Preacher is a lay person authorized to preach within that congregation or in another parish by invitation of the priest in charge. Training occurs in the congregation and perhaps through other directed educational opportunities (ie online courses) and should include: interpretation of Scripture, approaches to homiletics, and practice preaching, with opportunities for feedback and reflection.
In addition, Licensed Preachers must follow the added requirements of the Bishop’s Office in this diocese, details of which you will find below.
While local preparation can be adapted and contextualized the Bishop is looking for a process closely resembling the following:
1. The preaching applicant, working with the Rector/Vicar, will recruit a lay committee of at least five and no more than eight people to discern, challenge, and encourage him/her.
2. The preaching applicant will be asked to preach at least three times, preferably across liturgical seasons; committee members should make every effort to be present to hear and see the sermon delivered.
3. The applicant, working with the Rector/Vicar, will see that each of these three sermons is videoed and/or recorded. If a committee member is unable to be present s/he could listen to the recording of the sermon and/or watch a video so as to participate.
4. The committee should find a convenient time to meet with the applicant as soon as possible after the delivery of the sermon to give general impressions, but also to answer questions such as the following, these being answered first in writing by each member, and then shared as a group. The preaching applicant would answer these same questions from their intent and experience as well.
What did you hear?
What would you say the theme of the sermon was for you?
What, if anything, distracted you about the sermon itself? The delivery? the content?
Did you find yourself worrying about any other persons, or entities, while listening to the sermon (this might be the case where you personally were not offended, or hurt, or concerned, or confused, but worried that others might be)
The group could certainly refine these, add to them. This office would be most interested in hearing how such processes go, what you found unhelpful, helpful, missing, etc.
Of course, this process can, and in some cases should go on longer. Once the Committee believes it can recommend the applicant preacher to the Rector/Vicar for approval, the committee will send their report to the Rector/Vicar. This report can be creative, but should include their impressions of the applicant preacher, an outline of their process, what they found helpful about it, and their belief about what the applicant preacher's ministry will bring to the church.
The member of the clergy in charge of the congregation sends their recommendation to the Bishop along with the committee's report, and his/her own report outlining how this person will be utilized in the congregation, and how oversight will be provided on an ongoing basis.
Initial application should be made by letter as outlined above, but Renewal Forms are available online.
Please contact the Executive Assistant to the Office of the Bishop with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-325-4200 x.2010.