OCA Youth Department encourages participation in National Festival of Young Preachers

The fourth annual National Festival of Young Preachers will be held in Atlanta, GA January 2-5, 2013. The annual festival is sponsored by the Academy of Preachers, a transdenominational organization whose mission is to identify, network, inspire, and support young people who sense a vocation for preaching the gospel. The Academy of Preachers was launched in 2009 through a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment. The theme for this year’s festival is “Gospel and the City.”  Participants are encouraged to reflect on the many scriptural accounts of evangelical work in cities, such as Acts 17:16-34 and 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. Participation is open to any person between the ages of 14-28.

“This festival represents a great opportunity not only to preach the fullness of our Orthodox faith to a diverse audience, but also for participants to be exposed to a great variety of preaching styles and content from a wide selection of Christian traditions,” said Andrew Boyd, OCA Youth Director. “The ability to clearly proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ is a necessary skill for all Christians, not just for clergy and theologians.  We hope to encourage participation by guiding potential participants through the registration process, helping them identify mentors, and if there is sufficient interest, partnering with local parishes to offset the travel costs associated with attending this wonderful event. Even though the festival is months away, now is the time to begin planning and work as attendance is limited.”

In past years, Saint Vladimir’s Seminary has sponsored students to attend this conference. Father Sergius Halvorsen, Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Rhetoric at Saint Vladimir’s, attended last year’s festival as a mentor to one of the seminary students. “I had the great pleasure of attending the Festival of Preachers last year”, said Father Sergius, “and it was an amazing experience as we heard young preachers from across the country.  We had three Orthodox young preachers participate, and I look forward to seeing the Orthodox presence at this festival increase over the years.  If you are between the ages of 14 and 28 and have a love for preaching, I strongly encourage you to attend the festival.”

For additional information and help with registration, identifying mentors, or covering travel, costs please contact Andrew Boyd at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Father Sergius at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).