It’s a bittersweet feeling to have this week of study leave, a privilege not afforded many, to delve into scripture and art and practice of preaching, a week off with no where to go – but to the same desk and computer screen that I was at last Monday.
This is the second year that the Festival of Homiletics has been moved to an entirely virtual event. Twice now the event has been moved from Denver Colorado to an online gathering – and its just not the same!
In 2018 I attended the Festival in Washington DC and yes, the preaching, the lectures, the worships and everything was great – but what made it an astounding experience with the experience of physical community. Over a thousand preachers of the gospel, from a wide spectrum of theological perspectives, gathered to hear some of the best preachers and how they might improve their own craft. It’s both humbling and energizing!
It seems appropriate that on this International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia that I recall the energy with which over 5000 people marched on the White House as part of the Reclaiming Jesus movement organized by progressive Christian leaders including Bishop Michael Curry (who will be one of the preachers at this year’s event). Preaching leads to action in the world. Always.
Might our actions, as part of the United Church of Canada, always be toward justice and mercy, inclusivity and empowerment – this I believe will be one of the hallmarks of the future Church.
Here is a link to the schedule for the 2021 Festival of Homiletics. You will note that there is free content and live premium content. Follow this link to view the free livestream content. Seven prerecorded video sessions will be available each day—no cost required. Enjoy each day’s content on its scheduled date and time. Sessions will not be rebroadcast. All times listed on the schedule are ET – Eastern Daylight Time (UTC – 04:00).
Being the hope filled people of faith and preachers that we are, for 2022 the Festival of Homiletics is again scheduled for the week of May 16th, 2022 in Denver Colorado – and I hope to be there – in-person!
Much of my week will be occupied with attending the Festival of Homiletics. However, as I am leading worship at both Upper Sackville and Sackville this Sunday I will be spending some time getting ready for those services – as we mark Pentecost and the gift of the Spirit to the Followers of the Way.
On Wednesday evening I will gather with the Executive of Sackville United Church for their scheduled business meeting.
I hope to see many of you this coming Sunday as we gather at Upper Sackville United Church at 9AM and Sackville United and on Facebook Live at 11AM.
And, if you feel so inclined, join me in sporting a jersey or some other article of clothing with a toilet seat thingy on it. Yes, as a result of the overwhelming support to the Mission & Service Fund through the ‘Habs’ box, I will be wearing a Canadien’s jersey – while I hope and pray that more people will contribute to the ‘Leafs’ box this Sunday so I can wear a Leafs jersey on Sunday May 30th, after they’ve taken the series in five games.