Virtual Service – March 19, 2023

2:00 pm

March 19, 2023

Welcome to virtual church!

Today’s service will be offered in 2 formats – view the video below or 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 if you would like to be added to our email list.


• New to Walton? Are you visiting today? Welcome! Please feel free to ask the ushers if you have any questions during the service and we invite you to fill out a welcome card in the pew racks and leave it in an offering plate at one of the doors. Please join us for coffee, tea or cold drinks and conversation in Bronte Hall after the 9:30 service ends and before the 11:00am service begins. There you’ll also find the Welcome Centre with information about Walton and someone to chat with. Walton nametags, hats, pickles etc. are also available for purchase.

• Easter Food Drive –  The Outreach Committee would like to thank all families who have donated recently, you are greatly appreciated. As many as 750 families use our Oakville Fare Share Food bank and more families register weekly. The need continues to rise. Donations of food items can be placed in our decorated food boxes within the church or monetary donations can be given through our weekly ‘giving’ envelopes or through the church website: www.  Please share with others in our community by donating generously throughout March and April.  Thank you for your thoughtful gifts.

• MUNCH A MUFFIN to raise money for the Food Bank! On Sunday, March 26th during coffee hour, the UCW and Fruit of the Vine will be selling homemade muffins with all money going to the Fare Share Food Bank. Muffins will be $1.00 each… buy 1 or up to a dozen! Cash only, please.

• Calling all UCW & Fruit of the Vine bakers! You are invited to bake a dozen muffins or more to help support our fundraiser on Sunday, March 26th.  Please drop off your homemade muffins before the 9:30 am service on March 26th or contact Rachel H. through the church office to coordinate an alternative drop-off time and place.  Please identify if they are gluten-free, nut-free, vegan or if they contain nuts.

• NEW Tuesday morning video study – Reverend Jim Gill and Parish Nurse Cathy Winn lead our spring video study “Good Boundaries and Goodbyes: Loving Others Without Losing the Best of Who You Are.” The 6-week study takes place Tuesdays from 10:15-11:45am in Bronte Hall, and begins on Tuesday, April 11. There is no cost and no preparation required. Please sign up online or in the church office.

• LIVE or VIRTUAL TRANSFER OF MEMBERSHIP SUNDAY, May 28 at the 10am Service – If you are a confirmed member of any Christian denomination and would like to transfer to Walton from another congregation, we’d be pleased to arrange the transfer. Please contact the Church Office or Rev. Jim for more information.

• Rooms for rent – Looking for somewhere to host a meeting, bridal shower, birthday party, music recital. exercise classes, sports groups, craft lessons or more? Walton has room for you! We have a number of rental spaces to accommodate groups large and small, for a one-off event or weekly sessions. Contact the church office for more details. See photos on our website –

• Turkey & Syria Earthquake Relief – Walton is now receiving donations to help those who are victims of the Earthquake. Donations can be madeonline through the Walton website, or by writing a cheque payable to Walton, please put on your cheque “Earthquake Relief,” or cash.  For more information please contact the church office.

• Walton’s Outreach Committee would like to offer a different way to recognize the season of Lent this year. Starting Ash Wednesday we have prayer themes for each week taking us to Easter Sunday. Please join us in praying for these areas of concern. Each week there is a short scripture and prayer, please add your own as you feel guided to. The sheets will be available on the table near the entrance to the Sanctuary on Sunday and a soft copy will be posted with the Sunday service for each Sunday of Lent. Thank you for your faithful support for Outreach activities at Walton. See the end of the service document for this week’s theme.

• The CVITP Committee(Community Volunteer Income Tax Program) is beginning to make appointments for March and April 2023. 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.  There is no charge for this assistance. For details about the Free Tax Clinic, you can visit the following online page: or call Ruth at 905-631-6188 or John at 416-840-9418. Tax assistance will be by appointment only – taxes can also be prepared by phone and by e-mail/internet.   As the pandemic closure has been somewhat lifted, we will have you come to Walton Church Allen Entrance for an appointment with a tax preparer, however, you must be masked. Details also found on our website –

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

• Walton’s prayer chain is open. Confidential prayers requests can be sent to

If you need Rev. Jim for a pastoral emergency, please email him directly at

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 – Lent 4

Good Morning, we welcome Yvonne Zhang to lead our musical ministry this morning. Welcome, Yvonne thank you for being part of this special service. We remember on this last Sunday of March Break many of our Walton people are returning in different ways from March Break trips near and far, we look forward to seeing them next Sunday.

And welcome to Lent 4, how is your journey through Lent going?  Did you give something up?

This is the week where it becomes a little more challenging, are you holding strong?

For those who have taken up more time with God, whether with devotional time, study, or some way of being in His presence, this is the week it becomes harder to find those moments….

Are you starting to feel those temptations that draw us away from the commitment to spending more time with God? Let us gather together then to support one another and ask for forgiveness and let us arm-in-arm journey forward into Lent 4 as we take away a little more light from our Tenebrae.

Three candles are lit, as well as the Christ candle.

One: Though we yearn for great vision, many of our visions are limited.

Two: Yet, we do not know just how limited we are spiritually.

One: We do not know that we do not know.

Two: Content to live with illusions and self-delusions, the people of this world do not even want to know wisdom and truth.

One: As prophet Joel said, when the leaders lack vision it is the people who suffer.

Two: We suffer from narrow leadership, compromised integrity, and self-centred values.

One: We experience the suffering of God’s people on our streets, in shantytowns, in refugee camps, and in every neighbourhood.

Extinguish one purple candle.

Hymn:  “Don’t Be Afraid” 90MV

Don’t be afraid.
My love is stronger, my love is stronger than your fear.
Don’t be afraid.
My love is stronger
and I have promised, promised to be always near.

One: Let us pray.

All:  O God, we long for enlightened leaders to emerge who have the audacity to hope and to declare the truth we long to receive. How long must we wait?How long must we suffer? Or are we the ones who are to embrace the visions and possibilities? Then open our spirits for us to embrace your truth. Open our minds to receive your wisdom. Open our hearts to love widely, generously, and deeply. May our faith shine through us and may we experience your kingdom on earth as in heaven. Amen. 

Hymn:  “Morning Has Broken”   409VU

Call to Worship

One: Express your joy in singing among yourselves psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making music in your hearts for the ears of the Lord!  Eph. 5:19 (Phillips)

One:  I would prefer to be left leaning against the wall, shuffling my two left feet, watching the world twirl by;

All:    but you take me by the hand to teach me the dance steps of grace;

One:   When I walk near the piano, it shudders, hoping I will not sit down;

All:     but you take my fingers and place them on the keys, whispering,“play, play with joy, play!”

One:   Even with the biggest bucket,  I can’t carry a tune;

All:      but you push me out onto the stage, introducing me as the new soloist in the Good News Choir.
All:      I will celebrate your joy, sing your hope, play your love, leaping and whirling in your grace forever!

adapted copyright © 2006 Thom M. Shuman.

Opening Prayer

All:    Wake Us Up!

One: God of justice, peace and righteousness, come into our midst this morning.Breathe your breath, your Spirit of prophecy, your energy, your enlivening, your imagination on us.

All: Wake us up
Open our eyes
Unplug our ears
That we might hear
That we might see
That we might grieve
That we might dream
That we might follow the ways of your extraordinary kingdom

adapted on the Jony Baker blog

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:  “Jesus Bids Us Shine”  verse 1 585VU

Youth Story: “Sandwich Prayer”  – Alison

What is prayer? It’s just talking to God, as simple as that. You don’t have to bow your head, or put your hands together, or kneel, or even be in church to pray. All you have to do is talk to God, out loud or in your head.

But how do you know what to say to God? There’s not really a right or wrong answer. It’s kind of like making a sandwich. You need a piece of bread for the top, and a piece of bread for the bottom, but what goes in the middle is up to you.

Who likes tuna fish sandwiches? I hate them, personally, but that doesn’t mean your sandwich is wrong. I love mustard and mayo on my sandwiches, maybe you don’t. It doesn’t mean my sandwich is wrong. There is no wrong thing to put inside a sandwich.

Talking to God through prayer is the same. You start with “Dear God,” that’s your bread on top. You finish with “Amen,” that’s your bread on the bottom. What goes in the middle is up to you. Maybe you want to thank God for something he did, or say sorry for something you did. Maybe you need help with a problem, or you want to pray for someone else who’s having a hard time. You get to choose. You get to talk with God about whatever is on your mind and in your heart.

Let’s talk to God together with a prayer right now.

Loving God, thank you for being there, and always listening when we need you. Thank you for all the blessings you give us and the world. Please help everyone who is struggling right now. Please give them the strength they need. We ask this in Jesus’

Youth Blessing: “Go My Children With My Blessing” 946LUYH

Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 5: 8-14  Don Rusk, Rachel Hawes

For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light.

Walk as children of light,  for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.

Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness; rather, expose them.

For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly,  but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,  for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Sleeper, awake!
Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Scripture Response:  “A Light is Gleaming”  refrain only   82VU

Lenten Creed (in unison)

We believe that our lives are held within the encircling love of God,
who knows our names and recognises our deepest needs.
We believe that Christ is the divine Child of the living God,
and that his grace is like living waters that can never be exhausted.
We believe in the birthing, renewing, enabling Spirit of God
who yearns over our welfare as a mother yearns for her child.
We believe that God is in the arid desert as well as in green pastures,
and that hard times and disciplines are also loving gifts.
We believe that our journey has a purpose and a destination,
and that our path leads to a human glory we cannot yet imagine.
We believe that in the church we are fellow pilgrims on the road,
and that we are called to love one another as God loves us.
This is our faith and we are humbled to profess in Jesus the Christ.


From Traveling to Easter with Jesus as our Guide, posted on the website of Patmos Abbey—The Order of Saint Columba

Soloist: “We Believe”  D. Besig ~ Nicole D’Angelo

Morning Message:  “Longer Brighter Days”  Rev. Jim Gill

So many Walton folk are trekking back today from March Break activities. Time change was last weekend. Our clocks are moved forward. There is light into the evening. Don’t you just love it! There comes that time each spring where most people stop going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark.

For us in the Christian north, spring coincides with Lent. In the Christian south it is the opposite. Today’s reading is one of the many light passages. Richard Donovan writes about what Paul means when he says, “For you were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord.” Paul contrasts the lives of these Ephesian believers in the Ephesus Church before Christ (“you were once darkness”) with their current lives as people of faith (you “are now light in the Lord.”)

Let’s flip back to Advent 2020. There was no Chrismon tree put up and decorated inside the sanctuary. There were no live services that year. The solution was to put up one live Christmas tree on the top of the stairs of the front tower entrance. Another place we put a tree up was at the Allen office entrance area at the back. Both trees were lit up and those lights were left on from sunset to sunrise throughout Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. There was such positive feedback on those two trees. People told us that the trees gave them such hope. They would always look at the lit up tree while driving by the church. You see the tree at the tower entrance could be seen by anyone driving or walking past the Church on Lakeshore Road. The tree at the rear Allen entrance could be seen by anyone driving or walking through the Walton parking lot or those looking out of their condo windows behind the church. In that 2020 Christmas of so many closures, the light of those two trees gave hope.

Donovan reminds us to, “Keep in mind that darkness can never dispel light. It always works the other way around. Light always dispels darkness. Light always wins.” Psalm18: 28 reminds us, “God brings light to dispel darkness.”

With God’s light dwelling in us through faith, we can each do the same for others, that is dispel darkness. As you read the Holy Book you may recall that light and darkness are so frequently used in those Hebrew and Christian writings, whether old or new testaments. The light and darkness act as powerful contrasts between good and evil, chaos and order, danger and security, joy and sorrow, truth and untruth and ultimately life and death.

Our Tenebrae Candle Liturgy we are using for the first time this 2023 Lent, calls to mind in the reverse order of Advent the contrast between light and darkness. Up off the church balcony is a room we use for storage and to access the tower bell to ring it before services. I found that going into the tower room was always sort of a downer. Then I realized there was only one standard 100-watt light bulb to cover a fairly large room with little outside light coming into it. Then one day when I was in Home Depot I was walking by an end-of-aisle display where high-intensity LED lighting units were being sold. The units promised to brighten any space. It could be screwed into and used in any standard light bulb outlet. I was reading about it all on the box when another shopper went by. They saw what I was doing and stopped and said, “Buy it!  It got rid of my darkness.” They had successfully put the unit in their garage. So I thought, I will give it a try in the tower room.

Well, that lighting unit delivered everything that was promised on the box. How refreshing. How often does that happen? It made the tower room feel like a brand-new room. I have more than once thought of what the shopper at Home Hardware said to me that day, “It got rid of my darkness.” That is exactly what Paul is speaking to us about on this fourth Sunday of Lent. Our faith is about getting rid of the darkness. At least getting rid of the darkness in our corner of the world that we interact with each day. It’s like my boss said one day, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.”  It was Jesus speaking in John 8:12.

Back to Christmas 2020, often I would see people on one of those long dark nights near the winter solstice standing in front of the tower entrance lit Christmas Tree. I realized that they were having their photographs taken, whether a selfie or by someone else. These were not just Walton folk standing there, but other people being photographed as well. There in front of that basic evergreen tree all lit with the same white lights, shot after shot being taken. It was not the fanciest, most elaborate, or multi-colour flashing light tree like others along the Lakeshore in Burlington, or Oakville. I realized those photos were a statement of hope. In that dark closed winter of 2020, it was a Church’s lit tree overcoming the gloom and doom of those days. The Psalmist again puts it well with these words,

“Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path” from Psalm 119:105.

It’s like the relatively new crosswalk the Town put in on Bronte Road. Maybe you have one like it in your neighbourhood? It crosses over Bronte Road from the Anglican church to the Amica retirement home. I often use it walking to the office, or back home. These crosswalks have incredible overhead high-intensity rapidly flashing lights. Interestingly, during the day I find maybe a quarter of the cars do not stop for crossing pedestrians. But during the night, nearly every car stops. You see the lights work far better in the dark than in the brightness of day. The light is the safe crossing, even on the darkest night. You will recall God’s first act of creation was to say, “‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3-4).

Paul calls these Ephesian Christians to, “walk as children of light.” In other words, Paul is challenging them to insure that their lives reflect their true character as “children of light.” Do we guide others by our light, or distract them by our darkness? How do we shine?

Jesus told his disciples, “You are the light of the world.” Those words from Matthew 5 speak to us as current-day followers of Jesus. Life can so often be like sailing out on Lake Ontario after sunset when the fog starts to roll in, so you head to the safety of the port. With no GPS you head towards what? You head to the harbour lights. They are at the end of the pier to show you the way home. We are called to be such lights. There are many needing a safe way home, a safe harbour, and a port of refuge.

The poet Fenny West captures it in these verses.

You are the Light of the World
Once in the night
But brought into the light;
Once dead but made alive;
Once in the darkness
But brought into His brightness.

You are the light of the world;
Enlightened and illuminated by the Light-
The Way, the Truth and the Life;
Made the hands and feet of the Most High;
Made His Voice in the wilderness;
His emissary, His Ambassador.

You are the light of the world
A City on a Hill;
Called to call others who sit in darkness;
Called to point others to the cross;
Called to shine in the darkness;
Called to be co-workers with God;
Called to lay down your life for others;
Called to be a bridge for others to cross to God;
Called to carry your cross and die on it.

You are the light of the world
Called to be full of the word
Delighting in the word
Armed with the word
Saturated with the word
Adorned with the word
Directed, counselled by the word
Fuelled and propelled by the word
Feeding frequently on the word.

You are the light of the world
Shine in the darkness
Giving glory to the God of Glory.

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Pastoral Prayer

Eternal God, we thank you today for your goodness. You have given us beautiful days. You bless us richly with goodness daily. We thank you and praise you.
We live in a time of considerable confusion. We ask today for your wisdom as Solomon asked for wisdom.
We are often fearful as was Solomon. We live in a time of peril, war, and world unrest.
Different and competing interests strive for our attention and loyalty.
Help us, O God, to pray for wise and discerning spirits.

• Give us wisdom to know good from evil.
• Give us wisdom to assess the clamoring voices and concerns with which we are daily bombarded.
• Give us wisdom so that we might learn to be accepting of all the diverse people you have created.
• Give us wisdom to be peacemakers and mediators of understanding where there is conflict.
• Give us wisdom when we are in conflict to make it possible both for us and for those with whom we differ to save face and win and move forward hand in hand.
• Give us wisdom not to violate any of your creatures by discriminating against them.
• Give us wisdom to discern what is of ultimate value for our souls and to make wise choices.

O God, give us wisdom.
O God, give us discernment.
O God, give us the will to be faithful.
O God, give us the power to love.  Amen.

by Richard Einerson, and posted on Richard J. Einerson: Prayers of the People

9:30 Chancel Choir:  “Thank you for the Valleys”

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

We thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to share your light in the world with others. To shine through the darkness, but more importantly shine when our light might not be as bright, or the world’s challenges dim or make us question your light. Our blessings give us brightness and when we stop to count them and give you thanks, we see your light in those many gifts you have given us and grant us each day.

Let us share your light through our offerings this morning, as we invite our ushers forward, please.

♥  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

Offering Hymn:  “For the Gift of Creation”  538VU

Offering Prayer

All: God of the wilderness, we give these offerings in gratitude, rejoicing in the abundance of your gifts to us.
We give these offerings in faith, trusting that you will provide for our needs.
We give these offerings in hope, knowing you can use them to spread your love in this world.
And with these offerings, we give ourselves; may we live with generous hearts, with open hands. Amen.

by Joanna Harader, and posted on her Spacious Faith blog.

Hymn:  “Be Thou My Vision”   642VU


Lord of Hope,
Dare I? Can I really hope?
From out of the darkness I sense a dim light ahead, the light of your resurrection.
I so long for the time when you are no longer hidden from me and my deepest desire is to trust in your warm voice I hear behind me, guiding me along a hidden path I do not know.
Dry my tears, heal my wounds and help me to wait for the dawning of the dim light ahead, with a brighter vision of healing and freedom.
Show me the light at the end of this 40 days of waiting!

from Advent Daily Prayers

Lenten Blessing

May the dust of the wilderness hold our footprints lovingly shaped as they are by your hurt, for dust remembers.
May the journey into wilderness unfold honestly, for honesty is the gift your soul recognizes as you.
May your time in this wilderness be shaped by space rather than minutes, so there is time enough for all of you.
May the stones in this wilderness cry out your name loudly, that your spirit recognizes the voice that has been calling you always.
And may you know this wilderness has been expecting you and you find between the stones a promise growing.

adapted by Roddy Hamilton, and posted on Listening to the Stones.

Closing Hymn: “We Are One”   verse 4   402VU


Lenten Prayer Project

Your Outreach Committee would like to offer a different way to recognize the season of Lent. Starting Ash Wednesday we have prayer themes for each week taking us to Easter Sunday. Please join us in praying for these areas of concern. Each week there is a short scripture and prayer, please add your own as you feel guided.

Week 4 – Sunday, March 19 – Environment

Mankind has always damaged the environment through living but in the beginning, there was more nature than people and there was a better balance. After the Industrial Revolution populations grew and the use of coal and later oil increased the output of Carbon Dioxide. This has led to the warming of the planet which will affect our climate and food production and extreme weather events. Pollution of all kinds threatens our future. There are still steps that can be taken but it is up to us whether that will be done. We need God’s help to achieve this goal. Over 2,000 years ago, the prophet Jeremiah, made known what man could do to God’s earth:

Jeremiah 2:7
And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.

Lord, help us to take the steps that will be necessary for us to reduce the warming of the climate and the resulting changes on earth. Guide us to model the changes that need to be made.

This week we can observe Earth Hour: On 25th March 2023 at 8.30pm, as landmarks and homes across the world switch off their lights, we are asking everyone to spend 60 minutes doing something positive for our planet. It may not seem like much, but the magic happens when you, and those like you in Asia and Africa, North and South America, Oceania and Europe – supporters in over 190 countries and territories – all give an hour for our one home. Together, we can create a rare moment of unity that brings the world together, shines a spotlight on nature loss and the climate crisis on a global scale, and inspires others to act and advocate for urgent change. Take this hour to turn off as many lights as are safe and think of ways we can help here, to reduce usage and waste in our daily lives and also ways to respect and protect our green spaces.  9 things you can do about climate change

Scripture Readers: Don Rusk, Rachel Hawes
Soloist: Nicole D’Angelo

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, March 15, 2023