Virtual Service – May 21, 2023

2:00 pm

May 21, 2023

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

Choir concert May 28– Have you got your ticket yet? Walton’s chancel choir is delighted to present “Singing Together Again,” an evening of songs featuring Broadway favourites and more in the Sanctuary next Sunday, May 28 at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $15/adult, $7/children 12 and under, and may be purchased online, in the church office, or at the door. All proceeds go to the General Fund.

D-Day road closure – We have just been advised of a road closure on Sunday, June 4th, as the D Day parade arrives at the Bronte Cenotaph for 11:00am. Please be aware there may be delays on that Sunday leaving the church parking lot after our 10am service. Weather permitting, you are welcome to stay and enjoy a second cup of coffee at coffee time and to watch the parade from our front lawn. Parking is free in Bronte on Sundays, so you are also welcome to park off site to make it easier to leave while the parade is taking place. It is wonderful we are able to gather together to celebrate and thank those who fought on our behalf.

Transfer of membership (live or virtual), Sunday, May 28 at the 10:00 am 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 jamescgillwuc@gmail.com for more information.

Cans for VBS – As part of our preparations for VBS we are collecting empty small or medium cans (soup, beans, tomatoes, etc.) for a craft. If you could clean and save your cans & drop them off at the church we would appreciate it!

10:00am services for the Summer start today – The 10:00 Sunday service will run from now through the summer until the end of September.  Youth Group programming during the service continues until mid -June. Sunday School programs will run all summer

Register now for VBS! – Registration is now open for Galactic Starveyors, Walton’s Vacation Bible School day camp running July 10-14, 2023. This fun-filled week will be jam-packed with music, crafts, games, Bible study and adventures all designed to teach kids that there’s nothing in the entire universe greater than Jesus’ love. Walton’s VBS is open to campers from SK – Grade 5 (select grade entering in Sept/23), junior leaders in Grades 6-8, as well as high school and adult volunteers.

Would you like to learn how to record a service? We would love to have you join the team! Training and practice are unlimited and we would love to have you take part, or watch to see how it all happens.  Please contact Wendy Silva through the church office or email socialmedia@waltonmemorial.com

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 11:00 am 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.

Rooms for rent – Looking for somewhere to host a meeting, bridal shower, birthday party, or 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 – https://www.waltonmemorial.com/room-rentals

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 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

Jim: Welcome to this service.
Nicole: Lots happening this morning, isn’t there?
Jim: Yes, Happy Victoria Day Weekend, May 2- 4 weekend. And it’s the start of our 10:00am services for the summer.
Nicole: It is also Ascension Sunday.
Jim: Yes it is.
Nicole: Doesn’t that mean it is 40 days since Jesus died? And now he has ascended into heaven to sit on the right of God right?
Jim: You are right Nicole.
Nicole: Let us celebrate and worship together on this Ascension Sunday.

Hymn: “A Hymn of Glory Let Us Sing”  208 LUYH

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 46 and Psalm 93)

One: Come all God’s people! Let us gather to praise our Mighty God!
All: With joy we celebrate and give thanks for God’s faithfulness.
One: Come all God’s people! Let us gather to sing to our Glorious God!
All: With joy, and with all creation, we celebrate the powers of our King.
One: Come all God’s people! Let us gather to worship and honour God!
All: With joy we celebrate the wonderful deeds of our God and King,and in reverent awe, we bow in worship and praise of our God. Amen. 
© 2012 Joan Stott – “The Timeless Psalms” RCL Psalm Year B, used with permission. 

Opening Prayer

All: “Set the World to Rights”
Today, Jesus, we are faced with a wonderful truth to proclaim,
but also, an awesome and uncomfortable responsibility.
We praise you and celebrate you as Ascended Lord;
we recognise that you have authority over all things,
but we live in a world where greed and power and violence
seem to be in control.
And so, as you call us, we pray:
Come as Lord, Jesus, and set the world to rights.
We praise you and celebrate you as the Way, Truth & Life;
we recognise that in you our life is made whole and full;
but we live in a world where death, brokenness and need
appear to be everywhere.
And so, as you call us, we pray:
Come as Lord, Jesus, and set the world to rights.
We praise you and celebrate you as God among us;
we receive your invitation to live God’s dream;
but we live in a world where dreams and hearts
are broken daily, and hope seems all but lost.
And so, as you call us, we pray:
Come as Lord, Jesus, and set the world to rights.
And we pray as you taught us: Our Father…
— written by John van de Laar, and posted on his excellent Sacredise website.

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: ”Lord I Lift Your Name on High”  610 LUYH

Youth Story: “Helium Balloon”

Val and Alison are each holding a balloon on a string. One filled with air and one filled with helium.

What makes a helium balloon special? A balloon filled with regular air is light, but it won’t float away if you let go of it. But what happens if I let go of the helium balloon? It will float up, up, and away! In here it would go all the way to the roof above the rafters. If I let go outside, who knows how far it would go? It would rise up, up, up into the sky.

Today is a special day called Ascension Sunday. It marks 40 days after Jesus died on the cross. We know he was resurrected and rose out of the tomb, and spent some more time here on earth teaching his disciples about God. On Ascension Day, Jesus rose again, but this time he rose up to heaven to be with God.

Jesus explained to his disciples that he had to go and be with God, but that soon he would send the Holy Spirit down to earth to be with them. He said goodbye to his friends, said a blessing, and then floated up, up, up and away, higher and higher until they couldn’t see him anymore.

How do you think the disciples felt? Amazed? Surprised? What about sad?. They loved Jesus and probably didn’t want him to leave. Maybe they didn’t want to let go of him.

How do you feel if you accidentally let go of your balloon and it floats away? You’re really sad, aren’t you? Because you know you can never get it back. But the disciples weren’t sad. They knew this was part of God’s plan. They knew Jesus would send the Holy Spirit to them, so they could continue Jesus’ work here on earth and grow his church.

Even more importantly, they knew they’d see Jesus again – whether when they got to heaven themselves, or when Jesus came back to earth. You see, Jesus promised that he would come again. We don’t know when, and we don’t know where. But we will be ready when he does!

Let’s say a prayer together:

Loving God, thank you for sending Jesus here to live with us on earth. Help us remember everything he taught us. Help us to keep him in our hearts. Help us be ready to welcome him when he returns. Amen.

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

Scripture Reading:  Acts 1: 6-14   Debbie McGill

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city.

When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.

They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Scripture Response: “Speak, O Lord”  verse 1 755 LUYH

Ascension Day Reflection

One: Lost to sight in the clouds!
All: Taking off, jet propelled like a human rocket to return to – – – 
where?
One: Is this how it was, the Ascension?
All: Caught up into all the glory of God and so here – and everywhere,
no longer imprisoned by physical limitations:
 unseen but not unexperienced.
One: One with the Father, Jesus takes into the Godhead all that it means to be human.
All: And so I know, that I am known,  
by the Almighty; 
known, and understood.
 Edmund Banyard, in his anthology, Turn But a Stone.

Chancel Choir: “Lately Have You Seen the Sun”

Morning Message:  “Gazing Into the Cottage Sky”  Rev. Jim Gill

“We three kings of Orient are;
bearing gifts we traverse afar,
field and fountain, moor and mountain,
following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of light,
star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect light.”

I can hear your thoughts this very minute. “Jim, Christmas is just over seven months away. What is the rush for Christmas carols?” Of course, you are absolutely right. The holiday this weekend is Victoria Day, not December 24. So why am I  beginning this message on this first Sunday of 10:00am services with the lyrics of this classic Christmas carol? What is the common denominator here?

For many in the congregation this is cottage opening, trailer setting up, camping or sailing weekend. May two-four is a great Canadian getaway tradition. It’s the first of five outdoor weather-friendly long weekends ending up with Thanksgiving. Many Walton folk this weekend when they are away from the light pollution of the GHTA, might be at night with a clear sky looking heavenward. It might be standing at the end of the dock, sitting around the campfire or even on the boat deck gazing into the sky. Maybe some will venture out onto a warm blanket laid out on a sand beach or tent mattress placed across pre-Cambrain shield rock looking towards the Big Dipper. It is a great May 2-4 activity and a wonderful way to appreciate nature.

Bernard Ascusion writes in one of his poems,

“Gaze up at the stars,
As the day has turned into night;
You can see the glowing gleams
Bringing sparkle to the light.
Gaze up at the stars,
A countless wonderful creation;
A proof that there is God,”
Bernard captures it in those few short verses.
Today is Ascension Sunday, which is the celebration of Christ ascending after His death, burial and resurrection. It occurs on the Thursday, 40 days after Easter. Ascension Day is also called the Feast of Ascension.  The description of this event in the reading today from Acts of Apostles says, “Jesus taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going.”

So the end of Jesus’s thirty-three years of earthly ministry spectacularly concludes with the followers of Jesus gazing intently into the sky. They were looking upwards. Maybe you now realize why I began this message with those words:

“O star of wonder, star of light,
star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect light.”

The story of Jesus both begins and ends with people gazing into the sky. It seems to be a fitting Bible story also for May two-four, with star gazing.

Why then is the Ascension important in the story of faith ?

1)It is the dramatic end of His earthly ministry. It is the end of the incarnation,  that is God taking human form in a baby, who grew into a man.  God the Father had lovingly sent His Son into the world at Bethlehem. The wise men followed the star from afar to come and worship the child of the manger. Now the Son at Ascension is returning to the Father. The period of human existence with real flesh and blood has come to an end.

2) It signified the fulfillment of Jesus’s earthly work in death and resurrection. All that Jesus had come to do had been accomplished. It was time to leave by ascending.

3) It marked the return of Jesus from where he came from. Jesus pre-existed his earthly birth and existed after his Ascension.

4) It allowed Jesus to prepare a place for us which he promised would be done for us in the John 14 passage, with many rooms made ready.

5) It set the pattern for his second Advent, his second coming at some unknown future date. Jesus promised  that he will return just as he left, left-literally, bodily, and visibly in the clouds. We will not miss it the second time as many missed his first Advent at Bethlehem.

Did any of you go to Town Square in Downtown Oakville from March 4th-23th? There was this special playground of light. Unique teeter totters also called see saws were placed in the Town Square. You have been on one in the park as a child, or with a child. There is one person at each end of the teeter totter taking turns being the one going up and going down. These ones at Town Square were brightly lit, shining from inside. That even shone brighter when the person on the one end went up in the air.  I invite you to think of a teeter totter to understand this Sunday, Ascension May 21 and next Sunday, Pentecost, Sunday, May 28.

When Jesus goes up this Ascension Sunday, the Holy Spirit comes down on Pentecost Sunday.  Jesus needs to ascend, so the Holy Spirit can descend just like how a teeter-totter works. When the descent of the Holy Spirit takes place, it creates the first Christian Church. Jesus is gone, but the church is empowered to go out into the world.

 

In our reading today, Jesus summarizes it well:  “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

We are given a mission and ministry to be Jesus’ witnesses. Where? Even to the ends of the earth which includes the ends of Halton, Peel, Hamilton, Niagara, Haldiman -Norfok, K-W and beyond.

There is a Bronte group of star gazers with their heavy duty telescopes that gather on clear nights, usually down by the outer harbour. They invite people to come and look at the stars with them. Check out their social media for the details. Whether this weekend you are stargazing here in Bronte, or at the cottage, campground, vacation home, or a provincial park, when looking up remember these two pivotal events. First, I invite you to recall the wise men being led by a star from Eastern lands across the deserts. Second, remember the Ascension of Jesus which we celebrate today.

Have a safe and healthy May two-four.

THE INFLUENTIAL SCOTTISH PREACHER OSWALD CHAMBERS OVER A CENTURY AGO PUT IT SIMPLY:

“At His Ascension, our Lord entered heaven, and He keeps the door open for humanity to enter”.

Pastoral Prayer

Holy One,
We gaze towards misty heavens knowing you were just with us,
and now you are gone.
We watch the skies for just a glimpse of your dazzling grace, and you send us angels,
to bring our hearts and minds and soul back into our lives, our bodies, this very present moment,
where your presence is more difficult to see in the midst of war, of random killing sprees, still-missing children, indigenous women, bloody revolutions, and random thoughtless cruelty.
Your angels come to us through the ordinary moments, reminding us to pray in spite of and because of…
Your angels remind us that you indeed will empower us to be your light and life and hope in this world,
to the ends of the earth, wherever courage and grace is needed.
We are your people, God, and as much as we love sky-gazing, we know that you call us to give witness
in the middle of terror, anxiety, illness, death, and apathy.
Help us to listen deeply, see far and wide, and live faithfully.
In Christ we pray,
Amen.
adapted  by rev karla, and posted on RevGalBlogPals

Solo: “Who Will Go For Me” ~ Arlene Wisser

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

I remember many years ago, lying on the deck leading into the water at Restoule Provincial Park, trying to figure out all the constellations, and stars, realizing the brilliance and beauty in that deep, dark, darkness. From across the lake I could hear the loons, their haunting sound, the blackness of the water, all alone, just me and God…nothing but me and God.
Now what was it I wanted to say to God?
Nothing.
I just wanted to be.
Be his, in his time and in his space.
What a gift!
I wish I could give you that gift, for that has an immeasurable value,but maybe I could offer it to you.
All you need to do is stop.
Stop what you are doing.
To give of yourself.
Isn’t that a giving of your offering?
Your offering will now be received.

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Offering Hymn: “Use These Gifts”  881 LUYH

Offering Prayer

Risen and ascended Lord Jesus; When we are numbed by the suffering of the world,
take us back to the deep truth of your power and glory, of your invincible Kingdom,
of your promise of reconciliation.
In the knowledge of this truth, help us to bring our gaze to earth and find the strength to go into the world, to do your will on earth as in heaven. To build the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
from the Monthly Prayers page of the Christian Aid website

Hymn: “Rejoice, the Lord Is King”  verses 1,2  224 LUYH

Benediction

People of God, we are sent out in the power of the Holy Spirit, to be God’s witnesses;
to proclaim the Good News to everyone we meet, to share the love that God has lavished on us
in Jesus Christ. So go from here in the power and strength of God, to bear witness to all you have seen and experienced.
from re: Worship

Closing Hymn:  “We Receive Your Blessing”  947 LUYH

Announcements


Scripture Readers: Debbie McGill, Jim Wilcox
Soloist: Arlene Wisser


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, May 17th

https://youtu.be/8I8aEEzF2Uk