Last July, St. Luke’s hosted its first preaching workshop with Rev. Dr. Kimberly Wagner. Open to members and friends of the St. Luke’s community, the workshop gave new insight to what creative and faithful community-building could look like through the art of proclamation. After stimulating discussion on craft and an invigorating round of 60-second sermons, the question arose: what if St. Luke’s could empower community members to develop their preaching skills and contribute to the fabric of gospel proclamation at St. Luke’s? This gave birth to the first-ever Preaching-Learning community, which is now in it’s “Second Season” of rotation through its members.
This month, St. Luke’s Church Council gives thanks for this community. Led by Pastor Erin, its rotation of preachers includes Francisco Herrera, Melody Stachour, SommerAnn McCullough, Rachel Daley, Lora Salley, and Mark Wilhelm. The process has involved each member contributing a 10-minute speech act on a selected Sunday that offers a combination of close reading of scripture, exegesis, testimony, prophetic witness, and community care. The group meets one week before every sermon to give feedback, suggestions, and mutual support to the person offering the sermon. The group has now preached through the holy seasons of Advent, Epiphany, and Lent, focusing on diverse themes like “Stir Up Your Power,” Living in the In-between, God’s covenant, and Words of Abundant Life. Council gives thanks for the ways these individuals have modeled both proclamation and learning in community and have been brave witnesses to public testimony during a pandemic to empower community ownership of worship through voices of hope and possibility.
Each month, the St. Luke’s Council gives thanks for a particular person or group whose life and ministry have blessed us in a special way. To share your ideas for future Thanksgivings, email Justin Perkins.