Virtual Service – March 5, 2023

2:00 pm

March 5, 2023

Welcome to virtual church!

Today’s service will be offered in 2 formats – view the video below, read the service 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.


~ 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.

~ 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.

~ 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 –

~ Walton’s UCW will be meeting this Thursday, March 9th, in Bronte Hall at 1:30 till 3:00 pm.  All women are welcome to come out to hear Jenny Nolan from Lakeshore Paramedical Hearing Services discuss hearing issues and options.

~ 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.

~ 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.

~ 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.


One: Good morning, and thank you for joining us today, as we journey together through Lent and towards Easter. Lent is a season of reflection and renewal, where we acknowledge the ways in which our lives fall short of God’s teachings, and recommit ourselves to seek to draw closer to God.

Two: Let us begin our worship on this second Sunday of Lent with the Lenten Tenebrae

Lenten Tenebrae – Lent 2, John 3:1–17

(Five candles are lit, as well as the Christ candle.)

One: We live unaware of the spiritual realities around us.
Two: We fail to grasp the reality of God’s presence in our world.
One: Like Nicodemus, we cannot grasp the kingdom of God.
Two: Thus, we muddle through life, suffering the consequences of our lack of attentiveness.
One: Thus, we bear the impact of climate change in the pursuit of economic gains.
Two: We live with enormous amounts of plastic waste in the name of convenience.
One: We live with micro-aggressions and systemic racism.
Two: We mourn our ignorance and underdeveloped religious beliefs.
(The second candle is extinguished.)

Hymn:  “Don’t be afraid” 90 MV

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.

Two: Let us pray.

All:  O God, we pray to be born anew, in order to grasp the meaning of your kingdom. We long to discover our authentic selves as we shed our false selves in this Lenten season. May your truth set us free. May we abide in your spirit of truth so that we can live a life worthy of eternity. Amen.

Hymn: “I Surrender All”  739LUYH

Call to Worship

One: We are called to a life of faith.
All: However we may answer that call, God is listening.
One: We are called to a life of renewal.
All: Whenever we lose our way, God is patient and forgiving.
One: We are called to a life of service.
All: For both our needs and our talents, God inspires and strengthens.
One: We are called to a life of love.
All: God forever loves us and abides with us, as we are and where we are.

9:30 Youth Choir:  “Sing A Song of Praise”

11:00 Duet:  “The Power of Your Love” ~ Sarah Rousell, Jillian Vander Doelen

Prayer of Confession

One: Gracious and forgiving God, as we journey through Lent, turn our hearts towards you, that we may love you more faithfully and follow you more actively.

Two: We confess before you now that we do not always love others as you ask us to.

All: We offer words in place of action. We are too quick to judge and too slow to accept; too quick to anger and too slow to repent. Lord, have mercy.

One: We confess that we love our own comforts more than we should.

All: We reserve our time and our abilities for our own benefit. We hold back our money and material gifts despite the needs of others. Lord, have mercy.

Two: We confess that we struggle to love you with all our heart, mind and soul.

All: We chase our own plans instead of seeking your purpose. We follow other values that pull us away from your word. Lord, have mercy.

Assurance of Forgiveness

One: Have faith. Hold fast. God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Two: God affirms his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. So that in every day, grace reigns for us through our faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we can declare:

All: Our sins are forgiven. Thanks be to God. 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:  “Imagine”  verse 1 72 LUYH

Youth Story – “Be of Good Cheer”

So, I have a Charlie Brown and Snoopy cartoon that I wanted to share with you this morning, that’s on the screen.

Can I have two helpers to read what’s being said

• Snoopy looks kind of cold, doesn’t he?
• I’ll say he does, maybe we’d better go over and comfort him
• Be of good cheer, Snoopy
• Yes, be of good cheer

So what’s going on?

Do you think Charlie Brown and his friend care about Snoopy? [But he says he does….]

So what’s the problem for Snoopy? [The friends haven’t done anything]

Now, this cartoon reminds me a lot about the sort of things Jesus teaches us. Because Jesus told several stories about people who said the right things, but Jesus questioned their actions.

  • Rich man praying in the temple
  • Good Samaritan – the people who walked by

In these stories,  there was usually also someone else who Jesus said had got it right.

But how did Jesus know? Could he see into their hearts?

He saw their actions because no matter what we say, and how good it might sound, God also really cares about the things we do.

In today’s service, we are saying thank you for the work of Walton’s committees and everyone who volunteers to help the Walton community. And while it’s mainly the grown-ups who join committees, the wonderful thing about Walton is that there are so many ways for everyone to be involved and help others.

So we have helpers from our youth groups who help with preparing and clearing up when we have the Turkey Dinner and the Mother’s Day Tea. And we have lots of teenagers helping with VBS. And in Sunday School, there are lots of ways for everyone to help, no matter how big they are.

Will you say a prayer with me:

Loving God, help us to care for each other, as much as you care for us. Help us to care with our actions and not just our words. Amen.

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

Installation of Council & Committees

One: As you come to assume the duties of your office, let us make a covenant before God and with one another. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, will you continue to live out your faith with praise and thanksgiving? Will you carry out your responsibilities in this congregation with integrity and joy?

Council & Committee Members:  I will, God being my helper.

One: Will you, the people of Walton Memorial United Church, honour the leadership of these people? Will you assist them through daily prayer, generous support, and personal example, so that, together, we may be a faithful church of Jesus Christ?

Congregation:  We will, God being our helper.

Prayer (in unison): Loving God, you have called these people to serve you. Send your Holy Spirit upon them and upon us all, that we may keep the promises we have all made today. Help them to fulfil their responsibilities as council and committee members.  May their leadership help us all to reflect your love and grace always, in Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

One: In the name of God, Creator, Christ and Spirit, we recognize and affirm you in your ministry as members of the Walton Council and Committees. Thank you for sharing your time and gifts with our Walton church family.

Scripture Reading:  Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, James 2:14-26  Russell Derrah, Janet Bray

Romans 4:1-5, 13-17

What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. But to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.

For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law, neither is there transgression.

For this reason the promise depends on faith, in order that it may rest on grace, so that it may be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (who is the father of all of us, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”), in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

James 2:14-26

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Surely that faith cannot save, can it? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from works, and I by my works will show you faith. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith apart from works is worthless? Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and by works faith was brought to completion. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.

Scripture Response: “Order My Steps”  verse 1 758 LUYH

9:30 only Chancel Choir:  “You Do Not Walk Alone” (with video)

Morning Message: “Head Faith or Heart Faith?”   Gill Le Fevre

When we look at our Bible today, complete and presented as a book, it’s easy to forget the extent to which the church evolved over time, and how our Bible reflects that development.

For starters, the Bible was never written as a book, and especially not the New Testament. Each chapter was written at a different time and for a different reason, and often by completely different people.

And then there’s the contents. Christianity did not appear fully formed, as a structured set of beliefs. After Jesus’ life, there was a lot of debate and disagreement about what was involved in following Jesus, and our readings today show some of that tension.

Because at first glance, the two readings appear to be saying quite opposite things. And not just minor details; they sound like they disagree on an issue that was of critical importance to the early church, and indeed to Christianity ever since: what do we need to do to be saved?

And in the first decades after Jesus’ death and resurrection, this issue took on paramount importance when Jesus’ teachings started to reach people who were not already Jews.

Jesus and his disciples had all been Jewish. The first apostles were Jewish. But now that Gentiles were wanting to follow Jesus’ teaching, the question arose: did followers of Jesus also have to follow the Jewish law?

You can see this debate in many places throughout the New Testament, and in our reading today from Paul’s letter to the Romans we have Paul’s answer: following the Jewish law is not required to be a follower of Jesus.

Now if I was to take this answer and tell it to <person> sitting here <front right> and they were to tell it to their neighbours, and they passed it on to the people sitting behind them, and gradually, bit by bit the message travels all the way to the back of the church, what’s going to happen to it?

It’s going to change. Now, it’s probably not as garbled as a child’s game of broken telephones, but maybe we lose some of the detail and the context; and that’s what many theologians think happened. A pared-down version of Paul’s teaching to Rome reached the Christian community back in Jerusalem, which was led by James, one of the brothers of Jesus.

James was dealing with a community that was struggling to live its faith in a fractious world riven with social, political, and economic tensions. And for some in this community, the version of Paul’s teaching that they heard — that faith is just about what you think — maybe came as a relief. They didn’t need to do anything; they could just sit back and “believe.”

James’ response, that we heard in our second reading this morning, shows the problems with taking the broken-telephone version of Paul’s teaching.

It creates an empty faith: a head faith perhaps, but not a heart faith. And as James reminds us, even demons have an intellectual understanding of God.

The famous German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, addresses this problem in his book, The Cost of Discipleship, and his ideas can be summed up in one short phrase: grace is free, but it isn’t cheap.

Grace — or God’s love and forgiveness — is absolutely freely given to us. We are saved because of God, not because of us. But our faith can’t end there.

That would be head faith, and Bonhoeffer, following in the tradition of James and Paul, sees all the problems with head faith, or as he calls it, cheap grace.

Head faith, cheap grace, demands grace without repentance, which is about as meaningful as many of the apologies you can hear kids come out with, now shared widely on the Internet by exasperated parents for everyone’s amusement.

Like the boy who said he was sorry that he hit his sister with a pillow but it’s not his fault because “the pillow wanted to fly.” Or the four-year-old, who was sorry he ate all the cookies, but not really sorry because “they were calling my name.”

And while we laugh at comments like this, it’s also easy to see why we’re referred to as children of God.

We need the season of Lent to remind us of the need for repentance; to emphasize in our worship the need for turning towards God and acknowledging where our remorse has previously been shallow and superficial.

Head faith also expects grace without discipleship; believing in God but not wanting this to show through our lives in any significant way.

I saw another parenting tweet, where a father tried to get his child to tidy up. “If you’re done with the game, you need to put the pieces away,” said the dad.

4-year-old: I WAS done, but if I have to put it away then I’m undone.”

How often are we also “undone” because the challenge of living our faith seems too much?

In the words of the traditional prayer of confession: Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and what we have left undone.

By what we have left undone. By the countless ways our head faith doesn’t reach our heart faith.

Head faith or heart faith.

James and Paul both crucially preach a heart faith.

James preaches a whole-hearted faith. James preaches a faith that is vitally alive; that can be seen in our lives, where we are an active part of caring for God’s children and God’s creation. This heart faith doesn’t hold back from any part of our life, but encompasses the whole of our existence, and is seen by the ways in which we make others whole.

James’ expression of faith starts with the grace of God, that gives us life and forgiveness, and then that grace, that love, powers our life to extend life and love to others.

And so, James challenges the communities he wrote to, to let faith be the active ingredient in their lives. “Show me your faith apart from works, and I by my works will show you faith.”

Or, as the pastor Sandra Maria Van Opstal said, “Worship that doesn’t lead to a life of justice is not true worship.” If it is not active, it is not faith.

But, as Van Opstal also said, chasing justice is hard. It is thankless, it is exhausting, and it is dangerous.

And so, as much as we need James to put the fire in our belly, we also need Paul. We need Paul to preach a big-hearted faith.

A faith that is open to everyone, and not restricted by laws and precepts, where love could get lost in rules and criteria. A faith that we neither deserve nor earn but is given to us by the expansive, open and abundant heart of God.

A big-hearted faith that is there for us, when the fire of James goes out, and the list of what we have left undone extends too far.

Yes, we need James to challenge us and call us to account, and then just as vitally, we need Paul’s reconciling affirmation of grace.

Heart faith challenges us to put love into action, as much as it comforts and sustains us for all we cannot do and have not done.

“Show me your faith apart from works, and I by my works will show you faith.” It is impossible to have one without the other.

The author Jim Wallis describes an experiment a theology student once carried out.  The student took an old copy of the Bible and went through it and cut out every text about the poor. It took him, Wallis reports, “a very long time.” And when the scissor-happy student had finished clipping and cutting, what was left of the Bible “would hardly hold together, it was so sliced up. It was literally falling apart.”

That’s our faith without love. Literally falling apart.

When I think of faith in action, combined with God’s love freely offered, I think of the life-saving work of food banks. If there is a place that epitomizes grace, this is it.

Food banks recognize the unpredictability of life and the precariousness of many people’s existence, especially at a time where the spiralling costs of food are leading to a staggering increase in the need for support. Second Harvest, a Canadian food charity, reported recently that last year over 5 million people used food banks across Canada each month. They forecast that number to climb to 8 million this year. 8 million people per month.

While many seek out the help of food banks because of economic uncertainty, tragically food poverty is frequently a compounding crisis for those already suffering domestic abuse. One food bank describes the problems women have trying to support their families when the household income is drunk or gambled away by an abusive partner, so food parcels need to be delivered while the abuser is away or hidden to be retrieved and used only when it’s safe.

For those who use food banks, it is because they have reached rock bottom and have no other way to provide for themselves and their family. The perceived stigma alone can prevent people asking for help. And so, the kindness offered feeds more than the users’ stomachs, offering a nourishment that is evident in the way in which many who are helped by food bank services also become volunteers.

As one person at the Oakville Food Share Food Bank reflected, “I have recently become a user of the food bank. I was treated with respect, kindness and comfort as the staff realized I was so very uncomfortable being in a position of such need. I will always appreciate what this group of volunteers did for me and hopefully one day I will be able to repay their kindness.”

This Lent, our Outreach Committee is giving us an inspiring way to activate our heart faith. At the back of the church, and as part of the weekly email, you can find the Lenten Prayer Project.

The Prayer Project has a Bible reading to ground our faith in God’s teaching, and a prayer to strengthen our faith through God’s love for us. And then a suggested action; a way to live our faith and make a tangible contribution to others in need. So that we, by our works, can show our faith. Last week’s prayers and actions were in support of our local food bank. This week, the reading highlights the plight of homelessness, and the work of the Wesley Mission and Kerr St Mission. Please prayerfully consider how you might live your faith in support of their work.

Of course, living out our faith can take many shapes and sizes, as we recognized earlier in our service today. When we affirm and bless the work of Walton’s council and committees, we are blessing the living out of the faith of so many in our community.

Like God’s grace, the opportunities to help and to serve are open to all, and we give thanks for the inspiration and activation of the Holy Spirit that stirs each one of our volunteers. Their time and commitment that we celebrate today is a joyous expression of heart faith.

As we asserted in our service this morning, we are called to a life of service — and we can rely on God to inspire and strengthen us in that work.

And equally, we are called to both give and receive a life of love, where God is always with us – wherever we are, however, we feel, whenever we fail.

So in this Lenten season, let us reconnect with our heart faith. Let God make a difference in our hearts, so that we might also make a difference in the lives of others. Living a whole-hearted, big-hearted, life-saving faith.

Praise be to God.

Pastoral Prayer

God of hope and healing,

We bring before you now our hurts and scars, our desires and dreams, and we ask for your care.

In prayerful faith, we think of those who are lonely. We pray for those who have lost loved ones or are grappling with the failing of a relationship. Assist those who create community and stimulate connection. Guide us to reach out in acceptance and friendship.

One: Loving God, in our time of need:
All: Deepen our faith and strengthen our works.

In prayerful faith, we grieve the damage in our world. We pray for the suffering caused by the war in Ukraine, and we pray for peace. We pray for the suffering in Turkey and Syria, and we pray for aid. Renew those who work to rebuild and make whole. Guide us to foster harmony and understanding.

One: Loving God, in our time of need:
All: Deepen our faith and strengthen our works.

In prayerful faith, we lament all those who live in fear. We pray for those wrestling with damaging relationships. We pray for those worried about their next pay cheque or meal. Build up those who strive to lessen the struggle of others. Guide us to offer compassion and sanctuary.

One: Loving God, in our time of need:
All: Deepen our faith and strengthen our works.

In prayerful faith, we bring before you all that is on our mind and weighing us down.
Sustain us on our travels, both near and far. Guide us to follow your path.

One: Loving God, in our time of need:
All: Deepen our faith and strengthen our works.

Sanctify us with your grace and sustain us in your peace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Our faith teaches us that we are not saved or justified through what we do, but only through the immensity of God’s love. That does not mean however, that we are left alone to do nothing. Through the love and blessings we receive, we are called to respond with gratitude and service, affirming that even the smallest gift offered in love is sacred in God’s eyes.

♥  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: “Take These Gifts” (tune: Thank you, Lord on this Day)

Take these gifts, from our hearts
Bless them, multiply them.
Send them out, in your love
Heal and save us by them.

Offering Prayer

All:  Active and ever-working God,
Stir our hearts that in our living we may show our faith.
Inspire us to give, to feed the hungry in our communities.
Raise us up to serve, to welcome the newcomer and nourish the regular.
And awaken us to love, to heal the hurt and suffering in our world.
Accept this offering as a sign of our faith in your abundant love, and our hope in your eternal grace. Accept our thanks that you strengthen us for the work you call us to, and support us in our times of need and struggle.
Bless us today with your mercy and renew us for the days ahead.

Hymn: “They’ll Know We Are Christians” (We are One in the Spirit) verse 1  256 LUYH


Go into this new week, renewed to serve and to love and to learn. May God bless your thoughts, your words and your deeds that by your living others may recognize God in you and in the world. And may God nourish your faith that you may know God’s peace through God’s eternal grace. Amen.

Closing Hymn: “We Receive Your Blessing” (first page only) 947 LUYH


Scripture Readers:  Russell Derrah, Janet Bray

Duet:  Sarah Roussel, Jillian VanderDoelen

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 to.

Week 2: Sunday, March 5

Affordable housing and homelessness. So many are struggling.

Proverbs 31:8-9
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Dear God, we pray for our neighbours in need of safe and affordable housing, and for the many families in danger of losing their homes. May we work to build communities that create space for all people to live with dignity and peace.

Our support for Wesley Mission and Kerr Street Mission through Sockfest, the Mitten Tree and White Gift Sunday helps to provide some hope and necessities to underserved people in our communities.

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, March 1st