Dear friends of Preachers Institute,
Christ is Risen!
Today is our fifth anniversary: Five years ago today, we launched Preachers Institute, the world’s only online homiletics resource for Orthodox Christian preaching with a short homily by St. John Maximovitch ‘On The Cross.’ Since that time;
- Preachers Institute has published hundreds of articles, sermons, homilies, blog entries and essays – all in an attempt to help out Orthodox clergy and teachers with their sermons and lessons.
- Preachers Institute became an early partner with The Academy of Young Preachers, and sponsored several young Orthodox preachers to attend their annual Festival of Preaching.
- I myself participated in the GOA Clergy association’s Art of Speaking Workshop, designed to gather together priests interested in preaching better, and getting serious feedback on our work.
- Preachers Institute began the annual 30(40) Days of Blogging exercise to promote clergy and lay blogging in a tight time frame with responsible, sober, and spiritually uplifting posts. The number of participants has grown every year and brought more and more teachers and preachers into their own with comfortable and regular writing!
- Preachers Institute put in inquiries to all the Orthodox seminaries in North America about their homiletics teachers and programs, and spurred the resurrection of the dormant St. Vladimir Seminary D. Min. program, now with a strong homiletics component.
- Preachers Institute published volumes of patristic and festal homilies, historic U.S. sermons, studies on liturgical furniture for preaching, and works on the spiritual Formation of Preachers.
Now Preachers Institute is being laid to rest.
As of May 15th, this website will be offline.
I have enjoyed working on the Preachers Institute, keeping it fresh and lively in terms of the site design and content. It’s been a lot of work, but joyful work, and I’ve learned a lot in the process.
It has not attracted the kind of interest, assistance and expertise which is frankly necessary for such an endeavor.
I’m no expert, but I had a desire to learn more and preach better, and I know I was not alone. My original hope was to advance the study and level of Orthodox homiletics for the 21st century among clergy, among those who teach and catechize, and everyone who was compelled to announce the Gospel to their friends and acquaintances in a weary society, starving for the Word of God, instead being fed rhetoric, intrigue, and fraud. I made the content available without charge, and sponsored several forums for sermon assistance and feedback.
At every single step of this journey, we have met serious resistance. I’ve even been told that preaching is not Orthodox, that is detracts from “The Kingdom” and all sorts of heresy not worth repeating here.
That is good! That means we were doing something! If in some way, Preachers Institute helped you prepare your sermon or lesson, I count it a victory.
Thank you to all the clergy who were so kind and helpful in this endeavor and the wonderful feedback which kept it going all this time. May God richly bless you for such kindness.
I sincerely hope it was helpful to you and encourage you to advance in serious homiletic study whenever and wherever you can. Hone your preaching skills by practice, and improve them by continuous effort. A great crown awaits you from our Lord.
Finally, thanks to Fr. Hans Jacobse whose invaluable help from the first thought of this idea to the final execution, has ALWAYS helped without credit, without pay and without a word of fatigue or complaint. A truer friend and yoke-mate in labor does not exist.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. John A. Peck