This Sunday, we are pleased to welcome Lauren Kirkey back to our pulpit, as she preaches and shares together with Rev. Matt in leading this week's worship. Lauren has just completed the Master of Divinity program at Vancouver School of Theology and will receive her degree at VST's convocation this coming Tuesday evening. This past year, along with coursework at VST, Lauren has been serving on internship at Shaughnessy Heights United Church in Vancouver. She is a regular guest preacher, speaker, and worship leader at a number of United Church congregations in the region, and will be one of the preachers at the upcoming Annual Meeting of our Pacific Mountain Regional Council. We last had the privilege of Lauren's presence with us in November 2021.
Worship this weekend will take us to another scene found in the book of Acts—the "Acts of the Apostles," as its full title is known—the Bible's witness of what happened among some of the earliest Christian communities in the first weeks, months, and years right after Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension. In this Sunday's passage, we'll encounter Stephen, one of the first seven people to become a "deacon" in the early church and the very first Christian "martyr"—someone killed for their witness and steadfastness to their faith.