I know it's been a long service, but I hope you'll indulge me for a few minutes, this isn't a brief announcement, but I'll be leaving soon, and I want to share with you what has happened with my ministry.
I know most of you, for those of you who don't know me, my name is Brent, I'm from Maryland, originally, I came here from Hawaii after I had dreams, I prayed for this, I prayed for guidance, and I prayed for dreams, and I had dreams about coming to Alaska, dreams about flying on an airplane, so I got on an airplane and I flew to Alaska, and the morning I arrived in Alaska, Bob Stevens was the first person I met in Alaska; he was there at the airport to meet Mark Lattime, who was on the same flight that I was on from Anchorage, so I do feel a special connection with St. Brendan's.
Most of my work is with computers and technology, professionally, but I have been preaching; I preached my first sermon at the Marine Park on the 11th of September. I got a microphone and a speaker and I set it up. I chose my text that day from Luke, 6:30, I believe - "Give to all those who beg of you." And I was preaching about the wickedness and the immorality of capitalism, that teaches that we give when someone pays us, we stand behind a counter and we only do for people if they do for us, and what Christ said was even if a man steals from you, give to him, and surely we should give to those simply who ask politely.
The next Sunday I took my text from Matthew 25, where Christ is saying if a man is hungry... when I was hungry, you fed me, and whenever you did for the least of these, you did for me; whenever you didn't do for the least of these, you didn't do for me. And what I suggested in that sermon - all of this is on the Internet, at my website - what I suggested in that sermon is that if you're standing behind a counter at McDonald's, or Subway, and someone comes to you who is hungry and you don't feed them, you may very well be turning away Christ.
I took a sermon a week or two later from Second Kings, where these people, they were in a covenant relationship with God, as we are, and they wanted freedom, they wanted the freedom to worship Baal, the freedom to worship Asherah, the freedom to worship Moloch, and what God wants is for us to obey the commandments. For them the commandments were carved in stone, for us they are printed in red. But they are commandments none the less. We live in a world that is, as it has always been, is wicked, is immoral, there's a great deal of evil in the world, and we need to be honest about this and preach the Gospel, and that's really what I feel I've been called to Alaska to do.
This last Wednesday, I was at Wilson Valentine's noon mass, as I often... he has a noon mass every Wednesday at Holy Trinity. He has a healing service at the end where he lays his hands on you and prays for whatever you want to pray for. What I asked for on Wednesday was guidance. It seems like a little bit of a selfish prayer, but it's not. You're praying for the Lord to guide you. And that night, as I went to bed and prayed, I really felt that I am being called to travel farther into Alaska, and I will be leaving Juneau and going north. And so many people are telling me it's October, winter is coming, I should be going south. And, I mean really, I do computers, I can barely make a campfire; you know, I'm homeless, I have no money, and I have no idea how to survive in 40 below weather. But I really do feel that I am called by the Lord to go farther into Alaska and preach. So I will be leaving Juneau, and I hope you will keep me in your prayers as I travel, and I guess more than anything else, if you, you can certainly read the full text and the recordings of all my sermons at my website, which is freesoft.org. I certainly hope you will remain strong in the Gospel, remain strong in the teachings of Christ, even in a world that puts so much pressure on us to compromise and teaches us that these things are optional, and what is popular and what just gets us by in the real world is how we should live our lives.
So, I, yes, I think I probably will not be here, I'm just guessing, I might be at the Galley, but I probably will not be at another one of your services for a while, so I leave you with my peace, my benediction, and my blessing, and my thanks to your community.