Variety of voices to preach at General Convention

epiScope reports:

Eight preachers – ranging from the Presiding Officers and the Archbishop of Canterbury to a popular TV correspondent and an internationally-known activist – will be among the many voices at the daily worship services during General Convention 2009 of The Episcopal Church July 8 – 17 at the Anaheim Convention Center in California (Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles).

A theme has been designated for each daily Eucharist, with a bishop of The Episcopal Church as celebrant. Additionally, a different preacher will address the daily theme.

On Wednesday, July 8, the worship service celebrant and preacher will be the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.

On Thursday, July 9 the theme is God’s people. The celebrant will be Bishop J. Jon Bruno. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will conduct a Bible study during the worship service.

On Friday, July 10 the theme is Unity. The celebrant is Bishop Steve Miller, co-celebrated by a member of the Moravian clergy. The preacher will be President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson.

On Saturday, July 11 the theme is Hospitality. The celebrant is Bishop Frank Brookhart. He will be joined by a member of the Methodist clergy. The preacher will be Ray Suarez of NPR.

Sunday, July 12 will be the main General Convention Eucharist and the Ingathering for the United Thank Offering (UTO). Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori will be the celebrant and preacher.

On Monday, July 13, the theme is Domestic Poverty. Celebrant will be Bishop Prince Singh with preacher Courtney Cowart.

On Tuesday, July 14 the theme is the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The celebrant is Bishop Rob O’Neill. The preacher is Abagail Nelson.

On Wednesday July 15, the theme will be Creation and Environment. The celebrant will be Bishop Greg Rickel and preacher will be Bishop Steve Charleston.

On Thursday, July 16, the theme is Evangelism with celebrant Bishop Wilfrido Ramos. The preacher is Brian D. McLaren.

On Friday, July 17, Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori will be the celebrant and preacher at the closing Eucharist.

Comments (3)

Wow - just reading my own news - Katharine is the only ordained woman. Every other celebrant is a male bishop.

Only 4 women (Katharine, Bonnie, Courtney and Abagail) out of 15 celebrants and preachers – 26%.

Katharine is never preacher OR presider, only preacher AND presider.

There are 10 presiders, and Katharine is 3 of them. Of the remaining 7, none are women.

There are 10 preachers, and Katharine is 3 of them. Of the remaining 7, only 3 are ordained people, only 1 of whom is an Episcopalian.

Very strange.

If you count the preachers, they break down pretty well. (I can imagine arguments made about celebrants, but I'd rather not.)

What I do find interesting is what we look for in "preaching" in the church. Who are our great preachers, and when are they given a chance to speak to the church as a whole? These are thematic services, with speakers chosen to reflect the themes. The speakers clearly were chosen from high-profile positions within or without the church that have relevance to the topic of the day.

I'm sure I sound overly clerical, but it seems that priests and many deacons are called through ordination to preach the Word. In our greatest gathering, we do not call upon them to do so. These speakers may indeed preach and preach well, but their selection in this venue says something to me about the Episcopal Church's attitude on the role of preaching by its clergy in the church.

Michael Rich+

Add your comments

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Reminder: At Episcopal Café, we hope to establish an ethic of transparency by requiring all contributors and commentators to make submissions under their real names. For more details see our Feedback Policy.

Advertising Space