Manuscript draft of the sermon “Visions and Dreams,” April 1968
On the morning of Tuesday, April 23, 1968, Albert Outler preached an insightful and challenging sermon to the officers, delegates, and guests of the Uniting Conference of the United Methodist Church. Drawing upon imagery from Acts 2:17, Outler’s sermon “Visions and Dreams—The Unfinished Business of an Unfinished Church” was followed by a standing ovation. The congregation remained standing to sing Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Jesus, We Look to Thee.” Then the official Declaration of Union was pronounced and a new denomination came into being.
Displayed are hand-written notes from an early draft of the Uniting Conference sermon, a printed Order of Worship from the service, and a personal letter from Kate Warnick (1896–1993), Reference and Methodist Historical Librarian at Bridwell Library, who wrote:
I shall always remember the thrill of hearing your superbly worded and delivered address (or “sermon”, as it was listed), and the standing ovation of the 12,000 hearers! If I could relay to you all the adjectives I heard about it, I never would finish this congratulatory note. Just let me add to all the other notes you will receive and say how proud we are to know you, and have the distinct honor of saying that you are the most distinguished and admired, and beloved faculty member at Perkins!!
To read Albert Outler's Uniting Conference sermon as published in Perkins Journal, please click here. To see the entire early draft of the Uniting Conference sermon, please click here.