“How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity.” (Psalm 133:1 NRSV)
The worshipful affirmation of the psalmist in Psalm 133 captures perfectly the deep admiration, adoration and gratitude that fills my soul on the heels of the incredibly successful 2018 National Festival of Young Preachers held this January in Atlanta, GA. I am truly grateful to God for our diverse and dynamic community of Young Preachers, mentors, master class teachers, institutional partners, sponsors, leaders, volunteers, board members, advisors and staff. Nothing that we do as an organization would be possible without your active participation and sustained support. The Academy of Preachers is so much more than just another ministry organization, and the National Festival of Young Preachers is definitely more than just another event or conference: we are a dynamic movement of spiritually inspired (called!) women and men committed to the work of vocational discernment and ministerial development that is enriched and enlivened by the incredible diversity of our Christian community. I truly believe that our movement is one of the most vital expressions of ecumenism and Christian unity on the American Christian landscape today. We are galvanized by our shared commitment to the mission of “identifying, networking, supporting, and inspiring young people in their call to Gospel preaching.” This has been our mandate since June 23, 2008, and as we approach 10 years of ministry it remains our reason for being!
Throughout 2018, I will be continuing my “Presidential Listening Tour” with the aim of connecting more intentionally with our diverse constituency to learn more about your unique backgrounds, diverse experiences and specific needs so that we can fine-tune the work of Academy of Preachers to be even more impactful and effective. If there is a conference, event or program at your institution or in your ministry context that would benefit from an AoP presence, let us know! If you would like to host a listening session and/or event to connect existing and potential Young Preachers, mentors or institutional partners to AoP, let us know! Identifying and Networking Young Preachers, and collaborating with institutions and individuals that share our mission of supporting and developing Young Preachers, are core aspects of our mission. We depend on your communication and engagement with us to be kept aware of what you are doing!
Stay connected with us via the (newly redesigned!) AoP website, social media channels and email newsletters for exciting announcements about AoP Day 2018, the January 2019 10th Anniversary National Festival of Young Preachers, as well as upcoming regional festivals, denominational events and listening tour sessions!
In Partnership and Service,
Rev. Ernest A. Brooks III
President & CEO