The Episcopal Preaching Foundation has received a new $100,000 grant from Trinity Church Wall Street to support the national expansion of the Lay Preacher Training Initiative (LPTI) to all Episcopal dioceses in 2024.
With support from an earlier grant from Trinity Church Wall Street the Preaching Foundation developed a curriculum for lay preacher candidates which was delivered to 30 new lay preachers in six partner dioceses during 2023 and 2024. Based on this positive experience the LPTI program has now been finalized into a robust one-year format designed for hybrid delivery at the diocesan level.
Beginning April 2024 the one-year LPTI curriculum will be offered for adoption by any Episcopal diocese with aspirations to elevate the role of lay preaching. The participant-friendly course combines online self-study components with webinars delivered by EPF faculty and face-to-face training at the diocesan level. During 2024 EPF will offer “train-the-trainer” programs for participating diocesan support staff. Early participants in the expansion will be the 35 dioceses supporting the Iona Collaborative curricula for local formation at the diocesan level. The Rev. Dr. Nandra Perry, Director of the Iona Collaborative, Seminary of the Southwest, Austin, TX, commented:
“The Iona Collaborative is excited to support the expansion of this important project throughout our network of 35 dioceses. The church of the future needs strong lay leaders; and EPF’s curriculum is equipping them to preach the Gospel with confidence and skill”.
Dioceses interested in learning more about the program are invited to attend one of two informational webinars to be held April 9th and April 17th, 2024. Final details will be posted at www.preachingfoundation.org. Potentially interested dioceses may also email email@example.com to receive email updates.
Meanwhile, the first cohort of 30 newly-minted lay preachers representing the Dioceses of Central Gulf Coast, East Tennessee, Lexington, Minnesota, Nebraska and North Carolina will celebrate the completion of their formal training at a noon Eucharist to be held at Washington National Cathedral on November 11th, 2023.
Founder of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation Dr. A. Gary Shilling congratulated the newly-minted lay preachers: “Your thoughtful and authentic voices in the pulpit will play an important role in anchoring the Church in our communities and in the real-life needs of our congregations.”
About the Episcopal Preaching Foundation
The Episcopal Preaching Foundation encourages excellent preaching in the Episcopal Church. The EPF strongly believes in the foundational role of preaching to energize and build church membership and attendance in today’s challenging environment, as documented by Gallup and the Pew Research Center studies. Founded in 1987, the foundation began its programs in earnest immediately. Since then, more than 2,000 seminarians have passed through its Preaching Excellence Program (“PEP”), including numerous bishops and one presiding bishop. In addition to lay preaching, EPF programs embrace practicing parish clergy through the annual conference (“PEP-II”) and ad hoc diocesan and deacons’ conferences.
About Trinity Church Wall Street
Now in its fourth century, Trinity Church Wall Street is a growing and inclusive Episcopal parish of more than 1,200 members that seeks to serve and heal the world by building neighborhoods that live Gospel truths, generations of faithful leaders, and sustainable communities. The parish is guided by its core values: faith, integrity, inclusiveness, compassion, social justice, and stewardship. Members come from the five boroughs of New York City and surrounding areas to form a racially, ethnically, and economically diverse congregation. More than 20 worship services are offered every week at its historic sanctuaries, Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel, the cornerstones of the parish’s community life, worship, and mission, and online at trinitywallstreet.org. The parish welcomes approximately 2 million visitors per year.