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Two EPF Panels Discuss Aspects of Good Preaching at CEEP 2019

| Posted: March 5, 2019

Left to Right: Dr. Stephen Smith, Rev. Susan Ironside, Rev. Will Stanley, and Rev. Canon Carl Turner

EPF Discusses Why Preaching Is Important

The Episcopal Preaching Foundaton delivered two well-attended programs at the Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes (CEEP) in Boston, MA, attended by over 750 clergy and lay leaders from across the US.

“The Importance Of Preaching In Flourishing Church Communities” discussed the elements of a successful sermon from various different viewpoints. The Very Rev. Kurt Dunkle, Dean and President of The General Theological Seminary, gave the view from the seminary;  The Very Rev. Randolph “Randy” Hollerith, Dean of Washington National Cathedral spoke from the point of view of the pulpit, and lay person Dr. A. Gary Shilling, founder and chairman of EPF gave the “View from the Pew”. Some of the most referenced qualities were a single-minded focus, preaching from a personal spiritual authenticity, brevity, and delivering a message of hope.

“I have taken away much information from this lunch seminar, even after being involved with EPF for years,” remarked Micah T.J. Jackson, President of Bexley Seabury seminary. “What’s interesting were the three different opinions from three different types of people and backgrounds.”

In “The Worst Sermon I Ever Gave And What I Have Learned From It” four prominent clergy discussed some of their most poignant and sometimes painful learning moments in the pulpit. Courageously sharing their learning moments wereThe Rev. Susan Ironside, Rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Madison, NJ, Rev. Will Stanley, Associate Rector at All Saints’ Church in Beverly Hills, CA, Rev. Phillip Jackson, Vicar at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York, NY, and Rev. Canon Carl Turner, Rector at Saint Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in New York, NY. Later in the session, the floor was opened to the audience who contributed more learning moments  for all to hear.

Moderating both programs was Rev. Dr. Stephen Smith, Rector at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Dublin, OH, and Dean of Faculty at EPF. Dr. Smith said, “Both sessions were a success. Not only did the speakers and the audience enjoy them, but the CEEP attendees were  able to take home some pointers for continuing to lead their parishes.”

“This was EPF’s first year presenting our workshops at CEEP. Overall, I would say it was a huge success, and we are looking forward to attending CEEP next year,” said Dr. A. Gary Shilling.


The EPF’s mission is to improve, support, and enhance the level of preaching in the Episcopal Church. Through programs like the Preaching Excellence Program (PEP) for Episcopal seminaries, EPF works with seminarians and ordained clergy to enhance their preaching skills. Founded in 1988 by economic commentator Dr. A. Gary Shilling, the EPF’s alumni list now numbers now over 3,000, including the former Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, and the current Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, who serves at EPF’s honorary chairman. The EPF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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Springfield, NJ, February 27th, 2019
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