Virtual Service – November 21, 2021

8:30 am

November 21, 2021

Virtual Service - Recorded November 14, 2021

Welcome to virtual church!

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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. 

 


Announcements

• 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.

• Our White Gift Service is Sunday, December 5th,  2021. If you are able, we ask that you bring a new, unwrapped or white wrapped gift to church that morning, or deliver one  to the office during the week prior. If you are not able to deliver in person, please contact the church office to arrange pick up by a member of the outreach committee. Some suggestions for suitable gifts are listed on the website at Wesley.ca/holiday-assistance-program but are not limiting.  Remembering while you are shopping that each recipient will most likely only receive one gift will probably help with your generous gift selection. Note: Wesley requests no stuffed animals or toy guns, please. Wesley Urban Ministries in Hamilton, where many of our donations traditionally go to the “No-Cost Christmas Store”, is preparing holiday hampers for their registered families, as there can be no shopping whilst Covid restrictions apply.  They will also be delivered to shut-ins.  Should you wish to give a monetary gift to Wesley through your givings account at Walton, we will send a joint cheque so that money can be spent where needed. We also donate on your behalf to the Kerr Street Mission in Oakville.  KSM has kept many families going through our pandemic/loss of income. Gift cards to grocery stores or superstores are most appreciated, allowing many families to have that special Christmas. Thank you so much in advance from your Outreach Committee, and from the many recipients.

• 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.

• Walton’s 2022 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 DonationsFare Share Food Banknon-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.

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 before Wednesday, November 24th, 2021.

Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. When it comes to following the 10 Commandments, all you need is love.
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

J:  Good morning and welcome to worship this morning on this Health & Wellness Sunday. 

V:  Oh boy, do I ever need this service this Sunday.  I have been feeling like I have been carrying the weight of the world for the last while.  

J:  Why?  Have you been praying on the problems?

V:   It seems like I am always asking God for help. He is my helpline on a daily basis. I keep asking him to solve the problems or put the right people in the right place to have them resolved. 

J:  Have you ever thought of just giving the problems to God to handle, instead of wasting all your time and energy looking for a way to resolve the issues? Just stop thinking about them for a while; give yourself a break.

V:  What do you mean, “Give it to God?”

J:   Let it go…

V:  What do you mean, “Let it go?”

J:   Let it go – you know, the famous song from Frozen… Let it go… Let it go… You know you can always pick it up later if you really want to, but actually put your worry in God’s hands and let him take care of it while you learn to stand up straight again, while you get a good night’s sleep, while you stop worrying about things that you can do nothing about really.

V:   That’s a great idea. So let’s let it go this morning. Let us lay down our burdens, our worries and rest    in God.  Let us heal.  Let us offer up our praise and thanksgiving for the good things we do have in our lives and leave the rest, just for this time of worship.

Call to Worship

One:God the Father, your will for all people is health and salvation.
All: We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

One: God the Son, you came that we might have life and might have it more abundantly.
All: We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

One: God the Holy Spirit, you make our bodies the temple of your presence.
All: We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

One: Holy Trinity, one God, in you we live and move and have our being.
All: We praise you and thank you, O Lord.

Opening Prayer

Healing God, You invite all who are burdened to come to you.  May your healing hand touch each one of us. May you teach us to reach out to You in our need and help us to lead others to You by our example.  Jesus healed as a sign of your presence with us.  He healed because he cared.  May you teach us to reach out to others in their need and help us to show your love, your care and your presence in your world. Amen.

(adapted A Catholic Prayer for Healing, Source: catholic.org)

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 – My burden is light

Val drags a heavy backpack full of kids’ Bibles up towards the communion table.

A: What are you doing? Do you need a hand?
V. Oh thanks! This is so heavy, I am really struggling to carry it on my own.

Alison and Val carry the bag up and set it down in front of the table.

V. Thanks again. It was so much easier to lift with your help.
A.  You’re welcome! There’s no need to struggle alone when you can just ask someone for help. Sharing a heavy burden makes it lighter and easier to carry.

V. You’re right! And you know, we’re talking about worries today for Health & Wellness Sunday. And just like those books, our worries can really weigh us down. How hard would it be to go through your day and do everything you need to do, if you had to carry a heavy load like that all the time? But when we share our worries with someone else like a friend, a family member, a teacher, or a trusted adult, they are easier to carry around, and it’s easier to do all the things you need to do.

A. That is so true. Everyone worries. Everyone knows how difficult it is to carry them around with you all the time. Put on this backpack and you’ll see how that feels

Val puts on the heavy backpack and Alison adds more books to it – Val can’t carry the load.

A. You already saw how much easier it is to ask a friend to help carry the weight of your worries. And that’s a great idea. But what if you ask God to do it instead? You can give all your worries over to God and let him carry the load. What kinds of things do you worry about?

V. So many things! Right now I’m worried about my mom.

Alison takes a book out and places it on the table in front of the cross.

A.  Ok, so let’s give that worry about your mom to God. What else do people often worry about?

V.  I know a lot of people worry about money, or their jobs.

Alison takes two more books out of the backpack. 

A.  Definitely! Let’s ask God to carry those worries. Anything else?

V.  Well, it is Health & Wellness Sunday and I know a lot of people worry about getting sick, especially these days.

A.  Placing another book on the table. God, we give our worries about health over to you. My kids worry about school – getting good grades, finishing their projects on time, choosing the right university next year. Takes out another book. God, please take the burden of those worries off their shoulders.

V. Wow! That heavy backpack is so light now. If that’s how it feels when you ask God to carry your worries, I’m definitely going to give that a try! In fact let’s all try giving our worries over to God with a prayer.

Solo:  “Thankful”  Colin Brennan

Scripture Reading:  Luke 12:22-34

Then Jesus said to his disciples:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.
Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.
And how much more valuable you are than birds!
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?
Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!
And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.
For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Morning Message: Health & Wellness Sunday “Reduce Stress and Anxiety” Rev. Jim Gill

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.” Those are the words of Jesus. And they are still right on target for 2021.

Today is our annual Health and Wellness Sunday. We often have a guest speaker connected to Walton’s parish nursing ministry. Today on this second Covid Health and Wellness Sunday, there is no guest speaker. Yet we are still praying weekly for the health and wellness of the Walton congregation, the nation of Canada and the whole world fighting Covid-19. 

Dr Timothy Legg tells us, “Stress and anxiety are part of the same bodily reaction and have similar symptoms. That means it can be hard to tell them apart. Stress tends to be short term and in response to a recognized threat. Anxiety can linger and can sometimes seem as if nothing is triggering it.”

Today my message is called “Reducing Stress and Anxiety.” It seems a fitting topic for Health and Wellness Sunday.

Katie Hurley tells us a similar story as Dr Legg: “In short, stress is your body’s reaction to a trigger and is generally a short-term experience. Stress can be positive or negative. When stress kicks in and helps you pull off that deadline you thought was a lost cause, it’s positive. When stress results in insomnia, poor concentration, and impaired ability to do the things you normally do, it’s negative. Stress is a response to a threat in any given situation.”

Hurley continues explaining the distinction between anxiety and stress: “Anxiety, on the other hand, is a sustained mental health disorder that can be triggered by stress. Anxiety doesn’t fade into the distance once the threat is mediated. Anxiety hangs around for the long haul, and can cause significant impairment in social, occupational, and other important areas of functioning.”

Jesus reminds us: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

Today on Health and Wellness Sunday 2021, let’s look at what God’s book tells us about stress and anxiety in some key verses.

Psalm 16:8 “I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”  Like that beloved poem “Footprints” reminds us, God is always with us. At times we are actually carried down the beaches of life by God as the poem describes. The one set of footprints in the sand is God doing the heavy lifting through our troubled times. 

Psalm 23:4  “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Whatever valley we are walking through, God is there to comfort us. Maybe it is the valley of finances, relationships, health, raising kids, older relatives needing care, work or unemployment concerns. The valleys are many but the good shepherd is one who is always there with us through that valley.

Psalm 46:10  “Be still, and know that I am God!” Great mini phrase. Actually, an invitation and maybe at times even a command that we do well to hear and act upon. “Be still.” The speed at which we live life in itself can create unhealthy stress and anxiety. “Be still” is the antidote. Faster and further is not always healthier, nor is it always happier.

Psalm 55:22  “Cast your burden on the Lord, and God will sustain you.” Ever written that letter or email or text you always wanted to send? But you didn’t send it. You left it unmailed and put it into draft. There is something healing about casting off one’s burdens. Purging, if you will, the turmoil inside you. Rather than keeping it all bottled up, finding a place to safely and securely let it out. Having it just fester away can be the recipe for an unhealthy mind, body and soul.

Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” All of us are afraid at times, whatever our age or stage of living. To each of us, our fears can be very different. Yours may be needles, while mine may be heights. Your relative may fear snakes while your friend fears public speaking. Putting our trust in God while still being afraid, but confronting our fears knowing the divine is with us, is a huge help.

Psalm 121:1-2  “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Why I have always liked this passage is this reminder to look up. It is easy when we are stressed and anxious to actually just look down. Seeing someone with their head down can be a sign someone feels defeated. Sometimes doing videos I need to be reminded before starting the video to look up. I get so focused on a particular worry my head goes down. I lift my eyes as Psalm 121 tells us to do instead. I am often reminded of these wise words driving north up the escarpment out of Milton to Acton or up Guelph Line north of the Dundas Highway or up Highway 6 to Clappison Corners. Look up!

Proverbs 3:5-6   “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  This passage from the Book of Proverbs reminds us it is not all on us. We need more understanding than just our own. There is what God’s word says to us in the holy scriptures for understanding. We also have prayer to seek out God’s will. There is of course the advice of other believers, what some call the wisdom of the elders. The support of the everyday saints in our lives. When you think about it, it is pretty hard to physically lean on ourselves. So much better to lean on others, especially when life gets stressed out and anxiety filled. 

Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in one’s heart weighs them down, but a good word makes them glad.”  We never know what other people are going through inside their heart or mind. There is truth in the expression that behind every door there is a story. But offering a “good word” or few words can change someone’s whole day and even their lives. Simple words like thanks so much, just believe, can I help you, well done, have you thought about it, it is possible, it is not too late, it doesn’t need to be perfect and of course I love you. These words can radically change another’s day.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” There are so many of you here today or watching this virtual service today who find this a very special personal text in your life. It gives you the holy reassurance that life is not simply the roll of gigantic cosmic dice, but there is a divine plan. God has plans for you. Not only that, but God has plans to not harm you but to prosper you. Some feel God is out to get them. It is just not the way it is. Realizing that can certainly lower our stress and anxiety big time.

Matthew 11:28  “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. The keyword here for these times, I feel, is the word “rest.” How many say they wake up between 3am and 4am most nights? At that time your mind starts to whirl and everything seems so much worse. We “awfulize,” that is making things many more times more awful than they actually are. Jesus says I will give you rest. Nighty night. 

On this 2021 Heath and Wellness Sunday, may these very few words of Scripture be a comfort, support and way ahead in your stress and anxiety. God Bless 

Solo: “Breathe Your Cares Away”  by Linda FletcherLinda Fletcher

When you are worried, or feeling so sad, can’t quiet your mind or let go. just sit in the stillness and open your heartand breathe, just breathe.

Breathe in love, breathe in peace, breathe your cares away.feel the joy, feel the calm;breathe all your cares away. 

I am love, I am peace,
Breathe my cares away.
I am joy, I am calm.
Breathe all my cares away. 

Breath Prayer

O Holy One,
As your Spirit touches our spirits, we offer our prayer to you.
We breathe in your love…

We let your love glide into every crevice of our being, softening our hearts, transforming our thinking, and making us devoted disciples of Jesus.
We breathe out our pride…

We release all that keeps us from humility in service to you.
We breathe in your acceptance…

We feel your Spirit accepting who we are.
We feel your Spirit recognizing our humanness while guiding our hearts and minds and spirits.
We breathe in the will to be more than we are.

We breathe out
Anything and everything that keeps us from you.
We breathe in your grace…

Grace that washes over us like gently falling rain, grace that enters us carried on each breath we take, grace that loves,
Grace that forgives,
Grace that always accompanies.

We breathe,
In and out,
Breathe in the Spirit,
Breathe out,
Handing over to the Spirit all concerns for ourselves and others.
Breathe…
Amen.

(adapted Wanda Burse, The Gathering, Pentecost 1, 2020)

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Our scriptures this morning tell us of the great love and peace which you offer to each one of us. The gifts that our humanness questions, but longs to know. Let us offer ourselves and our gifts today to God, for his blessing. 

♥  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

O Holy One, these are the gifts of our hands and our hearts sharing in thanksgiving. May they touch the lives of many. Where brokenness resides, may our gifts offer your healing and your wholeness. In the name of Christ. Amen.

Benediction

As we leave today, may we remember to place in God’s hands the worries and cares that we shoulder and carry around with us, thinking we need to own them. Those things that weigh us down, that we drag around with us, help us to give them to you, to freely and wonderfully loosen the ties that bind us, and stop us from living in that peace God offers. Amen.

In case you missed it…

Here is the mid-week update for Wednesday, November 17th