Virtual Service – September 11, 2022

2:00 pm

September 11, 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

Leftovers from the Art & Treasures sale – Come check out the wonderful and unique sale items, now at reduced prices, following the service today in Bronte Hall.

Help wanted! We are looking for help on Sundays once or twice a month in the following roles. Training and support is provided:

• Nursery volunteers
• Sunday School helpers
• Youth Group helpers
• Ushers
• Elevator attendants
• Camera / virtual operators
• Computer / projectionist
• Coffee hosts

We also need helpers during the week to assist with:

• weeding the garden
• organizing and restocking items in the kitchen
• other occasional tasks.

Looking for ways to help that fit your schedule? Consider one of the following:

• Bring pre-packaged, nut-free cookies to share at coffee time on Sunday morning. Please leave them in the kitchen for the hosts to serve.
• Fill a personal care kit bag
• Drop off winter coats and boots for coat drive

Our volunteers are such a blessing to Walton and the wider community. Thank you for your service!

“Everybody Always” Tuesday Night Fall Video Study.  Rev. Jim is offering a Fall Study, from 7:15 pm until 8:45 pm on Tuesdays, Oct. 4th to Nov. 1st, in Bronte Hall. It is by Bob Goff, New York Times bestselling author of, “Becoming love in a world full of setbacks and difficult people.” No preparation is required and there is no cost. Masks are required.  Please let Rev. Jim know you are attending by emailing  jamescgillwuc@gmail.com or by calling the office at 905-827-1643.

Upcoming Bible Study “Christian Community” will be starting Thursday, September 22nd, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Bronte Hall. The study will run for 10 weeks, on consecutive Thursday mornings. We all yearn for a sense of community. The topic of community seems to be even more relevant in the world and in each of our lives, as we look back over the last two and a half years. What does the Bible say about Christian community? What does Christian community mean to you today?  A time to gather, discuss, question, listen, share, laugh, and ponder, as we explore the meaning of Christian community together. Everyone is welcome. Please sign up through the church office to ensure everyone has a copy of the book. The book cost is $10.00 and is available through the church office. If you have any questions, please speak to Cathy Winn.

Upcoming Prayer Shawl Ministry gathering on Thursday, September 22, 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. in Bronte Hall. The Prayer Shawl Ministry knits and crochets Prayer Shawls which are given out to people in the Walton community and beyond.  Each child baptized at Walton receives a Prayer Blanket, made by the members of this ministry. The Prayer Shawls and Prayer Blankets are made with love and prayers, a reminder of God’s presence in our lives and in the world. Do you like to knit or crochet? Why not join us for a time of laughter, sharing, creating, prayer, and supporting others in this special ministry? New members are always welcome. Some supplies are provided. Please speak with Cathy Winn through the church office. The October meeting will be Thursday, October 20th, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Bronte Coat Drive is back! Tentatively, on the third Saturday in October. This has become a cooperative effort between the Church of the Epiphany, St. Dominic’s Church and Walton Memorial primarily; all of us having the betterment of the people in our area as our goal. So, sew on that button, empty those pockets, sponge out that stain, and please give us your coats that you don’t plan to wear next year or ever again. Donations will be accepted at the church starting September 4th.

Calling all knitters The Bronte Coat Drive Committee needs knitted scarves for our annual coat distribution event. If you could knit a scarf 5’ – 6’ long in black, grey or navy, we would be most happy to include it as a giveaway on October 15th, 2022. As you may know, many people in our community are grateful to receive a coat from this event, and they are delighted to also receive a warm scarf (or hat or gloves)!

Good News!  Walton’s UCW meetings are starting up again! We welcome all ladies of any age who care to join us in Bronte Hall for our first fall meeting on Thursday, September 8, in the afternoon.  1:30 pm is our new meeting time.  Tea, coffee and cookies will be provided. We look forward to seeing many familiar friends, and new faces are especially welcome as we reconvene after a lengthy break. Refreshments and a brief business meeting will be followed by a thought-provoking discussion on “Pandemic Positivity” led by Rev Alexandra Arden. Please call the office at (905) 827-1643 if a drive is needed. Mark your calendars for the 2nd Thursday of each month: October 13, November 10 and December 8 all at 1:30 pm.

Weeding Team –  We need a few people who will help some others weed the south and new east gardens. If you can help out, let the office know. Thank you.

Fling It in the Freezer On Sunday, September 25th at both services, we will have fun as we donate hundreds of pairs of warm winter socks by flinging them into the freezer at the front of the church during the service. If you are unable to attend, please drop off your socks to the church office,  which will be donated through the Wesley Day Centre or Kerr Street Mission to folks who need them desperately. This is a Walton Outreach event, you don’t want to miss!

Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. As your little ones head off to school, what’s in their backpacks?

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 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.

Anthem: “How Can I Keep From Singing?”

Royal Remembrance

Song: “God Save the King”

Welcome

Good Morning and welcome to Rally Day.
Let us continue in worship with singing….

Hymn:  “Come In, Come In and Sit Down”  vs. 1 & 4  395VU

Call to Worship

All: We thank you God for the week that just passed, we thank you for the adventures of new experiences, and to be with others again. We thank you for the cool evenings and the beautiful sunny days. We thank you for this time to worship you, to renew, refresh, or even restart our journey with you. It might not always be easy, but we will be helping each other on the journey, through the laughter and the tears, singing and prayers, sharing strength, love and companionship with one another.
Let us worship.

Opening Prayer

All: Gracious God: As we gather today, we remember our role as learners and seekers of the faith. We give thanks for all those — present or away — who support the teaching and learning that takes place through our congregation. Be with all the children, youth, and adults who will be participating this year in our Sunday School, Bible studies, and all our ministries here at Walton.
Bless our times of study so that we may grow in faith.
Bless our times of fellowship so that we may truly live as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Bless our times of prayer and worship so that we may be enriched in our spirits. Amen.

(adapted from Gray, Henry David, Congregational Worshipbook (Ventura, CA: American Congregational Center)

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 Hymn: “All Are Welcome”  vs. 1  1MV

 

Youth Story:  What’s in your backpack?

Alison: It’s back-to-school season!  Are you guys excited about a new year of school?  Were you nervous on the first day?  Do you like your new teacher?  What kind of things did you put in your backpack?

Kids offer suggestions like lunch, pencils, notebooks, toys, books.

Depending on what grade you’re in you probably have a lot of books to carry back and forth in your backpacks – story books, math books, notebooks… In Val’s backpack, she has a very important book.  One that you might not study in school, but that you should read all year long.

Val opens backpack and pulls out Bible.

Val: This is the Bible.  Did you know that this Bible is full of promises that God gave to us?  When God said he was going to do something, He did it!  There isn’t one time that He said He was going to do something, and He didn’t.  When you read Bible stories, you’ll see God often tells his prophets what He will do, and then it happens!  He warns His people not to do certain things or bad things will happen.  When they do it anyway, that thing he warned them would happen does!  He also tells us that He will bless us if we obey his commandments.   He is always faithful and always keeps his promises.

Alison: Why is it so important that God keeps His promises?  It’s because we know we can rely on Him.  We can trust Him.  We can let go of our worries and fears because we know that He is taking care of us, even during the times that make us nervous, like starting a new school or taking a test. There is nothing to fear!  God loves us and God is in control.  So, when you go to school this week you might not have room for your Bible, but remember to pack your trust in God in your backpack. Remember to pray to

him if you feel worried.  God promised to take care of you and God will always keep His promises.

Jim: This morning we are blessing the backpacks, anyone who brought them in, and anyone who would like a blessing for the backpacks they have at home..

A Blessing of the Students at the Start of the School Year

Loving God, we ask your blessing on these students as they return to school,
as they renew friendship, the blessing of laughter and shared news.
Loving God, we ask your blessing on these students
as they enjoy snacks and lunch, the blessing of their favourite food.
Loving God, we ask your blessing on these students
as they are challenged in class, the blessing of a caring teacher.
Loving God, we ask your blessing on these students
as they share sports and games, the blessing of a good coach.
Loving God, we ask your blessing on these students
as they search the Internet for information and enjoy games, the blessing
of wise guides.
Loving God, we ask your blessing on these students
when they return home, the blessing of parents and caregivers who will listen.
Loving God, may these students find your blessing as they know ours.
Amen
(David Sparks, united church.ca)

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

Scripture Reading:  Luke 15:1-10  Don Rusk

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him.  And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable:

“Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?  And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep.’

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?  And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’

Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Scripture Response: “Thy Word” on screen

Morning Message:  “Grumbling about Dinner”  Rev. Jim

“Rally: an automotive competition over a specified public route with a driver and navigator attempting to keep to a predetermined schedule between checkpoints. The course is generally unknown to contestants until the start of the rally. Such competition began in 1907 with a Beijing-to-Paris event of about 12,000 km (7,500 miles).”  This is what the dictionary tells us is the definition of a rally.

While many of you came here today by car, that is not why we call today Walton’s Rally Sunday. Some congregations call today “Back to Church Sunday” or “Kick off Sunday” or even “Registration Sunday.” Walton calls the first Sunday after Labour Day “Rally Day.” It is our last summer Sunday with a single service at 10am and thankfully this year we once again have our Rally Day BBQ following the service, thanks to the Congregational Life Committee and friends. I can even smell the hamburgers from here. Please join us in Bronte Hall for this kick-off meal.

Today we not only rally together Walton folk, both old and new, from their many travels this first summer of real travel since 2019, but we also “rally” like participants in a car rally do. Hear me out on this one. In earlier years Walton held a fall car rally followed often by a sit-down roast beef dinner in Bronte Hall. In Walton’s car rally no one knew the route except its creator, which was often Peter, who is co-chair of our Congregational Life committee.

Last weekend while coming back from a Walton family wedding in southeast Cambridge at the Mill on the Grand River, I took the back roads to return to the church office. Coming through those roads of north Halton I remembered well the Walton car rallies of the past. You never knew where the route would take you through the beautiful escarpment country of Halton.

In reality, today is the beginning of the 2022-2023 church year. So, this is what I want you to hear. Just like a car rally we are not sure of the route God will give us between now and our Celebration Sunday in June 2023. What way ahead does God plan for us as a family of faith over the next 9 months of the most active time in a congregation’s life?

God will provide the route for this faith family. The Holy Spirit, if you will, is the navigator directing us as we steer through the next months together while walking in the steps of Jesus. The Spirit has helped navigate our route since March 2020 and will show us the way for whatever lies ahead this fall, next winter, and beyond.

I titled this message, “Grumbling about dinner.” You see, where this story took place the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law were grumbling about Jesus. In fact, they “muttered,” the text tells us, that Jesus had “sinners” as his dinner companions. I find that is a very intriguing criticism, for does that not assume the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law were without sin? But does not everyone need Jesus? Is there any among us who is without sin?  Would we not all want Jesus to eat with us today at our Rally Day BBQ as Jesus ate with his disciples at the beach BBQ by the Sea of Galilee after the Resurrection? When we are about to eat, don’t we ask a blessing on the meal in the name of Jesus?  In saying grace, we ask for the presence of the divine in our eating.

We see there is usually some creative way Jesus responds to criticism in Bible stories. As followers of Jesus, there will be critics at times in our walk of faith. It comes with the territory. So in response to the “grumbling” or “muttering” about Jesus’ dinner companions, Jesus tells the story of both a lost sheep and a lost coin.

Don’t you get upset about losing things? It can just drive us wild to search and search until we find the lost item. Most of us don’t have sheep to lose. We tend to use debit cards or paper bills rather than valuable coins we can misplace.  However, I think most of you have lost one or more of the following items: your phone, car keys, glasses, passwords, tax papers or charger.

Once I was navigating in the Walton car rally.  I was seated in the middle of the back seat of a 7-seat van. There was an adult driving. Walton Senior Youth Group teens filled the rest of the van except for me, back in the middle of the back seat.  The vehicle was so full of laughter and song, it was a great time on a lovely fall afternoon. But like a sheep, sure enough in rural Milton, I got us royally lost. I could blame it on not seeing very well from the back seat or I could blame it on the noise in the van. We tend to make excuses when we lose our way in life.  But I got us really lost. No excuse even though this was before we had GPS on every phone or in every car. I could not even figure out the direction we were going.

When we finally made it back to that roast beef dinner in Bronte there was good news. I was not denied the tasty potatoes and gravy because I was lost. I was still offered the roast beef even in my “lostness.” Is that even a word? After all, that is what Jesus did in his time. No one is lost to Jesus. At the roast beef dinner, the story of my lostness grew.  By dessert the teens were telling others that we ended up in rural Hamilton, then rural Grimsby and finally rural St. Catharines instead of rural Halton. You see, the lost was found. It is really biblical. It is very good news!!

We can all get lost at times in our lives. We are still welcomed to Jesus’ table. Some people tell me they could never come back to church, for the ceiling would cave in. Been there. Done that. The ceiling fell over where I am standing and back where the ushers stand. But it happened in the middle of the night after the Steeltown Chorus concert the night before. There was no one thankfully in the Sanctuary when the water-damaged horse hair plaster fell onto the carpet. So you see it is never too late to walk back into church. The ceiling and the roof are both secure.

This day we rally everyone to kick off what we call the  “functional church year.” It doesn’t matter if you are a lost sheep or lost coin. It does not matter if the last time you walked through the doors or watched our virtual service was last Sunday or back in the last millennium. The doors are open. The welcome is still here. It would be great to have you here whenever the Spirit moves you. Or maybe the Spirit moves someone to invite you.

You see, none of us have it all together. None of us have it made. We have within all of us that lost coin, that lost sheep. We are still all on that lifelong journey of walking in the footsteps of Jesus. Sometimes we are walking in straight lines but other times we are walking around and around in circles.

We are with the Holy Spirit as our guide as a family of faith, learning to be a post-pandemic congregation. We cannot just go back to Rally Day 2019 and pretend everything will just be fine. The reality is that world no longer exists. Society as a whole, church life, and we individually have been transformed by two and half years of Covid.

When I served up in Algoma I served two churches 7 miles apart, but there was one pastoral charge, as it is called, with one official board governing both. In 1987, Walton moved from one year-round 10am service to being two churches in one building for nine months of the year, with one church meeting at 9:30am and the other meeting at 11:00am. As of last October, we became two churches in a new way, with one meeting virtually and the other meeting face-to-face every week.

You, your leaders and your staff are still working out how this new Walton reality will play itself out week to week. We seek the Holy Spirit’s navigation from Sunday to Sunday. We thank you for this support in so many ways. Worshipping Jesus is not perfection. It is not about how perfectly the service goes; it is about what is in our hearts in desiring Jesus.

Pastoral Prayer

Loving, caring God, we rejoice in you and in your gift of Jesus in our lives and in the world.

We pray this morning for all the people hurting and grieving in Saskatchewan and Lord grant them your healing touch, your gift of hope, peace and love in the midst of so much fear, pain and heartache. Now in silence, we lift them to you in prayer.

Time of Silence 

God, we ask you to be with each person here and at home who may be struggling with fear, grief, unemployment, addiction or mental illness. Give us strength and comfort as we seek help and wholeness through you, Jesus. We thank you Lord for sending us people who guide and support us in our challenges, walk alongside us, pray with us and give us encouragement, to show your love in all we say and do.

In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Our call as Christians is to participate in community, to support and offer care to others, and to proclaim the good news in word and in actions.
Our church community has grown. It is not only those who have gathered here in the pews; our virtual service has blessed us to be able to reach out  into the world through worship time together. We also have a virtual community of faith, Walton members who we don’t always see face to face, but they are an active part of our church community.  We see them in action,  like all of you we see here this morning.
We receive your gifts of kindness through prayers, offerings, sharing resources, and opportunities to help others, through the ministries that are happening here at Walton, being Jesus’ hands and hearts in the world together. Whether we are here in person, or watching on a screen, we are gathered together to grow in God’s love and community.
We have placed offering plates at the doors of the Sanctuary. If you would like to drop off your offering on your way into service or as you leave, or you can donate on-line through our website or you can write a cheque and drop it off at the office, or in the mail slot during the week here at the church.

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

Offering Hymn: “Give Thanks” (on screen)

Offering Prayer

All: Inspiring God, we make our offering today as part of this community of faith, affirming the work our gifts can do when made together.
Take these resources, we pray, to sustain and support any who are in need and strengthen the networks of aid that so many turn to for help.
Use our own gifts and personal resources to nurture and develop our community of faith as a place of welcome, of trust, and of caring. Amen.

(Gill Le Fevre, The Gathering, Pentecost 2, 2022)

Hymn: “Draw the Circle Wide” vs. 1 & 2

Benediction

Well friends, we are launched – and whatever the time is at this moment,
it is the time to be about God’s work that we are called to.
It is in God’s time that it will be accomplished.
It is in God’s time that will make it all possible.
So listen for God,
Put your hand in God’s hand
and get on with it!
Go do God’s work.
Go share God’s love.
adapted Bob Root, Pentecost 2, 2021

Closing Hymn: “You Shall Go Out With Joy”  884VU

Grace for the BBQ

Announcements

Wendy’s Technology Video

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, September 7, 2022
Click here for video