Virtual Service – September 12, 2021

8:30 am

September 12, 2021

Rally Sunday - 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

• Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. Just as there are many ways to get to school each day, there are many ways to get to God!
• Spaghetti Dinner UpdateGreetings from the Outreach Committee. We are disappointed we won’t be having our Spaghetti Dinner this September once again, but we have chosen a charity we would like to support in lieu of the event. The charity we would like to support this year is Food4Kids Halton, which currently provides weekly fresh food packages to 854 children in the Halton area. Wow, isn’t it amazing that they have been able to help so many kids during this pandemic time we are living in? If you would like to support our Spaghetti Dinner charity, you may donate online at the Walton website, drop a cheque (payable to Walton with ‘Food4Kids’ in the memo line) through the mail slot at the church (ring the bell and say hi), or post your donation to Walton United Church, 2489 Lakeshore Road West, Oakville, Ontario L6L 1H9. You can also text a dollar amount followed by “spaghetti” to 84321 to give by text. All donations will be added to your annual Walton givings and tax receipt. Thank you for your generosity, and for thinking of others in our current situation.

• 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


Welcome

V: Good morning and welcome.

J: We are here at LaSalle Park Marina, on Hamilton Bay, on this Rally Day. We just loved this sign. This is a hoist that lifts people’s boats in and out of the water. It reminds us that people aren’t to be hoisted up; it is prohibited.

V: I wonder why? Haha.

J: I think someone may have done it and ended up in the water and that is why they don’t allow it anymore. But we hope this service hoists you up,  lifts you up on this Rally Day as we begin the new Sunday School year and school has begun. We hope this service is a blessing to you.

V: Let’s join together in the Call to Worship.

Call to Worship

We are setting up for a journey today. This is the start of the new year — not only schools but in our virtual Sunday School and our virtual church, with hopes to gather together soon.

Pack your bags, grab your Bible and your mask. Gather up some groceries to share, bring some drinks and are you ready to go. We are underway. Let the ropes go, and let’s set sail into our new year ahead.

You know the excitement (maybe a little fear) that comes with seeing the water ahead, the unknown, the excitement to see who we will meet, who will God bring into our lives, and bless us with. This year ahead is all unknown water for us. Grab your life preserver, and let’s join worship together, whatever that may be today.

Opening Prayer

Loving God, we thank you for always being with us. You keep us afloat when we are lonely, when we worry, when we struggle, when we do wrong, and when we feel powerless. Jesus rescues!  Because of Jesus’ ever-present love, we can deal with our struggles, have courage, show compassion, have patience, offer forgiveness, and know we are never alone. We ask all of this in the name of your son Jesus. Amen.

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 – Look for the light

Val and Jim are talking about boats being “underway” today, which reminded me of a cool craft from our Shipwrecked VBS series. The kids made a lighthouse using plastic cups and a tea light, and wrote the words “Jesus, light of the world” on one of its stripes. The craft can serve as a nightlight, making the dark less scary and reminding us that the same way boats follow a lighthouse through the dark to safe harbour, we need to follow the light of Jesus, trusting that He will guide us safely through the storms and dark times in our lives.

Have you been to Bronte Harbour lately? Maybe you’ve noticed something different there. The old red and white striped lighthouse on the east pier has been replaced with a rectangular box. And one has been added to the east pier as well. This change was made for safety reasons, as the old light didn’t meet current standards. Our Bronte lighthouse had an upgrade, with more modern, brighter lights. So no matter how dark a night, how dense the fog, or how strong the storms, boats on the lake will always be able to see the lights shining and guiding them safely home.

Does your faith need an upgrade too? Sometimes we feel surrounded by such darkness or fog that we lose sight of Jesus. When the storms of life feel overwhelming, it can be hard to see his light. Of course, Jesus doesn’t need to be replaced by a newer model, like the lighthouse did. Even when we can’t see it well, his light is always shining. He is always with us. But there are ways we can give our faith a power boost to make his light shine more brightly within us.

Of course, we can go to church, or watch virtual church, read the Bible, or say our prayers. But there are so many other ways to upgrade our faith. We can do something kind for someone else; that makes the light of Jesus shine more brightly within us and in them. And maybe they will do something nice for someone else too, spreading Jesus’ light and love to others. I love to sing a song of praise out loud in the shower, or driving alone in my car. And one of my favourite ways to power up my faith is to spend time in nature, surrounded by all of God’s beautiful creation. I always feel his presence more strongly there.

We can’t always see where we are going when we are underway. But like those boats sailing through the night, we just have to look for the light and follow it. The light of Jesus will take you safely through whatever it is you’re struggling with. Let’s say a prayer together:

Loving God, thank you for the gift of your son Jesus, who truly is the light of the world. Help us to follow that light, to seek it out, and to always keep it shining brightly within ourselves and within others. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Anthem:  “My Lighthouse” –  Youth Choir

 

An Affirmation of Faith

With a grateful heart, I stand to proclaim my faith.
The great God of the universe loves me,
and that love has made all of the difference in the world.
There is not a day that goes by that God is not with me
and there is not a moment that I face alone.
Like the loving embrace of a friend, God’s love surrounds me:
when I stumble, God’s love reaches out to me to help me up:
when the things of life weigh heavy on my heart, God’s love sustains me:
when I am discouraged or afraid, God’s love shelters me:
when I have messed up and missed the mark,
God’s love forgives me.
Because God loves me so, I know that my life has value.
Because God loves me so, I know that my life has meaning and purpose.
Because God loves me so, I know that every day can be lived with a blessed assurance, my Redeemer lives –
God lives within my heart;
God lives within every heart that makes room for God.
Amen.
(Author unknown)

Scripture Reading: Psalm 116:1-9, James 3:1-12

Psalm 116:1-9
I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.
Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I pray, save my life!”
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful.
The LORD protects the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
I walk before the LORD in the land of the living.

James 3:1-12
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. Anyone who makes no mistakes in speaking is perfect, able to keep the whole body in check with a bridle. If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide their whole bodies.
Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue — a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.
Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh.

Anthem:  “Shine, Jesus Shine”

 

Morning Message: “Underway” – Rev. Jim Gill

In Hamilton Bay, there is a vessel called “Underway.” Of course, we talk about a boat moving through the water as being underway. It has started its voyage. I really appreciate that word — “underway.” It’s a great word for the times we find ourselves in during this late summer of 2021. We are underway.

Did you know the English language has well over 100,000 words? How big is your vocabulary? The Grammarly spelling and grammar app, which is on my computer, tells me I use only about 2,100 unique words on average a week. But that is still better than 95% of their users. Go figure.

Have you heard of the new museum that opened in Washington, DC?  It’s a first of its kind immersive language experience. Planet Word is a voice-activated museum with interactive galleries and exhibits that uniquely bring words and language to life in all sorts of fun ways.

The average person speaks at least 7,000 words a day, with many speaking much more than that. Think about what that means to you. Those 7,000 words (at least) you speak each day are your imprint on the world. They dictate how people perceive you, and they largely define you.

In the Book of James today the letter is talking about a believer’s use of words. James says, “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.” The tongue and the words it says can be misused and cause great harm. We think of all the wildfires out west this summer when we read the words of the Book of James, “How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire.” Words misused can light a firestorm of gossip, hate speech and conflict. We are called as believers to use our words in healing and helpful ways.

Thinking of the vessel “Underway” in Hamilton Bay, hear too what James says about ships and the tongue and its words. “Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.” James compares the tongue to the rudder on a ship and how it guides or misguides the whole vessel. It’s the same with words used positively and negatively.

Today is really the start of not only the school year but the start of the church year as well. As we are underway in uncharted waters, I want to share with you four positive “P” words about being underway.

First is the word POSSIBILITY. Today we usually would be having burgers and hot dogs on the front lawn and in Bronte Hall for our annual Rally Day. Today is still Rally Day 2021. Today is still the start of the new ‘21-’22 church year. Today is still an important day in church life.  However, the possibilities of what this day can look like are different than before 2020.

While I could show a virtual burger it would only tempt your actual taste buds. I can, though, invite you to get underway by using the virtual Sunday School lesson that was sent out this morning by email. If you do not receive these emails weekly and you would like to, please let us know.

We are so delighted that many of you watching today worship with us virtually from not only across the greater Hamilton and Toronto areas but across Ontario, Canada and well beyond Canada too. Thanks for joining us virtually today. We would be pleased to not only send you the virtual Sunday School program each week but to add you to our virtual mailings list. At the end of this service, all our contact information is displayed on the screen, or you can visit our website waltonmemorial.com or call us at 905-827-1643.

The second word is PROTECTION. From JK to post-grad studies at universities, students are already back or are returning soon to live, virtual, or some hybrid form of learning. We continue to pray prayers of protection over all those involved in schooling in any setting and in any role, as things certainly are underway with education.

The reopening of schools is the greatest challenge in overcoming Covid that our society faces. We pray everyone who can be double vaccinated does so to make our schools as safe as possible. It makes a huge difference. Thanks so much.

The third is the word PARTICIPATE. A week from tomorrow is the federal election. The campaign has been very much underway with the debates, ads and signs up. If you can vote, please make sure you vote. There are advance polls today and tomorrow. You can vote at the main riding election office until Tuesday or request a mail-in ballot until Tuesday. Of course, you can also vote on election day, September 20.

Some of you will be voting at Walton as we host numerous voting polls under strict Election Canada Covid rules in Bronte Hall. I am so very thankful for the way we have an efficient and effective non-partisan Elections Canada organization that is creating more and more options for us to vote here in Canada during Covid. Our US neighbours are currently having huge fights over the voter suppression laws being introduced in individual states to exclude certain voting groups. In Canada we want everyone to vote. So please vote.

Fourth is the word PATIENCE. Walton’s reopening is underway. Walton Council met for the first time live this past Tuesday in a socially distanced meeting in Bronte Hall instead of virtually on Zoom. We have had under 50 people in attendance for a few socially distanced baptisms, weddings and funerals here at Walton, both inside the Sanctuary and outside on the tower steps or in front of the angel garden. Some of you have said you are anxious to get back to live worship. So am I. You are missed greatly.

Walton has come up with procedures for reopening for live, socially distanced, masked services and we have successfully test-driven the procedures at those weddings, baptisms, and funerals.

We are also proceeding with the installation of commercial-grade cameras and new microphones to record the live services once we reopen. Once this new technology is all up and working we pray we can set a date for reopening. A huge mega caveat here: any reopening is dependent upon the vaccine passport program introduced on September 1st actually working to reduce the spread of the variants and seeing a significant increase in those fully vaccinated to above 90%.

We are underway but we need that word patience. People have asked once live services start whether virtual services will continue. The answer is yes; virtual services will continue. They will not, however, feature all the various video clips we record all over Halton Region, but instead will be a video recording of the live services. Mid-week check-ins will continue in the current format. Covid has permanently moved Walton to be a virtual church as well as an in-person family of believers.

So remember these 4 positive “P” words:
Possibilities of what this Rally Day can be.
Protection as schools reopen
Participation in voting for whatever party you want to support
and
Patience as Walton’s reopening is underway.

Pastoral Prayer

Lord help me to rise to the light of today. Help me to shine forth and let your glory radiate over me that others will see you working in me and through me. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

If I have been ignoring your calling, I’m sorry. Please help me to see your plan for me to be that beacon of light to rise and shine now, today. Help me to shine your light in the darkness of fear and uncertainty in my every day, my job, education, business, family and relationships. Create in me a clean heart.

Help your light to shine through my addictions, my worries, my fears, my loneliness, my grief, my anger, and my longing for normal. Help me to focus on you and your promises, your love for me and each one of your children no matter our age or stage of life. That helping one another, living out your promises and loving one another shines your light in each of our darkness. We lift all those challenges to you, Lord, and ask for your help as we sail this ship together through this pandemic time. Create in me a clean heart.

We pray for our government leaders, our medical doctors, nurses, and staff, our educational leaders, teachers, and custodians, our religious leaders and all those who have someone they are looking after, or have someone looking after them. Each person, Lord, needs you now more than ever. We ask for your love and light to guide us, and protect us. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Song:  “Create In Me a Clean Heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10 )

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence O Lord.
Take not this Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of your salvation.
And renew a spirit within me.

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

What a privilege it is to share in God’s mission to change, adapt and be responsive to the needs around us, not only here in our Halton community but in our global community as well. Sharing our gifts is an important way to live our love for one another. Let us join together in our morning offering. Let us live our love for God for each other.

♥ 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 Prayer

Loving, patient God, for some of us it’s still hard to trust. There have been so many changes and challenges, questions and very few answers. As we present our morning offering, we wonder: will our gifts make a difference? Will they do any good in the world?  Then we feel your arms of blessing embrace us, assuring us that you have great plans for our gifts, and for us. We offer ourselves and our gifts freely for your purpose, O God, dedicating them for your work in our world.  Amen.

Benediction

God in Jesus calls you even above the roar of the storm,  the crash of the waves, the fear of the unknown and of making the wrong choices. As you walk into this new week, “Reach out to your neighbour, do justice, love kindness and together, walk humbly with your God.”  Amen.

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!

• Part of the Family (Voices United #395)
• All Are Welcome  (More Voices #1)
• Everything is Connected (from the current Gathering)
• Lord, Speak to Me (Voices United #589)
• Thank You God for Churches (Carolyn Gillette)

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, September 8th