The EPF hosted 56 Seminarians at their weeklong PEP conference
The Episcopal Preaching Foundation (EPF) hosted the annual Preaching Excellence Program (PEP) at the Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond, VA attended by 56 students from North American seminaries, Anglican Studies, and diocesan formation programs, who each dedicated their week to honing their preaching skills under the guidance of a distinguished EPF faculty. The conference Faculty included
former Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori; Dean of the School of Theology at Sewanee, Bishop J. Neil Alexander, and Rt. Rev. William “Chip” Stokes, Bishop of New Jersey, and Rev. Gary Jones, Rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, VA. From the publishing world Jonathan Merritt, author of the critically acclaimed “Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words are Vanishing – and How We Can Revive Them” delivered a challenging keynote on that topic.
During the week, students heard plenary talks from leading preachers, participated in small preaching feedback groups, and attended workshops on practical issues like preaching on short notice and parish administration. In the words of one seminarian:
“PEP took me to a new level in my preaching and preparation. Listening to gifted preachers, being coached in a supportive group environment, and connecting with new colleagues in the church was such a gift to me. I returned a more confident preacher, ready to share the good news.”
PEP attendees regularly report that the week also provides a unique opportunity for students from different schools and programs to make friends, compare experiences and theological viewpoints, and form networks that will endure for much of their life as tomorrow’s clergy. The next Preaching Excellence Program will be hosted at the Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond, VA again from May 25-29, 2020.