On Monday, July 23, the AoP team will load into a car and head for Atlanta. There is much yet to do before we are ready to host another spectacular National Festival of Young Preachers. That will be January 2-4, 2013 at the Grand Hyatt in Atlanta.
Nevertheless, we are already looking ahead to 2014 and the fifth National Festival of Young Preachers….in Indianapolis!
This past week, I hosted three meetings and visited six hotels in Indianapolis. Many of the people at the meetings are energized by the mission and program of the Academy of Preachers, and one of those six hotels will end up with a contract to host our National Festival. (Actually, we have narrowed the list to four, and perhaps three!)
We have four Founding Partners in the region: Indiana-Kentucky Conference of the United Church of Christ, The Christian Church of Indiana, Christian Theological Seminary, and of course, the Lilly Endowment. Elsewhere in the state we count as Partners Bethany Theological Seminary, University of Evansville, Presbyterian Foundation, Dehoney Travel, and Community Presbyterian Church of Clarkesville, Indiana.
And I am glad to report that the Indiana Network of Higher Education Ministries has voted to become the 105th Partner of the Academy of Preachers. Thank you Della Stanley-Green, Executive Director. I look forward to receiving your letter!
Our goal is to double that number by January of 2014. We have our eye on Franklin College, Marian College, Anderson University and Seminary, Butler University, Indianapolis University, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, and a host of organizations and congregations; and we could use a few businesses, as well.
And, most important, we have four young preachers from the region: TJ Pancake AoP ’10, Tracye Steward AoP ’12, Chad LaDay AoP ’10, and Chesla Nickleson AoP ’10. (Have I omitted anyone? Let me know!)
Urban (or downtown) Indianapolis may be the most walkable town center I have ever visited, full of shops, theaters, galleries, eateries, hotels, churches, sports venues, and monuments! Already I am eager to bring our young preachers, mentors and coaches, evaluators, exhibitors, friends, and volunteers together in Indianapolis for the fifth National Festival of Young Preachers, January 2-4, 2014.
But first: Atlanta!