MONDAY, October 28th

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

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 –

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 –

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 –

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 –

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 –

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 –

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.