The 34th Preaching with Power in photos
For the thirty-forth year, Preaching with Power, sponsored by the Urban Theological Institute (UTI) of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), brought outstanding preaching, teaching, and a Celebration of Music in the African American Church to Philadelphia. Here’s a recap of the week in photos – recordings will be online with the April edition of PS Portions.
Sunday, March 13
Preaching with Power kicked off 2016 with a Celebration of Music in the African American Church at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Sheila D. Booker, St.Paul’s Music Director, was worship leader, and The Rev. Rodney S. Kopp of St. Paul’s host pastor.
Participants included “Divine Movement Dance Ministry” from Mt. Pisgah AME Church, Ingrid Broadnax, coordinator; and musical selections by “Sounds of Joy” Choir Music Ministry, The Chancel Choir of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church joined by members of the LTSP seminar choir, Sheila D. Booker, Director; and “The Gospel Choir” of The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, Walter Blocker, Director.
Monday, March 14
Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, long time venue for Preaching with Power, was host of Monday’s “Baptist Night.” Wright’s Gospel Chorus under the direction of Patricia Beach and the Men’s Chorus under the direction of Marilyn George presented musical selections, and UTI Director the Rev. Dr. Quintin Robertson, Interim Pastor at Grace, served as host pastor. The preacher for the evening was the Rev. Dr. Howard-Johnson Wesley, Senior Pastor at Alfred Street Baptist Church, Alexandria, Virginia, whose sermon topic was “Something to Shout About.” He was introduced by UTI Committee of Advisors member the Rev. Cedric Jones, Senior Pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
Tuesday, March 15 – Convocation
Preaching with Power began Tuesday with Terrorism in America: Sacred Places, a panel discussion prompted by conversations on the seminary community and beyond after the terrorism act at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015. Action began with mourning our brothers and sisters in Christ, and discussion on safety of public places in America. Panelists were Everett Gillison, former Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety for the City of Philadelphia; Dr. Kevin Johnson, lead pastor of Dare to Imagine Church and President/CEO of Philadelphia OIC; and Dr. Katie Day, the Charles Scheiren Professor of Church and Society at LTSP. UTI Director Quintin Robertson moderated the panel.
Tuesday, March 15 – Preaching
Tuesday night was United Methodist Night, and Janes Memorial United Methodist Church played host, with Dr. Andrew Foster, III host pastor and worship leader. Musical selections were provided by the Philadelphia United Methodist Mass Choir. Bishop Peggy Johnson, episcopal leader of the Philadelphia Area of the United Methodist Church, introduced the preacher. Retired United Methodist Bishop Violet L. Fisher brought the Word in a sermon entitled “Turn the Power On.”
Wednesday, March 16 – Chapel
Wednesday morning brought Preaching with Power to the Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel on the LTSP campus. Music selections and leadership were provided by the LTSP Seminary Choir and friends, including LTSP’s Dr. Michael Krentz along with Sheila Booker, Richard Norris II, and Meridel Peterson. UTI Director Quintin Robertson lead worship. Dr. Mark Tyler, Pastor of Mother Bethel AME Church, introduced the preacher, The Rev. Jocelyn Hart, Presiding Elder of the Philadelphia District, AME. Pr. Hart entitled her sermon “We’re Depending on You,” and included a timely comment, “…to quote Donald Trump, ‘the new venture [between LTSP and LTSG] will bring MOOOOOORE of everything! More resources, more presence in the community, more work, more opportunities to preach the Gospel…'”
Wednesday, March 16 – Preaching
Wednesday evening marked Lutheran/UCC Night at Reformation Lutheran Church. Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod (SEPA), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Bishop Claire Burkat and United Church of Christ Conference Minister the Rev. William Worley joined UTI Director Dr. Quintin Robertson and the evening’s preacher, the Rev. Julian DeShazier, for photos before worship was under way, joined at one point by SEPA Assistant to the Bishop for Evangelical Mission the Rev. Patricia Davenport. The Rev. Carlton Rodgers, Pastor of Tabernacle Lutheran Church, served as worship leader. The Rev. Cean James, Pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship UCC introduced the preacher. Pr. DeShazier, also an award-winning hip hop musician and song writer, known to many as “J.Kwest,” brought the Word through both rap and preaching in his sermon entitled “Hellrazers.”
Thursday, March 17
Preaching with Power 2016 closed the week at Mt. Tabor AME Church and AME Night, with Sis. Lisa Younger-Richardson serving as worship leader. The Mt. Tabor Mass Choir brought musical selections, and the Rev. Charles Lett, Sr, Senior Presiding Elder of the Philadelphia Annual Conference introduced the preacher. Bishop Jeffrey Leath, elected and consecrated the 128th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2008 and at one time pastor of Philadelphia’s Mother Bethel AME Church, brought the Word through a sermon entitled “Power and Glory Exposed.” The evening and week closed with an afterglow conversation with Bishop Leath.