God who heals and restores. And this is what God is calling us to in our sabbath. The chance to share in the healing nature of a God who rests. To acknowledge the ways in which “rest is an act of revelation, restoration, and love.”

Tricia Hersey is a theologian and performer who has also founded “The Nap Ministry” and cares deeply about helping others rediscover the power and blessings of rest. It is, she says, part of our calling as children of God, or as she puts it: divine human being.

Hersey writes, “That’s one of the central ideas of the Nap Ministry: you are not a machine, you are a divine human being. If you knew your divinity, you would not be grinding. You would not allow for grind culture. You wouldn’t allow yourself to miss sleep. If you saw yourself deeply as who you are, you would see the divinity that I see in all people.” – And, I would add, that God sees in all people.

Now rest does not only need to mean sleep. Rest can come in surprising ways, any time we try to reconnect ourselves back to our creator God, be that through spending more time in the natural world, or aware of the miracle of our bodies, or in prayer.

So if you’re feeling too overwhelmed for a whole sabbath, and the laundry and the lists won’t wait, then here is the simplest way to share in the healing nature of a God who rests – pray.

Pray is neither difficult nor complicated, and doesn’t need to be time-consuming either. But it lifts us up out of ourselves and into a connection with God.

Here’s a wonderfully simple way to practice prayer that is both rest and connection. I read about it in an article that was reflecting on how little attention we really paid to the world around us. And in the article, a very ordinary human – a house painter named Hari – shared his practice of prayer.

“Each morning, I pray for the first five people that come to mind. And it’s really funny—sometimes people you haven’t thought of in thirty, forty years pop up for no reason at all. With the habit of praying every morning, I guess the subconscious reaches out and finds who needs a prayer.”

Hari says his daily prayer habit has become a small moment of rest and care in each day and created for him “an awareness of the sanctity of God.”

A sacred moment of rest in each day. A vital way for us to connect with God. To remember that God cares for us, and wants a relationship with us, as Jesus did with Martha and Mary.

Jesus invites each one of us, “worried and distracted by many things,” to sit at his feet and “rest in his presence.” Jesus calls us to make time and space for our relationship with him.

As the author, Alice Walker said, “You don’t always have to be doing something. You can just be, and that’s plenty.”

Overwhelm is not the condition God wants us living with.

God’s wish for us and our lives is right there in the words of Luke: we are not to be “worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.”

God calls us to slow down and spend time with him, in prayer and worship and reflection. God wants us to always remember his abundant kindness and grace.

Because God loves us and wants nothing more than to have us sat at his feet in a sacred relationship with him.

Praise be to God.

Pastoral Prayer

Enriching God,

In these times of trouble and turmoil, nourish and inspire our hearts, that our lives may always bear the fruits of your love.

Take our loneliness and transform it into peaceful solitude; a time to reflect and be restored.

Take our uncertainty and transform it into trust, affirming that you are with us always and closest in our darkest days.

Take our grieving and transform it into comfort. Soothe us as we remember absent loved ones, and sustain us as we contemplate lost dreams.

Take our constraints and transform them into gratitude for your enduring blessings in the world. Awaken us to notice the small miracles in each day.

Take our frustration and transform it into endurance. Encourage us to pray our way forward with patience and calm.

Take our fear and transform it into hope. Remind us that with God all things are possible.

Take each day and bless us with moments of joy, strengthening us with your abiding love.

Amen.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

In worship today, we proclaim our living faith which through the love and sacrifice of Christ affirms that we are worthy. And so, in service, we open our hearts to that love, and make our offering in gratitude and praise.

Whether you give through a donation made today, or online or with PAR; whether your offering is of your time or your talents – together we give as we are able and commend these gifts to the renewal of our world and the bringing about of God’s kingdom here on earth.

♥  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 monthly PAR payments. To sign up contact stuart@waltonmemorial.com

Offering Hymn: “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow”  541VU

Offering Prayer

All: Abundant God,

May our giving today play a part in the nourishing of your world, and the nurturing of all your children. Let these gifts give rest to those who are weary, provide sustenance to those who are hungry, and bring healing where there is pain. All this we pray, in the name of your son Jesus, in whose love we are always held. Amen.

Hymn: “My Soul Rejoices in the Lord”   vs. 1, 4   (tune 530VU Carolyn Gillette)

Benediction

May God open our hearts and set us free from all that limits God’s love in our lives. With God’s spirit living in us and through us, let us celebrate hope and welcome joy and be comforted by God’s peace. Amen.

Closing Hymn: “Olde Irish Blessing” vs. 1 on screen

Announcements


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, June 29th