Many people have worked diligently to prepare for this Sunday's Smyth Lecture Series. The series was established in 1982 to honor the ministries of former pastor Ellison Smyth and wife Mary Linda. The intent is to bring nationally and internationally known scholars and church leaders to Blacksburg, and the list of those who have been included over the years is impressive. The visit this weekend by John Philip Newell continues that tradition. His work in the field of Celtic Christianity has played a significant role in the world-wide reemergence of Celtic worship, liturgy, music and prayer. In addition to being a scholar, Newell is a poet, composer, author, theologian and member of the Iona community. We are expecting many guests from around the region to travel to Blacksburg to hear him preach and speak.
Steve and I have fashioned a worship service in keeping with Newell's topic. The hymns and other music come from the Celtic nations of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. The contributions of cellist Ben Wyatt and tenor soloist Brain Thorset are reason enough to be present. The two evening lectures will also take place in the context of worship, with an opening hymn and opening and closing prayers. Our thanks to the volunteers who will be on hand to help visitors find their way in the building. We could use a few more people to greet at the doors, so if you are willing, let in the Church Office know. Most of all be sure not to miss Sunday worship and two lectures that promise to deepen your practice of faith.