OSHKOSH UPDATE PART 2: Though I’m away again this Sabbath, I wanted to share with you something that happened last week at Oshkosh. Last Wednesday evening, at one of these evening programs, I had the privilege of baptizing one of our Pathfinders, Joseph Acosta. It was amazing to be a part of a baptism on such a large scale as there were another 200 young people getting baptized (and that was just Wednesday night alone with many more hundreds since!) We are so proud of Joseph’s decision, we celebrate with his family, and we look forward to welcoming him officially as a member of our church family when we are all back together. Today, as you’re all at Bronte, celebrate the Sabbath with one another, and may God continue to bless each of you as you worship Him.
Our theme this quarter is Closer to Community. What we will focus on in particular is how to fulfill Jesus’ invitation to share his love to people in the community. Our community can be the city of Oakville or even our neighbors or co-workers and in order to reach them for Jesus we first need to know them and understand who they are. Today we will look at the theology behind mission and in the upcoming weeks we will also look at some demographics for our church’s neighborhood in particular and discover methods that will help us share the most amazing message in the world. We also have a few outreach events planned – one of them happened last Sunday where the Pathfinder ministry and the Community Services ministry joined together and put on a successful and free community BBQ and car wash. Through the donations they’ve managed to raise over $1500 to help with the Oshkosh trip happening in a couple weeks. It was amazing to see not only our own members having fun but also the folks from the community that came out. Please pray that our church will be known in this community as a church that serves its neighborhood with love. God bless each of you today!
Our church has a vibrant Family Life Ministry program that has many fun things planned for our church family throughout the year. Last week we had a great time fellowshipping together outside on the grass after service for “Flat Shoe No Tie” Sabbath. This week some of us are spending the day at our church’s camp in the Muskokas. Whether you are here at Bronte or up at Camp Frenda, we hope you have a blessed day as you worship together with us. Our speaker here at Bronte today is one of our Elders, Sister Fay Wellington. She is a vital part of our church leadership and I know that God will use her in a powerful way today as she delivers the message. May God bless you and keep you safe (Isaiah 41:10). Welcome!
I want to take a special moment to welcome you to our flat shoe, no tie special Sabbath today when we celebrate all our graduates. We are so proud of what they’ve accomplished and wish them God’s richest blessings as they continue their journey. A few weeks ago I had a sermon on the topic of fruitfulness where the main point was a call to remain connected to Jesus. We learned that we can do this by reading the Bible and being active in our prayers. When we stay connected to Him we produce good fruit because of Him not because of us. Today’s sermon is the second part in this mini series on being fruitful. We will look at a strange story in the New Testament where Jesus does something unexpected and for some of us it’s down-right strange. Let’s explore a time when Jesus used a fruit tree to teach us a valuable lesson on faith.
Have you ever had someone do something nice for you that was totally unexpected? Something you could say was “out of the blue”? Today I will be sharing a story of someone who did just that to me and my family when I was a young boy, and I never forgot it. Today is a special day for our church. It is a time when once a quarter we remember and celebrate the greatest act to humanity by our loving Saviour Jesus Christ. 2000 or so years ago, Jesus came to this earth and died to take our place so that we don’t have to bear the eternal consequences of sin. This cost Jesus everything and all we have to do is accept His free gift to each of us. Our communion service once a quarter is a time for us to remember Him and to say thank you by washing each other’s feet and taking part in the emblems of his body and blood. My prayer is that here, today, you take the time to thank God for what He’s done for us and what He will do for us someday soon, out of the blue..
A few weeks have past where we’ve been enjoying the various camp meetings that happen for our church in the province. Before that, in May, we celebrated Mother’s day and the sermon was about 3 things we learned from an unlikely story in the Bible about Mothers. Today in June, we celebrate fathers, so whether you’re a father, grandfather, step-father, soon-to-be father, or you play a father-like role in someone’s life we wish you a happy Father’s day! We thank God for you and wish to convey our deepest gratitude for everything you do. It’s not easy being a father at times, but our families and communities look to us to be strong role models for our young people. For today’s sermon we will be looking again at a character in the Bible and the lessons we can all learn about being a good role model. We hope you’re blessed by our service today and we encourage everyone to take a moment this weekend to thank your fathers for all they do.
Alexander the Great was ruler of Macedonia at age 16, a victorious general at 18, and king at 20 — he then died from alcohol before age 33. After Alexander began a second night of carousing in Babylon with 20 guests at table, he drank to the health of every person at the table. Soon he fell to the floor, was fever-stricken, and — a few days later in 323 BC — was dead. Perhaps one of the most fascinating facts about Alexander is that the Bible predicted his rise and fall in the book of Daniel – back in 600 BC; almost 300 years earlier! Friends, you can trust God. He knows your story and has a plan to take us all to a better place with Him someday soon. Who knows what will happen 300 years from now!? All we do know is that God does know and for those who choose Him today, may we be in eternity by then.
Today, the Southern Ontario district of Seventh-day Adventists is having a camp meeting in Simcoe. It’s a time to come together and see old friends and make new ones from all over our southern region. Bronte is open as well and we’re happy you came because we have a great speaker who will be sharing a message today! Richard is one of our Elders, is newly married, and is someone we appreciate having on the leadership team here at the church. I’m sure God has prepared a special blessing for those of you who came, and my prayer is whatever comes your way in life, you choose to remain connected to the vine (John 15).