Virtual Service – September 26, 2021

8:30 am

September 26, 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

» Walton Youth - Croma posterSenior Youth Group is back! Our Friday night fun nights have resumed, with outdoor meetings for fun and games while weather permits. Sunday morning Teen Talk is currently scheduled every two weeks and will be held on Zoom. All teens in grade 9-12 are welcome to join. For more information and registration details, please contact senioryouth@waltonmemorial.com.
» Children and youth are invited to view this week’s virtual Sunday School lesson online. This week we explore the Seven Grandfather Teachings and what they can teach us about honouring God.
» Spaghetti Dinner Update – Greetings 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 and marked ‘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 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. We are here on the lakeside of Shell Park this morning. This is a beautiful place, with a babbling brook and luscious green leaves and foliage.

V: I can hear traffic, but I don’t see it. I didn’t know this place existed before today.

J: You have probably driven over this spot 5,000 times over the years of driving back and forth to Bronte.

V: Is that Lakeshore Road above us?

J: Yes. I brought everyone here today to share this special place. Sometimes I like to come here just to have quiet, and pray. I love to just be here in God’s presence. That is the theme of this service this week: “Asking in Prayer.” So I thought I would bring you and everyone worshipping with us today to this special, beautiful place as we gather in this worship service.

V: Come let us join together in worship.

Call to Worship

We gather to share in the Creator’s gift of abundant life for all.

We fix ourselves on you, Creator.

Come fill our hearts with your endless love, and send the wind of your Spirit to new hope through our lives.

Come light our souls to rise in faith, to reach out for your kingdom.

Come pour out your Spirit upon us as we stand together as brothers and sisters.

Lift up our heads, brush away the shadows, and shine your grace into our minds.

So, Creator, we rise to worship, we shake off the shackles of a fallen world and join our hearts together.

With gratitude we gather as a community in praise, Creator, to seek transformation and to celebrate the power of your Spirit that is always moving.

(adapted by Deb Pratt)

Opening Prayer

Holy and mysterious God, we come to you with many questions and seeking answers for our world right now:
“Why me?”
“Why now?”
“How long?”
“Reconciliation?”
“What next?”

We are worried, we are afraid for ourselves, for our families, for our friends, for others, and for our hurting and divided world. Help us to truly feel your presence and your promise of hope – in a flash of colour as we go for a walk and notice a roughly painted stone on the side of the path with a child’’s handwriting that says:

“Be Safe.”
“Stay strong.”
“Give peace a chance.”
“Forgive.”
“You are not alone.”

A simple reminder of your grace, loving God, for this day and every day.
Amen.

(Adapted Mary Parsons, Pentecost 1, The Gathering 2021)

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: The Seven Grandfather Teachings

Val: Good morning! We are here on the Moccasin Trail next to Bronte Creek, just around the corner from the church. All along the trail are signs that tell the story of this land and its people. It seemed like the perfect place to be for our Youth Story today as we recognize this first official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Alison: Truth and Reconciliation can be difficult to talk about. In the past, we have shared the story of Phyllis’ orange shirt and the terrible things that she and so many other people suffered at the residential schools.

In our virtual Sunday School lesson a couple of weeks ago, we learned there are many different paths to get to God, and we each walk our own path. The residential school leaders didn’t understand that while Indigenous people walked a different path from them, different wasn’t bad. If only the residential school leaders had listened to Indigenous people and respected their beliefs, they would have discovered they had a lot in common with each other, even though they spoke different languages, wore different clothes, and had different traditions.

Some Indigenous groups have what they call the Seven Grandfather Teachings. They are important laws that people are to follow every day: Love, respect, courage, honesty, wisdom, humility, truth.

V: Those sound really familiar! They sound a lot like the Fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Gifts we all have, and gifts we all need to share with others every single day. A set of instructions for how to be a good person and live a good life. Can you teach me a little more about what these Seven Grandfather Teachings say?

A:Love: To know love is to know the Creator, therefore it’s expected one’s first love is for that of the Creator or Great Spirit. Creator is the parent of all children. The love given to the Great Spirit is expressed through self-love; if you can’t love yourself how can you love anyone else?

V: The Bible teaches that too. Colossians 3:14 says: Do all these things; but most important, love each other. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity.

A: Respect is the condition of being honoured. It is especially important in Indigenous culture to respect your elders.

V: The Bible tells us the same thing in 1 Peter 5:5. In the same way, I urge you who are younger: accept the authority of the elders. 

A: Courage is the ability to face danger, fear, or change with confidence and bravery.

V: In the Bible, Timothy says: God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 

A: Honesty is speaking and acting truthfully. Keeping the promises you make to the Creator or to others and yourself is being truly honest.

V: That sounds a lot like Ephesians 4:25 – So you must stop telling lies. Tell each other the truth because we all belong to each other in the same body. 

A: Wisdom is the ability to make decisions based on personal knowledge and experience.

V: James 3:13 says: Is there anyone among you who is truly wise and understanding? Then he should show his wisdom by living right. He should do good things without being proud. A wise person does not brag. 

A: Humility is recognizing and acknowledging that the Creator is a higher power than people. This is truly humbling. True humility is being humble and not arrogant. True humility accepts that all people are equal.

V: That reminds me of Proverbs 18:12 – People who are proud will be ruined. But those who are not proud will be honoured. 

A: Truth is to know and understand all of the original laws given by the Creator and to remain faithful to them.

V: Isn’t that exactly what the Bible tells us? To know and understand the 10 Commandments and to be faithful to them.

A: Our ancestors didn’t understand back then but now we know Indigenous people can teach us a lot about loving the Creator and respecting all of Creation. On this day we acknowledge the truth of the wrongs that happened, and we think about how we can make things right. Let’s say a prayer:

V: Loving God, help us learn from the mistakes of the past and please heal those who were hurt by them. Guide us to love all people equally, to respect those who are different from us, and to open our hearts to what others can teach us. Help us to use the Fruits of the Spirit and to live by the Seven Grandfather teachings every day. Amen.

Anthem:  “Jesus is the Answer/Seek Ye First”

 

Scripture Reading: James 5: 13-20

The Prayer of Faith

Are any among you suffering? They should pray.
Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.
Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.
The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.
Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.
The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.
My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another,  you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Morning Message:  “Ask”  Rev. Jim Gill

Asking questions? It’s a good thing! Curiosity and learning are how we grow at any age. Some of the questions I have been asked lately include:

Who should I vote for? Does the church endorse a party? No, but the church does endorse issues. We recommend you investigate the issues and that you vote in every election, whether municipal, provincial or national.

Is there a religious exemption for vaccination? There is no religious exemption from Walton, just a medical exemption which you can only get from a medical doctor. So please go get the shot todayif you are able.

Can we have a social event in Bronte Hall with our masks off, no social distancing and with food and drink served? I sure wish we could, but it is not safe or allowed.

Today’s text is also about asking, in this case asking in prayer.  The Book of James has practical, wise advice about asking in prayer. Here is what it says:

1) Let them pray
2) Call the elders of the church to pray over them
3) They will be forgiven (by prayer)
4) The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective
5) His prayer offered in faith will make (fill in the blank)
6) Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

James outlines four times to pray, that is to ask God in our prayer life:

First, we can ask in trouble. Many believers have prayed more through Covid, both for loved ones and the world. I pray as well for more guidance on leading the church through this pandemic, such as praying about reopening. It is tougher than when we first closed and went virtual. This Covid prayer written by Linda Jones may inspire us all in these pandemic days.

“Loving, ever-living and compassionate God.
You understand the pain of loss, the heartache of grief,
May we hold in our hearts all those whose families or friends who have had loss.
You are a light that shines in the darkest times,
Guide us and heal us in our sickness and sorrow.
You comfort us in times of fear,
May we comfort each other, even as we keep apart.
You console and lead us in times of doubt and confusion,
May we follow the light of your love and spread hope.
You move our hearts to acts of generosity,
May we be led to share what we have with those in need.
God of life,
We thank you for the signs of your light in the midst of our darkness,
May we be signs of your compassion in the heart of your world.
Amen.”

Second, we can ask in sickness. Maybe you have been like myself, as I have prayed more for people who I cannot visit with face-to-face due to Covid restrictions. I have not been able to visit any member of the congregation in hospital since March 15, 2020. Catherine Gorman wrote this prayer for situations like this.

“We cry out to you
God of all,
we cry out to you for help.
In your mercy, hear our prayer.
Protect us, Lord, and be with us
especially those of us most vulnerable
during this coronavirus crisis.
Move us to reach out in love
to our neighbours near and far.
So that the humble may be exalted,
the hungry filled with good things.
Grant us the courage
not to rush back to our old ways,
but to rebuild our world together,
creating foundations of justice,
with equality and peace for all.
Amen.”

Third, we can ask in error. There are prayers of confession and repentance offered for all to use. What is the new September 30th holiday all about? It is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day is meant to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools where tens of thousands of First Nations children were taken from their families and forced to attend classes that separated them from their culture, families and homes – often by hundreds of kilometres for months at a time.

The United Church of Canada offered a prayer of confession about our role in residential schools, and made an apology in 1988. The Right Rev. Bob Smith for the General Council 1986 of The United Church of Canada prayed:

“Long before my people journeyed to this land your people were here, and you received from your Elders an understanding of creation and of the mystery that surrounds us all that was deep, and rich, and to be treasured. We did not hear you when you shared your vision. In our zeal to tell you of the good news of Jesus Christ we were closed to the value of your spirituality. We confused Western ways and culture with the depth and breadth and length and height of the gospel of Christ. We imposed our civilization as a condition of accepting the gospel. We tried to make you be like us and in so doing we helped to destroy the vision that made you what you were. As a result, you, and we, are poorer and the image of the Creator in us is twisted, blurred, and we are not what we are meant by God to be. We ask you to forgive us and to walk together with us in the Spirit of Christ so our peoples may be blessed and God’s creation healed.”

In addition to prayers of forgiveness, the United Church’s financial reparations were as follows:

• $4.7 million in cash and in-kind contributions
• $1.75 million related to the Catholic fundraising campaign, which the United Church agreed to contribute regardless of the success of the campaign
• $450,000 in the event that the Catholic fundraising campaign surpassed $20 million

The Catholic fundraising initiative fell short of its goal, so the United Church’s obligation remained $6.45 million. The church met this obligation. The legal obligations under the Settlement Agreement are not the extent of the church’s commitment. Since 1994, the United Church Healing Fund has supported grassroots projects in Indigenous communities. Over the last years, the United Church has contributed $1 million annually toward healing and reconciliation initiatives. We have also directed financial resources to Aboriginal ministries and reconciliation on an average of $3 million to $4 million per year, and are striving to maintain that level. This comes at a time when other areas of the church’s work are experiencing significant reductions.

Fourth, in prayer, we can ask in drought like Elijah. Despite being one of the most water-rich nations in the world, for generations, Canada has been unable to guarantee access to clean water for Indigenous peoples. We can pray for clean water for First Nations. There is nothing more important than clean water, especially now in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet at any given time there are drinking water advisories in dozens of First Nations communities across Canada. In 2015, there were drinking water advisories in 126 First Nations. There are still advisories in 33 First Nations communities.

Prayer is so powerful, as the Book of James reminds us all today. Remember, we can ask. Thanks be to God.

Pastoral Prayer

God, Creator and Great Mystery, we praise you this day for the gifts you have provided your people.
We lift our people up for healing comfort and your compassion.
We pray for the missing and murdered women, young girls, men, and boys of your people.
May they be wrapped in your arms of comfort.
We pray for the families of the missing and murdered, that they receive comfort in their loss.
We pray for our warriors who fight against the injustices our people endure; we pray they have your compassionate ear; we pray for strength and endurance for them.
We pray just as the Elders prayed, for renewal and for the restoration of beauty to the land and its people.
We pray for Mother Earth, the waters, the winds, for our siblings the animals, birds, and fish, and all of life that surrounds us.
We pray that we will walk the good Red Road of life, and that we will walk with courage, honesty, humility, love, respect, truth, and wisdom.
We offer this prayer in humility and hope and in the name of Jesus, the one who lights our path to wholeness, justice, and peace.
Amen.
(adapted by Deb Pratt)

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

Let us take the time to give thanks to God, for life, faith, and community.
Let us give thanks to God, through offering our gifts and ourselves.
Let us join together in our morning offering.
(Frances Flook, The Gathering, Pentecost 1, 2021)

♥ 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

We give these gifts freely, we receive these gifts gratefully. We dedicate these gifts to the work of our congregation: serving human wholeness, caring for our planet, upholding religious freedom, welcoming the stranger, loving one another. Amen.

Benediction

May our footsteps on these ancient lands remind us of creation and connectedness, in our search for truth.
May the oak tree , from its roots to its branches, remind us to dig deep and reach high, in our action for justice.
May the Eagle, who soars in the sky, remind us of the power in our call for love.
May the expanse of the lands and seas, of the sky and stars, remind us of God’s timing in our faith in hope.
May the Holy Three, Creator Spirit, Lord God, Papa Jesus, remind us of community.
So with grace, mercy, and peace, go in truth, justice, love, and hope.
(adapted by Deb Anderson Pratt)

As we leave today, help us to walk into this world with a song in our heart and a prayer on our lips. For that is how close God is to each one of us, just a breath away.

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!

• Come and Find the Quiet Centre
• Healer of Every Ill
• God Will Take Care of You
• You Are My Hiding Place
• You are My All In All
• May God’s Sheltering Wings

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for Wednesday, September 22nd