Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Festival, Later

I want to say meaningful and profound things about the Festival of Homiletics. But I think I can't manage much more than some bullets. Here goes:

  • Tom Long: Dependably fabulous. Preached on John 4 (the Samaritan Woman at the Well); lectured on Mark.
  • Anna Carter Florence: Best preacher at the conference, if delivery alone would determine that. And I truly appreciated her words on Luke 10 (Martha and Mary).
  • Walter Brueggeman: Inspiring. Made me feel smarter just to be able to keep up with him.
  • Barbara Lundblad: The best workshop at the conference, on Matthew's texts through this summer, and "Preaching Through Resistance." And she taught me in seminary!
  • David Lose: Gave the most intellectually rigorous lecture of the conference, on preaching in the post-modern context. Now I actually understand what post-modernism is... but I can't possibly prove that you, because proofs and absolutes are so passé.
  • Walter Wangerin: Spellbinding. And good on his feet!
  • Carol Miles: After an initial misstep (claiming that women are challenged when it comes to having a sense of direction... helLO??), gave a really moving sermon.
  • Worship: Transcendent, mostly.
  • New friends: better than I could have imagined. Biblical hospitality lives!
That's all I can do. I can do no more. Except...

Little Mary, back me up on this. Was the snark factor, at moments, just a little over the top? NOT amongst our RevGalPals (they were, to a woman, delightful... and so were the men in that group). But... at other times. It felt like there was some serious self-doubt/ insecurity floating around, judging by the things that were said about various speakers and preachers. The whole thing was so overwhelmingly rich and beautiful to me, and I was so grateful for all I learned and just soaked in... and wished for a little more grace to be offered in the hearing.

Generally, the conference attendees were a wonderful congregation... the most "live" group I could ever imagine preaching to, right there with each passing syllable, reacting, responding, laughing, groaning. But later... meow. And I am guilty of this in life, I admit. But... it was a little disappointing, and started to wear on me.

That's all I got. Re-entry is challenging my ability to spell and form coherent thoughts. I know I've left stuff and people out. But this is it.


Diane said...

I didn't hear anything negative about anybody, but I didn't hang around much. I also didn't hear the very first part of Carol Miles' sermon (just came in from a breakfast meeting).

I liked meeting all the Revgals (and especially you), but wished I had more time to talk to more of you. :(. Many of you know each other better already.

I hope you liked my city, at least a little :)

LittleMary said...

i back you up sister. yes, the snark factor was high. or at least mine was...and i think i was catching it from the insecurity we feel and then we have exposed at things like this. i don't like feeling so snarky, but it was high, high, high for me. and there were times when the congregation just was not polite. end of sermon.

Wyldth1ng said...

Sounds nifty.

FranIAm said...

Diane told me that she met you. I was jealous.

It sounds fabulous. I would love to hear what Tom Long said about John 4. I am in the midst of a big John Scripture study and soooo loving it.

Of course I don't get to preach at my place. Deep sigh. But I can write.

Gannet Girl said...

Everything I have read about this makes it sound as if it were just incredible. Do you know if CDs are available for purchade by non-attendees?

Iris said...

Love your "Into the Woods" reference in your last post!

*sigh* Someday maybe I will make it to the festival.

Singing Owl said...

It was good, wasn't it? Understatement! I hope I can go again.

Magdalene6127 said...

Gannet Girl, I can't imagine why not, though I don't see an order form online. Why not go to the festival web url--
and go to contacts and send a note?

Sue said...

I heard the odd snippet of snark but not from any of the RevGals or Pals.

It was so delightful meeting you!