Virtual Service – March 13, 2022

8:30 am

March 13, 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.

 


Important update regarding live services

We are delighted to resume in-person worship and Sunday School programming as of Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 9:30am and 11:00am. For those who prefer to worship at home, virtual services will continue to be sent out weekly by email and posted online.

The format and procedures for live worship are the same as when we paused services in December 2021 with one notable exception. With the change in provincial rules on vaccination (March 1, 2022), proof of vaccination is no longer required to attend in person. Medical masks (no cloth masks or plastic face shields) must be worn at all times inside the church building by everyone age 3 and up. If you do not have a medical mask, one will be provided to you at the entrance at no cost.

Advance registration is still required each week, and seating will be assigned by household bubble to ensure physical distancing. Registration opens at 9:00am on Mondays and closes at 11:59pm on Thursdays. Entry is through the main tower door unless you require the elevator, then it is the Allen entrance at the rear of the building.

Please note that choir, congregational singing, and coffee time are still paused for the time being.

Sunday School, Junior Youth Group and Teen Talk also resume in person on Sunday, March 27.

• Children and youth programming is offered during the 9:30am service
• Advance registration is required – when registering for the 9:30am service, there is an option to register for Sunday School and youth programs
• Parents/guardians: please drop your kids/youth off at the Bronte Hall front entrance before you proceed to the Tower Door to enter the sanctuary for service. Pick up at the same location following the service.

• JK to Grade 5: Bronte Hall
• Grade 6-8: Gym
• Grade 9-12: Youth Hall

A reminder that medical masks are required at all times for children and youth indoors. Proof of vaccination is no longer required to attend Sunday School and youth programs.


Announcements

• Ukraine Relief-Support for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine – If you would like to make a donation for relief for the people of Ukraine, you can do it through your givings account at Walton. No amount will be too small in such dire circumstances and we will be sure to direct your donation carefully through the Canadian Red Cross.

• To donate by credit card – You can click on this Walton link: https://waltonmemorial.churchcenter.com/giving/to/disaster-relief-outreach-ukraine
• You can also text a donation, by sending a text to 84321 with a dollar amount followed by “ukraine” e.g. “$25 ukraine”
• You can also drop a cheque made out to Walton Untied Church with “Ukraine” in the memo line, through the mailbox slot at Walton Church, or sent by Canada Post to Walton Memorial United Church, 2489 Lakeshore Road West, Oakville L6L 1H9. Any donation for Ukraine will be added to your annual givings and will be included in your end of 2022 official tax receipt from Walton.

Thank you in advance for anything you would like to donate. ~ The Walton Outreach Committee

• The CVITP Committee (Community Volunteer Income Tax Program) will begin making appointments in 2022 for March and April. If you need help filing your return, have a modest income, and a simple tax situation, the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program may be able to help you. For details about the Free Tax Clinic, you can visit the following online page: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/campaigns/free-tax-help.html or call Ruth at 905-631-6188 or John at  905-869-1484 for further details. Tax assistance will be by appointment only – if we remain on COVID watch, we will operate out of the Walton parking lot, and by phone and by e-mail/internet.  If the closure has been somewhat lifted, we will have you come to Walton masked for an appointment with a tax preparer.

• 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.

• Sam’s Lady Rose Relish and Sam’s Bread & Butter Pickles (a very limited quantity) are available for purchase at $5.00 each from the church office.

• Mike’s award winning Marmalade is now available for purchase at $5.00 each from the church office.

• Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. We’ve got an “egg”-cellent series of lessons planned throughout these Lenten days which lead us to Easter.

• 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

V:  Good morning and welcome to the second week of Lent  and Walton’s virtual service.
J:   It is such a beautiful morning.
V:  It sure is, look at all the geese enjoying this beautiful morning. What a gift!
J:  Speaking of gifts, I brought  you a special treat this morning.
V:  You did?  Mmm!  Thank you!!! My favourite, I love licorice. The problem with licorice for me though is once I open the bag, I have to eat it all. It is my temptation. It sits in the cupboard calling me, “Val, you want another piece,” over and over and over. Can I share a piece with you?
J: I don’t want to take it away from you!
V: Oh, please take one,  I don’t mind sharing at all. Like I said if that bag is open, it just keeps calling me, taunting me to take another piece. It is such a temptation. It is so tempting.
J: That is the theme of our service this morning!
V: Temptation.
J: Paul is writing to the church of Philippians talking about when temptation or appetite, or the desires of our tummy, or the things we put in our mouths, take control of our lives.
V: Yes, I could see where that could happen.
J: So maybe this service helps all of us to that need to say no to certain things.
V: Like licorice right?
J: Licorice is a problem for you, but it’s not for me. Other things are a problem for me.
V: We all have our own things?
J:  And we hope this service will be a blessing to you in these Lenten days.
V:  Come let us worship.

Invitation to Worship

One: In this place, at this time,
All: let God call out of us what is good.
One: In this place, at this time,
All: let us surrender what does harm.
One: In this place, at this time,
All: let us be filled with worship.
One: We are an offering to God.
All:Let us present ourselves freely.Let us worship.  

Opening Prayer

Faithful God, we thank you for your church, Christ’s body of celebration, compassion and cooperation. We thank you for the variety of people and gifts that come together in your name.  Forgive us when we become self-righteous and impatient with one another.  Help us work for the common good. We pray through Christ, our foundation, who taught us when praying to say:

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

Who loves Easter eggs? Maybe you like to colour their shells, or maybe you just  like to eat the chocolate ones. Eggs are a powerful symbol of this time of year.

This time of Lent is the perfect time to reflect on the miracle of Easter, and what an incredible gift Jesus gave us by sacrificing himself to save us from our own sins. Without that protection that Jesus gave us we would be pretty fragile, like this egg I’m holding. Our sins and our mistakes could ruin our relationship with God.

(Alison drops the egg into a bowl and it splatters everywhere)

There’s no way to put that egg back together now, is there? God didn’t want our relationship to be like this smashed up egg, all broken as a punishment for our sins. When he died on the cross, Jesus took the punishment himself for all of us so we wouldn’t have to. He wrapped us in his love and forgiveness, like layers of bubble wrap going around this egg.

What happens when I drop the egg now? It is protected, and it doesn’t break. Thanks to what Jesus did at Easter, nothing can break our relationship with God. Isn’t that an incredible gift? Let’s say thank you with a prayer.

Father God, thank you for sending your son to protect us all. Thank you for surrounding us with your love and forgiveness. During this time of Lent help us to make the most of that incredible gift by showing love and forgiveness to the people around us. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:17- 4:1

Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me, and observe those who live according to the example you have in us.

For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears. Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things.

But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

Anthem: “Order My Steps”

 

Morning Message:  “The Intent of Lent #2”  Rev. Jim Gill

Today is not the kick-off of the countdown to those delicious chocolate Easter bunnies where you eat the ears first. Lent certainly is a time of preparation, but we are not preparing for metallic paper-covered candy eggs. Lent, it often seems, is overshadowed by Advent with all its tree lights, the four Advent candles, social gatherings and that festive music which radio stations begin playing even before the November 11th  Acts of Remembrance are over.

So we ask ourselves today what is the actual intent of Lent? Why do we hold this liturgical season every year leading up to Easter?  Why is the Walton Sanctuary decorated with these powerful Sunday School-made banners hanging from the window sills starting just before Ash Wednesday?

Sarah Phillips tells us, “Every year, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and is always 46 days before Easter Sunday. Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The 40-day period represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him. Lent asks believers to set aside a time each year for similar fasting, marking an intentional season of focus on Christ’s life, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection.”  Well said, Sarah.

My Lenten series of messages this year is entitled, “The Intent of Lent.”  Phillips gives us a basic explanation of the intent of Lent. Think of it this way as well: In some ways, Lent is a time for turning inward into ourselves to prepare for Good Friday and Easter, which turns us outward into the world. We are walking in the footsteps of Christ in the wilderness over these 40 days of self-reflecting, self-examining and being open to having our behaviours and attitudes transformed.

Philippians recounts some important aspects of the intent of Lent in today’s reading. Paul uses this expression, “their god is their stomach.” What a challenging statement Paul made in writing to the Philippians. “God is their stomach.” What does it mean? Do we pray to our belly button? Of course not. However, Paul is writing about a situation that we can each at times fall into.

Jack Webb writes: “Appetite” would be a better translation there, instead of “stomach.” I concur with Webb. ”Appetite refers to those for whom their immediate physical need is what defines them, what drives them, what gives them purpose and meaning.”  Yes, as Webb says, their God is their appetite. Our cravings, desires, thirst, sweet tooth and addictions become our God. Lent calls us to step away from our immediate appetite which can make us its prisoner by dominating our lives and living. For example with the ever-increasing cost of groceries each week that old adage about when to shop is never more true than today. Never go shopping when you are hungry for you will buy far more than you intended in your shopping cart. For you see it is your appetite that is doing the shopping not your logic.

Addictions have been around since long before covid ever hit; until then they were the most prevalent pandemic of our time. The 12-step program Overeaters Anonymous, which is like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, has in its first step these words which sound as if Paul could have written them back in the first century while speaking to the Philippian Christians:

“We ate to sate the fears, the anxieties, the angers, the disappointments. We ate to escape the pressures of our problems or the boredom of everyday life. We procrastinated, we hid and we ate.”

The word “ate” can just as easily be changed to words such as drank, gambled, smoked, shopped, injected, consumed and ingested. Paul knew about the obsession of the belly. Paul knew of the power of appetite to overpower our lives. The intent of Lent is to look at our appetites for that which is not healthy for us physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. The intent of Lent is to overcome those overpowering appetites.

12 Step programs talk about appetites in spiritual terms. They say “Perhaps we didn’t live lives knowing that our compulsive ( eating, drinking, gambling, shopping you insert the word you want), was a spiritual problem or we felt that God was concerned only with more important matters and expected us to control such simple things as what we  put in our mouths. We failed to understand that God loves us in our totality and is willing and able to help us in everything we do, that God will help us with every decision, even our appetites.”

The intent of Lent is that we can begin dealing with those things that make. as Paul says, “god our stomachs.” When our appetites dictate the direction of our lives we are in trouble. This is when we focus on the next drink, wager, purchase, treat or whatever it is that we crave, desire and cannot say no to.

We can break that cycle this Lent with programs, people and prayer that will help us from being appetite driven. Often our appetites are trying unsuccessfully to fill holes in our lives.  A quote from the 12 step program,  “Where there are gaps, hurts, setbacks, disappointments, rejections and a hole in our souls, our appetites crave this temporary, transitory and often self-destructive ways to fill the void.”.

The good news is these behaviours, cycles and addictions can be broken. They do not need to run our lives. One of our past Walton members wrote, “The hardest thing I ever had to do was let go of my self-will and turn my life over to the care of God. It has also been the best thing to have happened to me. Through my first honest prayer, I sought knowledge of God’s will for me and the power to carry it out.”

The intent of Lent is learning that God does not need to be our appetites. Our bellies do not need to be in charge. We can be free.

Pastoral Prayer

Creating and forgiving God, we praise you and thank you for your eternal loving spirit, always accepting us, no matter what we do, always continuing to give us your unconditional love, through all our trials and temptations. Like the prodigal son, we often drift away from you as we get caught up in the busy-ness of life in this world today.  And like the prodigal son, we eventually find our way back to you, where you welcome us back through the loving arms of Jesus.

We offer our thanks for the blessings you have given to us:

The blessings of this glorious creation with its changing seasons;
The blessings of loving relationships;
The blessings of rules to guide those relationships; and the blessings of knowing your strength and comfort through the Holy Spirit.
Healing God, during this Lenten season, we remember and pray for all those who are impoverished by today’s world; Those known to us and those known only to you; those who are living in abusive relationships, those who are desperate, lonely or afraid. We ask you to bless them with your healing warmth and to give them eyes to see hope in their world.
We also pray this day for those in our midst who are suffering from illness or disease, those who are facing surgery, and those who are recovering from surgery.
Lastly, merciful God, help us to remember to welcome your presence among us through our days and weeks. Help us to remember your purpose for us at all times not just on Sundays. And, help us to remember that we are called to carry on your work in this community from Sunday School teachers to Outreach workers to the pastoral emails, all together in this community of faith, this congregation.
We offer these prayers and the silent prayers of our hearts, in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

(Linda Clark, The Gathering L/E 2013)

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

If everyone imitated my giving Lord, would the church be able to do its work? Am I a good steward of what has been entrusted to me?
You know, God, and deep down, I know, too.
The offering will now be received.

♥  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 Text to Give. Donate securely at any time just by texting a dollar amount to 84321 (eg. $5).  See our Text-to-Give page for more information.
♥ by monthly PAR payments. To sign up contact stuart@waltonmemorial.com

Offering Prayer

You call us to lives of peace and generosity. Open our hearts and our hands so the gifts we offer today become blessings to those we share our gifts with, and those who give the gifts also. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer

Creator God,
and for forgiveness.
May we walk in one another’s shoes and feel compassion, sympathy and concern instead of the “thank goodness it is over there, not here” attitude. For we are brothers and sisters sharing this world.
We pray for this planet Lord, for healing of its oceans, its land and its air. Help us to be better stewards of those gifts you have given us.
We pray for our world leaders as they struggle with decisions, with next steps in this power struggle.
May we join together as one people, under your rule and guidance as our divine King and Lord.  May we live in your hope, peace, joy and love.
May each one of us follow the commandment Jesus told us to follow: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, and love your neighbour as yourself.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Benediction

May we take with us the morning the knowledge and the blessings that through God all things are possible.  We can change, with God’s love, support, care and hard work.
Go now with the blessing of God the Father, the love of Jesus and the compassion of the Holy Spirit. 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!

• God Who Gives to Life His Goodness
• O God, How We Have Wandered
• God of Grace and God of Glory
• Just a Closer Walk with Thee
• Closing May the LIght of God Go With You

 


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, March 9th