Virtual Service – September 5, 2021

8:30 am

September 5, 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 (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 At Home lesson. It’s time to go back to school. Don’t forget to pack Jesus in your backpack!
Going to a beach, near or far? We walk this journey together, so we would like to share our journey together. In the summer of 2019, we started our walkway at the front of the church by asking you all to bring a flat stone from a beach you are going to, or from a special place you would be going to during the summer. The project was put on hold for the summer of 2020, but we are working to finish it this year and would love to receive more stones. We are hoping to dedicate the walkway and garden project in the fall. The idea is to fill the little walkway behind the trellis, where the angel is in the garden at the front of the church. We are asking for flat smooth stones from a beach you might visit on vacation, from your cottage, or from one of our Bronte beaches. The stones should be from the size of your palm up to the size of your hand. Please let us know the specifics of where your rock came from, whether in Canada or beyond. Email Rev. Gill at jamescgillwuc@gmail.com with the details. Please contact the church office to drop your rocks off; do NOT add them to the walkway yourself. Thanks for walking our journey together!
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 marked ‘Food4Kids’ 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

Welcome to this Labour Day weekend.
Jim:  Let’s begin by introducing ourselves.
Val: Good Morning, my name is Valerie Waldron.
J:  Valerie? Are you in trouble?  I thought the name Valerie was only used when you were in trouble?
V: No, I’m not in trouble…. Yes most people know me by Val, you are right. But you asked me my legal name and my legal name is Valerie Waldron.
J: Well when you look at it, my legal name is James, but everyone calls me Jim. I did that because
We are talking about names in the service today.
V: Oh yes that is right?
J: I used to think that it was the weekend of labour, the last-minute trip to the cottage or visiting Grandma and Grandpa. It was the weekend you worked hard and played hard before everything started up for the school year. It was all the preparation for school, the buying of new shoes, supplies and backpacks.  It wasn’t a day or weekend of rest, it was a busy weekend and a weekend of labour.
V:  Yes it was, a lot of busyness. Grocery shopping for lunches and getting ready for school.
This year, you know it is really a new start, isn’t it? It is like going to a new school, a new way of learning, a new job and without knowing really anything about this new way. We’ve had a year and a half of new ways of doing most things, right? This year for those who have chosen to go back to school, and those who have chosen virtual,  it is a little bit scary, cause we don’t know what is going to happen, do we?
Over the last year and a bit, what we have learned and seen is that God is in control and will walk with us through whatever is going to happen this school year, we aren’t alone on this journey into the new school year.  Right?
J:  That is very right, as long as we respect one another and care for one another, and treat one another with respect.
V: We are going to have a great year!
Jin: We are!
Val: We are!
So, let us join together in worship.

Call to Worship

Each day is a gift from God!  From the moment of crawling out of bed to the very moment our head hits the pillow, longing for rest and renewal from our busy day. We praise you for the incredible blessings we enjoy, receive and sometimes just seem to fall into our lap.

We worship and praise you for making us just the way we are. A child of God.

When we are a child of God, there are no expectations, no worries, just the freedom of being your son or daughter, loved and cared for unconditionally. Thank you God for this amazing gift!

Let us worship!

Opening Prayer

Good morning, Lord, we are excited to meet with you today. We are so grateful for this amazing summer of sunshine and heat, the beauty of your creation, the safety of no fires or massive storms here in our little part of the world. We thank you for your labour of your love for us.

Lord, we come to you this morning with so many mixed emotions with it being Labour Day, and what would be the end of this summer season, a time of rest and restoration, and the start-up of the new school year. Please help us, Lord, to be patient, to be caring, to not be afraid of choices we have made for our children. Help us to pray for those whose choices we struggle with. Help us not to judge, or condemn, as only you know what challenges they face each day in their lives. Help us to be supportive, loving, caring, and not judgemental.

We ask you, Lord, to be with our teachers who are in the middle between government officials, unions, parents and children. We thank you for those teachers who have been called to do this work. We ask you to bless them as they prepare for this new year. Please give them strength to lead, grace to guide them, and wisdom and hope to thrive in their classrooms and schools. We ask you to keep the teachers and the children safe and healthy.

We pray for our children, Lord. Please give them gratitude in knowing that they are blessed to have an education. Give them courage and strength, confidence as their foundation, grace as their guide and hope in learning and growing in and through their education. Although it might be different from their usual school experiences, and their usual companions in school, help them to adjust to the changes and not to be afraid of experiencing a new way of learning both in the classroom and virtually if that is what has been chosen. Help the children to remember they are not alone; you walk alongside them in everything they do.

As we come to you this morning, Lord, we ask for your peace and light and focus on you. We seek your peace; we look to your light and love as we gather for worship wherever we are. Remind us of your promise to us, that you will provide. When hope wavers, when our faith seems insufficient, when our strength falls short, we trust in your promise that you will provide. Lead us and teach us to lean on you in all things.  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: “A Lesson I will never forget….”

Backpack Blessing and Prayer

Today, we have before us a backpack to represent the ones to be carried to and from school by the children, youth, and adults of Walton.

These backpacks will contain assignments to be done, work that’s been returned, books to be studied, tools to complete homework. Notebooks, pencils, pens, lunches, forms to be filled out by parents, crayons, rules, scissors, glue sticks, iPads, laptops and other items used for school, college and university life will find their way in and out of these backpacks.

Some days, so much stuff will fill these backpacks that the student may find it difficult to walk. Other days, they will be light and nearly empty. But on each and every day, these backpacks represent the life  of Walton students. And, as in every aspect of our life, we bring these before God for blessing at this time.

Let us pray together:

Gracious God, we lift to you today our Walton students of all ages.

They are ready to receive your blessings and they commit themselves to studying and learning in the school year ahead. We ask your blessing on each of them.

Further, we ask your blessing on these backpacks. They will hold the school life of each student and will be carried from home to school and back again. As our students carry these backpacks, may they be reminded of the love and care of this congregation that surrounds them each school day.

We pray as well for the teachers and administrators in their schools. May they also be sustained by your blessing. May they be reminded that this congregation embraces their call to teaching and learning, and surrounds them with love and care as well.

We pray in the name of Jesus, whom we seek to follow day by day. Amen.

Anthem:  “I Sing Because I’m Happy”

 

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 22: 1-2, 8-9, 22-23, Psalm 146

Proverbs 22: 1-2, 8-9, 22-23

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.
Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity, and the rod they wield in fury will be broken.
The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the LORD will take up their case and will exact life for life.

Psalm 146

Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, my soul.
I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them – he remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
The LORD reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the LORD.

Morning Message: “Do you know So and So?” Rev. Jim Gill

We hear a lot today about branding – not only the branding of products but the branding of people themselves. “A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” That is the way marketing experts describe it.

Brands do not want to get a bad reputation. This happens, we are told, for one of three reasons: “Your attitude, behaviour, or lack of professionalism…But sometimes an error can hang around and harm your reputation. You could be known as someone who is abrasive, a gossip, or even a slacker.”

How does this all connect with the Bible, you ask? From the Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures, the Book of Ecclesiastes in chapter 7, verse 1 tells us that, “A good name is better than precious ointment.” Is this not what maintaining your brand reputation is all about? It is like Google reviews; people do not want a 1.5 review average, rather than a 4.5 review average.

A good name or reputation is so valuable. You cannot put a price on it. In fact, that is what our reading today from the Book of Proverbs says so clearly: “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” Names are important. As school from JK to university starts up again over the next week or so, people will be trying to learn the names of new pupils, teachers and classmates. It is even harder to learn and remember a person’s name when everyone is wearing a mask.

Let’s spend a few minutes now looking at the significance of names in the Bible. Learning about these names will also help us learn more about the Bible. To begin with, have you ever noticed how people were renamed in the Bible?

In Genesis 17:1-6, Abram was renamed Abraham:

When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the Almighty God. Obey me and always do what is right…” God said, “I make this covenant with you: I promise that you will be the ancestor of many nations. Your name will no longer be Abram, but Abraham, because I am making you the ancestor of many nations.”

In Genesis 32:28, Jacob was renamed Israel:

The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have struggled with God and with men, and you have won; so your name will be Israel.”

There are many other instances of people being renamed, as well as explanations of the meaning behind peoples’ names in the Bible:

Genesis 25:24-26—The time came for her to give birth, and she had twin sons. The first one was reddish, and his skin was like a hairy robe, so he was named Esau. The second one was born holding on tightly to the heel of Esau, so he was named Jacob.

Matthew 1:21—She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus—because he will save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1:23—A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel (which means, “God is with us”).

When I do an infant or toddler baptism, I ask about the meaning and significance of the names chosen for the child. It is fascinating why names were chosen by parents. Wes Woodell summarized the important meaning of names in his blog post, “The Significance of Names in the Bible.” He explained how names are critically important in the Bible, and how they serve a variety of functions in the countless events of Scripture. This list is a recap:

6 Reasons Why Names are Important in the Bible

1. A biblical name could record some aspects of a person’s birth.
2. Biblical names sometimes expressed the parents’ reaction to the birth of their child.
3. Biblical names were sometimes used to secure the solidarity of family ties.
4. Biblical names could be used to communicate God’s message.
5. Biblical names were also used to establish an affiliation with God.
6. Biblical names are given to establish authority over another, or to indicate a new beginning or new direction in a person’s life.

Do you know why you are named what you are named? I was called James after a war buddy of my father, who fought as a teenager in the Dublin Easter uprising of 1916. Cameron, which is my middle name, came from a book my Mom was reading during her pregnancy.

I have entitled this Labour Day message, “ Do You Know So and So?” We think of those who labour to make a difference in our lives, especially those who physically labour with their hands-on work that brings blessings to us we celebrate today. One of the things I constantly see on social media groups are questions like these: “Anyone know a good mason, gas-fitter, roofer, landscaper?” The list goes on. People are seeking tradespeople with a good name, a good reputation and positive past experiences.

As Proverbs says, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” This good reputation is also so important for us as believers. When we call ourselves Christians we are called to live in such a way as to bring a positive image to the faith.  That old song, “They Will Know We are Christian By Our Love,” speaks about this call to live in such a way as to have that good name which Proverbs talks about.

Throughout the pandemic, we have heard so much about the frontline heroes. We think of them, especially on this second Covid Labour Day weekend. These are the truckers, grocery clerks, health care workers and so many others who could not work from home. You cannot stock shelves, drive a semi or care for those with dementia in an LTC facility from behind a computer screen. They were at greater risk than those of us behind a computer screen at home, or for us behind a camera every week.

I think we each can create a “good name” for ourselves by how we treat those who serve us each day, from the grocery store to the gas station. How we act can either help or hinder our reputations. Are we abrupt or patient with clerks? Do we realize those people behind the counter did not make the rules they are having to enforce each day? Yes, they need to ask us to go through screening every time we enter the building, to put a mask on and to social distance. If you interact with that person regularly, try to learn their name or something about them to make your encounters friendlier. As the expression goes, we are all in this together but some have a much harder daily challenge in what they face in their daily labours than others.

A study was done on how Christian believers can maintain a good name. It is pretty basic but pretty important. Here are some of the ways:

• Do what you said you would do
• Pay your bills on time
• This is a good one: Return borrowed items
• Maintain just business practices
• Associate with people whose values you admire
• Have your words and actions be the same

Do you know So and So? On this Labour Day let us celebrate the blessings of a “good name” in the life of others and our lives. Let us celebrate those who make our lives better.

Pastoral Prayer

Loving God, as we gather together to pray this morning we remember all those who are playing “second fiddle” and patiently waiting for their turn to receive medical care, food, justice, peace, safety, or clean water; for reconciliation; for reunion with loved ones; protection from cold, abusive relationships; for relief from pain, suffering, and grief; for freedom from jail cells, degrading occupations, addictions and depression; for the gift of healing, medicine, and health care.

Generous God, we pray for justice and fairness for all who are considered second-best or pushed to the last in the line. For those in war-torn countries, trying to flee to freedom, those whose homes have been destroyed by fire, or water.

Gracious God, may we always remember that, in your kingdom, the last shall be first, and the greatest shall be the servant.

We give thanks for those people who bring blessings to our lives through their labours to improve our lives in ways big and small.

We think of those we know personally, but also those we have never met, who work to provide us with the necessities of life in the society in which we live.  Amen.

(adapted Norah Laverty, The Gathering, Pentecost 2, 2020)

Offering of Ourselves, Our Gifts, Our Tithes

We watch the news, Lord, and cry out for the pain, fear, injustice, hurt, and intolerance. Help us continue to pray for peace and justice as we watch you work through those who have no voice or no hope in what is next. Lord, we offer today some of what we have to give to those who have nothing, but more importantly, we lift each person in prayer for your guiding, loving hand to give them hope and peace and protection. We give our offering today:

♥ 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

We ask you, Lord, to take these monetary gifts and use them to help our neighbours, here in our community and around the world. We ask you to take our prayers and offer your grace, hope and new beginnings to those who are struggling. We ask all this in your son Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer

This prayer is for all our children heading off to school, high school, but especially our college & university students who we will miss seeing until they return home.

Lord, we pray for our young people as they head off to college or university, some heading a great distance away.  Loving God, we ask for your protection, strength,and direction in making wise choices. We ask for your guidance as they enter into this new year and new learning experiences, staying healthy and safe. Calm these young people’s fears, ease their homesickness and bring new and vibrant relationships into their lives. Be with those who are left behind – their parents, families and friends who will miss them. May the light of your love continue to shine both at home and on the campus where they are attending. In your loving and precious name, we pray.  Amen.

Anthem:  “How Can I Keep from Singing”

 

Benediction

As we leave our time together today, may you be filled with God’s love and hope that each new day will be filled with opportunities for us to share our abundance and our help with others. That we may build God’s kingdom here on Earth, sharing the Good News of Jesus, and the comforting Spirit, by our words and our actions.

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!

Before You I Kneel (The Worker’s Prayer)
Jesu, Jesu, Fill Us With Your Love (Voices United #593)
For the Fruit of All Creation (Voices United #227)
Great is Thy Faithfulness (Voices United #88)
The Closing Prayer (D. Besig)

In case you missed it…

Here is Rev. Jim’s mid-week update for September 1, 2021