The Episcopal Preaching Foundation has named Dr. Spencer Pugh as the national coordinator for The Preaching Congregation, a new program funded by a generous five-year grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The program brings together the clergy and congregation of a parish in a structured process of mutual exchange to improve congregational engagement in sermon preparation and provide the preacher with informed input and feedback. The goal is to develop a process that can be used by any congregation — in any denomination.
A lay leader from the Diocese of Southern Ohio, Spencer comes to this part-time position with extensive business and church experience. He recently retired as the head of research and development for a chemical company in Cincinnati, Ohio. He now consults and leads workshops on innovation and technology management. In Southern Ohio, Spencer served as the chair of the Commission on Ministry for seven years. He is a licensed lay preacher and Stephen Ministry Leader. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of Bexley-Seabury Seminary. Spencer attends St. Anne Episcopal Church in West Chester, Ohio, where he lives with Beverly, his wife of 42 years. They have three children and four grandchildren.
Spencer is thrilled to take on the national coordinator role for The Preaching Congregation. “The heart of this program is the engagement of the congregation in a mature understanding of how to apply scripture to their everyday lives,” he said. “This is something I learned when I trained to become a lay preacher 12 years ago. It has given me so much joy that I am eager to share these practices with others.”
The Preaching Congregation initiative will begin with a pilot program focusing on a handful of Episcopal dioceses across the country, working with multiple parishes within each diocese. If you’re interested in having your diocese participate in the pilot program, please contact Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org.