“Christianity is about following the Way. I want to talk about that Way and the dream that can lead us there.”
So said Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, as he preached the closing session of the 2017 National Festival of Young Preachers, an event known as The Great Amen.
“Some of the people who have been put down by reality,” he said, tracing the history of the Dream motif in modern rhetoric, “must find another Way to find a new reality as their source of hope.”
“When I was a little boy in church, we were taught this poem by Langston Hughes written for children: ‘Life without dreams is like a bird with a broken wing.’ Hold fast to the dream. God has a dream for this world.”
Curry was attending his first Festival of Young Preachers.
“Rev Laurie Brock asked me a couple of years ago if I knew about this Academy of Preachers, and she talked I got excited,” He explained. “What you are doing is important, and what you do and shall do matters.”
Brock is the pastor at St. Michael Episcopal Church in Lexington, Kentucky, this year’s sponsor of The Great Amen.
“Laurie has been a major advocate for these Young Preachers,” said AoP president Dwight A. Moody. “She planned, organized, and managed this final service, The Great Amen, using all the elements of the Episcopal liturgy. It has been one of the best plenary services in the eight-year history of the Academy of Preachers.”
The service also featured the music of the American Spiritual Ensemble, led by Dr. Everett McCorvey, music director for the AoP and professor of voice at the University of Kentucky.
The highlight of the service was the Covenant of Gospel Preaching, featuring those Young Preachers attending their first National Festival. They will hereafter be known as the AoP Class of 2017.
The National Festival was held in Lexington, Kentucky. In January of 2018, the National Festival of Young Preachers will be in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit academyofpreachers.net