Welcome to the 26th Annual Festival of Homiletics in Washington DC!
Last year the Festival founder, David Howell, stepped down from his official position as co-director. Twenty-six years ago, the Festival of Homiletics began as Howell’s vision to bring some of the best preachers together to educate and inspire ministers. We needed another strong presence to assist in the creation of the programming, find new voices, and connect with the strong preaching that you have come to expect and have welcomed Karoline Lewis to this new role!
The first evening of the Festival began at the National Cathedral with an introduction for First Time Attendees, a beautiful Cathedral Choral Evensong, and a warm Welcome and some announcements from the Festival Staff. Follow along on social media this week for announcements.
Worship began at 6:30 pm at the Cathedral with a spirited sermon by Karoline Lewis, inspired music by Benjamin Straley, Joshua Sommerville and the Owen Sisters, and engaging liturgy led by Dawn Hand Brad Froslee. The full sanctuary joined in worship together and Lewis left the audience pondering “The Politics of Pneuma,” the spirit at work in our lives. When are we missing the voice of the spirit in the nevertheless moments of our lives?
The evening concluded with a thoughtful lecture from Richard Rohr, “By What Authority?” (Luke 20:2). Rohr helped preachers imagine how a contemplative mind and trusting our own experience might break open the workings of the spirit in preaching and more importantly the world. We may be limited by our experience, but we are also informed by it. You need to trust your experience because you are going to anyway. Rohr invited those gathered to enter into experience and reflection upon it with a soft, contemplative mind.
What a beautiful space in which to worship for our first day of this week of learning and growing together. Many thanks to the Washington National Cathedral community for their gracious welcome. We look forward to seeing you in the next few days at Metropolitan AME Church, National City Christian Church and Luther Place Memorial Church!