Friends I’m glad to tell you about some of our upcoming preachers. The fact that there are guest preachers upcoming is unfortunate for me—I love preaching to you. But it’s fortunate for you. These folks are extraordinary. A word about each.
First this Sunday there are two! One is our own Nupur James-Araujo, who will be preaching in our main sanctuary services at 9:15 and 11. As most of you know, Nupur is leaving us to be a family pastor at a church in Cobourg, ON, so each time she leads something like this it is a chance to give thanks for her and to say goodbye. This is part of a youth Sunday in which our youth and children will lead most aspects of worship. We will also commission our men’s group mission team that is off to build wells in Guatemala with Water Ambassadors Canada. We will also baptize five mighty infants at the 11 AM service, with Rev. Lori and I leading (alas, we couldn’t ordain our youth in time to preside over the sacrament...).
Later that same day we have the best preacher in the Byassee household preaching for our bilingual Welsh/English service in the East Chapel at 2 pm. Jaylynn Byassee preaches at a very different register than I do. When I preach, people say “he’s smart but confusing.” When she preaches, they say “We love her!” Her grandmother’s maiden name was Jones, so she has a bit of Welsh in her family tree. She will not, however, be preaching in Welsh (to the disappointment of some . . . ). English and a bit of Hungarian are the best she can do.
On October 22nd we will have the jewel in the crown of the Lester Randall Fellowship preachers with us. Ken Shigematsu is the longtime pastor of Tenth Church in Vancouver, a multi-site megachurch and a harbinger for what North American Christianity will look like decades from now. He’s fantastic at the microphone and I’m delighted you get to hear from him. I will be speaking at a conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil on theology and technology, a theme I’ve written about elsewhere. I will also not be speaking in Welsh, nor will Ken be speaking in Japanese (though he could), I’ll be in English and live-translated into Portuguese; Ken, as a Canadian by way of England, will bring the Word in the King’s.
I look forward to being back with you to commemorate All Saints Sunday on October 26. This is a day we Protestants once rejected as so much Catholic praying for the dead. Now we realize that while dead people do not need our prayers, we may need theirs. We need to grieve their loss. And they’re not really gone. They’re with God, and so with us, and one in the “communion of the saints” with us, part of Christ undivided body. We’ll invite you forward to light a candle in memory of anyone you have lost, whether recently or not-so-recently. And we’ll give thanks for God’s faithfulness through the ages not just back to Pentecost, but back to the calling of Abram and Sarai.
See y’all at church, Jason