Kevin Andrew Orchard

Date of Birth:  August 31, 1965 (44 years old)

Date of Death:  January 2, 2010

Service held at the Turner and Porter Chapel, 4933 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke

Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 3:00 PM.


Readings from the Old Testament:

(Psa 23)  The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. {2} He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. {3} He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. {4} Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. {5} You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. {6} Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

 (Psa 103:8-18)  The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. {9} He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. {10} He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. {11} For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; {12} As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. {13} As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. {14} For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. {15} As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. {16} For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. {17} But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, {18} To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

Readings from the New Testament:

(Mat 5:1-16)  And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. {2} Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: {3} "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. {4} Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. {5} Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth. {6} Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. {7} Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. {8} Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. {9} Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. {10} Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. {11} "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. {12} "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. {13} "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. {14} "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. {15} "Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. {16} "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Reading from the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Church:

When the body is no longer able to perform its functions in the natural world corresponding to the thoughts and affections of his spirit which he has from the spiritual world, then man is said to die. This takes place when the respiration of the lungs and the beatings of the heart cease. But yet the man does not die; he is merely separated from the corporeal part that was of use to him in the world, for the man himself lives: It is said that the man himself lives, since man is not a man because of his body but because of his spirit, for it is the spirit in man that thinks, and thought with affection makes man. Hence it is clear that the man when he dies merely passes from one world into another.  (Heaven and Hell 445)

Hymn:  Father All Holy, Lord of Creation

 Memorial Address by the Rev. James P. Cooper

One of the challenges we face when a friend or family member has passed away after a long struggle  is that we are unsure how we are supposed to feel.

On the one hand, the death of a friend or family member is something that is shocking and painful, something that causes grief.  Even if you may have been expecting it, the finality of death still has a powerful effect.

On the other hand, when the person who has died has suffered through very difficult times and physical illness, there can be a sense of relief and even real happiness for the one we love because their time of pain and struggle is now over and because we believe that that a better life is waiting for them.

It is a fundamental belief of Christianity that God loves us, and He asks us to call him “Father” to help us understand our relationship to Him.  You don’t have to read too many of the stories in the Scriptures before you discover that God certainly knows that family relationships can be rocky at times.

When we hear the following story from the New Testament, we’re all going to be tempted to think about our own relationships to our own parents – or our own children.  Instead, each of us should think of ourselves as the ‘son’ in the story, and the Lord as the ‘Father’, because the purpose is to illustrate the relationship that each one of us has with our Creator.

The Lord teaches us about His parental relationship to us in the parable of the Prodigal Son.  Here the man’s son takes his inheri­tance into the city and quickly loses it.  He soon finds himself herding swine and eating their food to keep himself alive.  He realizes that the servants in his father’s home are better off than he is.  So, he goes home and asks his father for work as a labourer on the farm.  And his father welcomes him home, and greets him as his beloved son.  How can he do that?  Wouldn’t he be angry?

The Lord is not only our Father, He is our Heavenly Father, and that means He is able to see our true character that is hidden to those who can only see the physical body.  He knows that everyone makes mistakes. Everyone of us does things that we think are a good idea at the time but turn out to cause great harm, either to ourselves or others.  We all experience feelings of terrible emotional disturbance, or unreasoning anger when for the moment we lose control of ourselves and do or say things that we later profoundly regret.  The kind of person we present to others in such times may be entirely different from what our real character may be.

The Lord sees more than our errors; He looks to the course of the life taken as a whole.  He knows our weaknesses.  If we are tempted for a moment beyond our strength to resist, "Would not God search this out?  For He knows the secrets of the heart"  (Psalm 44:21).

We believe that everyone is created to live happily to eternity.  What would eternal life be without happiness?  One of the qualities of true love is that it wishes to make the one who is loved happy.  God loves us, so God wants us to be happy, and this is why He created the universe and the human race.  (See DP 324, TCR 42)

In His Divine Providence, the Lord guides our life at every moment in such a way that we are always in freedom to express our loves, and in freedom to change when we see a better course to follow.  This freedom itself is part of His gift of happiness, for we are never so happy as when we are doing what we freely choose to do.  No matter where we are in life, He gently guides and provides a better path, a better choice.  Our Heavenly Father watches over us and leads us in secret ways.

Unlike natural parents, the Lord always has our eternal welfare in mind.  Possessions or honours in this world are of far less importance than being prepared for a life of eternal usefulness in heaven.  So there are times when He permits things to happen that seem hard to us at the time, but provide an opportunity for a freely made choice that will strengthen the person inside, that will develop a heavenly character – a character that He alone knows.

With those thoughts in mind, let’s take a moment to reflect on the character and personality that Kevin presented to the world, to his friends, and to his family.

Kevin was the second of Basil and Marnie’s four children, younger than Christopher, but older than Ian and Heather.

Kevin was interested in many things, and loved to read and study about a wide variety of things.  He loved machines – especially machines that carry people with some degree of excitement and requiring skill to operate well; he loved to sail, he loved loud, powerful cars, and he loved motorcycles – building them, modifying them, riding them.

He also loved animals.  There’s a story about when he was very young he climbed a fence and coaxed a horse to come eat an apple out of his hand – and then climbed on its back and went for a ride!

Kevin also loved music and played the guitar.

While all those things were interesting and exciting to him, the real love of his life was his daughter Jessica.

His brother Ian summed it up when he said that Kevin had a “heart of gold – with matte black flames (like you'd see on a motorcycle fuel tank) painted on it.”

The gospels record in three different places  that a young man asked Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life, to earn a place in heaven. In each of the three gospels, the record is the same. Jesus said to him that if he wished to go to heaven he must begin by being obedient to the Ten Commandments; then he should shun earthly possessions; be charitable to the poor; and follow His teachings.  (See Mt. 19:16, Mk. 10:17, 18:18)

The blessing of eternal life cannot be received unless one first lives in the natural world, because in the Divine order of creation, we have been given the opportunity to live in a world where our own will and our own freedom of choice allows us to form an individual character that is uniquely our own and uniquely suited to perform uses to others. By living in the natural world, learning facts, experiencing many things, and getting to know many people, we form our eternal spiritual character. But that character, that unique individual, cannot be set free to perform spiritual uses in God's kingdom until the things of the natural world are set aside.

Death is the way that God the Creator designed for us to make the transition from the world of nature to the world of the spirit, a world where every person is gifted with a higher and more perfect life than could have ever been known on earth because it is not limited by the imperfect senses of the natural body. When the natural body and its limitation has been left behind and the person awakens into their perfect spiritual body – as is happening to Kevin now, as we speak – he  will find a vitality, a sharpness of sensation, a full delight that cannot be compared to the delights of the natural world. As the senses of the spiritual body are keener, so the spiritual mind is much quicker and more sensitive to truth. Things of love and wisdom are perceived that make the nature of God Himself visible and tangible.

Today we are all here to remember the many ways that Kevin touched our lives, and to celebrate the fact that he is even how awakening into the life of heaven, free of any physical limitations.

From the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Church we read: The state of man's spirit that immediately fol­lows his life in the world being such, he is then recog­nized by his friends and by those he had known in the world; .... So all, as soon as they enter the other life, are recognized by their friends, their relatives, and those in any way known to them; and they talk with one another, and afterward associate in accordance with their friendships in the world….

(See HH 494)

We are grateful that the Lord has taken Kevin into the spiritual world. He will be deeply missed by his family and many friends, but it should not be otherwise. We know that there is a God, that He is good, and that His mercy is forever. The death of the body is not the end of human existence, but the gateway to spiritual life. As the Lord said, "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (LUK 12:32)


Clergy Prayer:  

Heavenly Father, help us to see Your Divine Providence in the passing of Kevin Orchard into the spiritual world. Help us to acknowledge that everything that happens is in some way an expression of Your Divine Love and Mercy, and that even though we grieve over our loss, that it fits in Your overall plan for creation. Help us to remember that through the death of the natural body, You bestow the life of Your eternal kingdom on all who love You and keep Your commandments. Teach us all, O Lord, to feel and know in our hearts that Your way is truth, that Your mercy is everlasting, and that in Your presence alone is life, peace, and joy forever. Amen.

 All say the Lord's Prayer together.

 Our Father, who art in the heavens, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven so upon the earth. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. AMEN.

 Closing Hymn:  Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah



ORCHARD, Kevin Andrew - Passed away on Saturday, January 2, 2010 at the Humber River Regional Hospital at age 44. He will be sadly missed by his daughter Jessica Lee Anne Orchard and her mother Rhonda Oatman. Dear son of Dr. Basil and Miriam Orchard and brother of Christopher, Ian and Heather. He will be lovingly remembered by his nieces, nephews, family members and many friends. Visitation will be held at the Turner & Porter Butler Chapel, 4933 Dundas St. W., Etobicoke (between Kipling and Islington Aves.), from 3-5 and 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday. Funeral Service in the Chapel on Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 3 p.m. Cremation to follow. For those who wish, donations may be made to Toronto Rehabilitation Hospital. (From the Toronto Star, January 5, 2010.)