The 2018 Preaching Excellence Program (“PEP”) held May 28-June 1 at the Roslyn Center, VA featured a rare and stellar gathering of homiletics erudition and preaching expertise. Fifty hand-picked seminarians from major Episcopal divinity schools and Anglican Studies programs in the U.S. and Canada, together with a cohort of postulants from the Iona diocesan formation programs, came together for a week of study, practice and instruction in the art of preaching. Themed around the concept of Preaching in Context the group heard plenary presentations, attended small group workshops and participated in guided preaching groups. Speakers included Bishop Rob Wright of Atlanta, Sam Wells, Vicar of St. Martin in the Fields, London, Dean Sam Candler of Atlanta Cathedral and Gary Jones, Rector of St. Stephens, Richmond, VA among others.
“ …hearing and listening to so many styles and voices was most helpful. I wish that every preacher could get a chance to participate in this”.
A popular highlight of the week was the faculty panel discussion “The Worst Sermon I Ever Gave and What I Learned From It” where experts dropped their guard and helped the group realize that not every sermon earns a star rating, but we learn as much from our failures as from our successes.
PEP is an annual conference presented by the Episcopal Preaching Foundation (“EPF”). Seminarians are nominated by their Deans to attend, with their costs of attendance largely underwritten by the EPF. More information at www.preachingfoundation.org.