April 23 – Anniversary Sunday: (Jeremiah’s) Field of Dreams

Celebrating SJR’s 69th Anniversary with our guest worship leader, Rev. Dr. Orville James.

Scripture Reading:  Acts 2: 42-47  (CEB)

42 The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. 43 A sense of awe came over everyone. God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles.
44 All the believers were united and shared everything.
45 They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them.
46 Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity.
47 They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved.

Scripture Reading Jeremiah 32:1-2,6-7,10-17,24-27(CEB)

1 Jeremiah received the Lord’s word in the tenth year of Judah’s King Zedekiah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s rule. At that time, the army of the Babylonian king had surrounded Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah was confined to the prison quarters in the palace of Judah’s king. Jeremiah said, The Lord’s word came to me: Your cousin Hanamel, Shallum’s son, is on his way to see you; and when he arrives, he will tell you: “Buy my field in Anathoth, for by law you are next in line to purchase it.” 10 I signed the deed, sealed it, had it witnessed, and weighed out the silver on the scales. 11 Then I took the deed of purchase—the sealed copy, with its terms and conditions, and the unsealed copy— 12 and gave it to Baruch, Neriah’s son and Mahseiah’s grandson, before my cousin Hanamel and the witnesses named in the deed, as well as before all the Judeans who were present in the prison quarters. 13 I charged Baruch before all of them: 14 “The Lord of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: Take these documents—this sealed deed of purchase along with the unsealed one—and put them into a clay container so they will last a long time. 15 The Lord of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: Houses, fields, and vineyards will again be bought in this land.” 16 After I had given the documents to Baruch, Neriah’s son, I prayed to the Lord: 17 Lord God, you created heaven and earth by your great power and outstretched arm; nothing is too hard for you! 24 Now the siege ramps are in place to take the city. And the Babylonians are about to capture it by war, famine, and disease. What you have pronounced is now happening, as you can see. 25 So why tell me, Lord God, Buy the field for money and make sure there are witnesses, when the city is under Babylonian control? 26 Then the Lord’s word came to Jeremiah: 27 I am the Lord, the God of all living things! Is anything too hard for me?

Special Thanks to Rev. Dr. Orville James for leading us in worship this morning and for celebrating this anniversary service together with us!

Rev. Dr. Orville James: Born in Ottawa, Orville grew up in a family steeped in ministry. His father was a United Church minister, and 2 brothers along with his daughter Heather are ministers. Orville was educated at Queen’s and Princeton, and ordained in 1978. He has served United Churches in New Brunswick and S. Ontario, and a Methodist Church in Maine. He has also done 2 ‘exchanges’ with the British Methodist Church, serving congregations in Wales and England. He now considers himself a ‘free-agent for Jesus’ and is enjoying supporting the next generation of ministers, and playing with six grandchildren spread from Vancouver to London, U.K. He is hopefully eager that the church will continue to find ways to reach spiritually hungry Canadians; And… he remains hopeful that a Canadian team will win the Stanley Cup once more in his lifetime!


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