Yes, it is the sermons at the National Festival that we publish and post on YouTube (where they have been watched an amazing 118,000 times)! But it is at the Regional Festivals that we expand our network of institutions, donors, partners, and Young Preachers.
The first this fall will be hosted in Austin, Texas, by Seminary of the Southwest and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Thirty six young preachers (half of them already registered, by the way) will gather, along with four session conveners, four sermon evaluators, and a couple dozen coaches/mentors (plus family, friends, and folks off the street): perhaps as many as 200 total over a 26 hour period.
And in Evansville, much the same but on homecoming weekend at the University of Evansville, November 3-4. Registration for the UE Regional Festival (and that stands for University of Evansville) will go up on our AoP website when school opens in a few weeks. There will be 24 preaching slots available in Evansville.
For the Texas Regional Festival, our primary focus is, of course, the Young Preachers of the Southwest; and in Evansville, our outreach is to both the Young Preachers of the Midwest and also the Young Preachers in the college, university, and seminary network of the United Methodist Church. But (and this is important) any Young Preacher, from anywhere, and connected to any congregation or denomination, is invited to preach at either one of these events.
The preaching theme for the year, up through the National Festival in Atlanta in January, is GOSPEL AND THE CITY. Suggested biblical texts are provided here.
Our goal remains, as always, to Identify, Network, Support, and Inspire Young Preachers in their call to gospel preaching. And by ‘young’ we mean those between the ages of 14 and 28.
If you want to help us finance either of these Festivals (and we do need your help), please call me, or send a contribution to the Academy of Preachers, or visit our SUPPORT page on the website and make a contribution via PayPal. God bless you, and God bless the Young Preachers.