The Rev. Dr. Robert Franklin – Bio
“Preaching and Social Therapeutics”
The workshop will explore the relationship between homiletics and Christian social ethics. We will propose disciplines and steps for addressing difficult social issues with theological sophistication, grace and humor.

John Bell – Bio
“The Importance of the Imagination”
Homilists sometimes presume that academic attention to the biblical text and a solid grounding in theology are sufficient to enable the opening of the scriptures in preaching. This workshop points to how God not only uses divine imagination but requires human imagination in order to give the fuller understanding of the text. (Also offered in workshop sessions 2)

The Rev. Dr. Patricia Dutcher-Walls – Bio
Prophets, Psalmists and Sages: Poetic Analysis Skills for Preaching”
(Part 1 of a 2 part workshop)
This two-part workshop will offer participants skills in reading Hebrew poetry (in English translation!) so that these beautiful ancient texts become more accessible to a modern audience. Part One will teach some of the skills of poetic analysis useful for the close reading of the text and Part Two will be a hands-on session to give participants a chance to apply the skills to Hebrew Bible lectionary texts. We will use a selection of Advent texts so that you will have prep work done for the upcoming season.
(Part 2 offered in workshop session 3)

The Rev. Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes – Bio
“Preaching in Your Underwear: Complexity and Preaching
We don’t preach only in our underwear! But preachers do need to be vulnerable. Small changes can make a big difference in how congregations receive and respond to the gospel in their social and global context. An understanding of a complex adaptive system can support authenticity and transparency in preaching. We’ll explore: complexity in meeting your congregation where it is; emergence, how simple entities can help generate surprising new systems; and “flocking behaviour”, how members will realign direction without central coordination.

The Rev. Dr. Gail Ricciuti – Bio
“Look Before You Preach: the Embedded Joys of Imagery”
A workshop on a process of “conversational exegesis” that has potential to enrich our insights on the scripture text by bringing conventional biblical exegesis into conversation with artistic images.
(Also offered in workshop session 2)

The Rev. Dr. Victor Shepherd – Bio
“Calvin on Preaching”
John Calvin maintains that the gospel is the gospel preached. In other words, there isn’t a gospel that we ponder and then decide to announce; instead, the gospel is an event that occurs in the moment of proclamation. Calvin insists as well that Jesus Christ comes to us “clothed with his gospel”. It all adds up to this: the gospel preached is Jesus Christ coming to us – is nothing less than the power of God effecting faith in us and thereby our salvation. (Romans 1:16) Attendees will experience the unity of the movement of the sermon, the momentum of the gospel, and the surge of the One whose gospel it is.

The Rev. Dr. Paul Scott Wilson – Bio
“The Preaching Scene Today”
This seminar will discuss where preaching has been, where it is going, and why the grammar of trouble and grace, or four pages, is so essential for sermons today, whatever form they take. (This workshop is required for those attending the extra session, Fine-Tuned Preaching on Tuesday afternoon and evening, in which preachers will be given feedback to their sermons.)

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The Rev. Dr. Anna Carter Florence – Bio
“Ten Things to Try with a Text”
Looking for ways to enliven your interpretation process?  Come see what a group can do for your preaching – or more specifically, a group that will read and rehearse the text with you in (at least) ten different ways that will shake things up.  Scripture reading should be one of the most thrilling things we do!  This workshop will offer concrete practices to banish boredom and form community.  (Also offered in workshop session 3)

John Bell – Bio
“The Importance of the Imagination”
Homilists sometimes presume that academic attention to the Biblical Text and a solid grounding in theology are sufficient to enable the opening of the scriptures in preaching. This workshop does not deny that, but alludes to how God, in communicating through scripture, not only uses divine imagination but requires human imagination in order to give the fuller understanding of the text. (Also offered in workshop session 1)

The Rev. Dr. Emily Bisset – Bio
“Preaching and Politics?”
Preaching and politics.  A tricky combination.  Preaching the good news of Jesus Christ will necessarily have something to say about how we understand public policy, how our leaders govern, and the values of our society. For example, Jesus has something to say about injustice, hate and acts of violence, investing public money for the good of the most vulnerable, responding to refugees, or caring for creation. To avoid them may mean that we avoid preaching the gospel.  How and when should preachers wade into politics? (Also offered in workshop session 3)

The Rev. Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes – Bio
“Preaching in Your Underwear: Complexity and Preaching”
We don’t preach only in our underwear! But preachers do need to be vulnerable. Small changes can make a big difference in how congregations receive and respond to the gospel in their social and global context. An understanding of a complex adaptive system can support authenticity and transparency in preaching. We’ll explore: complexity in meeting your congregation where it is; emergence, how simple entities can help generate surprising new systems; and “flocking behaviour”, how members will realign direction without central coordination.

The Rev. Dr. Judy Paulson – Bio
“Preaching That Helps Them Proclaim”
How can preaching more intentionally develop churches as evangelizing communities?

Together we will work through two biblical narratives that can help preachers cultivate Christians who share their faith. (Also offered in workshop session 3)

The Rev. Dr. Gail Ricciuti – Bio
“Look Before You Preach: the Embedded Joys of Imagery”
This workshop will engage participants in a creative process of “conversational exegesis” that has potential to enrich our insights on the scripture text. It brings conventional biblical exegesis into conversation with artistic images, and unfolds new opportunities for preachers to be more imaginative. (Also offered in workshop session 1)

The Rev. Dr. John Rottman – Bio
“The Importance of Preaching Trouble”
Trouble is whatever puts the burden on people to get things right with God and their neighbours. This seminar will concentrate on the redemptive possibilities of communicating what is wrong in our time, as one step in preaching good news. (This workshop is required for those attending the extra session, Fine-Tuned Preaching on Tuesday afternoon and evening in which preachers will be given feedback to their sermons.)

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The Rev. Dr. Anna Robbins – Bio
“Jesus Felt: Initial Explorations in Preaching and Emotions”
What is the role of the emotions in preaching? How do emotions and reason work together in the practice of preaching, and also in the life of the preacher? These explorations will touch on brain science, contemporary culture, and the preaching of Jesus and Paul to provide guidance for preachers.

The Rev. Dr. Anna Carter Florence – Bio
“Ten Things to Try with a Text”
Looking for ways to enliven your interpretation process?  Come see what a group can do for your preaching – or more specifically, a group that will read and rehearse the text with you in (at least) ten different ways that will shake things up.  Scripture reading should be one of the most thrilling things we do!  This workshop will offer concrete practices to banish boredom and form community.  (Also offered in workshop session 2)

The Rev. Dr. Emily Bisset – Bio
“Preaching and Politics?”
Preaching and politics.  A tricky combination.  Preaching the good news of Jesus Christ will necessarily have something to say about how we understand public policy, how our leaders govern, and the values of our society. For example, Jesus has something to say about injustice, hate and acts of violence, investing public money for the good of the most vulnerable, responding to refugees, or caring for creation. To avoid them may mean that we avoid preaching the gospel.  How and when should preachers wade into politics? (Also offered in workshop session 2)

The Rev. Dr. Patricia Dutcher-Walls – Bio
Prophets, Psalmists and Sages: Poetic Analysis Skills for Preaching”
(Part 2 of a 2 part workshop)
Part Two is a hands-on session to give participants a chance to apply the skills to Hebrew Bible lectionary texts. We will use a selection of Advent texts so that you will have prep work done for the upcoming season.
(Part 1 offered in workshop session 1)

The Rev. Dr. Stephen Farris – Bio
“Five Skills of Storytelling for Preachers”
Jesus of Nazareth told good stories and few things are more important for preaching than good storytelling, whether from the Bible or contemporary life.  Telling a story badly during a sermon can be downright embarrassing. Telling the wrong story well may be even worse.  This workshop will explore five principles that will help ensure that stories are pastorally and theologically appropriate in their selection, narration, sermonic application, and service of the gospel.

The Rev. Scott Hoezee – Bio
“The Importance of Preaching Grace”
How do we preach so that God remains at the heart of what we say? This seminar will uphold grace as God’s action and how best to communicate it so that people experience renewal through the Word. (This workshop is required for those attending the extra session, Fine-Tuned Preaching on Tuesday afternoon and evening in which preachers will be given feedback to their sermons.)

The Rev. Dr. Judy Paulson – Bio
“Preaching That Helps Them Proclaim”
How can preaching more intentionally develop churches as evangelizing communities?  Together we will work through two biblical narratives that can help preachers cultivate Christians who share their faith. (Also offered in workshop session 2)

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Based on your feedback, we’ve added an extra session on Tuesday afternoon and evening. Fine-Tuned Preaching is an exciting opportunity for fifteen preachers to fine-tune their preaching with peers and preaching experts. Preachers do not have many chances to have a master class such as this, that offers a safe and encouraging environment in which to preach, get feedback, and to set goals for personal preaching growth.

You will participate in three consecutive workshops led by the three leaders, who will give a background to elements of preaching excellence, no matter what sermon form is used. Participants will receive a free copy of Paul Scott Wilson, The Four Pages of the Sermon (Abingdon, 1999) and are to have read it and to come with a 10-15 minute sermon to be preached in small groups. Tuesday afternoon and evening will be devoted to participants preaching, feedback and individual goal-setting.

Participants in Toronto must commit to attend the Tuesday afternoon and evening sessions plus the Lester Randall workshops offered by the same leaders.

In addition, participants are invited (strongly encouraged) to attend the annual Symposium on Worship at Calvin Seminary on January 25-27, 2018 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Your registration fees will be paid by the Centre for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Seminary. Participants in Fine-Tuned Preaching will meet again to preach, receive feedback, and to assess growth.

Leaders:

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