Preaching for a Traumatized World
Nicole Martin – Bio
Trauma has become an important topic in preaching circles. In this workshop, we will study trauma-informed approaches to preaching that enhance healing and encourage hope. Participants will unpack social data to target hurting populations, with special emphasis on lifting women in the Bible and in the congregation.      

Wounded Resurrections (Virtual Workshop)
Karoline Lewis – Bio
“There is no going back to life before the storm,” says trauma expert, Shelly Rambo. The resurrection narratives witness to the marks of Jesus’ wounds, the fact that there is no going back to life before the crucifixion and testify to the truths of the presence of trauma in our lives. This presentation will explore the resurrection stories through the lens of trauma theory and how this perspective can move our preaching toward a healing homiletic.

A Balm in Gilead
Becca Stevens – Bio
With more than 400 references in scripture, it is helpful for wounded healers to understand more about healing oils.  Becca Stevens, an ordained priest and founder and president of Thistle Farms that produces hundreds of healing oils, will share the art of blending along with stories and inside reflections.  Come, roll up your sleeves and dive into the healing oil tradition with joy, and leave with your own unique blend to aid you in your vocation of preaching as a wounded healer.

Leisure on the Loose: A Homiletic of Leisure in an Age of Affliction
Jeff Crittenden – Bio
This is not an easy time to be in ordered ministry, given all of the woundedness in the world and our churches. Ministers experiencing stress and overwork will benefit from developing a theology of leisure, one that goes beyond sabbath to other dimensions of faith and life. Leisure will be considered with some surprising lessons from history and how they can guide our preaching in restorative and healing ways.

Discovering, Designing and Delivering Stories
Stuart Blythe – Bio
When someone says, “once upon a time,” we lean in. Stories are an extremely powerful form of communication. They operate at several levels. They can change minds, touch hearts, and direct action. To do this, however, they need to be more than mere illustrations and anecdotes. In this workshop, drawing upon recent research, writing, and experience, we will look at how you discover, design, and deliver clear and compelling stories in your sermons. You might even learn what can happen if you stand playing the bagpipes by the sea in Nova Scotia.

The Wounds of COVID
Jason Meyers – Bio
COVID-19 has cut a deep wound into our society, churches, and personal lives.  Cherished ones have died, divisions have opened, isolation and loneliness have deepened. Long established practices have been disrupted and many ministers and preachers are now trying to figure out what being a “hybrid” church will mean.  What is the character of Christian discipleship moving forward?  Henri Nouwen writes that “the wound, which causes us to suffer now, will be revealed to us later as the place where God intimated his new creation.”  Jason Meyers will facilitate a discussion of the following questions: What has been the impact of COVID on our preaching (and on us personally)?  What has been lost?  What have we learned?  What are we anxious and excited about? How can our wounds from this time be viewed as the place where God’s new creation becomes possible?

It’s a Wrap: Preparing for Advent and Christmas
The Rev Dr.
Stephen Farris – Bio
With one of the most demanding seasons only a month away this workshop offers us a refreshing opportunity to begin unwrapping the key lectionary texts for Advent and Christmas.

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Real Stories Happen in Real Places
Ray Aldred – Bio
To bridge the then and now of the Bible and today, stories are needed about social issues and contemporary life in preaching. To be effective, these stories must be real, rooted in the woundedness, struggles, faith, and insight of the people involved. A good story, well-told, can offer transformative correction and inspiring encouragement to both congregation and preacher. This workshop explores how Indigenous narrative communal identity has impacted my preaching and can impact yours.

Kindling Desire: Preaching and Nostalgia (Virtual Presentation)
Anna Robbins – Bio
In this workshop we will consider the prevalence of nostalgia in contemporary culture, reflect on nostalgia in the Bible, and consider some ways that preaching can address nostalgia in order to challenge consumer and restorationist forms, and redirect desire towards God.

Leveraging Humour in a Brave New World
Susan Sparks – Bio
Based on Susan Sparks’ book, Preaching Punchlines, this fun and engaging workshop shares how to harness the power of humor for preaching in a changed world.  Susan taps her skills acquired through her ten years as a trial lawyer, and twenty years as a professional stand-up comedian, and ordained minister to offer “The Ten Commandments of Stand-up Comedy.” Topics include editing, grabbing, and keeping audience attention, authenticity, delivering comedy onscreen/livestream, storytelling skills, use of humor with justice and DEI (diversity/equity/inclusion) topics, and joyous communication. In the end, it’s all about developing a sense of honesty, trust, and joy with your hearers. Join Susan to laugh, learn and look at the world (and your preaching) with a transformative new lens.

Preaching and Anxiety: Navigating Through the Fog
Emily Bisset – Bio
Over the past two years, levels of anxiety and mental health concerns have increased sharply among seniors, youth and everyone in between.  How can our preaching help congregations and individuals address this new reality?  What if the preacher is the one experiencing anxiety?  This workshop aims to gently negotiate these troubled waters. It will involve sharing ideas and experiences as well as some reminders about the purpose of preaching, connecting to our listeners and the important perspective that “if we preach deeply enough to ourselves – to our own hungers and longings and fears – we will also touch a common chord with the rest of humanity.” (William Sloane Coffin)

Searching for our Authentic Voice
R.H. Thomson – Bio
Public speaking is in many ways a private experience―the speaker must experience and live into what is said. R. H. Thomson will attempt to describe the actor’s tools for speaking, not loudly but authentically. The pursuit to find moments when mind, emotion, spirit and body are united through the words we speak, is lifelong. Poems will provide the gymnasium for the workshop’s word work.

A Missional Homiletic for Diaspora Canada
Sarah Han – Bio
Churches in Canada and other countries are experiencing many wounds and lack adequate strategies for missional outreach to diverse cultures and backgrounds. This workshop will provide space for innovative and collaborative discussions on how to incorporate various voices of diaspora Canada and beyond, to shape a missional hermeneutic of reconciliation for the next generation.

The Renewed Importance of Preaching God and Evil
Paul Scott Wilson – Bio
In many churches in recent decades, sin and evil has been downplayed, replaced by descriptions of events as wrong, offensive, criminal, or obscene. Preaching needs to be able to make sense of the war in Ukraine, polarized politics, and the power of the lie in this wounded world. It thus may need to take more seriously Jesus’s teaching on the two kingdoms of God and evil. For example in Luke, Jesus going to the cross to claim his throne is the true source of hope, empowerment, courage, and joy.

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At the Intersection of Faith and Leadership; God’s Future & Our Agency
Robert Wright – Bio
The world is changing rapidly and so is what it means to be the Church.  What does God’s promise of a “future and a hope” to the prophet Jeremiah and his people mean for us today and what does it mean to partner with God at this time?  What is precious and deserves conserving and what is expendable and can be left behind?  These are a few catalytic questions that can help to unlock new energy so the Gospel can go forward in fresh expressions.

Why the Spirituals Matter for Preaching (Virtual Presentation)
Luke Powery – Bio
This session will explore how the Spirituals, songs created by enslaved Blacks during slavery, can be a resource for preaching the gospel.

A Balm in Gilead
Becca Stevens – Bio
With more than 400 references in scripture, it is helpful for wounded healers to understand more about healing oils.  Becca Stevens, an ordained priest and founder and president of Thistle Farms that produces hundreds of healing oils, will share the art of blending along with stories and inside reflections.  Come, roll up your sleeves and dive into the healing oil tradition with joy, and leave with your own unique blend to aid you in your vocation of preaching as a wounded healer.

Preaching For Casting Out Fear and Catching Hope
HyeRan Kim-Cragg – Bio
This workshop invites participants to look at various biblical texts that contain the divine exhortation, “Fear not.” It traces the outlines of how fear is described in the Bible, as a cause of illness, for example, or the result of the lack of faith. The workshop will explore preaching as a method of healing, a way to cast out fear and replace it with its opposite, hope.

Preaching Hope in a Time of Trauma
Andrew Stirling – Bio
Our world is full of trauma and suffering, but our faith is full of hope and reconciliation. So how do we preach about the painful realities of this world in hopeful and healing ways? This session will explore the richness of the biblical material that deals with human trauma, focussing on the Psalms of Ascent. We will discuss precisely why we should listen to those who have experienced trauma, but also examine how to listen anew to biblical texts. Both the traumatized and the preacher/pastor can find hope, particularly in the cross of Christ.

Preaching as Pastoral Care
Scott Hoezee – Bio
The weekly sermon aims to do any number of obvious things: proclaim, instruct, inspire, convict. But preaching should also aim at a kind of plenary act of pastoral care for the whole congregation. This workshop will explore how pastoral care can be given via preaching and how preachers can be intentional in the writing of their sermons to help this happen. How does preaching from a cruciform position inform sermons? What do the scars on Christ’s body tell us about the very nature of the Good News we seek to proclaim?

Searching for our Authentic Voice
R.H. Thomson – Bio
Public speaking is in many ways a private experience―the speaker must experience and live into what is said. R. H. Thomson will attempt to describe the actor’s tools for speaking, not loudly but authentically. The pursuit to find moments when mind, emotion, spirit and body are united through the words we speak, is lifelong. Poems will provide the gymnasium for the workshop’s word work.

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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.

There is an addition cost to participate in this session.

Group 1 led by Scott Hoezee – Bio
Group 2 led by Susan Sparks – Bio
Group 3 led by Emily Bisset – Bio
Group 4 led by Stuart Blythe – Bio
Group 5 led by Stephen Farris – Bio

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