In partnership with the Alliance of Baptists, Dr. James Forbes is leveraging the opportunity of gathering virtually to beam into pulpits across America for a timely message on Sunday, October 25, 2020, Reformation Sunday. This is an opportunity for YOUR congregation to hear a word from this prophetic preacher of our time at such a crucial moment in our nation's history.
Preaching from John 3:1-8, Dr. Forbes will proclaim the call for ongoing reform and renewal within the church. He writes, “We are reminded that an authentic ‘born again’ experience must include a continuous process of being renewed in the spiritual connection to the family of God. To have a vibrant relationship with God demands that we treat our fellow human beings with justice and compassion. Racial bigotry and brutality are incompatible with the genuine claim of being ‘born again.’”
Ongoing calls for reform and renewal within the church are a central part of our history. Today’s cry for renewal and reform in the church is a call to repentance and continuing engagement with the long, demanding, necessary and life-giving process of turning away from racism and turning toward the beloved community.
Dr. Forbes is National Minister of the Drum Major Institute, Senior Minister Emeritus of the Riverside Church, the Harry Emerson Fosdick Distinguished Professor at Union Theological Seminary, and President of the Healing of the Nations Ministries. Additionally, Dr. Forbes is a highly-acclaimed author, scholar, and nationally sought-after speaker, affectionately referred to in national and international religious circles as the preacher’s preacher because of his extensive preaching career and his charismatic style. The Alliance is proud to partner with Dr. Forbes to offer this timely message.
So join us and the larger Alliance family in welcoming Dr. Forbes into your pulpit on Sunday, October 25! Learn more below!
Sermon Scripture Text: John 3:1-8
Sermon Title: “The Answer to the Soul's Eternal Question”
Full Sermon Synopsis: We were made in God’s divine image so that there would be a continuous loving relationship between the creator and every human being. To incline us toward that end, God planted in each soul the constant yearning for the fulfillment of that divine-human connection. The absence of that relationship manifests itself as a deficit in human experience. Whatever our situation, status, or station in life, questions will be raised deep within us about this issue--How may we obtain the soul contentment we seek, achieve the fullness of life for which we are destined, and enjoy abundance of life in time and eternity? Jesus discerned such longing in Nicodemus. The answer he offered him speaks to the questions our souls are asking today. The admonition that we must be born from above is about reconnecting and sustaining the relationship with the divine source of our being. On Reformation Sunday, we are reminded that an authentic “born again” experience must include a continuous process of being renewed in the spiritual connection to the family of God. To have a vibrant relationship with God demands that we treat our fellow human beings with justice and compassion. Racial bigotry and brutality are incompatible with the genuine claim of being “born again.” Hatred of others questions whether one has been “born from above.”
The Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes Jr. is National Minister of the Drum Major Institute, Senior Minister Emeritus of the Riverside Church, the Harry Emerson Fosdick Distinguished Professor at Union Theological Seminary, and President of the Healing of the Nations Ministries (all of these institutions of New York City). Additionally, Dr. Forbes is a highly acclaimed author, scholar and nationally sought-after speaker, affectionately referred to in national and international religious circles as the preacher’s preacher because of his extensive preaching career and his charismatic style. Newsweek magazine once recognized Forbes as one of the 12 “most effective preachers” in the English-speaking world. As a passionate educator, administrator, community and human rights activist and interfaith leader, Dr. Forbes was twice designated as one of America’s greatest Black preachers by Ebony magazine. Dr. Forbes is a featured TEDex speaker and also a frequent guest & contributor to top national media outlets including Huffington Post, MSNBC and others.
For full bio, click here.
Who Can Participate?
Any church is welcome to participate in broadcasting Dr. Forbes’ sermon in their worship service. We ask that you let us know that you are planning to participate so we can keep a running list of churches who joined us in this historic virtual event.
If you’re an individual looking to participate in this event, check out the Alliance’s livestream on October 25 as we beam into a congregational partner’s worship service that Sunday.
How will the sermon be broadcast?
Dr. Forbes is pre-recording his sermon, and the sermon video will be available to download the week of October 12. Each church will be able to embed the video into their worship as they see fit.
How will I be able to access the sermon to use in my worship service?
Can I promote this on our church’s social media and website?
YES! Click here to access the media toolkit for this event. The toolkit contains
- Event flyers in various sizes and makeup;
- A headshot of Dr. Forbes;
- Copy for social media and email; and
- Dr. Forbes' full biography.
Is there any other liturgy to accompany the sermon?
Here is the link to the liturgy pack including: A call to worship written by Aretha Flucker, a prayer written by Ken Sehested, and a hymn and musical selection chosen by Jonathan Castillo.
Our church is not an Alliance congregational partner. Can we use the sermon?
Of course! This is a call to reform for all people of faith!
How long can we expect the sermon to be?
We already have plans for Reformation Sunday. Can we use the sermon some other time?
Yes. This is a resource to be used however you see fit. If this format does not work for you to incorporate into your worship on Reformation Sunday, we encourage you to share the sermon in a Bible study, on social media, or in other faith formation settings.
Does it cost anything to participate?
The short answer: no.
The long answer: Dr. Forbes and the Alliance of Baptists are offering this opportunity to congregational partners of the Alliance and friends of the Alliance at no cost. If your congregation would like to donate a gift to the Alliance in the stead of pulpit supply, gifts can be made here.