Virtual Service – October 16, 2022

4:00 pm

October 16, 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

• Halloween family masquerade party – For the first time since 2019, we are excited to hold Walton’s annual family masquerade party. Dress up in your favourite costume and join us on Saturday, October 29 from 4:30 – 7:00 pm for a pizza dinner, Halloween scavenger hunt, spooky crafts, silly games, pumpkin carving and more. Everyone is welcome!

• It’s turkey time! – Mark your calendars because Walton’s famous Turkey Dinner returns Sunday, November 13th. The process will be a little different this year with two seatings for eat-in dining, and pick-up windows for take-out orders. All eat-in and take-out tickets will be sold in advance online!  Stay tuned for details. In the meantime, volunteers are needed! Friday, Nov 11: squash prep. Saturday, Nov 12: Potato peeling and veggie prep. Sunday, Nov 13: morning set up, evening servers, packers, table bussers, and clean up crew. If you can lend a hand please sign up through the church office or sign up online – waltonmemorial.com/turkey-dinner

• Calling all bakers  – Turkey Dinner is your time to shine! We need delicious pies (homemade or store-bought) to serve at our annual Turkey Dinner on Sunday, Nov. 13. All flavours are appreciated.

• Lest we forget For the Remembrance Day service on Nov 6, we are looking for memorabilia to decorate the sanctuary. Please bring items to the church before Nov. 4th so they can be displayed.

• Drives to church Do you know someone who needs a drive to church? We have some drivers available and will try to accommodate. Please contact the church office for more information.

Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. Our Bible basic this week is a simple one: God loves you very much. (Yes, you!)

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 worship at Walton. Today is our first Stewardship Sunday, in the season of thanksgiving, and so we not only give thanks to God for our many blessings, but we listen for God’s word to us, showing us where and how our help is needed to bring about God’s kingdom here on earth.

Stewardship: The Fabric of Walton – Tricia Blakeley

Good morning everyone. (sees the quilt rack and quilt)

PB: Hey Val, – whose quilt is this – it’s beautiful?

Val: It was my grandmothers.  I heard that the Stewardship theme this year is the fabric of Walton.  There’s lots of different fabrics in this quilt so I thought it kind of fit the theme

PB: I love it.  Look at all the squares.  Each one is a little different, but they are all so pretty.

Val: Yes my grandma made it out of scraps of worn out clothes and fabrics, so there is something of all my relatives in it.  It makes it feel like a part of home.

PB: It reminds me of Walton.  Each square is like a different ministry.  Sunday School, Outreach, the Choirs, Worship, fellowship and so on.  Each one is unique and like the quilt, each one is needed for it to be complete

(turns the quilt over)

PB: Look at the back – it’s actually all one piece

Val: Yes, you need the back to be one piece – it sort of holds the whole thing together.

PB: I can see that.  You put together all those beautiful squares, include some cotton batting and then put on the backing and finally quilt it all together.  The result is something beautiful, warm, and meaningful – just like Walton.

You know, the backing isn’t the prettiest part of the quilt, but it’s so important.  It’s just like the general fund.  If you don’t have the back of the quilt, it isn’t complete and won’t hold together.  The general fund is what keeps Walton going, keeps the heat on, bills paid and programs running.

Most of the general fund is made up of what we the members of Walton give through our offering.  What we each give is personal and depends of many factors.  This year, during Stewardship, please think about what you give and why you give.  What squares of the quilt are important to you and your family?  And how can your offering help strengthen the general fund which supports all that Walton offers?

Thank you for your support of Walton in all the ways you give.  We are all part of the fabric which makes up our community.  Thank you.

Hymn: “Let All Things Now Living”  242VU  Jim to announce

Call to Worship – Gill

One: Welcome! Settle in. Unwind from the week.
Take off the worries, relentless like an itchy label at your neck.
All: Curl up with a quilt of kindness, where there’s always room to share with others.
One: Put down fear, gripping like too-tight sleeves.
All: Pull on a sweater of compassion, stretching and giving.
One: Set aside doubts, unsettling like the drafty gaps in too-short clothes.
All: Wrap up in a cape of peace, and be comforted by its warmth.
One: Take a break from the striving and to-dos, pinching like a waistband with no give.
All: Stand firm in quiet strength, clothed in the confidence of God’s care.
One: And wear everything made with the fabric of love.
All: A fabric that always suits, always grows, always provides.

9:30 Youth Choir: “May Sunshine Light Your Way”   S. Albrecht

11:00 Chancel Choir  “There is Joy”   D. Besig

Opening Prayer – All – Jim to lead

Generous God,

You patiently bear our worries and doubts. You abundantly bless us, despite our concerns that we don’t have enough. You grieve when you see our selfish fear. Help us to live reassured by your promises and your providing. Remind us of your blessings, in our lives and in the glory of your world. Inspire us to respond to your care for us with kindness and compassion. Heal us with your eternal love. 

Amen.

The Lord’s  Prayer – Jim

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 Hymn:  “Jesu, Jesu Fill Us With Your Love” 593VU vs. 2 & 3 – Jim to announce

Youth Story:  “Together”  Alison/Val

Do you know that each of you is unique and special? Each of these little pieces of material I am handing out represents you. Take a look at your piece of material and see how it is like you a little. Maybe you are blessed to love drawing, or singing, or playing piano, or guitar, or flute, or you love to dance, play a sport, be on a team, or you love helping others. Those are all gifts and when we put our gifts and talents together, look what we can make!

(Let the kids put their pieces of material together to make a flower.)

Look how when we put each of our pieces together, each one is an important part of the whole picture,, even though we are different from each other. When we share and give of our gifts and talents together with one another, we create something beautiful. God loves when we work together and care for one another and share God’s love not only with those we know, but with people we don’t know.

Let us pray:  Thank you God for making each of us unique, and thank you for blessing each of us with gifts to share with others. Help us to help one another to share those gifts and make our church and our world a better place to live and grow in You.  Amen.

Youth Blessing: “Go My Children With My Blessing” 946 LUYH

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:25-33,  Colossians 3:9-14 – version: The Message

Matthew 6:25-33

“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

“Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen colour and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”

Colossians 3:9-14

Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Scripture Response: “Holy Spirit, Hear Us”  verse 2 377VU

Morning Message:  “The Fabric of Walton”   Gill Le Fevre

Listening to the first of today’s readings I’m reminded of the response to the book titled The Hard Sayings of Jesus. Which prompted one minister to comment, “Hard sayings? I didn’t know there were any easy ones!”

This passage certainly falls into that category.

And yes, if you take the passage too literally, then you end up, as another theologian quipped, trying to wrestle with a teaching that “could only have been written by a single guy living a carefree life on the beach in sunny Galilee.”

Between rising inflation and interest rates, complicated by shortages in our stores and uncertainty over jobs, I doubt many of us are feeling free as a bird right now.

And despite our first impression of the reading from Matthew, Jesus is not dismissing people’s concerns over their survival. That’s far too uncaring for Jesus.

On the contrary, we can see throughout the Gospels just how concerned Jesus is with people’s welfare, not to mention the times when he specifically ensures they are fed.

Instead, and looking closely at the reading, Jesus is telling his followers not to worry about the excessive accumulation of things, which separate them from God. In particular, Jesus is reassuring his followers that the standard worries of our society – of storing up wealth and worrying about status – are nothing compared to the blessings shared by God.

So, good news then – we’re not being told to retreat to a cave in the desert. On the other hand, we are being challenged to assess our priorities and values. Jesus is asking us to define what brings us contentment in life, and then to see how that lines up with God’s concerns and God’s reality.

When it comes to meeting our deepest needs, do we believe money is the answer? And at what point are we so preoccupied with getting, that we aren’t responding to God’s giving?

Psychiatrist and author Curt Thompson attributes our self-absorption to the individualized nature of society and how we view our place in the world. Long before Covid had us physically isolated, Thompson explains, we were already increasingly interpersonally isolated, with our contemporary emphasis on the individual.

“In being isolated,” Thompson writes, “We practice believing that joy and life and delight in the world has to do with the acquisition of something. If we can reach a benchmark, if we personally can acquire that, then we will be OK.”

This becomes a vicious and self-perpetuating cycle. We see ourselves and our worth as the means to our fulfilment, and when we can’t find joy and delight in our individual efforts, we suffer feelings of failure and shame that only further isolate us from others.

The more we try to get, the lonelier we become.

There is another way. God wants us, in the words of the reading, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so we can respond to God’s giving.

This is Jesus’ message for his followers – to pay attention, not to what they do or don’t have, but to the vastness of God’s gifts to us and all creation. And to remember that God sees our needs and cares for us.

God gives with an abundance that is unlike any act of human generosity. His love for us and our world is shared with us, over and over, regardless of how often we fail or forget. God keeps giving.

Which is not to say that the disciples are to sit back and expect to be waited on. Jesus teaches that they, and we, are to respond to God’s giving, and by doing so deepen our relationship with God.

How to do this is laid out for us in Paul’s letter to the Colossians. We are to clothe ourselves in the “habits of body and mind and heart” that create the Christian way of living. These are habits of compassion, kindness, forgiveness — and above all love.

Crucially these characteristics are “deeply relational.” Because compassion, kindness, forgiveness — these traits only exist in relation to others. They are responses to the world and everyone we encounter, that we are called to live.

And above all, there is love. We are to never be without it.

And if we accept this, wearing love as our basic, all-purpose garment, then how can we wear love and not show it.

How can we wear love and not show it? I don’t believe it’s possible.

It’s the same for compassion, kindness, forgiveness and patience. If we are to clothe ourselves in these traits, they are most definitely outer garments, visible for all to see.

Wearing love and kindness can be the simplest thing, expressed in the smallest gestures.

I read recently of a research study that shows we consistently underestimate the difference a small gesture of kindness will make to another person. The examples the study shared feel trivial – paying for someone’s coffee, giving someone a spare mask or simply just directions, helping someone carry their bags.

Tiny gestures, but if the response of the recipients is anything to go by, these acts are remembered years later. And you never know the ripple effect that one tiny act can have.

Take this story of a 5-year-old and 30 cents.

The five-year-old’s name is Mateo, and he was in the car with his dad, Justice, when they stopped at some lights. A person who was homeless was begging at the junction and Justice remembers wanting to give the man money, but not having any cash. So he just “waved to him with a smile.”

And that would have been the end of it, had Mateo not seen the man also.

Spontaneously, Mateo asked his dad to give the man the 30 cents he had in his pocket. Justice remembers feeling happy at his son’s impulse, and yet he was hesitant.

As Justice later wrote:

“I didn’t want to give this man who clearly needed all the help he could get, just 30 cents. My own pride and thoughts of the individual’s unknown reaction to receiving just two coins were standing in the way. In fact, I almost told my son, “Let’s wait to give until we at least have one dollar.”

“I almost told our son by my inaction that what he had wasn’t enough… I almost showed him that what he sees as a good thing…. and is in fact a good thing, isn’t good enough to make a difference in someone’s life.”

When you put it like that, the way forward was clear. So Justice rolled down his window, and waved the man over, and explained, “I’m sorry man, I don’t have any cash on me, but my son back here wants to give you everything he has right now. He just turned 5!”

Justice’s fears were unfounded. The smile on that man’s face lit up the intersection and he said to Mateo, “God bless you, little man! Thank you so much!”

But that’s not all. Mateo’s heartfelt act of kindness also caused a chain reaction in the traffic behind them, as a stream of cars rolled down their windows to add to the donation.

As Justice later reflected: “Our little boy, without even realizing it, showed by his actions that it’s always about the heart. It doesn’t matter how much you have or how little; giving in love and sincerity will often bless others more than we think.”

Mateo was wearing love, kindness and compassion, and it was plain for all to see.

Love, kindness and compassion. These are traits that comprise the fabric of Walton.

This community is deeply blessed by a diverse range of hearts, minds and bodies. We are a patchwork of different people, with different gifts and blessings, opportunities and challenges. When we come together at Walton we create a wonderful fabric – a pattern of love and service, of learning and outreach, all of us doing God’s work, in our way, where we are in our lives.

And we are blessed with a multitude of ways to respond to God’s giving. By being here, by helping to make up the fabric of Walton, we’re creating vibrant materials that can be used to stitch together a quilt of kindness, or knit a sweater of compassion.

But as any tailor or quilter will tell you, the final creation is vitally strengthened by its lining or backing. The backing is not intended to be seen, but it’s the solid fabric that holds all the pieces together.

For Walton, the backing is the General Fund that holds together the diversity of our different patterns to make that quilt of kindness. Without the General Fund, all of the varied ministries and activities that make Walton a community of love and kindness; they are weakened.

And not to put too fine a point on it, the General Fund needs your help, your contributions. If you look at the financial statement in our annual report, the reality is stark. Our regular givings plummeted when Covid hit, and they haven’t yet recovered.

Over the last twelve months, I’ve ministered at a range of churches in the GTA, and I’ve worshipped with communities where I don’t know how they are afloat. In contrast, Walton is blessed with a large and dynamic congregation, with a children’s and youth ministry that is a magnet for families, with a musical ministry that enriches our worship and moves our souls, with a hospitality and visiting ministry that means no-one goes without a coffee and a smile each Sunday, or sits alone in hospital or at home, when they’re in need.

This fabric of Walton is a deep blessing and the vibrant living out of God’s love. This fabric of Walton is inspiring and compelling. We have so much, and because of that, we can do so much. We are able to be part of a virtuous cycle of giving.

By giving what we can each week, together we can strengthen the fabric of Walton. And a regular, consistent offering is what helps the most; regardless of the amount. This is a vital way for each of us to wear the love of God, and to ensure Walton continues to share the warmth and support and love that we and so many others value and rely on.

As we read in the Gospel of Matthew, I do believe God is looking out for our needs, as individuals and as a community. And as Paul wrote in the letter to the Colossians, I believe God is using us to answer these needs – to help the communities we participate in, to help others in need that we might encounter in our day-to-day, and to help Walton.

The leadership team at Walton and the Stewardship committee know how sensitive the subject of money is, and appreciate how varied all our financial circumstances are. This isn’t an appeal we make lightly or hastily.

So thank you. Thank you for all you already give. Thank you for being open to this message, shared as a heartfelt interpretation of the word of God and the teaching of Jesus. Thank you for listening and considering. Thank you for praying about this and for giving, in whatever way God speaks to you. Thank you for wearing God’s love and for being part of the fabric of Walton.

Thank you for living out the message of Matthew and responding to God’s giving.
Thank you for dressing in the wardrobe of kindness and compassion, forgiveness and strength, and for wearing these clothes in your homes, school and work; bringing them into all the communities and relationships you belong to, so that God’s gifts to us are a blessing to others.
And thank you for always wearing love, the basic, all-purpose garment of our faith.

May it keep you warm, as it can also warm others.
May it bring you peace, that you can extend to others.
May it affirm for you the grace you receive from God, that we are called to share with others.
And above all, may it remind you that you are seen and cherished and cared for by God, now and forever.
Thanks be to God.

Pastoral Prayer – Gill

Abundant God of eternal blessings,
We give thanks for the enduring warmth of your love for us, that always provides for us.
We give thanks that you see our needs and hear our prayers, giving to us without reserve.
Guide us to respond to your giving, that we may seek to embody your love in all our days.
Restore us, God, with your healing peace.
When we are worn down by the pain of the world, or undone by our fears for tomorrow, comfort us with your presence. Restore our faith, knowing that you journey alongside us, and help us support others in their lives.
Reassure us, God, with your understanding mercy.
When we neglect your teachings, or allow anger and judgment to burn, soothe us with the promise of your forgiveness. Reassure us that you recognize our regret, and help us build bridges with those we have wronged.
Provide for us, God, with your sustaining compassion.
When we are absorbed by the desire for more, or fixated on the things we lack, rescue us with the promise that through you we have enough. Provide us with a generous heart, and help us serve you to meet the needs of others.

Clothe us with love, that in your embrace, we may affirm your care for us and share your kindness in our world today. Amen.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes – Jim

In the words of the reading, we are called to respond to God’s giving to us, and in doing so we are blessed to be a blessing. In our offering today, we affirm the generosity of God’s gifts to us, and we respond to that with our own gifts. Let our offering now bring into the world acts of kindness, compassion and forgiveness, and above all love.

♥  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 monthly PAR payments. To sign up contact stuart@waltonmemorial.com

Offering Hymn:  “We Give Thee But Thine Own”   542VU

Offering Prayer – All – Jim to lead

Caring God,

Thank you for providing for us, and for enriching our lives with your love. Help us to firmly wear your love for us, so that through us your kindness, compassion and patience can reach out into the world to comfort and heal. Show us how to wrap others in your love: to meet their needs, to clothe and warm them, and to feed them. Inspire us to not be so preoccupied with getting, so that we can respond to your eternal giving. 

Amen.

Hymn: “Come O Fount of Every Blessing”  559VU – Jim to announce

Benediction – Gill

Go out wrapped up in the abundance of God’s love that gives eternally.
Be warmed by God’s care that provides for your needs.
Be sustained by God’s peace, strengthening you from within.
Be assured by God’s grace, forgiving and welcoming.
And be adorned with God’s love, for all the world to see.
Amen.

Closing Hymn: “The Closing Prayer”

Announcements


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, October 12, 2022