Friday, 24 February 2017

Preacher’s corner

Let me write this post in English, since the heading is in English. This weekend a large number of Lutherans, mainly from Church of Sweden, together with others, are gathering in Uppsala, for the fifth
Theology Festival
The founder of the festival, Rev. Dr. Anna Karin Hammar, will of course be there. She has probably participated every festival. But for me it is the first time. A few months ago I asked the project leader, Mona Keränen, if I could see her. I wanted to present an idea for the festival. It was to run a
Preacher’s Corner
She found the idea feasible and a few weeks thereafter I got an e-mail from a colleague, Rev. Clara Nystrand. She and a number of colleagues from the south of Sweden have a pod where they every Monday upload a conversation around the sermon text for the following Sunday. She wanted to join me in the idea about a Preacher’s Corner.

The next step came when Mona asked me to contact Johannelunds teologiska högskola (Johannelund School of Theology). This is an accredited college, where Lutheran pastors are trained. Until now Church of Sweden has accepted full pastors from Johannelund but from next year these students will have to come to the Institute where I work, Svenska kyrkans utbildningsinstitut (Church of Sweden Institute for Pastoral Education), for the final Ministerial year. Therefore I felt this was an good opportunity to cooperate. Johannelund will still train pastors for Evangeliska Fosterlandsstiftelsen (Swedish Evangelical Mission). These pastors are fully acknowledged as pastors in Church of Sweden but cannot be employed as Parish pastors in Church of Sweden. I beleive that we have to build a strong and respectful relation, for the sake of the Church and for the world in which we serve - together.

So, what will take place in this Preacher’s corner? A number of students will have an opportunity to preach and get feedback (or maybe feed-forward) in a kind of homiletic master class. A few of them will actually preach in the evening, in the foyer while people are mingling before supper.

In the master class we will also have another ingredient. We have advertised in social media and searched for a brave, experienced preacher. A few have answered positively and we have selected one, who will listen to a Bible text and to a conversation around this text between two colleagues from the theology pod I mentioned above. After this conversation the experienced preacher will get five minutes to prepare and thereafter preach. This will be followed by another conversation, where we investigate how the conversation around the sermon act can feed into the homiletic endeavor. 

The Greek word 'homilein' [μιλεν] actually means: to converse. This word occurs once in the New Testament. In  Luke 24:15 two disciples are on their way to Emmaus and we read:
While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them
This is also what we expect to happen in Preacher’s corner as well as in the Theology Festival as a whole.

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