Virtual Service – October 24, 2021

8:30 am

October 24, 2021

Virtual Service

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.
Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. In commandment #3, all God wants is a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
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

Jim: Have you booked that event yet Val?
Val: Which event is that Jim?
Jim: You know Val, the change event.
Val: (Gives Jim the look) Huh?
Jim: I booked in the time and date we are going to have change.
Val: Change? Jim, change isn’t an event you book, like a haircut. It is a process we all have to go through. It’s like how a caterpillar makes a cocoon and over time, in the cocoon, change happens and when the caterpillar comes out, it comes out a beautiful butterfly. The change happens slowly and we watch it happen, but it doesn’t look any different from the outside, does it? Walton right now is in a cocoon, so to speak. Things are changing.  Some changes we can see, some we can feel, some we have to wait a little longer and have faith and trust that God will bring us through, until we come out on the other side,  like a butterfly.
Jim: That is really a beautiful way to put it, Val.
Val: So everybody, are you ready to transform worship together, in different ways and in different styles, but together? Remember, change is a process, not an event.

Call to Worship

We are called to worship, and loudly, emphatically, we answer that call.

We are called. The call echoes out, like the cries of the geese heading south for the winter. It reverberates like the lowest note on a double bass and reaches deep into our souls. The call spreads out like a breath of wind, whistling around the world, an invitation too stirring to ignore.

God is calling us:
To worship.
To look into our hearts and our lives and recognize God already there.
To feel the strength of God’s love, to know the calm of  God’s peace.
To sing and dance in a celebration of God’s creative majesty.
To proclaim God’s love for us with triumphant and jubilant roars.

We declare “You, God, are our God. And we are loved beyond measure.” Shout it out that the world may know.

Let us worship our God.

(adapted Gill Le Fevre, The Gathering, Pentecost 2, 2021)

Opening Prayer

Gracious, caring God, we come here today to worship, to praise and to ask for patience, and some of us are even asking for forgiveness. Some of us have been fighting the changes that have happened over the last year. Some of us have embraced them and have found this time to be easier than before. Some of us complain about our freedoms being taken away. We long for time with family and friends, we long for what was. We have gotten caught up in what we don’t have, instead of seeing all that we do have. Help us to change our view of the glass half empty but see it as a glass half full, filled with hope, filled with refreshment, filled with change as we open up and gather together. We trust that you, God, will not change, that you will stand strong and hold us up and walk with us through these tides of change. Anchor us in your word and in your love. We pray this in your son Jesus’ name. Amen.

Moment of Silence

We take a moment to remember and give thanks for those from our Walton family and extended families who have passed away over the last year and a half. May you feel their presence and their peace in your hearts today as we acknowledge their absence with us. We ask for God’s blessing on each one, until we meet again.

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 “Good things come to those who wait”

Val and Alison are making bread. Alison thinks it is going to be a few minutes to make bread, and Val tries to explain that making bread takes time and requires a lot of patience. There are many steps to making bread. Just like we’ve had to wait patiently for this day to come with the opening of the doors of Walton, to have live worship. We had to go through many steps too, to get ready,  to keep everyone safe and to meet together in the Sanctuary for worship.

Remember the phrase, “Good things come to those who wait?” That is very true, whether we are talking about waiting for a special treat like home-made bread, or a special day, like the first day we can come to church at Walton in person again.

As Alison and Val knead the bread, they talk about praying for others, and how making bread and kneading it while praying adds more love and prayers and goodness to the bread.  We need to ask God for patience as we go through the changes of the next while, as we worship virtually and live, may God guide us and lead us each step of the way.  Amen.

Anthem:  “Look at the World”

 

Scripture Reading:  Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

This ends the reading of God’s Holy Word.

Morning Message:  “Changes”Rev. Jim Gill

(video of Val and Jim talking about change)

In case you haven’t realized, my sermon is about change.

Recently one of you sent me this message: “Everything has an expiration date, even bad times.”

What immediately came to mind was our reading this morning from Ecclesiastes. It is often called the “Turn, Turn, Turn” passage, for there was a song written by that name that was based on this piece of scripture in the Hebrew Old Testament. This passage is often read not only at memorial services but also at other times of great change. It reminds us all that this too will pass. That this time is only for a time. Change is constant.

Today is a time of great change for us as the people of faith we call Walton Church. We are transitioning from being a totally virtual Sunday morning worshipping community of faith since March 22, 2020, to again being a live worshipping community of faith every Sunday. Of course, we will still continue to be a virtual church even after Covid ends. You choose moving forward. Live or virtual services, or a hybrid of both.

As the writer Goodwin says, “There are seasons. Seasons change. Moments come and go. What we are experiencing right now will fade and it will be time for something else to come our way. God is orchestrating these times and changes of life. God promises to be with us through the transition of seasons. We can trust God in the process.” Amen to Goodwin’s words. “God promises to be with us through the transition of seasons.” Whatever season you are in personally at this moment, it is a season. This too will pass.

Back when we shut down in-person worship after our services on Sunday, March 15, 2020, I wondered what the new season will look like? How will we adapt? Can we do this all virtually? Will anyone watch? Sure, I had been on camera often over my career from the CBC news to weddings shared around the globe. But helping out behind the camera and helping to think of places and themes for each week –  that was all new.

Well, we did it. Virtual Sunday worship started off simply and grew. Virtual Wednesday mid-week check-ins did the same. God gave us the words. God gave us the people. God gave us the places and God gave us the technology.

I initially thought this virtual season might last until the fall of 2020 before we changed into something new. Boy was I wrong! It is the fall of 2021, and we are just transitioning now. Thanks for watching, liking, sharing, and supporting virtual Walton. What an amazing family of faith. Hundreds participate virtually from all over, and not just at 9:30 or 11 am on Sunday mornings.

Connie Matthews writes, “The seasons of life are about the transitions we go through and how they impact our mindset and actions. The amount of time it takes to move through each season is a reflection of your state of mind. Furthermore, the seasons are about the process of transition from one set of circumstances to the next — allowing for opportunities for us to learn, evolve, and eventually reap the rewards of a well-lived life.”

Matthews concludes by saying, “Ultimately, life is about transformation. Every experience — despite its magnitude — helps us grow on many levels, which helps to pave the way for richer experiences that will challenge us to overcome the obstacles that life inevitably sends our way.”

People talk about going back to what it was like before Covid. That season will never come again. Now that doesn’t mean what we are experiencing now will be forever. It will not. Its season will come to an end. It did end with the Spanish Flu a hundred years ago, and there was not the knowledge, vaccines, technology and infrastructure we have today. Covid, however, has forever changed the next season of our communal life. We pray we enter that new season sooner than later, as more and more people get vaccinated. It will be a new season post-Covid.

The expression to “build back better” is more than a cliché. Covid has brought blessings as well as losses out of the panic of this pandemic. Some small things, like my doctor can Zoom me for drug renewals rather than me having to go to an office 5 km away. People are more likely to wear masks, wash their hands, and stay home when they have a cold or flu. People discovered that a lot of meetings held in the past were not needed as much during Covid. Most people will cheer for fewer meetings! People can actually work at home full or part-time, reducing hours of commuting time and helping to slow climate change. The list goes on and on of unexpected blessings in the countless changes of Covid.

Deborah Belka sums up the message of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 in her poem “The Seasons Of Life”

The seasons of life,
blow in like the wind
some are slow-moving
others like a whirlwind.

But, I have found,
no matter the season
whatever blows my way
God has for it, a reason.

The seasons of life,
have their highs and lows
the cause behind them
only God really knows.

But, I have found,
seasons are a blessing
urging me into the goal
to just keep pressing.

The seasons of life,
blow in and out
some like a whisper
others with a shout.

But, I have found,
each season sent to me
keeps me trusting God
for what I cannot see!

Pastoral Prayer

There is a time for everything under heaven. Let us enter into the coolness of fall by coming to God in prayer:

Dear God, thank you for helping us get through this past year and helping to build us up for a better year ahead. Creator God, thank you for allowing us to be born and providing us with so many blessings. We know your plan is perfect and that you have a perfect time for everything to happen as it should. We are so grateful for your constant love during our times of hurt, pain and fear. Thank you for the comfort you provide as we mourn, and for the joyful reminders of our loved ones that bring laughter and peace through our tears. Thank you for the blessings you bestow during the times that we mourn and also when it is time to dance.

Lord your love falls so gently on my troubled heart until it forms an armour of strength about me that would protect me in the rough times. I give you praise and thanks for both hearing and comforting your humble servant. Thank you for sending your Son so that through Him, we will be able to be born again into eternal life and live in your Kingdom with you and Jesus and all the loved ones that have gone before us. We rejoice and thank you for all our blessings in this life, and may we always keep our eyes on heaven and on you. Amen.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

It doesn’t matter what the offering goes in. It is what it is used for to make a change, to make a difference in our world. The offering will now be received.

♥ 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

Creator God, we ask you to take our gifts and multiply them to help others, that they can see the change made each time the offering plate givings and the online givings go out into the world to help our neighbours and even people we do not know, showing your love and caring to others, changing each day for them. Amen.

Benediction

Go out into the world, knowing that there will be changes, but God never changes. God is the same today as he was years ago, and God will be the same in the years to come, when we have passed into the heavenly realm.

Spirit Moves:  “We receive your blessing, we receive your grace.”

 

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!

• In the Bulb There is a Flower
• Eagles Wings
• My Faith Looks Up to Thee
• Be Still My Soul

 

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, October 22, 2021