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Second PAT graduate will serve Sudanese community

May 28, 2013 No Comment

Rev. James Kay receives his call to serve LCC as a pastor during Concordia Lutheran Seminary’s Sacred Convocation.

EDMONTON – Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) is pleased to announce the second graduate of its Pastors with Alternate Training (PAT) program. Rev. James Kay received his first call at Concordia Lutheran Seminary’s Sacred Convocation May 24 in Edmonton. He will join Grace Lutheran (Edmonton) where he will continue to serve the Nuer-speaking Sudanese community which meets there.

Rev. Kay was born in southern Sudan in 1968 during a period of warfare. He was baptized in Sudan while a teenager, and was active in the church, singing in the choir. He fled Sudan in 2000, and spent the next few years in Egypt, waiting for resettlement.  He arrived in Canada in May 2003.

Shortly after arriving, Rev. Kay joined the Nuer community worshipping at Grace Lutheran Church in Edmonton. “I liked the way the Lutheran congregation worshipped,” he explained in PAT submissions, “but something kept bothering me because some of the Sudanese Nuer people didn’t understand English very well.” Nuer-language worship at the church began in 2004. Rev. Kay entered the PAT program in 2008, under the mentorship of Revs. Wayne Jensen and Larry MacKay at Grace Lutheran.

Rev. James Kay after his ordination.

Rev. James Kay

“Thank God for His goodness in raising up Rev. Kay for ministry in the Church,” said Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel, LCC’s Executive for Missions and Social Ministry, and Director of the Pastors with Alternate Training Program. “James’ ordination will ensure Nuer-speaking people in Edmonton have access to Christ-centered preaching and life-giving sacraments in their own language.”

The Nuer community is similarly overjoyed at the ordination of their own pastor. In an email, they expressed thanks to Grace Lutheran and committed to prayer for their new pastor. They further expressed their desire to continue growing in the bond of love with the English congregation at Grace Lutheran, as together they reach out with the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Edmonton.

The PAT program was first approved by LCC in 2002, in recognition of Canada’s changing ethnic makeup. The program is designed to prepare candidates for culture-specific or site-specific pastoral ministry. Students remain part of their own cultural communities while undertaking education through one-on-one instruction, online courses, and short-term class modules. Many students continue to work full-time while in the program.

Rev. Kay’s ordination comes just over a year after the ordination of LCC’s first PAT graduate. Rev. Asseffa Aredo was ordained in April 2012, and continues to serve the Lutheran Oromo population in Winnipeg. Current PAT students are members of congregations with cultural roots in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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Images courtesy of Janice Kraemer.