Virtual Service – March 20, 2022

8:30 am

March 20, 2022

Welcome to virtual church!

Today’s service will be offered in 2 formats – video and text.

• View the video below
• read this week’s announcements and complete service on our website
• 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

•  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 11:00amFor those who prefer to worship at home, virtual services will continue to be sent out weekly by email and posted online.  Registration will open tomorrow (Monday, March 22nd) at 9:00am and closed on Thrusday, March 4th at 11:59pm.

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.

• 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 is 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 United Church with “Ukraine” in the memo line, through the mailbox slot at Walton Church, or sent by Canada Post, 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.<

• Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. Spring has sprung and we’re celebrating!

• 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

Val: Good morning and welcome to Walton’s virtual service (Jim is sweeping the floor with the push mop). Good morning Jim,  can I ask  what you are doing? Why do you have a dust mop, and why are  you mopping the floor in Bronte Hall?

Jim:  This is one of the Sundays of Lent, and often in Lent, we give things up.

Val:  Yes we do.

Jim:  I thought that this would be a great way to start the service because what I am doing is getting rid of the lint on the floor.

Val: Lint on the floor??  Hold on, in the season of Lent you are getting rid of the “lint?”

Jim: Yes, because I think in our lives we have lint in our lives we need to get rid of. Lent is not only giving things up, but it is getting rid of things that we need to clean out of our lives.

We need to have a new beginning, we need a new start.  As things are opening up at Walton, we are cleaning up the church, getting it ready for use. A new activity, new rental starting tomorrow night. And we want to make sure the church looks great. I thought talking about lint and Lent is a way for us to remember it is not only a time for giving up something like chocolate, but  getting rid of things, cleaning up things out of our lives. So, I hope you will join us for the rest of the service as we talk about Lent?

Val:  Come let us join together in the Call to Worship.

Call to Worship

In the dark hours past midnight, God is sitting alone, waiting: waiting for the crunch of tires as the car turns into the driveway; waiting for the turning of the key in the lock and the creaking of the stairs;  the light of the phone waving around; waiting for the beloved child’s safe return. God is waiting, God is waiting for us; we will come home.

(adapted John Moses, The Gathering L/E 2013)

Anthem:  “Home”

Opening Prayer

God, sometimes we wander into far countries for the soul without ever thinking where we are going.  We take your love for granted; we presume that we can always find our way back to you when we really need you, when we’re not so busy, when it is more convenient. And then, we find ourselves in places where we do not want to be and we wonder how we got there.

Lonely and afraid, we do not know where to turn. (silence) Speak to us God, of mercy and forgiveness. Stir up with us a longing to be with you again.  Help us find the way to the place where we have always belonged. We pray in the name of Jesus  in whom you have come out to meet us. Amen.

(adapted John Moses, The Gathering L/E 2013)

Hymn: “Speak O Lord”

 

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

Our Lent journey is well underway and every step brings us closer to the miracle of Easter. A lot of you are probably looking forward to an Easter egg hunt that day…searching high and low and filling your baskets with yummy, nummy, chocolate eggs. Mmmmm!

Eggs are a pretty incredible symbol of Easter, when you think about it. They represent new life and re-birth, just like Jesus came to new life in the Resurrection. And they can help us understand something that a lot of people find difficult – how can God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit be three separate things, yet all one God?

We call that the Holy Trinity – a 3 in 1 God. We have our Father God in heaven. We have Jesus – God in human form who came to earth to live with us. And we have the Holy Spirit – that part of God which lives inside each and every one of us. Three parts of one God.

Think of it like this egg. It’s one whole egg, but it has three distinct parts. (Alison slices open a hard boiled egg to demonstrate). The outside shell is like God the Father in heaven. The white part is like God the Son – Jesus. The yellow yolk deep in the middle is like God the Holy Spirit, deep in our hearts. Three distinct parts, but all still an egg. How cool is that!

Think about that during these next weeks of Lent as we get closer to Easter and as we pray.

Father God, help us focus on all the ways we know you and all the ways you work in our lives. Help us spend time with you, listening to you, and drawing closer to you during Lent. Amen.

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 55: 1-9

An Invitation to Abundant Life

Come, everyone who thirsts,  come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.

Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live.

I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.

See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.

See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake

their way ,and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Morning Message

Lent certainly is a time of preparation but it’s not about preparing for those candy eggs covered in metallic paper. Lent, it seems, is overshadowed by Advent, for Advent has all its tree lights, the four Advent Sunday candles, social gatherings, and that festive music which radio stations begin playing even before our November 11 Acts of Remembrance are over.

Our theme throughout Lent has been what I call the “Intent of Lent.” We often think of Lent as a time we give up things to be a blessing for us in these 40 days. They can be physical, emotional, and spiritual things, attitudes, or behaviours. God, through the prophet Isaiah in today’s reading, invites all who are “thirsty” to come to him. The Prophet is talking about an inner thirst that needs more than a cold glass of water on a hot summer day to quench it.

In God’s abundant goodness, Isaiah says the Lord offers “wine and milk without money and without cost.” Wow, that is quite the offer! So many of our Walton people are away over this March break. Maybe they are on cruises or at an all-inclusive resort destination that offers open buffets and open bars. But that is not what Isaiah is talking about when he writes about “wine and milk without cost.”

Rather, God highlights the foolishness of those back in Isaiah’s day and the foolishness of us today in chasing after that which really doesn’t satisfy our thirsts or hungers. Isaiah asks, “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”

With all the computer chip shortages in the world it is strange to drive past new car dealerships and see so very few cars for sale on their lots. When Isaiah writes about “that which does not satisfy,” I think of the new car smell, the excitement of a new car. How long does it really last? The novelty wears off soon. The new car becomes routine.  So we move on, seeking the next new thing.

Isaiah is saying that only God can truly give God’s people what they are really striving for in the long run of life. The irony identified here by the prophet is when Isaiah says that we often squander our resources on things of no spiritual value, rather than taking what God offers for free. The Intent of Lent is that we can change our focuses, priorities, inner needs, and desires.

The “bread” mentioned in our reading today is a metaphor for spiritual sustenance. It is that free food which feeds the soul. It is the nutrition which our souls truly need. To “spend money” on something other than this “bread” is to ignore our hungry spiritual condition. It is why we seek satisfaction in things that can never ever feed the soul.  So we just spend more and more money trying to fill the hole in our soul. We seek more and more from Shopify or the Shopping Channel or Amazon.

A simpler translation of today’s passage puts Isaiah’s question simply: “Why spend money on what does not satisfy?” God’s people were running after things that would not or could not satisfy. In our times it is no difference. Are we not tempted do the same by seeking wealth, fame, experiences, or material goods to make ourselves happy and fulfilled? The problem is that none of these things can truly satisfy to our core.

A New York addiction counselling service talks about signs or behaviours that could be a sign of shopping addiction:

·   Spending money when you are angry
·   Spending money when you are anxious
·   Spending money when you are depressed
·   Arguing about spending habits
·   Feeling lost if you are not spending
·   Purchasing items on credit when you don’t have the cash to cover them
·   Feeling a rush when shopping
·   Feeling guilty or embarrassed about shopping after the fact

This spending problem is a very real struggle in lives of people right here in our Walton congregation and in the many communities that we serve. Only God can ultimately satisfy the needs of our souls. Consuming can become a vicious cycle. We buy and then buy again. The catch is we need to buy more to feel the same as we did with our previous purchase. Soon, more and more purchases are needed to fill our short-term emotional needs.

Have you heard of the “HALT” principle? If you’ve attended rehab programs or gone to 12-step meetings, you have probably heard people use the term HALT.  It is an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. It’s a simple but powerful tool used to remind people of four of the most common stressors in recovery – that is hunger, anger, loneliness and tiredness.

Isaiah’s question is so appropriate in these 2022 Lenten days. The prophet asks, “Why spend money on what does not satisfy?” Shopping can be a distraction from the unpleasant emotions most of us face in life at one time or another. Consuming offers a temporary high or fix that may help people feel better about themselves or less anxious.

A 2014 analysis highlights a number of emotional risk factors of unhealthy shopping, including:

·   low self-esteem
·   low self-regulation (the ability to control your behaviour and act in your own best interests)
·   negative emotions
·   cognitive overload (feeling like one has few brain resources left)

You are especially likely to be a shopping addict if you use shopping to manage negative emotions. Then one can shop to feel normal again. The intent of Lent Isaiah offers you in these 40 days is to change your hunger for that which does satisfy. It can be done. The cycle can be broken this Lent. Blessings on the intent of your Lent.

Pastoral Prayer

As we begin this prayer, have you ever noticed when we point at others, we should look carefully at who we are really pointing at.

Let us pray….

Lord, we pray today for others; you know the others I mean.

You know, those who are struggling and frustrated and who are ready for this pandemic to be done.

You know, those who are fed up with hearing everybody’s problems, and whining about how they wish it was different.

You know, those people who are frustrated and mad at the overworked, broken medical system, but still need to use it, and it is taking too long to get the test, or the operation, or an answer to the medical issue.

You know, those who are struggling with their family relationships because they aren’t listening to the way it should be – vaccinated or not vaccinated, boostered or, not boostered.

You know, those people who are complaining about the cost of everything. If only the government could get their act together and make a good plan of action.

You know, those people who are struggling to make ends meet, and the money is being stretched to the limit as it is.

You know, those people…. Of course you know those people.

Those people are me. Those people are your children, my brothers and sisters, your loved ones. You know each one of us so well that each hair on our heads is counted.

Please God, help me to be less judgemental and more accepting of others choices and  opinions which are different then mine. Help me to truly love and pray for those who see things differently than I do.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Hymn:  “Make Me A Channel of Your Peace”

 

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes Monique

Patient and loving God, you are always ready to welcome us home and you are always ready to welcome our gifts so that the good news of Jesus Christ may be preached and lived in our time and place. This is why we give.
Receive our givings in Jesus’ name.
The offering will be received.
(adapted John Moses, The Gathering L/E 2013)

♥  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 have blessed us with great abundance, O God, and you have called us to be a blessing to others.  May these gifts and the sharing of our hearts and lives show that your covenant promises are living among us. Amen.

(Beth W. Johnson, The Gathering L/E 2014)

Prayer

Creator God,

   We pray today for our hurting world; for all those touched by the war in Ukraine. We pray for peace, for love 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 Christ bless you today and always.
May the Christ who walks on wounded feet restore us all to that place we call home.
Go now with the blessing of God the Creator, Christ and Comforter. Amen.

Music: “Rise Above the Walls”

 


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!

– Only by Grace
– Come Thou Font of Every Blessing
– God’s Mercy  by Sheree Anderson
– God, Whose Giving Knows no Ending
– Amazing Grace
– Closing Prayer


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, March 16th