Our first three National Festivals of Young Preachers have been fabulous events, far exceeding our expectations and those of everyone who attends. They are WOW events: visually, spiritually, relationally, vocationally, emotionally, intellectually.
But nothing will compare to Atlanta! Why? Because of the new elements we are planning.
Like workshops: Thursday and Friday afternoon workshops will be open to all Festival participants and led by specialists from all over the country. Subjects will range from “Preaching a 90 Second Sermon” to “Sacramental Preaching” to “Using Imagination in Preaching” to “Preaching and Worship” to “Preaching and the Media.”
Like music: Everett McCorvey is Professor of Music and Director of the Opera Program at the University of Kentucky and founder and director of the American Spiritual Ensemble. He thrilled us last year at the 2012 PREACHAPALOOZA with 8 of his ensemble voices; now he is bringing all 24 voices of the Ensemble for all three days of the Festival. On Wednesday night, after worship, they will create a gospel piano bar in the fellowship hall of Peachtree United Methodist Church.
Like the GOSPEL SLAM: Never heard of that? Of course not, because we just invented it and will host this first-event Thursday night at the 2013 National Festival. The GOSPEL SLAM will feature the performances of a dozen talented spoken word artists using poetry, rap, story, witness, homily, parable, or address to interpret our theme GOSPEL AND THE CITY. Some will be performed live and some shared through on video.
Like world-class plenary preachers: Dan Boone, president of Trevecca Nazarene University will speak at the National Festival on Wednesday; Alyce McKenzie, professor of preaching at Perkins School of Theology will speak on Thursday; E. Dewey Smith, pastor of the Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church of Atlanta will speak on Friday; and our very own Rachel Brocker AoP ’12, student at Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, will present (as a theme interpretation) at the opening assembly the fabulous sermon she preached at our recent preaching camp at Point University in Georgia.
Like “Uncommon Sense: Jesus and the Renewal of the World”: Our third book of sermons published by Chalice Press contains 80 sermons preached at the 2012 National Festival of Young Preachers. It will include a study guide to help you use it in your congregation or on your campus.
The 2013 National Festival will include all these elements plus Preaching Circles, PREACHAPALOOZA, great food, new friends, and the Holy Spirit of God rushing through every soul and every sitting, resting like tongues of fire on every person. Who know what will happen? Lord, help us. Glory.