Letters from 3
to 9 September 2007
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recent editorial concerning sermons (link
suggests 30 minutes. Perhaps a bit shorter would be better. Ten
to 15 minutes should be enough to get a message across. If it
takes longer, then the message is being blurred by irrelevance.
My son attends
a private school — formerly Presbyterian and now Uniting Church — and
is in the choir. There are few general services, as opposed to those
for students. The chaplain has recently given a series of sermons
in the general services, explaining the exceptionally good glass in
the chapel. The sermons have gone a bit longer than the limit I suggest
above, but they are interesting, enjoyable, and to the point. They
are certainly sermons which I shall remember.
Making a journey back to the church, with the help and support of St A
3 September 2007
we wrote that the average is — appropriately for
this day and age — 10 to 15 minutes, adding that 30 minutes is likely
the maximum now. So we quite agree with you.)
tripe too often on the menu?
you for your editorial of
2 September. It made me appreciate once again the preaching skills
of our parish priest Father Carl Somers-Edgar. He preaches about God,
without notes, always theologically and historically correct,
often bitingly amusing and never too long. When one visits other
parishes (here and overseas) and has to endure the appalling tripe
that some serve up as a sermon it is a treat to return home to
quality preaching. Our parish now puts sound recordings of some
of his sermons on our website stpeterscaversham.org.nz.
was trained at St Stephen's House, Oxford UK and served his curacy
at All Saints, Margaret Street, London. Fancy leaving all that behind
to return to the antipodes. When my wife and I visited All Saints
Margaret Street a couple of years ago we asked if Father Carl was remembered.
'What a great preacher, does he still preach without any notes'!
was the reply.
St Peter's Church, Caversham
Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND
3 September 2007
for not sharing
respect to sermons being memorable or
not (or even worthwhile), nothing is worse than when clergy fill a
sermon with references to what they have been reading lately,
or, worse, by reading direct quotations.
The only reason
for a sermon is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is meant to come genuinely
and freshly through the preacher — whose own faith is what matters
most to listeners yearning for spiritual nurture.
5 September 2007
Hyfrydol above Hosea
I read your
assessment of preaching with great interest. I remember
some of the earliest advice I receive when it comes to constructing
a Sunday morning service, “Spend more time picking your hymns
than writing your sermons. People remember what they sing a lot longer
than what they hear.” Whether right or wrong it is typically
true. I take preaching very seriously, so I do not follow my early
mentor’s advice. That said, I often wonder (especially after
difficult weeks as this one has been) how seriously the parishioners
take the sermon.
(CPT) Steven G Rindahl
The Anglican Community of Camp Liberty
Camp Liberty, Baghdad, IRAQ
8 September 2007
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