Let's Welcome our New Minister

May 11, 2024


Hello Family of Faith,


On Sunday April 14th, we chose each other. My name is Jayden Escalante-Jones, and I am blessed and honored to call myself your minister. 


I am a Candidate for Ordination with The United Church of Canada and attend Emmanuel College in Toronto, our denomination’s main seminary. For our first few years together, I will be both student and minister. I have almost completed my requirements for church leadership, however, also feel called to spiritually integrated psychotherapy. This has led me to take on psychotherapy through Emmanuel College’s joint program. I am ten courses from finishing both degrees and am looking forward to slowing down the academic pace and seeing how all I have learned so far applies and can be seen when we are in community together.


Speaking of holding ourselves in community together, let me tell you a little bit about myself personally. I grew up a spiritually sensitive child raised in the Roman Catholic tradition. From a young age I cared deeply about equity, justice and freedom for all and I could hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit loudly and clearly. Unfortunately, that close relationship with Divinity became ruptured by the injustice I both saw and personally experienced. Ultimately, I lost the ability to hear the Holy Spirit well and left Christian faith altogether as a young adult. Despite this, I spent years trying to find that spiritual connection again.


I found myself pulled to a congregation in Waterloo because I was intrigued they flew the Pride flag. It was not until later that I learned they were an affirming church in the United tradition. I thought this was beautiful and vital. To me it meant The United Church was openly trying to define themselves by who was included. In months and years to come, you will probably hear from me about how life changing it is for people when they come across an affirming church. Had it not been for Parkminster, I would have never returned to Christianity, never received a shoulder tap, never entered seminary to be here with you now. 


Finally, as I close, I want you to know that I sense we will do great things together. I know I am meant to be here. Since joining you here at Three Willows, I have been hearing the Holy Spirit more clearly than I have in years. 


I look forward to meeting you all and will, throughout this summer, be on site every Thursday. I will be doing outreach with Chalmers in the morning, but office work in the early afternoon. Feel free to drop by and say hello as I have an open door. 


Just so you are aware: I do have sound sensitivities, so at times I may be wearing my earbuds to help focus. If I do not respond immediately, feel free to step in and wave.


Blessings to you all as we begin this journey,