Friday, January 6, 2012

2012 National Festival of Young Preachers

Click here for gallery of photos by John Lynner Peterson of this event.
As mentioned, John and I attended the Academy of Preachers' event in Louisville as “convener” and “evaluator.” Our positions though are irrelevant. The end result is we attended a spiritual feast presented to us by “children” young enough to be our grandchildren! Since it was our first experience with the Academy we had no idea what to expect. What a delightful surprise.

I learned from Willie Bodrick II that we are blessed so that we can be a blessing. This Harvard freshman preached a traditional African American style and packed it with original thought, righteous indignation and the Good News. One of Willie’s final comments was a quote from Edgar A. Guest, poet, “I’d rather see a sermon than preach one.” I saw a sermon that will bless the future in Willie Bodrick II.

Following Willie, we worshipped with Ashley Hawley, a fifteen year old high school sophomore from Sacramento, CA. As Ashley told us, “I’m a fifteen year old from California, so I preach like a fifteen year old from California.” So she did. While the Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel of Matthew was the text for all the preachers, could one really expect Willie and Ashley to have the same perspective on the scripture? No. And we weren’t disappointed.

Willie and Ashley were but two of the one hundred twenty five young preachers from thirty states and over thirty faith traditions. As I indicated in the previous post, I support the Academy of Preachers because it is one of few organizations that brings together people of faith from the entire spectrum of right to left and allows them to know and love each other for who they are.

Thanks be to God.

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