Jeremy Benjamin (Zeyl) and his family are touring across Canada to bring worship, mission, and fellowship to Christian Reformed churches, Christian schools, and other ministries, leading up to the Canadian National Gathering of the CRC in May 2019.
The Ontario musician will be leading worship, giving concerts, and sharing his songs.
One of those songs is “I Am Not My Own,” based on Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 1, which asks, “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” The answer begins, “That I am not my own, but belong – body and soul, in life and in death – to my faithful savior, Jesus Christ.”
A few years ago, the ideas expressed in that question and answer struck Benjamin in a new way when he was going through a difficult time and felt isolated. Knowing he belonged to God brought hope and comfort, and that became an anchor for his faith going forward.
During the tour, Benjamin will be teaching the song and recording the voices of congregation members, students, and communities singing it. The recordings will be mixed to create a choir of 10,000+ voices singing together, “I Am Not My Own.” A video of the combined recording will be shared at the National Gathering in Edmonton, Alberta, where Benjamin will lead worship.
The family – Jeremy, Lara, and their two young children – will be on the road for the next five months, crossing from the east coast to the west coast of Canada in a motorhome loaned to them by Hiemstra Trailer Sales of London, Ont. For the winter months, they will stay closer to home, as Jeremy leads worship in various cities and towns in Ontario. In the spring, the family will again head west to end their year-long tour in Edmonton.
All events along the way – church services, school chapels, and concerts – will raise funds for local, global, and worship ministries. Donations made to the “I Am Not My Own” tour through the CRCNA will support World Renew (45%), local ministry as chosen by each community (45%), and I Am Not My Own Worship Ministries (10%). The goal is to raise $500,000 .
The tour is a worship for mission project, said Benjamin; it’s “worship funding mission” but also worship as mission, bringing togetherness, shared song, shared vision, and a shared cause at each event and across the country.
“This is not about us,” said Benjamin. “It's about three organizations coming together in a beautiful way that allows each of us to shine lights in our places within the kingdom.”
The tour began on June 3 in Charlottetown, P.E.I., with six events in four days, including a church service where Benjamin gave the message, a concert, a songwriting seminar for a high school class, and chapels at a couple of Christian schools. From there, they will continue on to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Quebec.
In Montreal, on June 25, Benjamin will do a special concert for seafarers at M2S — Ministry to Seafarers, a ministry of the CRCNA and one of the missions supported by funds raised during the tour. Points along the way west include Ottawa, Winnipeg, Regina, Medicine Hat, Smithers, and Vancouver.
A schedule of events booked so far is available here. Churches and schools can book a service or concert in their town by emailing Benjamin directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. To follow the tour blog, donate, learn more about the ministries involved, or watch videos of the tour, check out the website at iamnotmyown.org.