Aspiring preachers from across the United States and Canada gathered earlier this summer for a week of focused formation on preparing sermons. Established in 1998, the Preaching Excellence Program is a central ministry of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation, which aims to enhance and inspire great preaching.
Drake Douglas, a Postulant in the Diocese of Rhode Island attended this year’s program. “To spend such meaningful time both relishing and grappling with the holy task of faithfully sharing God’s Good Word, and to do so in community with other new preachers is pure gift,” Drake shares. “It’s a sincere privilege to learn from these talented and caring souls, and I’m grateful to have a growing network of support for what I hope will be a life-long practice of preaching.”
Seminaries from across the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada nominate students to participate in the all-expenses paid week. Noted theologians and preachers from across the church led workshops and small-group discussions. A central part of the program is preaching to feedback, so participants gave and received comments and critiques on their sermons. Workshops this year included Instant Preaching, Trauma-Informed Preaching, Instant Preaching, and A New Priest’s Journey.
Since its founding, the Preaching Excellence Program has offered formation in sermon creation and delivery to more than 2,000 seminarians, including two who later became presiding bishops. Other programs sponsored by the Preaching Foundation include a Lay Preaching Training Initiative, local partnerships with dioceses and seminaries, the Preaching Congregation, and conferences for deacons.
To learn more about the Preaching Foundation, visit PreachingFoundation.org.