Virtual Service – May 28, 2023

2:00 pm

May 28, 2023

Welcome to virtual church!

Today’s service will be offered in several formats – video and text (below) or you can 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

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. Bible presentations will take place in person in the Sanctuary during our 10:00am service on Sunday, June 18th, which is also our Father’s Day Ice Cream Sunday.  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 18, please contact the church office and we will arrange a special delivery to your door.

Choir concert tonight – The big day is here! Join Walton’s Chancel Choir this evening in the Sanctuary at 7:00pm for “Singing Together Again,” an evening of songs featuring Broadway favourites and more. Tickets are $15/adult, $7/children 12 and under, and may be purchased online 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.

Cans for camp – As part of our preparations for VBS we are collecting empty small (284ml) soup cans for a craft. If you could clean and save your cans & drop them off at the church we would appreciate it!

Last call to register for VBS! – Registration closes Sunday, June 4 for Galactic Starveyors, Walton’s Vacation Bible School day camp running July 10-14, 2023. This fun-filled week 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.

Cleaning out your closet for spring? Please donate any winter coats to the Bronte Coat drive! Donations are now being accepted! This has become a co-operative effort between Church of the Epiphany, St. Dominic’s Church and Walton Memorial primarily; all of us having the betterment of people of our area as our goal.  So, sew on that button, empty those pockets, sponge out that stain, and please give us your coats that you will not plan to wear next year or ever again!

Calling all knitters! The Bronte COAT DRIVE Committee has a need for knitted scarves for our Annual Coat Distribution Event. If you could knit a scarf 5’ – 6’ long in black, grey or navy, we would be most happy to include it as a giveaway on October 14, 2023. As you may know, there are many people in our community who are grateful to receive a coat from this event, and they are delighted to also receive a warm scarf (or hat or gloves)!

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.

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.

Lighting the Christ Candle

In the flame of the Christ candle, we remember the flames of Pentecost and affirm the burning love of the Holy Spirit, the eternal presence of God bringing us comfort, resilience and courage.

Welcome

Good morning and welcome to worship at Walton on this Pentecost Sunday. Today we remember God’s blessing of the disciples and their calling to evangelize the word of God. Today we celebrate God fulfilling the promise made by Jesus to be with us always, and we proclaim the presence of God in our worship and in our lives.

Hymn: “On Pentecost They Gathered” verses 1,2,4  195VU

Call to Worship

One: In worship, we are invited to call upon the name of the Lord;

All: To call on God’s presence for all we need.

One: We call upon God in hope and prayer

All: Bringing before God our dreams and our fears; trusting God with our desires and our disappointments.

One: We call upon God in joy and music

All: Bringing to God our laughter and delight; honouring God in our friendships and communities.

One: We call upon God craving mercy and care

All: To be comforted by God’s love, forgiven by God’s grace, and strengthened through faith in God’s eternal power.

Youth Choir “Kaleidoscope of Love”  Gill Le Fevre, Linda Fletcher

Opening Prayer

All: Astounding God, 
Thank you that through your Spirit we are blessed and included in your vision of the world. Surprise us with your love for us, that accepts us wholly and abides with us eternally. Amaze us with your mercy, that understands our failings and redeems our weaknesses for your purpose. Awaken us with compassion for all your children, and encourage us to care for each other. Fill us with your Spirit, to recognize your presence in our world and follow your teaching in our lives. 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.

Transfer and Welcome of New Members – Jim and Marg Jardine

Jim – Invite children & youth forward before the youth hymn – start video once they are all at the front. Alison will introduce the hymn.

Youth Hymn: Holy Spirit Fill Me Up (video on screen)

Youth Story:  Fanning the flames – Alison

Who saw the sun (or rain) on their way to church this morning? Who saw the clouds? Who saw the wind? I bet you didn’t actually see the wind, just the effect the wind has on things around it, like tree branches swaying back and forth. God is like that, isn’t he? We don’t actually see him but we can see the effect his power has on us and everything around us.

Today is Pentecost Sunday, a day when we celebrate the Holy Spirit. Remember last week when Jesus ascended up, up, up into heaven? He promised the disciples that he wasn’t leaving them alone. He promised to send the Holy Spirit, a part of God that would come down from heaven and live inside each and every one of us. The story of how he did that is pretty crazy.

The disciples were all gathered together, and they heard a loud sound, like the rushing of wind. Let’s make that sound. Next, flames appeared all around them and rested on each one of them. (Alison turns on a fan and orange and red streamers blow out). But nobody got burned. Nothing caught on fire!

Those flames were the flames of the Holy Spirit, sent from heaven. You have the Holy Spirit inside you. We all do! Can you feel it? Jesus is with you wherever you go, always inside you. He is the light of the world, and we want that light to fill us up until it overflows so much that everyone else can see it shining in us too.

Let’s say a prayer,

Loving God, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for always being with us, wherever we go. Help us nurture that flame and keep your light shining brightly for all the world to see. Amen.

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

Scripture Reading: Acts 2:1-21  Susan Sheppard

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.

Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every people under heaven living in Jerusalem.  And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.

Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?  And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.”

All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Fellow Jews and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.

Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning.

No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.

Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.

And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist.

The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day.

Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Scripture Response: “Holy Spirit Hear Us”   verse 2   377VU

Sacrament of Holy  Communion  One: Jim   All: Gill

The Communion

One: We celebrate the Divine Spirit, who hovered over creation and brought order out of formlessness.
All: We praise you, Spirit.

One: We celebrate the Divine Spirit, who filled Jesus with power and wisdom and, through him, made divine life available to all.
All: We praise you, Spirit.

One: We celebrate the Spirit, who has been poured out on all people, and leads us into the Reign of God.
All: We praise you, Spirit.

One: And so, as we gather at this table, we recognise the Spirit’s Presence among us,
All: and we open our hearts to Spirit’s influence.

Silence

All: God, we come knowing that we depend on you for life and truth and love.
We come knowing that you welcome us with open and accepting arms.
We come ready to meet with you,and be changed by the encounter.
Amen.

Jim –  One   Gill –  Two (not on screen)

One: The Lord Jesus, on the eve of His crucifixion, gathered his friends for a meal.
During supper, he took a loaf of bread, and gave thanks for it.
Then he broke it and passed it among them with these words:

Two:  This is my body which is broken for you. Take, eat and remember me.

One: After the meal, Jesus took a cup of wine and gave thanks for it.
Then he passed it among them with these words:

Two: This is my blood which is shed for you.
Take, drink and remember me.

One: So now, we eat and we drink, and we remember Jesus and the Divine Love he showed us.
Amen.

Two: Spirit, as we share this bread and wine, let it be a sharing in Christ’s body and blood, Christ’s 
life and presence; and may we embody your life, love, and presence in our homes and community. Amen.

Consecration & Communion is received

Prayers after Receiving

All: Thank you, Divine Spirit, for this meal of remembrance, and for coming to us as we have shared it.
May the love we find at this table be reflected in our lives; May the power we receive at this table
make us peacemakers and healers; And may the Spirit who fills us again at this table lead us to be those who proclaim God’s Reign in every word we speak and in everything we do.
Amen.

Adapted by John van de Laar © Sacredise Publishing (Sacredise.com)

Chancel Choir:  “You Raise Me Up”   Soloist:  Ron Tidy

Morning Message:  Gill Le Fevre

I was chatting with a friend, Mary, this week, and we were swapping stories about how much we appreciated the togetherness of worship after the isolation of Covid. Mary had particularly felt this gratitude over the May holiday weekend when she had been able to take part in her community’s Croatian Festival, which included a packed-to-the-rafters service celebrating mass. At one point, a hymn was being sung by choirs and the congregation, accompanied by musicians, and it had been so compelling for Mary that she had taken out her phone and recorded it. And so she showed me.

It was incredible to watch — because it was the festival weekend, much of the congregation was in traditional Croatian costume, and it was fascinating to see such a vibrant, yet visibly different congregation at worship.

And then I started to hear the audio. And I suddenly realized — I know that song. I couldn’t make out the words, I wasn’t even sure if it was being sung in English, and so the moment overwhelmed me with its connection to our reading, through the way in which it was at once completely foreign and yet also deeply familiar.

And the hymn was familiar to me because we sing it here. The hymn was “Here I Am Lord” also titled, “I, the Lord of Sea and Sky” and it’s a wonderful affirmation of faith amidst uncertainty, which is also very fitting for our reading today.

We are used to seeing this passage with celebratory eyes, as the beginning of Christianity and the apostolic mission, but to give that celebration its fullest context, we need to look first at the extent to which this world and this moment were permeated with uncertainty.

First of all, there are the disciples who were apprehensive and tentative. They have seen the risen Christ and he has instructed them to wait in Jerusalem to “receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them.” It was the last thing Jesus said to them. So they wait and wonder: what comes next.

Then there is the wider community, made up of people who have been moved — literally — through uncertainty.

Acts describes the “devout Jews from every people under heaven” and provides a lengthy list of regions and languages represented in the community in Jerusalem. These were people whose families had previously been scattered out of Israel and who had generations later returned to Jerusalem. Their families have lived through the uncertainty of experiences such as exile, enslavement or economic hardship. And now they have again moved, back to their homeland perhaps, but still identified as foreign and different.

And then the first reaction to the Holy Spirit that we read of in Acts, is one of uncertainty and even fear. The coming of the Spirit was so loud, so violent, that a crowd quickly gathered. Our text says they were bewildered, but if this makes us imagine quiet confusion then we are downplaying this event. Instead, picture a crowd in turmoil, stirred up in a disorderly uproar and completely uncomprehending.

That brings us closer to the unsettling uncertainty of this moment.

Unsettling uncertainty is hard to live with, as we’ve all experienced especially over the last few years. On a personal front, my workplace has been steeped in uncertainty over the last six months.

I remember the moment when this uncertainty crashed into my day. I was downtown, going to work, and had just stepped into the elevator in our building. Now my office is on the 42nd floor, so I have plenty of time to read the news headlines that the elevator monitors display. But the news that morning was not pleasant reading; for there was the name of the company I worked for, linked to widespread layoffs that would be announced in the coming months.

That uncertainty hung over my team and our colleagues for the next three months, only to be replaced by the uncertainty of a regional restructuring, with unknown roles, unknown teams and the fear of further reductions now unsettling our days and disturbing our nights. I can see in others and feel in myself the tangible pain of an uncertain future.

As the apostles were to discover, faith does not eliminate such challenging times. But it can transform them; and more importantly, it transforms us.

And that is what we affirm when we remember the day of Pentecost. We celebrate the triumph of God’s power over fear and uncertainty, and we proclaim the courage we can have through God.

We can see this courage at work throughout our reading. The most obvious example is a transformed Peter. The fear and uncertainty that had him vigorously deny Jesus before the crucifixion — and which at the end of John’s Gospel, had Peter doubt Jesus’ love — all that is gone. Now Peter speaks boldly to the crowd, preaching the power of God and the salvation of Jesus.

More than Peter, though; the entirety of the believers are clearly and explicitly included in this transformation. The Spirit came to all of them — the vivid imagery of tongues of fire “rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.” And we can see in the book of Acts and beyond, the impact of this moment, as they go on to carry out the ministry of Jesus, courageous in the face of hardship and repudiation.

Powerfully, this transformation is shared inclusively, with no-one left out. In his speech, Peter even names the diversity of the recipients of the Spirit: men and women, old and young, free and enslaved.

His speech here suggests the probable diversity of the believers who were present and received the Spirit — the legacy of Jesus’ teaching and ministry was disrupting social constructs of power and division. And it emphasizes God’s intention to include everyone in his blessing of the Spirit, everyone in his blessing of salvation, everyone in his blessing of courage.

What might we do with courage through God? How can courage through God transform our uncertainty?

I was inspired this week, reading the story of Dr. Tererai Trent, who grew up in a cattle-herding family in rural Zimbabwe. For Tererai, like her mother, grandmother and generations of women before her, her life was shaped by fear and abuse. She, like them, was sold into marriage, literally sold in exchange for a cow, at the age of 11.

By 18, Tererai already had three children — along with a dream of a very different life. Despite not having even a high-school education, Tererai dreamed of university study and ultimately completing a PhD.

There isn’t the space to properly relate the challenges Tererai has overcome in her life: the abuse she suffered in her home, from a husband who beat her; the poverty she had to overcome to feed her family as well as progress her education. The difficulties Tererai has faced are almost incomprehensible.

But Tererai expresses her journey — filled with grit and perseverance and courage — in a very profound way. She writes, “At the most difficult points in my life, I had superhuman strength, because of other people who gave me opportunity.”

Because of other people. Because of the university official who believed in her potential and intervened when Tererai couldn’t pay her fees. Because of his church community who helped with food. Because of the charity, Habitat for Humanity, who provided housing.

Because God sent other people who gave her opportunity.

Because the collective and inclusive blessing of the Holy Spirit is the promise of God’s power at work in the world. Giving us courage. Transforming our uncertainty.

The collective and inclusive blessing of the Holy Spirit drives Tererai on and she describes her work now as “a sacred and moral responsibility.”

Her mission to build schools and provide education for others is Tererai’s ultimate dream, based on her mother’s belief that a person’s purpose should be tied to “the betterment of others”; and connected to her own compulsion to pay forward the opportunities that others gave her.

Tererai says, “It’s an ancient, sacred responsibility that I’m following, to allow others to stand on my shoulder. If we live in this world where we all do that, we recognize that there are others who are struggling. And what is [our] role? How is my dream connected to the struggle of others?”

The answer for Tererai is to ask yourself “this fundamental question, “What breaks my heart?””

And when we have the answer to this question, we can find our courage by trusting in the power of God’s love. We can sing the words of the hymn, “Here am I, Lord,” and proclaim, “I will go Lord, if you lead me; I will hold your people in my heart.”

Pentecost challenges and inspires us to affirm that God’s power will give us courage; that the Holy Spirit within us can help us reach out to others.

And at the same time, Pentecost reassures us that when our world is a storm of uncertainty, God’s Spirit sends others to give us opportunity. We share the opportunity to trust, the opportunity to hope, the opportunity to care.

Above all, we share the opportunity to love — to let God’s love touch our hearts and change our lives. That is the promise of Pentecost.

Praise be to God.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Let God’s Holy Spirit inspire us in our giving, to put away fear and scarcity, and give in love and hope, for the world and those in need. Let God’s Holy Spirit move our offering into the places that need it the most.

♥  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 stuart@waltonmemorial.com

Offering Hymn:  “Give Thanks”

Offering Prayer

All: Blazing God, pour out your Spirit upon us that we may see the world through your loving eyes. Spirit of power, shape us to understand the ways in which we can serve your word in the world. Spirit of courage, strengthen us to follow your calling in our lives. Spirit of hope, comfort us and all who struggle with the reassurance of your eternal care. Take our gifts of our time, our abilities and our resources, and use them in service of your holy purpose. Amen.

Hymn: “Spirit of Gentleness”   375VU

Benediction

May the transforming power of the Holy Spirit enter into your hearts to strengthen and inspire you. May you be blessed by the Spirit to see your dreams answering the struggle of others. And may you find peace in ambiguity, hope in uncertainty, and love in everything you do.

Closing Hymn:  “Come and Find the Quiet Center”  verse 3 374VU

Announcements – Gill & Jim


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, May 24th