Virtual Service – November 14, 2021

8:30 am

November 14, 2021

Welcome to virtual church!

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.

Sunday Service Video

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.

 


Important announcement regarding Walton’s Covid-19 policies

At the most recent meeting on November 9, 2021, the Walton Council passed the following change to Walton’s Covid vaccination policy:

Effective Monday, November 15, 2021 until Monday, January 31, 2022, Walton Church will require proof of vaccination for all indoor worship activities, group gatherings, meetings, events, and rentals.

This includes Sunday worship, Sunday School, Teen Talk, Youth Groups, in-person committee meetings, Bible study, etc. Exceptions are those not eligible for vaccination due to their age, and those with documented medical exemptions. Proof of full vaccination or medical exemption letter from a licensed physician must be presented each time to attend any of the above events.

Our current Covid protocols will remain for everyone’s protection: cloth or 3-layer paper masks worn correctly over the nose and mouth and physical distancing required at all times indoors; advance registration and assigned seating for Sunday services and Sunday School; no group singing; enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of high touch surfaces; all staff and visitors to complete a health screening and sign in and out of the building.

As a church that is dedicated to being welcoming and inclusive, this is not a decision that was taken lightly. However as we head into winter amid rising case numbers, the Council felt this step is necessary not only to protect our members and guests, but also to create the safest working environment possible for Walton’s staff in these extraordinary times.

Council strongly encourages everyone able to get vaccinated to do so when eligible. For those who choose not to, and those uncomfortable attending worship in person, virtual services will continue to be offered each week.

Council will re-evaluate this policy in January in light of current case numbers, provincial regulations, and the direction of our regional health authority. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the church office.

Other announcements

• In-person Sunday School resumes on Sunday, November 21! We can’t wait to welcome children and youth in grades JK – 8 back to Sunday School beginning next week. For full details regarding vaccination and Covid-19 policies, advance registration, and drop off / pick up procedures, please visit the Sunday School registration page on Walton’s website or contact the church office. For those not ready to return in person, virtual lessons will continue to be sent out by email each week.
• Senior Youth Group – Friday, November 19th we’re back in person! Sign up to our email list to get more details – https://bit.ly/SYGsignup
• White Gift casting call for kids and teens! Every year Walton’s kids help share the true meaning of Christmas with the congregation in our White Gift service – a special day dedicated to giving. The theme this year is “What Will You Give?” This year’s White Gift play will be pre-recorded and we’d love it if your children could take part. Each child would need to read just one short line and place a gift under the tree. The recording process will take approximately 10-15 minutes per family. No costumes, props or memorization required. Call or email the church office to book your recording at a day and time convenient for you between Monday, November 22 and Sunday, November 28. Thanks for helping us share the spirit and the message of Christmas.
Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. Our study of God’s rules continues this week with commandments 4 and 5. Follow the link in the virtual service email, or contact the church office to receive the weekly lessons right in your inbox
Walton’s Givings Envelopes Offering Envelope @ Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontarioare now available for pickup.  You are invited to drop by the church and ring the doorbell and we will bring your box out to you during the week. On Sunday mornings, you may notice your givings box is sitting in your assigned pew. Yes, if your name is on the top, those are for you.
Food Bank Donations — non-perishable food items, baby care items, and toiletries are now being accepted physically again here at the church. If you would like to donate to the food bank, please bring your donations with you to Sunday worship and leave them at the check-in desk. During the week you can ring the doorbell and drop them off at the church office.
Poinsettias - Memorials @ Walton United Church, Oakville, OntarioMemorial Poinsettias — You are welcome to purchase a memorial poinsettia for Christmas. This year the memorial poinsettias will help decorate our Sanctuary and entrance areas for the Advent and Christmas season. Sorry, no take-home orders will be available this year.
If you would like to purchase a memorial poinsettia in memory of a loved one, friend, or family member, please place your order for either a 6” red, white, or pink poinsettia for $12.00 before Saturday, November 20th.
You can order online by credit/debit card, email Val at familyministries@waltonmemorial.com, or call the church office 905-827-1643.
Walton’s mitten trees are up! Many folks – more than ever – will be in need of warmth this approaching winter and we want to help our brothers and sisters in this small way. Please crochet, knit, refurbish, or purchase some gloves, scarves and hats to decorate our special trees.  We will promise to deliver everything to someone who will be so grateful. Thank you from the Walton Outreach Committee – all of our efforts are what you make possible. ❣️ P.S.  We also would ask for warm, thermal socks if you can manage to donate some. You are welcome to leave your mittens/hats/socks at the mitten tree at the east front of the church on your way out of morning worship. Or they can also be left for the rest of the week on the mitten tree in front of the office. To deliver during the week, please come to the Allen door by the ramp at the back of the church and ring the bell on the right of the door to see if someone is in the office. The items can also be put through the mail slot by the door. Thank you so much; your generosity is appreciated.
Job Opportunity – Junior Youth Coordinator – Walton Memorial United Church is seeking a part-time coordinator to lead its Junior Youth group of approximately 25 youth. This is a contract position that will require approximately 10 hours per week. The candidate will be responsible for the vision, direction, organization and curriculum for the weekly Sunday Morning program which covers grades 6-8.
This person will be responsible for recruiting, motivating, training, and supporting the volunteer leaders (Sunday School Teachers and Evening Program Volunteers). The Junior Youth coordinator reports to the Family Ministries Coordinator and cooperates with the Sunday School Co-ordinator to prioritize and plan the curriculum for this age group.  As well, the Junior Youth coordinator must prepare a weekly program (other than Sunday morning) that includes socializing, as well as learning.
The work schedule is flexible and the hours will vary depending upon the time of the Church year. Some work can be conducted from home.
Job requirements and skills:
The candidate will possess strong Christian values and beliefs.
A strong commitment to youth.
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
Independent planning ability and strong leadership skills.
Strong electronic communication skills including the ability to work with current computer programs and techniques.
Must have a valid driver’s license.
A current police record check will be required.
Some pastoral care might be required. Complex issues will be referred to the Minister or Family Ministries Coordinator.
Interested candidates should send their resume to familyministries@waltonmemorial.com or drop their resume off at the Church office to the attention of Ministry and Personnel.
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.


Honouring the Land and Territory

Halton Region, as we know it today, is rich in the history and modern traditions of many First Nations and the Métis. From the lands of the Anishinabe to the Attawandaron, the Haudenosaunee, and the Métis, these lands surrounding the Great Lakes are steeped in Indigenous history. 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.

Flags are placed at the front of the church. 

Welcome

Good morning, and welcome to our Remembrance Day service. For those of us here this morning it is the Sunday before Remembrance Day. For those receiving the virtual service, you will be acknowledging Remembrance Day after November 11th.  Either way, we are grateful and want to acknowledge with thanksgiving all those who have fought, been peacekeepers, worked for, and supported those who have gone to war for our freedom and our rights.

This morning Jillian & Sarah will sing “O Canada.” We ask that you listen to their duet and quietly hum along, with your mouths closed and your masks on if you are watching in person, as we are trying to obey our Covid restrictions to the best of our abilities. Please stand as you are able.

“O Canada”

Act of Remembrance

*Lighting the Christ Candle

One:It’s not rocket science!
All:Peace is more than the absence of fighting.
Peace is justice and righteousness for all.
One:When the language of peace is “all Greek to us,”
All:May God teach us the language of hope and reconciliation.
One: May the light of this candle remind us of the One who brought light from chaos and hope from despair.
All:May it be so.
(adapted Beth W. Johnston, The Gathering Pentecost 2, 2021)

*Call to Worship

One: Who are we, gathered in this place?
All: We are followers of Christ, the Prince of Shalom.

One: And what is this shalom?
All: Peace with justice, a peace that is right, God’s peace.

One: Why are we here?
All: To remind ourselves that we are an important part of shalom –
In our relationships. In our neighbourhoods,
In our communities.  In our country.
In our world.

One: Then come, let us gather.
All: Let us worship the Holy One and let us prepare ourselves to carry God’s peace into God’s world.
(adapted Richard Bott, The Gathering, Pentecost 2, 2021)

*Opening Prayer

One:     We thank you for the gift of peace. Help us to remember the suffering of the world.
We thank you for the gift of peace. Help us to remember the sacrifice of the soldiers, civilians, and peacemakers.

All: We thank you for the gift of peace. Help us to seek out the Holy Spirit, who leads us in the ways of peace and light.
We celebrate your presence, Holy One, and live for a world made holy, and filled with peace and justice for all.  

Amen.

*The Lord’s  Prayer

All: 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.

Duet:   “One Tin Soldier”  Jillian VanderDoelen & Sarah Roussel

Video:  “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Youth Story: Peace be with you

Val: Everybody worries sometimes. We get nervous about a test, or we’re scared because our mom and dad are arguing, or we’re afraid a bully will hit us on the bus. Even adults feel that way—sometimes, I worry about getting stuck in an elevator. That’s something I’m really afraid of.

Alison: Praying about the things that worry us is a good idea, because God can help. Sometimes, he takes away the thing we’re worried about. But other times, instead of taking away the thing that worries us, God will help us feel better about it on the inside. We need your help to demonstrate.

V: When I say GO — don’t do it yet — I want everybody to make as much noise as you can safely with your masks on. But as soon as Alison raises her hand, you need to get silent immediately. Everybody got that? Okay, bring on the noise when I say . . . GO!

After a few seconds, Alison raises her hand.

A: Aaaaahhhh. Peace. Doesn’t that sound nice after all that noise?

V: Sometimes, when we pray about something that worries us, God brings us peace on the outside. He takes away the thing we’re anxious about, just like when Alison took away the noise. But life doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes, the thing that’s worrying you keeps happening! I mean, if you pray about a test, God won’t usually call off the test.

A: Even though he doesn’t always take away the source of your worry, or conflict, or fear,  when you trust God,  he brings you peace inside, no matter what’s happening on the outside around you.. You might say a prayer like this: “God, I’m trusting you with this test. Even if I get a bad grade, I know you’ll still love me.” If you can pray that — and mean it — you’ll probably start to feel some of God’s peace! Why? Because you’re letting him take care of the thing that worries you.

V: Let me show you what that looks like. In a minute—don’t do it yet—we’re going to make noise again. But first, we’re going to give Alison some peace, even when you’re really loud. (Val places noise-reducing ear muffs on Alison). Okay, time for the noise—GO!

After a few seconds, Val raises her hand to stop the noise. 

V. What do you think, Alison? Was that a more peaceful experience, even while everybody was going nuts? When you trust God with the things that worry you, sometimes he brings peace on the outside, like when we stopped the noise. But other times, he works a little bit like earmuffs. He helps block out the worries and noise on the outside so you can feel his peace on the inside better. And for that, I am truly grateful! Let’s say a prayer together:

A: Repeat after me:

Loving God, thank you for the gift of peace, in the world and in our hearts. Help us to be peacemakers with those around us and to turn to you when we need to find peace on the inside. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Aaaaaaaa-MEN!

Scripture Reading:  Mark 12: 38-44

Jesus Denounces the Scribes
As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

The Widow’s Offering
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny.  Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.  For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Morning Message:  “Putting Everything In”

One of you was telling me about surviving the Luftwaffe blitz in London during World War II. You were comparing it to the present time, in which we are being blitzed by Covid-19. You mentioned to me there was much less divisiveness back during the London blitz than there is today. It is interesting to note that the Covid-19 pandemic has actually claimed more victims from that same area than the blitz did during the war. Maybe we spend too much time fighting each other rather than fighting the Covid-19 enemy?

Our scripture in this service gives us a powerful truth about facing a major crisis of any type in life. The story says the Scribes contributed out of their abundance while the widow contributed out of her poverty. Jesus says clearly the widow has “put in everything she had” in the temple treasury. Note if you will that pivotal phrase, “put in everything.” The scribes were overflowing with abundance while the widow had only two small copper coins worth a penny.

Maybe you have seen that meme that says: “We are only asking you to wear a mask, social distance, and get vaccinated, not storm the beaches of Normandy.”

On November 11 each year we remember those who actually did “put everything in.” They put everything in not just on Juno Beach in Normandy but at Hong Kong, Vimy, the north Atlantic, Arnhem, Kandahar, Ypres, Dieppe, Hill 70, Chorwon, the skies over western Europe, the Somme, Beaumont Hamel, Cyprus, Passchendaele, Ortona, Sami-Chonand, the Sheldt. They risked their all and in many cases gave their all.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.”

Jesus says in the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” For believers the holy book is clear; we are called to be peacemakers and not just in questions of war and peace, but in all our human interactions. Some followers of Jesus are actually devout pacifists. Yet when we see the tyranny of people like Hitler in WWII and the many present-day Hilters around the globe, we ask how can we be peacemakers? What is the Christian response to oppression?

Each year at this time around November 11th many followers of Jesus struggle deeply with remembrance. In fact, many congregations only offer a passing reference in worship services about November 11. It is downplayed or even forgotten in Sunday worship.

Here at Walton we have for years marked Remembrance Day. We wear and even offer poppies after Halloween until mid-November. We do this not to glorify war, but to recall and give thanks for the sacrifices of all those past and present who “put in everything” for the freedoms we have today. We say a huge heartfelt thank-you.

I recall one veteran in the Walton congregation telling me with tears in his eyes that he was at Dunkirk in his plane six times protecting the retreat to the beaches and the boats. He just wished he could have made many more flights between May 26 and June 4, 1940.

As we look around there are far fewer veterans as age takes its toll. Each week there are fewer veterans of WWII and Korea left in our communities. For years when planning funerals I used to ask a certain age group if their loved one served in the armed forces or the war effort in some way that should be mentioned. More often than not the answer was yes, from serving overseas to working in a war factory here in the GTA.

Today I seldom ever ask the question unless prompted by very advanced age or prior knowledge of the deceased. This does not mean, however, we should leave the past in the past. We seek to understand today and tomorrow by knowing the history of our past. The tyrants of the past are just re-clothed in the clothes of today.

At this time of year, you hear that expression, “Lest we forget.”  It is a powerful reminder that we all need throughout the year, not just for a few weeks in November.

Lest we forget the sacrifices of those who “put everything in” by what we do throughout the year.

Lest we forget their sacrifices to freely vote. Many people did not think we needed the recent federal election. The point to me was more than just debating the election call. It is that we were free to have an election and we were free to vote as we choose. Real oppression is not having to wear masks. Real oppression is having voting denied or suppressed in countless different ways. Daily we hear in the news of this happening, not just to the south of us but around the world. Populism and populist parties with authoritarian leaders are day-by-day suppressing the democracy so many generations “gave their all” to guarantee.

Lest we forget their sacrifices to worship freely. Around the world, there is more and more religious suppression of all different types of faiths. For Christians, it is the same persecution with even the burning of churches and the death of modern-day martyrs. Christianity Today tells us this year the top 10 worst countries for persecution are relatively unchanged since 2020. After North Korea is Afghanistan, followed by Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, Nigeria, and India in persecution. But there are at least 40 other countries where the right to worship freely is far from guaranteed.

We take the freedom to worship for granted in Canada. It is not a freedom that all of the world knows. Let’s take more advantage to worship. Let’s give thanks that we can worship, rather than taking the opportunity simply as a neglected given in our society.

Lest we forget the sacrifices of those to allow us to just be who we were when we were born. There is oppression of minorities of all types around the globe. Whether it was the Holocaust, genocides, or ethnic cleansing, so many have sacrificed, have given their all to prevent these crimes against humanity. We are all children of God. If God loves God’s children we are called to do the same.

I share with you this Litany of Remembrance called, “We Remember Them,” by Rabbi Sylvan Kamens and Rabbi Jack Riemer

“In the rising of the sun and in its going down, we remember them.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we remember them.
In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring, we remember them.
In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, we remember them.
In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we remember them.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart, we remember them.
When we have joys we yearn to share, we remember them.
So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are now a part of us, as we remember them.”

Anthem: “When Peace Begins With Me”

 

Pastoral Prayer

God of mercy, you live in everlasting glory, and your name is eternal. We give thanks that you have revealed to us the name of your only Son, Jesus, our Saviour, the name above every name, the only name by which we are saved, the name in which we have been baptized, and at whose name every knee will bow.

*Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer

We give thanks for all the blessings of the past year and half with all the changes and rearrangements. You have helped us in the past, and there is no end to your mercy. In these challenging times, protect your church.  Keep all those in leadership humble, and keep your flock from indifference and shame.

Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer

Bless the nations of the earth with leaders who are wise and just, with public servants who are compassionate and patient, and with citizens who are honourable and respectful. Bless all the lawful actions taken by our country. Do not let us grow weary in well-doing.

Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer

Bless the resources of the earth and the labour of all workers.

Bless our children. Grant that they may grow in virtue and faithfulness until the end.

Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer

Have mercy on those who are lonely, tired, anxious, or despairing; on those without home, employment, or family, those who have lost hope and those whose joy has become sorrow for any reason. Remember us in our dark times, and teach us all not to worry about the future.

Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer

Merciful Lord, forgive us for the sins we may have done during this last year and a half.  As we look to the world opening up, we confess to you that we are anxious and uncertain, for we do not know what will come to us. Yet, Lord, we know that you will be with us according to your mercy. Bless the endeavours of our congregation this year and help us to grow in your wisdom.

Lord in your mercy: Hear our prayer

You are our God; our times are in your hands. Give strength to the weary, and new strength to those who wait, especially to us as we wait for the return of our Lord, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray.

Amen.

(adapted from the Lutheran Church of Australia’s worship planning page. )

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

We are invited to take part in God’s call for peace in his world. To follow Jesus’ commandment to “Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, your soul and mind and to love your neighbour as yourself.”

So today, we offer up what we have to share with others to bring peace and love to others who are making do, struggling to make ends meet, our neighbours who need help and love here in the Halton area and around the world. Amen.

♥  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 Prayer

All: Just as the poppies of Flanders’ fields display life and beauty, may you, O God, bless whatever we offer back to you from our abundance.  In that blessing, O Christ, may what we scatter abroad in your name become sources of new life and of beauty for an aching world, rooted in your peace, which passes all understanding.  Amen. 

adapted Gord Dunbar, The Gathering, Pentecost 2, 2021

Benediction

In your thoughts, in your words and in your deeds, honour and respect those who have gone before you, and spread their love and be grateful for their sacrifice for our freedoms today.  Spread God’s love and peace to all you meet today and every day, because we have that freedom in our hands, and in our hearts to share with this world.  Amen.


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, November 10, 2021