Rev. Dr. Anthony Bailey – Bio
Parkdale United Church, Ottawa
Seeking Recovery For our Addiction to Violence: Giving Peace a Chance
Preaching for peace requires that we admit, confront, and repent of our addiction to violence. In this workshop, we will explore in a modest way how to engage in courageous truth-telling. The seductive power of violence subverts our hearts, our imagination, our theologies, our practice of communal Christian life, our relationships and our intimacy with God. Using insights from various scholars, we will attempt to ’12-step’ our way towards recovery.

Rev. Dr. Emily Bisset Bio
Calvin Presbyterian, Toronto
How Theological Personality Affects Preaching
In the same way that people can take a personal inventory using Myers Briggs, preachers can determine their theological personality. Using the work of John McClure and Burton Cooper, this workshop will help you identify your own theological starting point, what it says about you, how it shapes your understanding of God, and affects your preaching style and communication with others.  Entering into conversation with others who have a different theological starting point, can lead to better communication of the Gospel.

Rev. Dr. Stuart BlytheBio
Acadia Divinity College, Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Preaching as Though Scripture is Addressed to Us
One way to preach is to see the present Church as that addressed in Scripture. For preaching, this requires bringing the text and current congregational context together in a way that seeks not simply to draw general principles from the Scriptures but to draw the congregation into the Scriptures. In this workshop I will explore practices for enabling a meaningful and authentic engagement with the world of the text and the world of the congregation.

Rev. Dr. Scott Hoezee Bio
Calvin Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan
With Healing in His Wings: Preaching Luke’s Gospel of Justice and Wholeness.
Luke counts as one of the finest writers in all of Scripture.  His gospel celebrates the coming of God’s Christ and of his kingdom with a consistent focus on the coming of justice for all, starting with the most marginalized of the world.  Ahead of the Lectionary year that will focus on Luke, this session will summarize salient literary characteristics of Luke’s gospel as well as his key theological themes to bring out in our preaching.

Rev. Dr. Terry Leblanc Bio
Prince Edward Island
Preaching in Times of Change
The multiplicity of perspectives, shifts, and stressors the human community is experiencing create continuously changing intersections for biblical preaching. But, they are not the usual sort of intersections, nor are the needs at these intersections the usual needs. What’s more, there is an increasing individuation apparent in our more stratified society. Can an Indigenous worldview, epistemology, and hermeneutic help navigate this shifting landscapes?

Rev. Lee Ann McKenna Bio
Executive-Director, Partera International
Our Violent Scriptures:  Whats a Christian Peacemaker to do?
If God is love, what does one do with hundreds of violent biblical texts that suggest otherwise? Participants will sample Peacemaking by the Book, in which LeeAnn McKenna explores our default doctrines of atonement and defines an approach that gets to an holistic reading of the Bible that leaves nothing out.  The key is to figure out the learning process that drives our choice for a violent or non-violent God, and the implications of that choice for discipleship.

Rev. Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes Bio
Maple Grove United Church, Oakville
Backing into Controversy: Art and the Word in Preaching
Is there a way to preach about Remembrance Day, poverty, the exploitation of labour, Oscar Romero, or gun control without antagonizing listeners who want to keep “politics out of the pulpit”? Touching on political issues head-on can create uncomfortable conversations and your sermon may get lost in the rhetoric of defensiveness.  Using visual images in preaching can offer a way to “back into” controversial topics. In this workshop, we will look at images that inspire engagement rather than rejection.

Rev. Dr. Susan Sparks Bio
Madison Avenue Baptist Church, New York City
Preaching Punchlines: The Ten Commandments of Standup Comedy
This fun and engaging workshop shares how to harness the power of humour in preaching. “The Ten Commandments of Standup Comedy” include editing, grabbing and keeping an audience’s attention, authenticity, crafting comedy and joyous communication. In the end, it’s all about developing a sense of honesty, trust, and joy with your audience. Join Susan Sparks to laugh, learn and look at the world (and your preaching) with a transformative new lens.

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Rev. Dr. Paul Dekar Bio
Dundas, Ontario
Preaching Peace in a Congregation with Conflict
However messy, conflict is normal in congregations. This workshop examines Scripture and explores principles of conflict management that can function as tangible signs of the presence of the Holy. These include: building an atmosphere of trust; nurturing care-filled listening; and negotiating without loss of principle. Preaching, as a form of spiritual direction, can help a congregation move from problem solving to growth, mutuality, and common ground.

Rev. Dr. Patricia Dutcher-Walls Bio
Vancouver School of Theology
Can we Preach Peace if God is Violent?
Numerous Old Testament passages portray God using violence to chastise God’s people or confront those who threaten them. This creates difficulty if we find such themes abhorrent or we want to emphasize God’s action in the world as ultimately peaceful. Does God’s use of violence counter our hopes for preaching peace as humans today? This workshop will explore honestly confronting that difficulty and preaching a good word that works for peace.

Rev. Dr. Stephen Farris Bio
Toronto
Getting Ready for Christmas
The Christmas season offers the opportunity to communicate both with the “regulars” and those who are occasional worshippers at best, with both devotees and doubters.  We can no longer assume that our listeners will all know the Christmas story but to others it may be too familiar.   In this workshop we will consider the challenge and opportunity of sharing both the original story and parallel stories which may illuminate it.

Rev. Dr. Cheryle Hanna Bio
Fourth Avenue Baptist Church, Ottawa
Embodied Preaching from the Heart of an African American Woman
The metaphors and images of African American sermons were designed to connect with persons denied formal education, the alliterations were made to encourage bended backs and broken spirits, and the vibrant celebrations were a testimony to the hope found in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this workshop we will engage in exercises that help transfer the result of these practices to the current day preacher to enable them to proclaim the message of Christ boldly for a new generation of the enslaved and broken of this world.

Rev. Dr. Terry Leblanc Bio
Prince Edward Island
Preaching in Times of Change
The multiplicity of perspectives, shifts, and stressors the human community is experiencing create continuously changing intersections for biblical preaching. But, they are not the usual sort of intersections, nor are the needs at these intersections the usual needs. What’s more, there is an increasing individuation apparent in our more stratified society. Can an Indigenous worldview, epistemology, and hermeneutic help navigate this shifting landscapes?

Rev. Dr. Susan Sparks Bio
Madison Avenue Baptist Church, New York City
Preaching Punchlines: The Ten Commandments of Standup Comedy
This fun and engaging workshop shares how to harness the power of humor in preaching. “The Ten Commandments of Standup Comedy” include editing, grabbing and keeping an audience’s attention, authenticity, crafting comedy and joyous communication. In the end, it’s all about developing a sense of honesty, trust and joy with your audience. Join Susan Sparks to laugh, learn and look at the world (and your preaching) with a transformative new lens.

Rev. Dr. John Vissers Bio
Principal, Knox College, University of Toronto
Preaching on Empty: The Spiritual Health of the Preacher
How do we preach when we feel empty? In this workshop participants will explore the disciplines of a healthy spiritual life for preaching, and strategies for coping when we feel we’ve got nothing left to give.

Rev. Dr. Paul Scott Wilson Bio
Emmanuel College, University of Toronto
Preaching to a Felt Need in the Congregation
A sermon may communicate good information about various topics but if it does not identify a need in the congregation that it meets, it may fail to connect. The workshop will look at upcoming texts in the lectionary. it will show how a biblical text can help preachers to identify felt needs to which it may speak. As a result sermons can be experienced to have more vitality and relevance than otherwise might be the case.

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Fine-Tuned Preaching is an additional session which offers tutoring with a leader in a small group and requires the preparation of a twelve-minute sermon or twelve-minute portion of a sermon in advance.  Registration is limited to five participants per group. As the groups fill there may be an additional group or groups added.

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