It’s almost Christmas—an unlikely time to announce the 2013 Brave Preacher Award theme—but the time for a courageous sermon is upon us right now, in the wake of the massacre of the children in Newtown.
The theme of The Beatitudes Society’s 2013 Brave Preacher Award is gun violence in America.
Ironically and tragically, The Beatitudes Society announced the first Brave Preacher Award just two years ago to honor a preacher for a prophetic sermon delivered in response to the January 2011 shootings in Tucson. Violence was again the preaching theme in 2012.
And now, as we ponder our Christian response to the Newtown killings, it is time for a word from the pulpit. People are turning to faith leaders right now, in these last days of Advent, and some will bring their questions into church even on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and through the seasons of Christmas and Epiphany.
So in these winter weeks, it is time for preachers to proclaim a word of light for “people who have walked in darkness” (Isaiah 9). It is time for a word of hope and courage as we pray and speak and act on behalf of our children in the spirit of the Fourth Gospel “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5) and the seventh beatitude “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)
Each year, The Beatitudes Society honors prophetic preaching with the Brave Preacher Award. With this $500 award we seek to recognize and encourage emerging preachers to address difficult social justice issues through the lens of the biblical story and the current cultural context.
Emerging preachers—those who are under age 45 and in their first 10 years of ministry—are encouraged to apply, and listeners are encouraged to encourage their preachers to apply. Eligible sermons are those preached anytime from Advent 3 (December 16), 2012 through the Last Sunday of Epiphany (February 10), 2013.
Sermons will be considered with attention to the preacher’s context, content, craft and connection to scripture.
Please send us the completed application and a written outline with audio file, or a written manuscript of a sermon preached.
The deadline is February 15, 2013. Members of The Beatitudes Society’s Board of Directors will make the selection and this year’s Brave Preacher will be announced March 15, 2013.
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