Excellence in Preaching

My home church of St. Andrew’s Episcopal is hosting a free three part series on how to listen and what to look for in sermons. Three remarkably gifted, different, and distinguished speakers and authors will each have one day to preach twice (at 8 am and 10 am) and then offer a ninety minute seminar (11:30 am – 1 pm):

    • 14 September 2008: Rev. Donald Schell, All Saints Company Consultant and Creative Director and founder of St. Gregory’s, San Francisco
    • 26 October 2008: Rev. Dr. Rebecca Lyman, Professor Emerita of History, Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP), Berkeley
    • 16 November 2008: Rev. Dr. Bill Countryman, Professor Emeritus of Biblical studies, Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP), Berkeley

The series is designed to better equip the listener to recognize and respond to different preaching styles – and to appreciate even those styles that may differ from personal preference. All are welcome, whether or not they are members of the Episcopal church. For more information, please call 408-867-3493.

I am particularly looking forward to hearing the Rev. Dr. Rebecca Lyman again as I very much enjoyed reading her 1999 history Early Christian Traditions. My favorite passage from that work:

“Whereas uniformity requires enforcement, consistency demands discernment. Discernment is a more complicated task, requiring
that we recognize the fundamental similarities between apparent differences. Many of the ancient struggles over theology and authority reflect this difficult institutional and personal process.”

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