If you've ever wondered what a liberal Christian revival might look like, you may want to check out next week's Festival of Preaching Northwest. Next Monday - Wednesday at downtown Seattle's Plymouth Church, the festival will feature eight services of worship with a variety of outstanding, nationally-known preachers and teachers, plus three lectures, and four panel discussions.
This year Otis Moss III will preach the opening service — which is free and open to the public — at 8:00 pm on Monday. Moss leads Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago where his well-known predecessor was Jeremiah Wright.
In addition to Moss, the festival welcomes five other nationally-known preachers: Anna Carter Florence, Peter Marshall professor of preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary; Tom Long, Bandy professor of preaching at Chandler Seminary of Emory University; Jose Morales, a leader in the Disciples of Christ denomination, from Colorado; Veronica Goines, known, among other things, for her appearances in the works of Anne Lamott as Lamott's pastor; and Roger Owens from Duke in North Carolina.
If not for the preaching, go for the outstanding choral groups during evening services, which include The Total Experience Gospel Choir, the Trinity Singers of Seattle University, and The Chancel Choir of Plymouth Church.
In 2010 nearly four hundred people traveled from across the U.S. and Canada to take part in the festival, which is put on by Congregational Leadership Northwest (Full disclosure: The auther is the President of Congregational Leadership Northwest). Co-sponsors include Plymouth Church, Phinney Ridge Lutheran, The Seattle Presbytery, and Samaritan Center of Puget Sound.
Using light rail or bus, get off at the University Street Station. For those who drive there are a number of parking lots near the festival site at the Hilton, Washington Athletic Club, and across the freeway at Town Hall of Seattle.