Virtual Service – May 29, 2022

2:00 pm

May 29, 2022

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 11:00am. 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.

• 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.

• VBS registration deadline approaching – Welcome to Knights of North Castle – Walton’s 2022 Vacation Bible School summer day camp July 11-15. Registration is closing soon so sign up to secure your spot as a camper or volunteer.

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 may not make mistakes, but humans sure do!

• 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:

Jim:  Good morning and welcome to Walton United Church’s hybrid service. What a beautiful morning it is.

Val:    Did you know it is Ascension Sunday?

Jim:   Well, that gives me a real lift! Ha,ha!

Val:    Come on Jim, seriously.

Jim:    No seriously Val. You know we are called to give others a lift.

Val:    Really?  How do you mean?  Like lift people up in the elevator kind of lift?

Jim:    No, more like lift them in spirit, in prayer, in hope, and in light.

Val:     Let us join together in the Litany for Ascension this morning as we discover what Ascension means.

Litany for Ascension Day

One:     Because Jesus ascended and sits at the right hand of God, new world has broken into ours—

All:       a world in which justice does come for the poor,freedom comes for the prisoners, and healing for the sick.

One:     Because Jesus ascended and sits at the right hand of God, a new community has been formed—

All:       a community that loves and cares for all members, a family that welcomes all who are abandoned and rejected, a place where all find a place of belonging.

One:     Because Jesus ascended and sits at the right hand of God, a new creation has begun— all that was distorted is being restored,all that is corrupted is being renewed,all that was broken is being made whole.

All:       Because Jesus ascended and sits at the right hand of God,God’s new world has begun. 

          (adapted by Christine Sine, and posted on Godspace)

Hymn:   “A Hymn of Glory, Let us Sing”  verses 1 and 4  208LUYH

Call to Worship

One:  Clap your hands! Shout for joy!Our Lord reigns on the throne of glory!

All:    We open our hearts to the ascended Lord,who sits on the throne of glory!

          (from the Ministry Matters website)

Opening Prayer

All:       You are not only risen and alive, you are Lord.

This is your ascension, your ascendancy over the whole universe.

You stand over and above all that is best in life as its source.

You stand above all that is the worst as the ultimate victor.

You stand above all powers and authorities as judge.

You stand above all failure and weakness and sin as forgiveness and love.

You alone are worthy of total allegiance, total commitment.

You are Lord, ‘My Lord and my God.’ 

Lord of Lords, illumine our hearts this day, that we may feel your glory and live into the hope

to which you have called us. Amen.

(adapted  by Rex Chapman, in A Treasury of Prayer (compiled by Tony Castle) & from Ministry Matters)

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 – “The Word of God”

Val is surprised to find Alison apparently talking to herself in the Sanctuary as she holds a copy of the Action Bible.

V: What are you doing? I can hear you saying “congratulations” and “God bless you” but I don’t see anyone else here.

A: I’m practicing.

V: Practicing for what?

A: In a couple of weeks we will be presenting our Grade 3 students with their own Bible during the service. It’s been two years since we could do the presentation in church, and I’m worried I’ve forgotten how, so  figured I should practice.

V: That’s right! We’re presenting the Grade 3 bibles on Sunday, June 12th  as part of our Summer Celebration service. I’m so excited that the children will be here in the Sanctuary for youth story before going to Sunday School. Things are starting to feel normal again. And it’s such a special occasion to have them here.

A: It’s really special to get your own Bible, and this is a special Bible. We give them out in Grade 3 because at that age they are old enough to read the Word of God for themselves. It’s great to have Rev. Jim, or Val, or your Sunday School teacher tell you the stories and explain the Bible to you, but when you read it for yourself, you are building your own relationship with God. And God wants to have a relationship with each of us, even little kids, ones that can’t read yet.

V: This is a really cool Bible. It’s like a graphic novel with the pictures and words. Most importantly, it’s easy for kids to understand. There are so many different versions of the Bible and it’s really important to choose the one that makes sense to you. I’m not a teenager anymore (no really!) but I still like my Youth Bible, because it includes explanations of many stories and passages and how they can relate to our lives now.

A: All our kids and youth are such a blessing to Walton, and I hope these Bibles will be a blessing to those children receiving them on June 12. Val, would you like to say a prayer?

V: Let us pray.  Loving God, we thank you that your word can reach out to each of us no matter what age we are, that we can hear your words of wisdom and guidance. Lord we pray for Sunday June 12th , when our wonderful Grade 3 children receive their bibles. Lord we ask you to be with us today and every day. Amen.

Hymn:  “Lord, I Lift Your Name on High”610LUYH

Solo:  “I Believe” Emily Klatt

Scripture Reading:  Acts 1:1-11

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.

After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

The Ascension of Jesus

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.  While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them.  They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Scripture Response: “Jesus Remember Me”148VU

Morning Message:  “When?”Rev. Gill

“When are we going to get there?” A restless child asking a parent on a car trip. “When will I ever get through this line?” A traveller at Pearson Airport worrying that their flight may depart before they get through security. “When will the store have in that product I ordered?” A person waiting for a wood order made back in April.

“When” is a universal question that transcends all ages. Of course we have all asked a “when” question at one time or another in this form: “When will this pandemic ever be over?”

Today is Ascension Sunday across most of the western Christian church. Forty days after the Resurrection Jesus ascended into Heaven. Today’s passage from the Acts of the Apostles is one of the accounts of that Ascension, which includes a “when” question. It says, “Then they gathered around Jesus and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

 

With the Ukraine War some people point to today as the time Jesus will return for his second coming. You may recall there have been others who said similar things about the second coming of Jesus in the Cold War era, the Cuban missile crisis, the first Gulf War, 9/11 and so on.  Even before our lifetimes, back over history there have been people who pointed to world events saying this or that will herald the return of Jesus.

 

Of course we hear in scripture that Jesus will return not as a baby in a manger in Bethlehem, but as the angels describe in today’s reading. “People 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.”

The second coming will not be missed like the first coming or the first Advent at Christmastime was. In other passages of scripture we also hear of Jesus’ second coming, especially in the book of Revelation. When I hear of troubling world events such as the genocide and destruction in Ukraine and we wonder about the future, I recall the words of Jesus in the reading today: “Jesus said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”

You see it is all in God’s hands, not our hands. God has his own timetable and only God knows the schedule of future events. All you or I can do is deal with the here and now of this day, May 28, 2022, which we have been given.  It is comforting to recall the words of Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God”. When confronted by the larger “when” questions in life, just “be still” in God’s hands. Hopefully there can be some peace in that divine stillness.

In this story this morning I really appreciate the question that the angels ask those watching Jesus’ Ascension after he is gone from their sight. The Angel’s question is “Why do you stand here looking into the sky?” It is as if the angels are saying to the disciples, “You have a job to do. Soon the Holy Spirit will descend upon you at Pentecost. It will be that which gives you the power to get at it.”

They are to do the tasks at hand. They have lots to do before Jesus returns, is my sense of the angels’ question. They are to go to the corners of the world with Jesus’ message. Shortly thereafter the 11 remaining disciples did exactly that, spreading the message around the Mediterranean world. As present day disciplines we are to “get at it” like the original disciples. We have good news to share.

Here is another “when” question for you. When you go to cast your vote this Thursday what future for Ontario are you voting for? What do you believe Ontario needs – not just over the next four years but for generations to come? Many of the “concrete” ideas being proposed will change our landscape forever. Is this a good idea or not so good idea? Please go and vote on June 2 in whatever riding you may reside in. Cast your vote for the future you think is best. Please go vote.

Here is another “when” question. When will Communion be the way it used to be? When you receive the bread and wine please do not focus on this Communion being different from the traditional pew Communion we last had in May, 2019. We do miss pew Communion as we knew it. But we still have communion in Covid form. I think less about Covid Communion changes and more about how blessed we are at Walton having Covid pew communion, compared to those in Ukraine having communion in their bombed out churches, underground in subway stations or out on the battlefields. Yes, this a combined sanitary Communion cup and bread and it’s not like before, but it is still Christ’s body broken for us, Christ’s blood shed for us. The table is set  for “when” we celebrate. Come let us join in this Holy Feast.

Hymn:  “Open the Eyes of My Heart”537LUYH

Sacrament of Holy Communion

One: Let us lift up our hearts.

All: We lift them to the Lord.

One: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

All: It is right to give our thanks and praise.

One: It is indeed right to give you our thanks and praise, O God,  for you have called us to a rich hope and a glorious inheritance among the saints.

Two: You fixed the world in place and rule over all from your sacred throne.

One: You formed a people for yourself and through Moses and the prophets you spoke to them of the Christ who fills all in all.

Two: As it was written, he suffered and was killed, but you raised him from the dead and he walked again with his chosen ones, speaking to them of your glorious kingdom. You carried him into heaven on the clouds and made him head over all things for the church, seating him at your right hand far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. (copyright @2002 Nathan Nettleton)

Prayer of Confession

All: O Lord, we have not lived our lives as kingdom people. We place our crowns on hopelessness, fear, and selfishness. We are ruled by our schedules and our need for control. We make kings of the things we acquire and queens of our immediate desires.We forget that your kingdom draws near to us on earth, as it is in heaven. Forgive us, we pray. Come, Lord, and open in us the gates of your kingdom. Amen.

Words of Assurance

One:  The God of our Lord Jesus Christ blesses us and calls us “kingdom people.” In the name of the reigning Christ, we are forgiven.

Two:   In the name of the reigning Christ, we are forgiven. Glory to God!  Amen.

(from the Ministry Matters website)

The Bread and Wine of Remembrance

One:  When the time was right, God sent Jesus to be among us.

Two:  Born into this life, seeing Your grace revealed in all things, he laughed with those who laughed, and mourned with those who mourned.

One:  Through Your love, he healed the sick, he welcomed the outcast, he challenged those in power and the structures that kept them there.

Two:  And he called us back to Your love.

One:  In the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ laughs and cries, heals and welcomes, challenges and loves,  again and again and again.

Two:  We have been told that, on the night before he was taken to be tortured to death on a cross, Jesus sat with his disciples, and ate with them, in a meal of remembrance.

One:  Jesus lifted up  a loaf of bread, asked Your blessing upon it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying:

Two:  “Take this – all of you – and eat it. This is me. My body. Given for you. Each time you eat it

One:   Remember me.

One:  Close to the meal’s end, he lifted a cup filled with wine, asked Your blessing upon it, and gave it to his disciples saying:

Two:  “Take this – all of you – and drink it.This is me. This is my promise in my life’s blood – poured out for you and for the world.  Each time you drink it,

One:     remember me.”

Two:    So we, his disciples, eat bread and drink wine – and remember.

(adapted  Richard Bott’s “Communion Liturgy for Advent.” Posted on the Liturgy Alive website)

Consecration & Distribution of the Bread and Wine

Prayer after Communion

All: God our Father, you fill the hungry with good things and send the self-satisfied away empty. In this eucharist, you have filled us with the word and the bread of life of your Son Jesus Christ. Make us hunger now for his coming in the hearts and the homes of all. Fill us with his spirit of service and self-forgetting love, that through us, he may become near to people. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

(from Liturgies Alive, Models of Celebration)

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Faithful God, you ask us to be faithful people.
In this community, you ask us to be people of justice.
In this community, you ask us to be people of mercy.
In this community, you ask us to be people of peace.
In this community, you ask us to be people of acceptance and love.
Be with us as we try to be faithful in large ways and in small ways
so your eternal community may come in every way.
I invite the ushers forward, our offering will now be received.

(adapted  Seasons of the Spirit: All Saints Day—Year A, published by WoodLake Publishing)

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Offertory Hymn:  “Hallelujah Give Thanks” vs. 1179VU

Offering Prayer

All: Living God, let the resurrection of your Son transform our lives. Make us bold in serving you and bringing your good news to other people. Help us to share of ourselves and our possessions with one another and especially with our neighbours in need. Amen.

(adapted from the Lutheran Church of Australia)

Anthem: “Fly Away Home”

 

Closing Prayer for Ascension (inspired by Acts 1:9-11)

Lord of life,
We do not know the face of the future, any more than your disciples did.
Like them, we have many questions:
how to live
how to bear witness.
Like them, we thirst for the spring waters of the Spirit to inspire us in our living
to give us a heart language in our testimony.
You have been raised in glory that we might rise with dignity
You live in power that we might live in peace
You are present everywhere that we might be fully present in our own lives
This we believe
This we step out on.
Amen.

(posted on the Monthly Prayers page (now Weekly Worship) of the Christian Aid website)

Benediction

Go out into the world and in your words and in your lives bear witness to the Christ who has ascended to be everywhere present.
And as you come to know him, may God give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation, may Christ Jesus lift up his hands and bless you, and may the Spirit open to you all the riches of Christ’s inheritance.
We go in peace to love and serve the Lord, in the name of Christ. Amen.

(Copyright © 2002 Nathan Nettleton)

Closing Hymn:   “You Shall Go Out with Joy”884VU


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, May 25th