“Oh to be in England, now that spring is here. ” These are Robert Browning’s words written so long ago. Well, we are here and spring is wonderful. Australians always get a shock at how green England is, and how many daffodils crowd the banks of every stream in spring. It is so different from where I have been these last weeks in drought stricken rural Australia.
Here at Cambridge, the University buildings are crowded with students, lecturers and researchers. With Oxford, it is one of my favourite places on earth. The streets are crowded with American tourists, hundreds of whom will be in my audiences the next couple of nights. They are joining hundreds of others from the UK, Europe Africa and dozens of other countries for the International Congress on Preaching. They have come to hear lectures, and to listen to model sermons from a group of twenty people described as the best preachers in the world. Many of them are.
This congress is held every five years. The speakers not only address the congress attendees who go to lectures given by the speakers in the University colleges during the day, but listen each night to two who deliver model sermons that are then discussed and deliberated upon by panels of experts. On one night, Wednesday this week, the two sermons are telecast via satellite to about a thousand other smaller conferences around the world attended by preachers and church leaders who cannot afford to travel to Cambridge.
Five years ago, I was also chosen to be a lecturer and preacher of a model sermon from Edinburgh University. That was an unbelievable opportunity to hear and get to know some of the greatest preachers of our time. On that occasion, I was also selected to preach via direct satellite transmission to every country in the Western hemisphere. Then before that, I was flown to Seoul Korea, to lecture and preach at the Seoul University and to telecast via satellite to all twelve time zones across the former Soviet, Korea, Japan, every country in South East Asia, Australia and the Pacific. I was simultaneously translated into fourteen languages, then as I was this week. Our travel is always paid by the Congress and the television company.
I have been privileged to be the only preacher telecast on every occasion. This year the satellite does not come to Australia as it has from Korea, but there will be DVD’s available.
If you want to read of the theme and two of my model sermons you can read them on my website. I prepared them in the heat of our election campaign and speaking tours across NSW while supporting our CDP candidates for both Houses of Parliament. They are to be found at www.gordonmoyes.com
Next week, I will give you a further update as we return home for the every day jungle of the NSW Parliament.
Rev The Hon Dr Gordon Moyes, A.C., M.L.C..