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Otis Moss III, popular pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, challenges preachers to confront the difficult realities of today’s world in his newest book. In Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul World (Westminster John Knox Press), Moss encourages preachers to preach with a “Blues sensibility,” which connects the Sunday sermon to the tragedies of the week. Moss writes, “America is living stormy Monday, but the pulpit is preaching happy Sunday. The world is experiencing the Blues, and puppeteers are dispensing excessive doses of non-prescribed prosaic sermons with severe ecclesiastical and theological side effects.”

The book, based on Moss’s 2014 Beecher lectures at Yale Divinity School, includes four powerful sermons that illustrate this preaching style. In them, Moss to life biblical characters that speak to today’s pressing issues, including race discrimination and police brutality, while maintaining a strong message of hope. Henry Louis Gates Jr., who is Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, calls the book “preaching and reading at its most profound,” while Auburn Seminary president Katharine Henderson advises readers to “be prepared to be changed and rearranged as Moss takes you on a faith journey in which you lose and find yourself at the same time.”


Rev. Otis Moss III Challenges Pastors To Confront Today’s Tragedies When Preaching Sermons  was originally published on