Virtual Service – October 10, 2021

8:30 am

October 10, 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 (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

• Grief support group – Walton United Church and other area churches are sponsoring a grief support group beginning Wednesday, October 27th, running for 6 weeks – December. 1, 2021 + one follow-up session January, 5th, 2022,  7:00 pm to 8:30 pm online by Zoom. This education and support group is designed for those who are dealing with the death of a loved one.  We will explore various aspects of grief — how grief affects our emotions, behaviours, body, mind and spirit — from a faith-based perspective. We will look at ways to work through our grief, making suggested adjustments and helping participants find ways to find hope and a future in meaningful ways. The course is based on materials by Dr. Bill Webster, Centre for the Grief Journey. The cost per participant for the course materials is $20.00. Please contact Maeva Donaldson at 905-845-7454 or maeva.k.d@hotmail.com for more information or to register.
Leadership: The Rev. Dr. Deborah Hart, Minister of Deer Park United Church in Toronto, who has been facilitating grief support groups for over 25 years.
• From Walton’s Outreach Committee:  Thanksgiving Food Drive Usually at this time of year, posters go up around our church and appeals are posted in our weekly service bulletin. The need for donations has only increased during these Covid times in our community. In fact, they have doubled to almost 750 families per month. More than ever, families are in need and we’re asking for help. Financial donations of any amount are used by the food bank to buy items such as eggs, fresh fruit, vegetables and frozen meat in bulk. Please consider donating through your Walton givings, making sure to indicate either Oakville or Burlington food bank on the memo line, or donate online via the Walton website. You can also text a dollar amount followed by “foodbank” to “84321” to give by text. Thank you for your thoughtful gift at this time as we give thanks for all of our own blessings.
• Senior Youth Group is back! Our Friday night fun nights have resumed, with outdoor meetings for fun and games while weather permits. Sunday morning Teen Talk is currently scheduled every two weeks and will be held on Zoom. All teens in grades 9-12 are welcome to join. For more information and registration details, please contact senioryouth@waltonmemorial.com.
Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. Thank God for rules!
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.

Welcome

J:  Happy Thanksgiving!
V: Happy Thanksgiving Jim, and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Good morning and welcome to Walton’s Thanksgiving virtual service.
J:  We hope this is the last Thanksgiving that we won’t have our Church family in the pews.
V: This will be the last Thanksgiving we won’t have people in the pews? Do you know something I don’t know, Jim?
J; We have a date.
V: We have a date, like a date when we are going to open.
J: A date for live services, yes!
V: Oh wow, this is so exciting! When?
J: A little teaser here. Next Sunday in the virtual service we will be giving you all the details, the date, and the how-tos of live services.
V: And the process we have to make reservations so that you can come to the live services. Oh, I am so excited! This is the best Thanksgiving ever!
J: And we’ll still be having virtual services.
V: How are we going to have Virtual Services too?
J: Well, we’ll explain that.
V:  Oh, so there really is a process.
J:  But those who want to stay home and watch the service virtually while eating turkey and pumpkin pie will be able to do that in the future. Or they can come here and worship in person.
V: It will be so exciting to have people here in the pews. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!  Thank you, God, that the date is here.
J: Happy Thanksgiving. Come let us worship!

Call to Worship

For the radiance of the fall colours,
And the harvest bounty.
Thanks be to God.

To be part of a church family is a blessing.
To encourage and care for one another is a joy.
Thanks be to God.

To work together for the common good of all people
and  for the glories of the earth all around us,
We give thanks to our creator, God.

In a spirit of humility and thankfulness,
Come let us worship God as one
through Jesus Chist, our Lord.

(Adapted Judy Sears, The Gathering, Pentecost 2, 2021)

Opening Prayer – Evelyn Taggart

We praise you Creator God, for these simple gifts today,
the sun streaming through my window, giving me warmth and light.
The cardinals singing their tune, telling me they are nearby.
The squirrels darting back and forth carrying pine cones in their
cheeks, squirrelling them away for the winter, knowing the snow will be high this year.
Thank you for the way thanksgiving springs from our mouths, and praise lifts our hearts.
Before we ask, we are forgiven.
Before we notice, we are blessed.
Before we pray, we are already held in your love.
For the blessing of your unending grace
We give thanks. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen.
(adapted The Gathering Pentecost 2, 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

You remember the Jenga game, right? What a great Thanksgiving game to play with your family! I love playing Jenga.

Imagine if we could label each one of those blocks, writing on each block the things we are thankful for. That could be anything from family to pets, from clean water to liquorice, the gifts of the spirit we have been given. We are so blessed to have so many things and people to be thankful for.

We thank our God today for all the blessings we have and that we can share with others.

Thank you, God! Let’s say a prayer together:

Loving God,
Thank you for a day of thanksgiving.
Help us gather together and to encourage each other to share your love.
Amen.
(Julie Hutton, The Gathering, Pentecost 2, 2021)

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 6: 25- 33,  I Timothy 2: 1-7

Do Not Worry

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor 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, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Instructions on Worship

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.

Anthem: Look at the World

 

Morning Message:  “For Everyone” – Rev. Jim Gill

I want to share something of Tim’s with you this morning.  Not a Tim’s double-double or pumpkin spice donut, but Tim’s words. The words are not “roll up the rim,”  but “I urge, then, first of all thanksgiving be made for all people.”  Now you may think those words do not sound like the hockey player, Tim Horton. You are right; they are the words of another Tim, that is Timothy in our reading for today from the Good Book.

We are advised to offer thanksgiving for everyone.  At times it seems so hard to be that thankful. How do we possibly thank everyone, we ask? How can we be thankful for all the blessings we may have this Thanksgiving? I think sometimes people throw up their hands trying to be thankful, or in their prayers they fall asleep trying to pray words of thanks. Like much of life, there is a lesson here for us: The answer is not all or nothing, but some.

Even a simple thank-you is better than trying to concoct a massive thanksgiving. Do some thanksgiving instead of trying to do it all. A wise church pastor writes, “Some of you want to start a spiritual practice like praying or journaling, or reading your bible, but you keep doing nothing because you think that for it to be legit, it has to be at least 45 minutes of spiritual intensity that results in a completely altered state of consciousness, every time.” The pastor continues, “Start with five minutes. You can pray, or read some Scriptures in five minutes. Five minutes of turning yourself toward God every day would be incredible. My experience is that the momentum of my life changes for the better when I quit pretending I have to do the enormous things for it to ‘count,’ and I start doing the embarrassingly small things; the things I actually can do.”

Did you hear that? I’ll say it again. “My experience is that the momentum of my life changes for the better when I quit pretending I have to do the enormous things for it to ‘count,’ and I start doing the embarrassingly small things; the things I actually can do.”

This is the same with our offering of thanksgiving. Some thanks, rather than trying to do everything you think you should be thankful for. Note that word — “should.” It can trap us into a rut of doing nothing.

Do you know about the concept of “chunking?” Do things in smaller chunks rather than doing it all, or doing nothing. Whether it is an enjoyable thing, like going for a walk in the spectacular colour of our Creator’s autumn splendour, or whether it is a not so enjoyable thing like cleaning out the basement. Do it in small chunks. The blessing that comes from that simple word, “chunks,” by doing just some.

For example, you do not need to hike the entire length of the Bruce Trail this long weekend, nor do you need to fill up a monster dumpster in your driveway with items from your basement. Do some, rather than doing all or nothing. I invite you to do the same with your thanksgiving.

It is like the person I had in my office one time who wanted me to tell them everything I knew about the bible, church and faith in a couple of hourly visits with me over a few weeks. I said to the person, “It has taken a lifetime to get where I am and I only know just a small fraction of what there is to know about the Christian walk in life.” I suggested instead they start by attending Monday night Bible study and offered them a couple of books. Yes, I would also meet with them. But they not only wanted it all; they wanted it as fast as possible. They could not accept “some.” They walked away and did nothing as far as I know, for they wanted everything not just “some.”

Today, I invite you to offer “some” thanksgiving as Paul’s friend Tim says, for “everyone.” Give thanks for some of the countless things you are thankful for today.

The same pastor I quoted earlier continued to write in their blog: “It happens all the time. You don’t have time for a five-mile run anymore because you got trapped at work and left fifteen minutes late, so you don’t exercise at all. You don’t want to get trapped in a 45-minute conversation, so you let the call go to voicemail, which turns into yet another thing you have to do later… You don’t have time to do the ideal, so you don’t do anything. But here’s what I’ve learned: Something is better than nothing. Take a ten-minute run on the treadmill or a ten-minute walk around the parking lot at work. Answer your phone and talk for five minutes, then be done. When I actually do this, I feel so much better.”

Don’t you think you would feel better too with the “some” approach? Really ponder “some” instead of all or nothing when walking in the footsteps of Jesus.

Let me ask, do you know what Jenga is? Have you ever played Jenga? It is a game of physical skill created by British board game designer and author Leslie Scott.  Players take turns removing one wooden block at a time from a tower constructed of the 54 wooden blocks. Each block removed is then placed on top of the tower, creating a progressively more unstable structure. Eventually, all of it collapses with a bang.

In life, trying to do it all can cause us to collapse just like that. We hit the floor like a pile of Jenga blocks and we are sent flying off in all directions. In life, we need in our walk in the steps of Jesus to maybe forget about handling all the 54 Jenga blocks and focus on a far smaller number of blocks, maybe the blocks which are more critical than others. Instead of pulling the blocks out and then piling them back on top of each other, maybe just discard some of the blocks completely.

You probably know which ones to discard. How about discarding getting drawn into other people’s drama? What about discarding replaying upsetting events from the past again and again? There are also blocks called unhealthy guilt or toxic shame to get rid of. As well there are blocks called one-sided abusive relationships, getting into social media arguments, or constantly wanting “more,” whatever that “more” is. Maybe it can be left by the wayside.

There are, however, some very healthy blocks we do need to keep that can truly bless our lives. These are also the blocks that can build up our thankfulness and reduce our worry, the worry that Jesus speaks about in our reading today. Jesus says those timely words in the Sermon on the Mount: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable?”

What are the healthy blocks you ask?  Some of the most healthy wooden blocks to build one’s life upon are the “Fruits of the Spirit” we read about in scripture. These Fruits of the Spirit blocks are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. With those blocks, we can better avoid a major Jenga collapse in our lives, creating a mess in daily life. With these blocks, we can be far more thankful. With these Fruits of the Spirit blocks, our worries can be left more behind us instead of having our worries as our constant present living reality.

A blessed Thanksgiving to all of you on this day. Why not try “some” this long holiday weekend.

Thanksgiving Liturgy

O God of all peoples — in Ontario, Canada and around the world — we come before you today with hearts prepared to give thanks.

We know that we are to show gratitude in all circumstances, and this season of uncertainty is no exception. 

Quiet our hearts in this moment. We have joined together – with many walls and many miles between us – to lean into the goodness of who you are, who you have been, and who you will be.

Your love endures forever.

Father, we carry in our mortal bodies the burdens of this year, and yet we remember your presence and your faithfulness. Through every news headline, with every voice crying out for justice, in every private moment laden with fear and anxiety, you have still been God, and you have still been good.

Your love endures forever.

While we honour the tradition of Thanksgiving Day and the legacy of Canada, we remember also the innocent blood that stains the pages of its history. We thank you, Lord God, that you are the great Redeemer. Only you can make us whole and only you can heal the wickedness and the wounds in our hearts and in our history.

Your love endures forever.

O great Redeemer, grant us the ability to hold the deep sorrow for all that has been lost – today and in years past – amidst the deep gratitude for all with which we have been blessed.

Even in our pain, Lord, you are sovereign. Your love endures forever.

The earth and its fullness are yours, O Lord, yet you remember us and are mindful of our most menial moments. We come before you with gratitude for the care and attention you give to each of us, even as we too often fail to be attentive to you. For you alone, O God, are the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

Your love endures forever.

O God from whom all blessings flow, we thank you for all you have given:
For health and home,
For food and clothing,
For books and bicycles,
For gardens and smartphones,
For our leaders,
For friends,
For children,
For family,

O God from whom all blessings flow, may we thank you in all circumstances:

In pleasure and pain,
In fellowship and loneliness,
In ease and struggle,
In plenty and need,
In our uncertainty,
In our frustration,
In our fear,
In our failure,
In every season, may we hope in you and give you thanks.

Your love endures forever.

We praise you, Creator God, for you alone perform great wonders. You alone hold the depths of all wisdom and all knowledge. It was through your Wisdom that the heavens were made, and it was through the Breath of your mighty word that the earth was spread upon the waters. We rest in the security of your power and in the warmth of your light. We thank you for the sun and the moon, which give light to us as they govern the day and the night. And we thank you for your Son, the true light of the world, who rules and governs all things.

We praise you, O God, from whom all blessings flow. Your love endures forever.

Amen.

(adapted Zachary & Shelby Wagner, In All Circumstances, A Theology of Gratitude)

 

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

God has given us everything we need: this earth to live upon and the food we need.
As if that were not enough, God has given us the Holy Spirit, and all of the spiritual gifts we need.
In a spirit of gratitude and humility, let us offer our gifts back to God.
(Wanda Winfield, The Gathering, Pentecost 2, 2021)

♥  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

For what we receive, make us truly thankful, O God.
For what we are about to give, make us thankful, too.
Grateful for all that we are and for all that we might become, we commit to living thankful,
thanks-filled lives, God of all!  Amen.
(Richard Bott, The Gathering, Pentecost 2, 2021)

Benediction

May the Lord of all creation
shower his blessings and favour upon you.
Amen

May the Lord of the harvest
grace your Thanksgiving table with his presence
and fill your loved ones with peace.
Amen

May the Lord of salvation
guide you all your days
until you come into the joys of his eternal kingdom.
Amen

And may almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
bless you now and forever.
Amen

(adapted Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel, A Service for the Eve of Thanksgiving.) 

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!

• Come, you thankful people, come
• For the Fruit of All Creation
• As Those Of Old Their First Fruits Brought
• Give Thanks, My Soul, for Harvest
• We Plough the Fields

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, October 6th