A Disciplined and Discipled Imagination
The Rev. Dr. Stephen Farris –
Bio 

The imagination is not an unequivocally good and holy facet of the human personality.  (what is?).  Indeed John Calvin called the imagination a “factory of idols.”  Rightly used, however, it is a wonderful gift for the preacher and then for listeners. This will be the case with preachers if our imagination becomes Christ shaped.  In this workshop we shall examine selected texts from Year A of the Revised Common Lectionary in an attempt to shape first our own imagination and then our sermons in the image of Christ.

Creativity from Start to Finish
The Rev. Meg Jenista Kuykendall –
Bio

How does creativity and prayer factor into the preacher’s own preparation process? Your sermon may last 10, 20 even 45 minutes but, in reality, the sermon begins well before you ascend the pulpit and – in the Spirit’s power – can go on living in congregants’ minds and hearts through the week.  How can we creatively launch the sermon into the world with its hearers?  Focus will be given to creative practices for the preacher as well as creative response opportunities for the congregation.

Punching Holes in the Darkness: The Courage to Preach Hope in a World Drunk with Despair
The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III –
Bio

The attendee will learn to craft messages that engage a vision of hope, but never turn away from the pain of today’s existential and theological issues.

Preaching in Disorienting Times: Leaning into Imaginative Hope
Rev. Dr. Gary Nelson –
Bio

In a time where the pace of change is faster than the pace of learning. In a revolutionary era of surprise and innovation, you need to learn to think and act like a revolutionary. How do we lean into the disorientation and chaos so that revolutionary possibilities are accessible? How do we evoke imagination rather than simply react?

Preaching Matthean Parables with Imagination
The Rev. Dr. John Rottman –
Bio

Lectionary Year A features parables from the gospel of Matthew.  This workshop will explore strategies for preaching parables in ways that invite people to listen and continue to listening.  Preaching parables well means more than urging a higher level of discipleship.  The parables of Jesus invite us to speak of God and in so doing to preach the good news of the gospel.  This workshop will also feature several examples of parable sermons and explore the exegetical pathways to follow for preparing them. 

Unspeakable: Trauma-Informed Theology for Preaching
The Rev. Dr. Sarah Travis –
Bio

Trauma has its own language – the language of the “unsayable”. What can we as preachers say in the face of unspeakable grief and trauma? This workshop addresses the implications of traumatic experience for preaching. In particular, it looks at the theological implications of trauma, aiming to support preachers with a theological lens as they think through the effects of trauma on listeners, and how this may impact the way that sermons are prepared and received.

Heart and Soul: Preaching the Emotions of Jesus
The Rev. Peter M. Wallace –
Bio

What happens when you preach through the lens of Jesus’ emotions? You will find that Jesus comes alive in your listeners’ hearts, because they can sense who he was more fully – someone who experienced the same emotions they do in authentic and life-giving ways. In this workshop, Peter Wallace – producer and host of “Day1″ and author of two books on Jesus’ emotions – shows you how to use this approach to the gospel stories to present more powerful, fruitful, and effective sermons.

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Workshop: Playing Around in Scripture in order to Preach Jesus Christ at its Centre
The Rev. Dr. Annette Brownlee –
Bio

This workshop will explore ways to read Scripture for sermon preparation. Making connections between stories within and across the Old and New Testaments, we learn to see God at work in all of it, drawing the whole world to Jesus Christ. We will explore how each text is a doorway, window, passage into Scripture’s full witness to Jesus Christ. We will also explore what to do with this in the move from Scripture to sermon. Participants will leave the workshop with new ways of reading Scripture for preaching and, most important, will see how God uses all of it – including our preaching – for redemptive purposes.

Story-telling to Spread the Gospel
Michael Coren –
Bio

Michael Coren the notable Canadian/British author, broadcaster and columnist whose recent Epiphany led him to seminary and now into the Anglican ministry will present a workshop on the place of the anecdote and story in preaching and spreading the Gospel. Stories from our own experiences, often not explicitly and obviously Christian, frequently open doors to biblical truth and the nature of Christ, and I will use a group of stories about my family and friends that illustrate the themes of love, forgiveness, community, and the human condition.

Preaching on the Unnamed People in Scripture
The Rev. Dr. Cheryle Hanna –
Bio

Is there a word from the pulpit for this crowded world where so many suffer in silence and guard their anonymity for fear of being judged?  They may enter worship avoiding contact with anyone wishing they could just touch the hem of Christ’s garment. – Is there a word for those who faithfully do many things well, but are rarely recognized or even noticed?  Does God notice?  This workshop will explore the preacher’s ability, – willingness and need to envision and preach on the unnamed people within the Biblical narrative as good news in this age where nobody may know your name.

That You May Believe: Preaching the Rich Theology of John’s Gospel
The Rev. Dr. Scott Hoezee –
Bio

Everyone knows that John stands apart from the Synoptic Gospels.  John’s narrative methods, his angle of approach to Jesus, his content, and most certainly his overt – and sometimes subtle – theologizing make John stand out in the New Testament. This workshop will consider some of the preaching challenges and opportunities contained in The Gospel According to John.

Beyond Constantine: New Ways of Thinking
The Rev. Dr. Terry LeBlanc –
Bio

Albert Einstein famously said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” This workshop will examine challenges that continue to hound the church in the present day as a result of the syncretizing of the church’s, leadership, mission and ministry with the political structures and authorities of the Constantinian era. Let’s ask the question, “Are we using the same thinking today that created the problem then?”  What are the implications  for our preaching?

What Would Jesus Tweet?  Technology in Preaching
The Rev. Jason Meyers –
Bio

In this session we will discuss how the use of technology interacts with our theology of preaching.  We will explore options for the use of digital tools before, during and after the preaching moment.  There will be examples, tips and many, many memes.  In addition to generating ideas to practice, participants will engage with the pastoral implications of the use of technology, considering when its use is appropriate – and when it is not.

Preaching Punchlines: The Ten Commandments of Standup Comedy
The Rev.
Susan Sparks – Bio

Based on Susan’s new book, 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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Courageous Preaching
The Very Rev. Andrew Asbil – Bio

The Church today faces many challenges. Our call to proclaim the Gospel is as true, and consistent, as it was to the disciples on the beach when Jesus appeared to them after his death and resurrection, during a morning fishing trip. After an intimate breakfast, the charge to “feed my sheep” is there. This will take courage! IN the midst of turmoil, change, confusion – Jesus invites us to be close to him, and in turn tells us to actively feed his people. Peaching is one way to feed people – how do we use this tool with courage and hope in our current contexts?

Indigenous Worldview, Culture and Spirituality
The Rev. Dr. Cheryl Bear –
Bio

Walking in reconciliation requires that we get to know one another. This workshop will be an overview of Indigenous worldview, culture, values and a bit of history from an Indigenous perspective that can enrich our preaching and ensure that when we both talk the talk and walk the walk with integrity.

Preaching as Oral Graffiti
The Rev. Dr. Stuart Blyth –
Bio

Metaphors not only describe but can guide how we understand and practice preaching. They can have an influence on the who, how, when, and where of preaching. Some metaphors seem to stand the test of time: herald, witness, and storyteller. While they are faithful, however, they may have become unimaginative and limiting. On the other hand, while temporary, new metaphors may prove to be generative of different thinking and renewed practice. This workshop will explore understanding preaching as “painting oral graffiti on the walls of people’s hearts” as a metaphor that is both faithful and imaginative opening fresh thinking and revitalized practice.

Punching Holes in the Darkness: The Courage to Preach Hope in a World Drunk with Despair
The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III –
Bio

The attendee will learn to craft messages that engage a vision of hope, but never turn away from the pain of today’s existential and theological issues.

Imagining Jesus Now
The Rev. Greg Paul – 
Bio

It is important for the preacher and congregation to enter together into Biblical stories by an imaginative, creative process rather than merely dissect and explain texts.  Too often we render texts into closely reasoned lexical, historical and theological precepts. Using the account of the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet, recorded in differing form in all four gospels, we’ll imagine what it was like to be there at the time, how the same story might unfold in our time (how Jesus would be and who he would be with), and how that might impact the way we live both personally and communally.

Reading Scripture For Trauma-Aware Sermons
The Rev. Dr. Joni Sancken –
Bio

Signs of trauma and resilience are found throughout scripture. God’s people survived excruciating experiences not as shattered or hollow victims but as powerful witnesses. With healing comes the promise that loss and brokenness are not the final verdict on one’s sense of usefulness and purpose in the world. This workshop will explore the Bible as a resource for trauma-aware preaching through the use of interpretive tools that can be applied to scripture and our world and introduce exegetical steps that can help foster healing.

 

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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.

  • Group 1 led by John Rottman
  • Group 2 led by Andrew Stirling TBC
  • Group 3 led by Emily Bissett TBC
  • Group 4 led by Stuart Blythe
  • Group 5 led by Joni Sancken
  • Group 6 led by Meg Jenista Kuykendall
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