Thursday, January 24, 2008

30 Sermons You'd Never Hear in Church

In Shane Claiborn's book Irresistible Revolution, he recommended a magazine called Geez. I investigated the website and promptly spent my share of Grandma's Christmas present on a subscription. I have not resented that decision for a minute. They speak with my voice and by that I mean
-they have the same sense of humor combined with
-a desire to be fair (with a somewhat guilty partial motivation that the added value of objectivity is the ability to take the moral high ground in the ultimate argument) combined with
-a real sense of anguish for the way that the traditional church has treated me and people I love combined with
-a post-modern ironic tone combined with
-a need to live out Christ's teaching in an authentic and relevant way.

They have sent me an email outlining a contest they are sponsoring, seeking sermons that we wouldn't dare to actually give. I share it with you here in case you have something you want to say.

Dear friend of Geez:

For our summer issue we're holding a contest. We want short, 750-word "sermons" that you'd never hear in church. And we want photos as well. First prize is $500, 2nd is $400 and 3rd is $300 for each category.

We'll publish the winners (and others) in the summer issue, Geez No. 10. Enter as often as you like. Usually it's $33 for the first entry and $15 for subsequent entries. But current subscribers are eligible to enter for $15. See details below.

Please forward this notice as far as possible.

Happy sermonizing,

Aiden Enns, Will Braun
Editors, Geez magazine

Geez magazine, Issue 10

30 Sermons You'd Never Hear in Church and Photo Contest

The pews are filled, the preacher is out of town, and the pulpit is all yours. You step up to the old wooden bulwark. Everyone is quiet. You've been rehearsing this in your mind for years. You pause, steady your voice, let a slight smirk spread across your lips, and begin. . . .

Here's your chance to pound the pulpit. In a world of super-powered faith, extremist religion, extremely commercialized church and atheist resurgence what word shall be spoken to the faithful? In a world of polarization, energy addiction, disparity and restless souls, what word do the faithful have for the rest of humanity?

Whether you're an amateur prophet, ranting atheist, wily Buddhist, social gospel evangelist, caring shepherd of the flock or a bona-fide preacher with something too hot for Sunday morning, Geez issue 10 is your soap box.

You've got 750 words to exhort, inspire, pontificate, dream, console, convert, instruct, encourage, admonish or beseech. If you wish, suggest a brief lectionary reading-Biblical or other-to accompany your sermon.

If the pulpit isn't the place for you, Geez is also looking for your best photos from the fringes of faith and the front lines of social change. Think: holy mischief, holy grit, holy kitsch, or just plain holy. Remember that in Geez there’s room for reverence and irreverence, from both within and beyond the realm of Christendom.

Sermon Prizes:
1st: $500
2nd: $400
3rd: $300

Photo Prizes:
1st: $500
2nd: $400
3rd: $300

We'll include the winners and a selection of runners-up among the 30 sermons in the Summer '08 issue of Geez magazine.

Entry fee: $33 (per sermon or up to three photos)
Includes a one year subscription to Geez, or extension of your current subscription. Multiple submissions accepted: $15 for each additional entry, subscription applies to first entry only. Geez subscribers are eligible to enter for $15 (does not include a subscription extension).

Deadline: March 31, 2008

How to enter:

1. Send sermon/photos and bionote
Send your sermon/photo entry (750 words max.) and a paragraph about yourself (judges won't see this, but we need bio info on winners). Include captions for photos, send low res JPGs (1 MB max), we'll ask for hi res as needed.
Reply to email above, send to

Or send here:
Geez Sermon/Photo Contest
264 Home Street
Winnipeg MB R3G 1X3

2. Include payment (three methods)
- pay online at
- by check to "Geez magazine" (address above)
- by phone, call our office at (204) 772-9610, have credit card handy

1. Since we'll receive many payments separate from entries we will send you an email to confirm we've received your entry and payment.

2. Only previously unpublished sermons and photos are eligible. If you preached a sermon and want to enter, that's okay, just tell us the history of your entry.

Questions? Contact our Contest Coordinator by email,
or phone, (204) 772-9610

I will definitely enter. I have two totally different perspectives floating around in my head so I think I'll try to put both down on paper if school doesn't burn out my writing circuits first. Let me know if you enter and we'll compare stories.

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