When a minister delivers a God-given soul-stirring sermon, one cannot help but to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit through the spoken words. Now imagine that multiplied by seven. That is what happened Saturday evening April 11th at Virginia Theological Seminary’s 1823 Cafe when the Washington Theological Consortium sponsored its Third Annual Sermon Slam.
Seven ministers; Christian Anderson (VTS), Br. Timothy Danaher, op (Dominican House), Sean Devolites (Wesley), Akolla Etuge (Capuchin College/CUA), Venita George (Howard), Melissa Mason (Samuel Proctor DeWitt, VUU), and Stephen Taylor (John Leland); each delivered truly God-led sermons. The topic of their sermons was “You are one of Jesus’ disciples and Jesus has been crucified and placed in the tomb. How would you react upon Jesus entering the room following His resurrection?” Each minister was invited to choose whatever text they wished to exegete and present their own original sermon. What came forth were dramatic interpretations, imaginative storytelling, poetic renderings, an appeal for gratitude for our salvation, and heartfelt telling of Christ’s resurrection and personal reactions to his appearance. Leland student Stephen Taylor was the last to preach. He let his poetic chops shine; getting the crowd involved by eliciting a little call and response during his five minutes on the microphone. This raised the energy in the room, which was already abuzz after the first six preachers, to another level. Stephen called upon us to remember that it is our responsibility to live out the resurrection of Christ in our daily lives and as we interact with others.
All of the preachers deserved awards for their theological presentations and special honors were given to Christian, Venita, Timothy, and Sean. This year, added to the favorite preacher and best sermon honors were the “favorites” categories of funniest (won by Stephen), most dramatic (Christian Anderson), and best exegete (Akolla Etuge). Once again congratulations and job well done to all seven preachers and thank you to the Washington Theological Consortium for sponsoring the Sermon Slam and VTS for hosting.
Keith A. Perkins,
Leland Rep., WTC