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Uncommon Preaching

An Alternative to the Lectionary

Book cover of Uncommon Preaching by Susan Cartmell

There is a spiritual hunger in the world today.

Many people are seeking answers to life's hard questions. Many people come to church seeking inspiration, help for personal problems, or faith's perspective on life. They come seeking things you cannot find in a search engine.


The church has exactly what they need, but too often there is a gap between our message and our ability to send it. Each week, as people pause to learn about faith and get a word of hope, a lot rides on the sermon.

Susan Cartmell took a journey across the country to visit churches with great preaching and lively worship. What she discovered was that Evangelical Christians and Unitarian Universalists were using themed preaching effectively to attract new members. Working in her church over the last five years, she has designed a new system for preaching with themes in mainline Protestant churches. She shares her method and her journey in a story that invites you to consider new ways to preach faithfully without using the lectionary.

What People Are Saying

Richard Mouw

"Many in our culture are biblically illiterate, and lectionary preaching does not draw them into the kind of engagement with the Gospel that speaks to their very real hopes and fears. Susan Cartmell's book not only points to a creative alternative, but her proposed program for preaching comes from her own personal preaching "road trip," seriously engaging with what she has seen and heard in a wide variety worshiping communities."

- Richard Mouw, Professor of Faith and Public Life and President Emeritus, Fuller Theological Seminary

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