Virtual Service – May 9, 2021

8:30 am

May 9, 2021

Welcome to virtual church!

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Sunday Service Video (30+ minutes followed by the hymns)

Today’s service will be offered in 2 formats – video and text. If you wish, you can download and print the service from this document – link – or you can read the complete service below.

The hymn-sing is at the end.


Announcements

• Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. It’s Mother’s Day and – not surprisingly – the Bible has a verse for that!
•  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


Welcome

Good morning and thank you for joining us on this Christian Family Sunday. For some people it is also Mother’s Day, and we wish you a wonderful Mother’s Day. We celebrate with you this morning.

Call to Worship

On this Christian Family Sunday, we are called to celebrate relationships: mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends and all those of every gender who nurture us.

Our God is a God of relationships, who seeks us out and longs for us to connect with others and with all of creation.

Let us gather in the light of Christ to celebrate all of the loving relationships that shape and bless our lives.
(adapted Tammy Fergusson, The Gathering L/E 2021)

Opening Prayer

Today, Gracious God, we think especially of what family and home mean to us, and how important it is for each of us to have a place where we are welcomed and accepted.

For each of us that is different and looks different.

We are grateful to you for the invitation you have extended to each of us to make our home with you and that no one will be refused entry into your family, that each of us is acceptable just as we are.

May we be sensitive and welcoming hosts for each other and for all who enter this virtual family of faith, and into the church building when it opens up again.

May we extend a gracious and accepting welcome to all who enter into our own homes again when we are able, and for now those who enter into our driveways, backyards, and the places we are safely able to open up to others.

To you, Gracious God, who has welcomed us unconditionally, we give our thanks today.
Amen.
(adapted Fern Gibbard, The Gathering L/E 2021)

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: “Open the doors and see all the people…. if only we could!”

Alison and Val are looking at the Book Nook that looks like Walton Church, which Weldon made a few years ago. Both are wondering if when Weldon built the Walton Book Nook, did he know that we would be looking at the outside of the church more than the inside. The Walton Book Nook sits looking out the front window of Bronte Hall. So people walking by can look in and see it.

What if we could turn it around and be on the inside of the church with all our Walton church family.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful??? It reminds me of the little poem we learned when we were in Sunday School; fold your hands together, and say

“Here is the church.
Here is the steeple.
Open the doors and see all the people.”

Oh how we miss seeing all those people. We talk to lots of people, but it is seeing and being together in worship we miss too.

Want to know a blessing that has come from our virtual services, we have grown! There are people worshipping with us that haven’t ever stepped into Walton church, and some people who couldn’t come to church before, and can now and they are regularly worshipping with us virtually. God reaches out through closed doors, the pandemic, loneliness and puts us all together to worship him. God gives us blessings in the midst of everything.
Let us thank God in prayer.

Loving God, we thank you for our church family, we thank you for the family that we are with and those who we are missing, on this Christian Family Sunday. Be with each one of us, thank you God for the many blessings that you give us. Amen.

Anthem: “10,000 Reasons”

 

Scripture Reading: John 15: 9-17 (NIV)“

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.

Morning Message: “What is abiding fruit?” – Rev. Jim Gill

What are your vivid childhood memories? One I recall as a child was going to visit the funeral home to pay respects to a distant relative of mine who died near age 100. My Mom wanted to expose me to such real life situations early in my life, in this case with a relative I did not really know so well. In that way I would be better prepared when someone I knew closely passed away.

I was nervous. I recall waiting in line, shifting my weight from one foot to another. Then I spied a bowl of fruit on the table. Why not have an apple to distract my nervousness, I probably thought to myself. When Mom was talking to someone in another direction I grabbed an apple from the display in a glass bowl and bit into it. You guessed it. I spit it out pretty quickly on to the rug. It was wax fruit, only there for display. Not a delicious Mac or Spy or Cortland, but a ball of wax.

It’s against the backdrop of the Southern Ontario buds of springtime around us that we again read today from John 15. It’s the passage where Jesus describes the relationship that exists between Christ and Christ’s followers. He uses the analogy of a vine and its many branches. “I am the vine, you are the branches,” Christ said in John 15:5, last week’s reading in our 171st Walton Anniversary Sunday Service. In my home church there are a series of long, narrow stained glass windows running along both sides of the congregation. They picture a main vine that runs the length of the building, and out of it countless branches growing out often right over the ends of the pews where people are seated. Those stained glass windows illustrate this biblical symbol of the vine and branches so powerfully each week as worshippers gather.

People are beginning to get their gardens ready for spring. They are planting, looking forward in hope to a food or floral harvest. There is hardly a passage in all the New Testament that better defines the nature of Christian lifestyle than the vine and branch passage. In this passage, Christ tells us what God wants from us, what God does for us, and what God expects of us. Christ tells us what God wants from us in a single powerful word; God wants fruit! Fruit is mentioned a total of eight times in this 15th chapter. God wants us to bear fruit. Definitely fruit not made of wax!. But what kind of fruit are we called to bear? June strawberries, August raspberries or September apples? No we’re called to bear the fruit of Christian character and Christian conduct.

First, God wants us to bear the fruit of Christian character. Galatians 5:22-23 describes the fruit produced in us by the Spirit of Christ gives us. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (ESV) These are the qualities of Christian or Christlike character. You may remember when we had all the paper Fruits of the Spirit up on the west wall of the Bronte Hall stage, a few years ago. (show photo)

Secondly we’re called to bear the fruit of Christian conduct. Colossians 1:10-11 says we are supposed to “…lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to God as (we) bear fruit in every good work.” You see, Christian character produces Christian conduct. It produces fruit in you that is not rotten, spoiled, or starting to smell. If we have the Spirit of Christ living in us then God will produce Christlike conduct through us. The Spirit works in and through us to bring the fruit of change, growth and renewal.

I wonder if my Mom had not taken me to that funeral home at such an early age whether I would have ended up doing what I do now, bearing fruit, for part of ministry is being with the dead and dying. In my teens, by the way, I made up for the wax apple by working a few weekends every fall picking apples near Glen Huron, south of Collingwood, in the heart of apple country.

Today is Mother’s Day, also known as Christian Family Sunday. I think of those who mother at their very best, producing the fruit of Christlike character and conduct. They plant, water, tend, prune, fertilize, trim and harvest fruit. What have the women who have nurtured and cared for you planted in your life? What fruit has come from those we celebrate today on Mother’s Day? Let’s give thanks for their gardening in our lives.

This Mother’s Day we are so aware that mothering is very different. We celebrate those overseeing and facilitating homeschooling, often while also working from home. We feel the loneliness of those cut off from family due to distancing, quarantines and lockdowns. Those who do mothering through a window, a computer screen, or at the end of a driveway. Mothers who have not seen some of their family face-to-face in months. Those mothers who face steep learning curves with technology they have never used before. Mothers unable to hug their kids and grand-kids.

Yet mothering has persevered these last 14months. Mother figures have adapted, pivoted, made do and created new ways of being. In doing so they have borne “…the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Today we celebrate and give thanks for this and so much more on this Covid Mother’s Day. God bless all those who mother – past, present and future.

Pastoral Prayer

A Prayer for a Stressed out Mom, Dad, Daughter, Son, Grandparent, Caregiver, Friend…

May you have clarity of thought and a morsel of sanity today.
May you know that God’s grace is enough.
For every season, every tantrum, every question, every failure. It is enough. Always.

May you know that you are wildly loved by your Heavenly Father, just as you are.
Not because of what you accomplished today, or didn’t.

Or how you feel about God at this moment, or whether you complained, or spent time reading your Bible, or messed up in the worst way, or celebrated a victory.
God adores you, just because.

And with this knowledge, may you feel empowered to love those whom you nurture and love the same way. The way God asks you to, the way the ones you care for deserve, and the way you want to.

May you feel equipped to tackle every challenge, every situation, and every day with courage and joy even if you have to “start over” 10 times by 9 a.m

May excitement fill your heart every morning for all that the day can be.

Those who you love and care for are your treasure, and this day is a gift–
may you fully embrace it all.

May you lay your head down at night with a heart that is bursting and memories too plentiful to count. May you know unspeakable joy at the end of the day.

May you recognize that though these days are so (so, so, so, so) long, the years are short.
They are a breath.

And as you exhale yours in the darkness of the night, may your cup overflow with thanksgiving.
May your dreams be sweet and your sleep be restful.

Thank you, Mommy, Poppa, Auntie, Uncle, Nanny, Caregiver, Friend knowing that the work you are doing is good, and your God is smiling on you.
Amen.
(Adapted by Malinda Fuller Copyright © 2021, Crosswalk.com)

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

When we look to the days ahead, all of us look forward to being with someone, seeing someone. Relationships are a gift that so many of us have taken for granted, not that we meant to, but they were always there, just a text message, phone call or knock on the door away.

Lord, help us to remember what this feels like so we can offer ourselves to others who are isolated and struggling to be part of your family.

Lord, we give from our blessings today to help others the way we can in this time of lock down. The offering will now be received.

♥ by secure online payment from your bank or credit card. Click here to go to our donation page to make a single or recurring donation. Multiple funds (including Sleeping Children) 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 Prayer

Generous God, you invite us to give you gifts from the abundance that we have received from you.

We know that these offerings will be transformed by you into precious gifts in the same way that the dandelions we brought to our mothers, our teachers, our caregivers became priceless bouquets.

Thank you, God. Amen.

Benediction

As we leave today this time together virtually as the Family of faith, we go into your world, Lord, ready to reach out to someone we haven’t heard from for a while.

To call someone whom you have placed in my thoughts or my prayers.

To drop off some food to the foodbank, or to write a note and put it in the mailbox of someone you don’t know, but know they are struggling through something right now.

Help us to be your heart, hands and feet, to nurture and care for one of your children, Lord.
Amen.


Walton’s Musical Message

This morning on Facebook and on YouTube, we’re sharing a video where Linda shares with us several of our favourite hymns! Sing along!

♬ Mothers of Faith (by Malcolm Gordon, NZ)
♬ Part of the Family (VU 395 verses 1&2)
♬ For the Beauty of the Earth (VU 226)
♬ God of the Women (Carolyn Gillette)
♬ Would You Bless Our Homes and Families (VU 556)
♬ Closing We are Called (LUYH 296, verse 3)


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, April 28th