Virtual Service – May 22, 2022

2:00 pm

May 22, 2022

In-person services (registration required) and virtual servce

Welcome to virtual church!

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

• View the video below
• download and print the service from this document – link

For the latest news and updates from Walton, please check our Facebook page, Instagram and website. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos of service, the choirs and more!

Please contact office@waltonmemorial.com if you would like to be added to our email list.


Announcements

• Starting Sunday, June 5, Walton will offer a single Sunday worship service at 10:00am until September 18th. Sunday School for grades JK – Grade 5 will continue weekly throughout the summer. Members of our junior and senior youth groups are welcome to assist.
• D-Day Parade – We have just been advised of a road closure on Sunday, June 5th, as the D Day parade arrives at the Bronte Cenotaph for 11:00 am. Please be aware there may be delays on that Sunday leaving the church parking lot after our 10 am 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.
• Exciting news for Grade 3 students! – Each year Walton Church is proud to present our Grade 3 Sunday School students with their own copy of the Action Bible. For the past two years we have done curbside pickup and porch deliveries of these special gifts. This year I’m happy to announce that Bible presentations will take place in person in the Sanctuary on Celebration Sunday, June 12th during our 10:00am service. Please mark your calendars for this day as we hope all Grade 3 children and their families can take part in person. If you are unable to attend on June 12, please contact the church office and we will arrange a special delivery to your door.
• Register now for VBS – Welcome to Knights of North Castle – Walton’s 2022 Vacation Bible School summer day camp. We invite children and youth to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of God’s power by exploring how we put on the Armour of God.  Important update: We will be running one week of camp this year, from Monday, July 11 to Friday, July 15. Space is limited so register early to secure your spot as a camper or leader.

Camp hours
Full day: 8:30am – 4:00pm
Half day: 8:30am – 12:00pm
Ages and eligibility
Campers  – SK to Grade 5
Junior Leaders – Grade 6-8
Teen Leaders – Grade 9-12
Cost*
Full day camper – $110
Half day camper – $55
Junior leader – $55
Teen leader – No charge. Earn volunteer hours for school!

*Confidential fee assistance is available. Please contact the church office for information.
To register online, log into your Church Centre account or visit waltonmemorial.com
Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. Today we’re continuing our Creation theme and learning that God created humans to do a very important job!
• Walton’s prayer chain is open. Confidential prayer 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

Wow, we made it to the long weekend! You know I wasn’t sure we would,  when a month ago every time I answered the phone it was someone telling me someone in their family had Covid. We decided to risk it and get out a little more, go on trips, take our masks off in safe settings, and mingle in larger groups.  It really did feel like a risk didn’t it?  Remember trying to decide if we could safely hold coffee time between services?

Can you for one minute just imagine how the disciples felt, after Jesus was crucified, and they were stepping out,  talking about Jesus,  knowing that if caught they would be punished and even killed?

But they did it, and we continue to do it, even today. You know in some countries, they live in fear of having a relationship with God. I know it isn’t the same, but stop and think for a minute. Perhaps  it is kind of like it was back then. We have to trust and have faith, ask God to guide us and protect us and be smart about it, keep safe, and remember that this too will pass.

Hymn:  “Open My Eyes, That I May See”    vs. 1, 2371VU

Call to Worship

One:  This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

All:    Each day is a gift from God.
One:  May the sunshine warm you with love and acceptance.
All:    God’s light shines on each of his children.
One:  May the rains nourish you with cleanliness and strength.
All:    God’s love washes away isolation and fear.
One:   May the blossoms and buds in the garden bring you hope.
All:    God’s new creation granting us renewals and forgiveness.
One:   Let us worship our God of hope, joy, peace and love.

Opening Prayer

All:  Loving God, you are a refreshing cool breeze on a hot day. You are warm sunshine after the rains.  
You are the plants just peeking up in the garden and fields. 
You are the fawn, calf, or lamb innocently frolicking in pastures. 
You are a hug on a bad day.  You are a surprise note in our mailbox.  
Loving God, you are our hope and joy, our refuge and relief, our grace and mercy.  
In our lives and all over the world, we are experiencing pain and loss, confusion, and disappointment.
We are desperate, fearful, embarrassed, and struggling. Show us the answers.  Grant us wisdom.
Give us the hope, your hope.
Help us to live full, faith-filled lives, reminded daily of our love and of the good around us, reminding others by our faithful living that you are our hope and joy, our refuge and relief, our grace and mercy. Amen.
(adapted Heather Tober, The Gathering, L/E 2022)

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: “7 Days of  Awesome”

We’re talking about Creation in Sunday School this week and for today’s Youth Story, Val read a wonderful children’s book called “7 Days of Awesome,”  which shares the Creation story in a fun way that is really easy for young kids to understand.

The most important thing that we want kids – and grownups – to know is that they are part of God’s creation. And when you are the creator, you get to choose exactly how you want your creations to be. Want to draw a purple tree with blue leaves? You can! Want to make a green dog with yellow polka dots out of playdough? Go ahead! When you are making your own creations, there’s no wrong way to do it. And that’s important to remember in those times we feel like we’re not big enough, or smart enough, or strong enough, or even good enough.

That’s not possible because God doesn’t make mistakes. We are exactly the way he wants us to be right now, and he loves us exactly the way we are. He made us that way! Let us pray:

Loving God, thank you for all of your beautiful Creation. Help us to love your world and to take care of everyone and everything in it. Remind us that everyone and everything is just as you planned it to be, and help us trust in that plan. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Hymn:  “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands” vs. 1 &4586 Celebration

Solo:   “A Shelter in the Time of Storm” Stuart Le Fevre

Scripture Readings:  Psalm 67, John 5:1-19*Don Rusk ** Janet Bray

Psalm 67

The Nations Called to Praise God
To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah  that your way may be known upon earth, your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations
upon earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us.
May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him.

John 5:1-19

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes.  In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.”
Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.”  At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.
Now that day was a sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’”
They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?”
Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there.
Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.”
The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.

The Authority of the Son

Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.

Scripture Response:  “Change My Heart O God” 654 Celebration

Morning Message:  “Pool Openings” Rev. Gill

Many of our hybrid service people are away today. Prayers for travelling mercies whatever they are doing on this three-day weekend. We sure need a weekend like this after another long Covid winter. Many people are watching this service virtually from wherever they are spending this holiday weekend. Thanks for joining us in worship. Some are doing the ritual Canadian May 2-4 opening up the cottage after winter. Some are getting their boat ready to go in the water. Others are putting in their water lines or putting out docks. Still, others are opening up the trailer, going camping or visiting family or friends. This is the official kick-off of summer and the start of glorious summer long weekends.

Those who are not away may be spending their free time gardening on their balcony or in their backyard, cutting grass, or even cleaning out the garage. Still others are opening up their pools and getting ready for the first cool dip of the 2022 season. My brother had a pool company for a number of years and one May I helped him out with his over-booked pool openings. It was very hard work, especially cleaning the liners or, where there were cement pools, scraping and painting the walls and bottoms.  Pool openings are a Victoria Day pastime for many. That is why I selected a reading today in the life of Jesus that took place around a pool.

It is this pool account of a man incapacitated for 38 years and how Jesus healed him. In Hebrew and Aramaic the name of the pool, which still exists, is called Bethesda. You may know the name from not only that place in the state of Maryland where the Walter Reed Military Hospital is located but also the community of Bethesda, Ontario up Highway 404, Bethesda United Church in Ancaster, and the Bethesda Church of God just up Bronte Road at Upper Middle which meets at the Seventh Day Adventist church.  Bethesda means either “house of mercy” or “house of grace.” This makes sense, for this very pool was seen as a place of healing in those waters. We use Bethesda today in the sense of God’s grace and mercy given to us in so many unearned ways.

The archaeological evidence shows the Bethesda pool was shaped like a trapezoid. Look it up if you do not recall your high school geometry classes.  Basically, this pool varied from 50 to 60 meters wide by 96 meters long, divided into two pools. The southern pool had extremely wide steps with easy access. You see, it was a ritual bath similar to the Pool of Siloam at the south end of Jerusalem where Jesus healed the person with low vision. The Bethesda pool is where pilgrims to Jerusalem especially would gather to purify themselves for worship before entering the temple. The northern pool provided a reservoir to continually replenish and re-purify the southern pool with fresh water flowing south. Today you can actually go to these pools and see them for yourself. They exist, as does so much of what we read about in the Bible.

Some scholars suggest Bethesda has a negative sense to it that refers to a sense of “shame” or “disgrace.” This is a very unfortunate dual connotation to the name Bethesda, for it says something negative about individuals with disabilities who came to the pool.  You see, the mere presence of physically challenged people who sought recovery from the waters at this location were seen to make the pool a place of disgrace.

Today there can still be similar negative sentiments expressed towards those with challenges or differing abilities. For example, some people park in accessible parking spaces with no blue card, thinking it is ok for them to do so. Or those who get upset about allowing pre-boarding on planes for people needing assistance. Others hold negative views about reserving spaces on buses, subways or Go trains. I recall being in the Wendy’s restaurant parking lot at Harvester and Appleby and asking this guy who had just parked across two accessible parking spots without a blue window card why he did it. He responded, “Why should those people get all the best spaces?” as he ran past me into the store to place his order.

Our reading today in John 5:1–15 shows Jesus healing a man who had been dealing with a major medical condition for nearly four decades. Remember, if you will, that the average life expectancy in Jesus’ time was 35 years. This person expresses no prior knowledge of Jesus and hence is not seeking to be healed by Christ, like others in the Gospel stories sought to do, such as the woman bleeding for years touching the helm of Jesus’ garment.

Jesus, however, in His abundant grace and mercy, restores this unnamed man to health. Jesus then tells the man to actually get up and walk. Sure wish I could have seen all this. Jesus, you see, does the unexpected again and again. What about you? I find God answers prayers at times about things I have not yet even prayed about. When that happens I think to myself, “Jim why didn’t you pray about this or that?” I also say a huge, “thank you God for this unexpected grace and mercy.”

The scholars tell us that, The Pool of Bethesda is in the northeast corner of Jerusalem, near the temple. Today it is the  Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem. In past centuries people pointed to this passage as an example of a historical error in the Bible. This pool, with an extreme depth of 13 metres, was discovered in 1888 by K. Schick. Prior to 1888 scholars did not think the Pool of Bethesda existed.  Eventually, though, Schick discovered this two-section pool near the Sheep Gate,  closely matching the description given in John 5:2. The “porticoes,” “colonnades,” or “porches” were pillared areas meant to provide shade from the sun. Over time archaeology in many places has shown that the Bible is even more accurate than previously thought.

What is even more true than more recently unearthed ancient ruins are the timeless teachings, values, morals and common sense in the stories of Jesus. John tells us that the healing at Bethesda Pool took place on the Sabbath. Apparently, on this day, some of the Pharisees who interpreted the Law quite strictly saw this man carrying his pallet home after he was healed, and they took it upon themselves to confront him for working on the Sabbath. As you may recall, Jesus was severely criticized for healing on the Sabbath. There are at least 14 key passages in scripture about healing on the Sabbath controversies involving Jesus. You see, Jesus put love as the prime directive for living.

Maybe on this Victoria Day weekend, you will be involved in a pool opening? Maybe you will be invited to a pool party? Maybe you will be shopping for a pool? You see, Covid has certainly made pools a booming pastime again. I now leave you with Royston’s poem, which captures the heart of our pool story today.

I’ve been lying here for another year
feeling left all alone in my great fear.
So perhaps this time? You can never tell
Maybe it is my turn to be made well.

What’s all the commotion that I can hear?
and why is this man coming over here?
It looks like He’s heading towards my way.
and what is this that I’ve just heard him say?

‘Do you want healing?’ To me He just said
Then ‘Arise, walk now and take up your bed.’
Is this true and can it really be
that this great man is going to heal me?

Then entering this poor body of mine
came such wondrous healing from the Divine.
No angel was required, no water stirred
just from this man came the commanding word.

Then limbs for years that were lifeless and dead
became alive at the words that He said.
Then I could stand up to my great delight
and others witnessed the amazing sight.

The leaders said that this should never be.
For it was on the Sabbath He’d healed me
and I did not know the wonderful name
of this great Man who to Bethesda came.

So then I went to the temple to pray
and met Him again I am glad to say.
Then I found out His name and He told me
to stop sinning or much worse things would be.

So back to the leaders I went to tell
that it was Jesus who had made me well.
Why He had healed me, I can’t really say
but I’m so glad that he healed me that day.

Anthem: “Oh, Lord, I’m Blind” The Waltones

 

Pastoral Prayer  (inspired by Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23)

Today, Lord,
I once again take up my cross and follow you.
Forgive me for choosing daily to be complacent. Happiness has been my god and I have believed I’m entitled to it.
Forgive me for all the excuses I have for not responding to you immediately, with urgency, and sacrificially.
Forgive me for complaining about being bored as I sit and do nothing.
Forgive me for the times I have tried to make carrying my cross more comfortable. I have been too concerned with finding things to make it easier; gadgets and toys to make my cross lighter, smaller, and cushioned.
Forgive me for making excuses and not going with you because I was worried about my health, safety, reputation, loneliness, financial security, and ability to handle extreme weather and getting dirty.
Forgive me for focusing on my comfort rather than my character.
Forgive me for the times I have not followed you because it wasn’t convenient.
I didn’t want to go out of my way to see the needs around me because then I would feel guilty for not doing something about them.
Forgive me for not loving my neighbours – I don’t even know their names.
Forgive me for trying to pacify my conscience by giving just enough to feel good about myself but not enough to inconvenience my lifestyle. Amen.
(excerpted from a prayer by Hila, and posted on the Love God, Love Neighbour website)

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

As we are blessed by the God of wonder and love, let us share the gifts we have received in blessing to others.  Let us commit ourselves to acts of love, as we continue to worship God through the presentation of our offering.  I invite the ushers forward to present our offerings to God.

♥  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 Hymn:  “Thank You Lord On This Day”  on screen

Offering Prayer

All:  Caring God, we offer our gifts, reaching out from the familiarity of our community to the unknown aspects of life and living.  May the Spirit encourage our sharing and our serving.
Bless these gifts, O God, in Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Hymn:  “When Jesus the Healer”  verses 1,2, 7  358 VU

Benediction

Go out into this wonderful world, looking for God in everything you do, and in each person you meet. Offer to them God’s love and light, sharing the Good News to all who will listen, in the name of God the Father, Jesus his Son, and in the Holy Spirit, the comforter. Amen.

Closing Hymn:  “Go Now In Peace” on screen


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, May 18th