Virtual Service – October 31, 2021

8:30 am

October 31, 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.


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 plus 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. God commands you to rest today – are you obeying his rule?
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: Good Morning and welcome to our first Hybrid Service.  We are making history today!
Ah, Val what are you doing?
(Val is shaking a jar of cream, making butter, to go on homemade bread.)
V: Well, you can’t just talk about bread and butter with a topic like Stewardship. You want everyone to be able to use all their senses, Jim. You know when you are selling a house, you have better results if you have something yummy baking in the oven.
J: We aren’t selling a house, Val.
V: No, but we are respecting everyone’s bread and butter, Jim, and I want to give the best of my bread and butter. I wish I had lots of money to give, but I know I have lots more than some other people.  But I have been told I make really good bread, and my daughter has taught me how to make butter. This is something I can do to help in what way I can. You know, the offering of our gifts, our tithes and our offerings.
J: We can all help in what way we can.  You know we need people to help with our virtual services. We need people to learn how to get that out to our Walton family and friends.  If you think you could sit with one other person upstairs and help run the system, please call the office and let us know, we need you. You could be our bread and butter in that ministry.
V: If you are comfortable with being with other people, perhaps you could help with directing people leaving the Sanctuary after service, like an usher only different. A few services from now we will need people to help with checking -in and running the elevator the new way, even ringing the bell on Sunday mornings. You know we have some bread and butter people helping with ringing the bell on Sunday mornings, reading scripture, and reading prayers already, but we would love it if you could share your gifts with us too. Please call me at the office.
J: Let us all join together today in worship, offering up our praise and worship to God.

Call to Worship

One: It is so good for those of us able to be here in the Sanctuary this morning, and those who are at home are with us in spirit and in the love of Christ.

All:  We begin worship this morning with a thankful heart, so grateful to be here in worship together. We are reminded, Lord, of how great it is to have your unconditional love and acceptance, and that it is just part of who we are. 

One: We ask the Holy Spirit to work in and through us this morning, guiding us, strengthening us to share your love and light with all those who we meet and greet today and every day.

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

Opening Prayer

All: Glorious and loving God, like opening the doors of our Sanctuary, we now open our hearts, minds, and souls to your guiding Spirit.  Like the wind blowing and guiding a dandelion seed, we ask that your Spirit-wind guide us down the path you have chosen for us, the path laid out when we follow in the footsteps for your son, who sacrificed himself so we may have eternal life.  We pray that we may always welcome your presence, not only into this time of worship but in our every moment of every day.  We pray this in the name of your son, Jesus the Christ.  Amen.  

(Sally Tuffin, The Gathering Pentecost 12021 )

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.

Let us have a moment of prayerful reflection.

May you feel their presence and their peace in your hearts today as we acknowledge their absence with us.

We ask God’s blessing on each one, until we meet again. 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.

Youth Story

V: Remember back when we used to have buffets?  You know when you paid an amount of money and you got to go up as many times as you wanted to pick the food you wanted to eat. When my son was little, he was kind of a picky eater, and you know we paid whatever the fee was. And the only thing he would get when he went up to the buffet was the bread and butter. Occasionally he would surprise us and put a pickle on his plate.

A: No chicken nuggets? No French fries? Just bread and butter?

V: Only bread and butter.  So, one day I said don’t you want to try something else, there are soooo many things to choose from.

A: What was his answer?

V: He said, “Mommy, I choose the bread and butter cause I know I will never be disappointed. They make the best bread and butter in the world.”

A: That makes a lot of sense. We like things that are basic, familiar and reliable. I guess he figured why try anything else and chance being disappointed or hungry?

V: Well, I tried their bread and butter, and he was right.  It was the best bread and butter ever. Without that bread and butter, he would have been very hungry, but with it, he was satisfied and really didn’t want anything more. Maybe there are other basic things in our lives we should be thankful for and content with just like bread and butter?

A: Like the simple comfort of being back in church together! Let’s say thank you to God for giving us the simple things we need.

V: Let us pray:Thank you, God, for feeding each one of us. For being our bread and filling us daily with the things we need, and not always the things we want. Help us to be bread and butter for others in giving our time, treasure and talent to help others who need it. We ask all this is your son, Jesus’ name. Amen.

Solo:  “I’ll Walk with God” – Ron Tidy

Scripture Readings:  John 6: 35-40, Acts 2: 42-44

John 6: 35-40

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.

Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”

Acts 2:42-44

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

Life among the Believers

Awe came upon everyone because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles.

All who believed were together and had all things in common;

Stewardship Minute

Welcome to week two of “Bread & Butter,” our Stewardship campaign.

I’ve been thinking a lot about bread these days and am amazed about how many different types there are. There is white bread, whole wheat, sourdough (very popular during COVID) naan, multigrain, raisin bread, baguettes, pita bread… Well, I could go on for my entire minute just listing bread!

It is a staple but has so many different varieties. It’s a bit like how people give.  Some like to give weekly, others monthly, some once or twice a year. There are also so many different ways that you can give. The traditional United Church way is through envelopes. If that’s how you want to give, but don’t have any envelopes, just give Alison a call at the office and she’ll get you set up.

You can use cash or cheques in envelopes. Yes, some of us still use cheques. During COVID, lots of people have been putting their envelopes through the mail slot at the back door.

But there are other ways to give.

For my family, we have been using PAR for years. PAR is Pre-Authorized Remittance and is set up as an automatic deduction from my bank account.  I love not having to think about it. You can contact the church office to get set up.

If PAR isn’t your thing, you can make a one-time or ongoing donation with your credit card.

Simply go to our website, click on Donate and you’re ready to go.

You can even donate now by text. Once you have set it up, which only takes a moment or so, you can donate any time, anywhere as long as you have your phone.

Check out our website under “Donate” for instructions.

Whatever bread you prefer, however you want to give, we say a huge thank you.

Morning Message:  “Bread and Butter #2”    Rev. Jim Gill

Hallelujah, give thanks! Our collective prayers and patience have brought us to this day. We have been looking forward to this morning for 19 long months. I prayed as I stood here on the carpet in front of the communion table after the 11 am service on Sunday, March 15. My prayer 19 months ago was that God would show us the way ahead, protect our people here at Walton from this horrible virus, and give me the wisdom to lead into the unknown.

Well, we did it together. We became a virtual church. We learned to Zoom. We held socially distanced baptisms, weddings, and funerals. We learned to give online, by PAR,  through the Allen Entrance mail slot, by Canada Post, and even by text. We created new ways to be a church. We went ahead with the commercial kitchen project in uncertain times. The new kitchen is now completed and paid for, with no general fund monies and no debt used in its construction. That’s no small feat during a pandemic and shutdown!

Today on this Sunday, October 24, 2021, I stand here offering the same prayer as on Sunday, March 15, 2020. My prayer is for God to show us the way ahead, protect our people here at Walton from this horrible virus, and give me the wisdom to lead into the unknown. For today we step into the unknown of being once again a live church in Covid times while continuing to be a virtual church at the same time. We have never been here before. But by faith, hope and dedication we can do it.

Recently I looked back to our first virtual services from the spring of 2020. I smiled and chuckled. What we didn’t know back then about mikes, lighting, staging, editing, tripods, camera angles and creating virtual worship! Thanks for your patience as you saw us work week by week, trying to improve by trial and error Walton’s virtual Sunday services.

Today again we ask for your patience. We have run through a few mock rehearsal services to prepare for this day. The mock services have involved those of us in front of the cameras and those of us running the technology in the balcony. Today, if you will, is our opening night. But it is only the beginning of what we will be. The sanctuary has always been our holy worship space but in many ways today it also becomes a production studio. We are on another steep learning curve just like we were in the spring of 2020, for we are now learning to have both live and virtual worship each Sunday.

What we are doing today in worship will not be the same three months or six months from now. Every Monday we will be reviewing each Sunday’s services. We will fine-tune our registration process and Covid protocols, the format of the worship services, and the technology we use to create both our in-person and virtual services.

Please note as well today does not bring us back to worship at Walton as we knew it, say at the end of 2019. Today begins a new way of being this family of faith gathered in worship. We will never be going back to 2019. This is the new double way of worshipping moving forward.

Please note also, if you will, we are in just the first phase of reopening. Depending on how everything goes in the future we will enter new phases of reopening when it is safe, which may include elements such as choir, congregational singing, youth programming, and social time.

Our Acts of the Apostles reading this morning tells us these important details about the early Christian Church in the first century AD: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

You see how they mention bread in this verse? Remember it was all new to those early believers back then. Jesus had left them with the great commission to spread the Good News. That has not changed for us today. The Great Commission still applies for us in the fall of 2021. The early church was dealing with the fear of persecution as they ate their bread. We are dealing with the fear of the pandemic as we eat our bread today.

“There is always bread and butter.” That is what my Nana used to tell my brother and me when we came home very hungry after school. “Bread and Butter” is the theme of Walton’s 2021 stewardship program. Gill and Tricia have both spoken on this theme over the past couple of weeks. Here is what I want to highlight in my “Bread and Butter” message to you today.

Our revenue from the rental of Walton’s facilities and our fundraising income have both been significantly reduced by Covid. There was no auction this past April and there will be no turkey dinner this November. They are our two largest fundraisers. The competitive bridge group on Wednesdays is one of our major renters. However, bridge is probably one of the riskiest activities at the church that could spread Covid. So the bridge club will not be returning as a rental for some time. There are many other groups that will not be coming back for a while, drastically affecting our rental income.

Yes, we have been fortunate to receive significant federal government support over the last year and a half, which has really helped the Walton budget. This level of government support has already been reduced and will continue to be wound down over time.

This brings us to today’s theme of “Bread and Butter,” – the basics, if you will, of church life and our day-to-day activities. Today’s live and virtual services are funded for the most part by our givings to the church’s general fund. It’s called “local expenses” on your white weekly givings envelopes, and the online donation section of the Walton website simply calls it “general.” The general fund is Walton’s bread and butter. It is what cleaned the church today before for this service, supplied the heat and lights, set up the online registration system and bought the hand sanitiser, just to name a few of this morning’s bread and butter items.

Certainly, Walton has had some lower costs over the past 18 months with the church closed to so many programs and activities. There hasn’t been as much water used, copies made or lights on. But we’ve had unexpected expenses such as another parking lot sinkhole, the plaster repair of the sanctuary roof over there and a dead appliance at the manse.  We cut costs wherever we can to keep expenses low, while still maintaining the church facilities and keeping our staff paid.

Walton has been blessed by the incredible generosity of so many people in so many different ways throughout the pandemic. Unexpected gifts, extra gifts and new gifts on top of weekly or monthly regular giving. We have continued to support our many worthwhile outreach ministries during Covid, even though we could not hold outreach fundraisers like our traditional September spaghetti dinner. The kitchen has been all paid for as I said earlier. We have no kitchen debt whatsoever. Thank you so very much.

Our “Bread and Butter” message for 2021-2022 is this: please remember what my Nana used to say. “There is always bread and butter.” We invite you in your giving for this year and beyond to remember the general fund. With gratitude for your consideration, God bless you.

Pastoral Prayer

Creator God, we thank you for this time together whether it is live or virtual, this time to think of and pray for others in our church family, our community and our world.  We pray for those who are feeling anxious and nervous about changing the safety of their homes to gather in common worship here at the church.  Calm us and fill us with your peace.

We pray for those of us who are feeling the stress and ups and downs with mental health issues whether that is with ourselves, our children, or other relatives and friends. Help us to find support and care and to reach out to a trusted, understanding friend to walk alongside us through the valleys and the hills.

We pray for those who struggle with financial and work stability. For the changes that are happening in the workplace and in the cost of living changes. Help us to budget and find ways to spend our money better, and give sometimes what little we have leftover to help someone else because we are blessed… there is always someone else who has it worse than we do.

We pray for our schools, our hospitals, our governments and our businesses. Help us keep our children and those who teach them healthy and safe Lord.  Help our health care workers to find the energy and caring to continue to look after each one of us, to the best of their ability. We pray for our leaders to make wise decisions and choices regarding this country’s future plans.

Help us not to be critical and negative, but to be positive and uplifting and grateful for all we do have and all that we are able to share with one another. Help us to share your love and your word with others, to help them find hope, encouragement, peace and love and even joy in our everyday things we do and say.

We pray all this in your son, Jesus’ name. Amen.

Anthem: “Home”

 

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

We thank you, Lord, that our bread has butter on it, that we are blessed and privileged to enjoy that wonderful treat every day.  May we share some of what we enjoy with others, others who don’t even have a slice of bread to put the butter on.  Help us to give not only a financial donation but the gift of prayer, of love and help in sharing what we have with our neighbours.  Our offering will now be received.

♥ you are invited to leave your offering envelope in the offering plates which are placed at the entrances and exits of the Sanctuary.
♥ 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: We offer up some of our bread and butter to your table today Lord,  so you can give, share and feed those who are hungry for your love and for your word in these shorter, cloudier fall days. May we see your light,  love and understanding in all we do and help us to share that to each person we greet, or meet helping to build our kingdom here on earth. Amen.

Benediction

Go into this world, sharing God’s love, offering your bread and butter to feed this world. This world that is hungry for hope, hungry for peace, hungry for love, hungry for understanding, hungry to know you. Guide us to be brave and share that with each person we encounter this week, in the name of God the Father, the comforting Spirit, and the light of the world Jesus. Amen.


In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, October 27th