Sarah Han – Bio
Coaching Listeners to Self-actualization of their Eternal Identity through Grace

This workshop will draw from coaching principles to highlight the grace of God and how participants can become better shapers of culture and identity. This digital generation is hyper-focused on the experiential, on discovering a true sense of identity, and on radical transformations. Preaching can be an imaginative act of coaching people into grace-led transformation through encounter with God. Through an alternative metanarrative of the self that has been created in the image of God, preachers can coach listeners on how to live into this identity every day.

Laura de Jong – Bio
Preaching Toward Resilience 

In accepting the Newbery Medal in 2014, children’s author Kate DiCamillo said, “We have been given the sacred task of making hearts large through story. We are working to make hearts that are capable of containing much joy and much sorrow, hearts capacious enough to contain the complexities and mysteries…of ourselves and of each other.” In an ever-changing world where our natural response might be to batten down the hatches, how might preachers share in this sacred task of working to enlarge hearts, of encouraging resilience amongst our listeners, so the church might engage the world with courage, faithfulness, and delight?

Stuart Blythe  – Bio
Fit for Purpose

Sermons should not merely say something but seek to do something. Knowing the purpose for a sermon not only helps it “land” where it should but acts as a filter for the content it includes. Despite this, preachers can be vague on purpose. In this seminar I will offer five broad listener-centered potential purposes for any sermon. We will also discuss the factors we need to consider in determining the purpose for any sermon. This seminar is designed to be practical and helpful in bringer sharper focus to sermons.

Terry Fallis – Bio
Speaking, Preaching, and Engaging

“Public speaking in general, and sermon delivery in particular, are not natural acts. Few are born as gifted and magnetic speakers. Rather, sermons that engage congregants and hold their focus from start to finish are almost certainly delivered by ministers who understand human behaviour and have developed and refined a certain set of skills – skills that can be identified, learned, and maintained. In this workshop, we will pull back the curtain to explore what’s really going on in the dynamic relationship between speaker and audience, or in our case, minister, and congregation. We’ll share insights and tips about sermon structure and effective performance, all in an effort to keep congregations engaged if not entranced.”

Paul Scott Wilson – Bio
Interpreting the Bible for Grace

Many preachers miss the opportunity to preach grace by failing to bring God to expression. A way of reading scripture is needed to bring into focus God’s redemptive acts. In this workshop we will develop a resurrection hermeneutic to harvest grace even from difficult Bible texts.

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Karoline Lewis – Bio
Amazing Grace in the Gospel of John

As much as we think we know God’s grace and believe in God’s grace, how do we define grace? This workshop will look at the use and means of grace in the Gospel of John so that we might be empowered to name experiences of grace in the lives of our people.

Casey Barton – Bio
Finding Grace in Graceless Places

Some stretches of scripture look to be all trouble and no grace. There are reasons preachers take the scenic route through the gospels but bypass Judges and certain Psalms. These seemingly graceless places are easier to avoid than they are to proclaim. How do preachers find God’s grace in stories when it seems to be absent? In this workshop we will examine a wider context for confronting wrenching texts. We can preach grace in seemingly graceless places because God’s gospel drama is bigger than any one moment of it, and because the final scene of that drama is already overwhelming every scene before it. Finding grace in these hard places then helps us find the grace in the hard places of the same story we live in now.

Scott Hoezee – Bio
Dangerous Grace? 

Someone once said that if in preaching the free grace of God you never get accused of being antinomian and of giving people a license to not take morality seriously, then you may not be preaching grace robustly enough!  And indeed, a robust and regular proclamation of grace alone often does lead to questions about the place of discipleship, morality, and sanctification in our preaching.  How can we talk about morality without undercutting grace?  In this workshop we will ponder these issues and be in dialogue especially with the Apostle Paul as we consider the wonders and possible dangers of grace-filled preaching.

Thérèse Samuel – Bio
Grace and Truth: Preaching Christ with a decolonizing look at the prologue to John’s Gospel.

The virtues of grace and truth are twinned in the Gospel of John because opening oneself to grace involves facing the truth.  However, the truth is sometimes hard to acknowledge, yet coming to terms with the truth about ourselves and our world can be what makes grace so amazing.  John 1:1-18, often read at Christmas time, has much to say to a church working to heal from its complicity in colonization and oppression at any time of the year.

Wanda Malcolm – Bio
A Foundation for Grace: Building a Sustainable Ministry Life

The history of the church over the past 250 years is full of God’s grace, giving us many reasons to be amazed and to sing God’s praise. Sadly, this same history includes stories of faith leaders who have burned out (and sometimes acted out) when overwhelmed by too many stressful hinderances to forging a sustainable life of faithful ministry. This workshop shares what we learned through the Wellness Project @ Wycliffe and outlines the ways in which we can build a support structure so that highly engaged but exhausted people can once again experience and convey God’s amazing grace.

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William Willimon – Bio
Preaching About Grace Amazing

In this workshop, Will Willimon, author of Preachers Dare: Speaking for God in the Sermon, will talk about the unique challenge of preaching graciously about Jesus Christ and at the same time, amazingly. How does a preacher keep preaching amazing grace over the long haul? Biblical texts will be engaged as we celebrate the joy of preaching about a God who is not only loving and sovereign but also amazingly gracious.

Ken Shigematsu – Bio
Meditation: How Silence Makes Our Mind and Soul Whole

Preaching is thought of primarily as an act of the spoken word, but it is a word that grows out of a silence.  In this session, we will explore how meditation and silence awakens us to a fresh encounter with God’s presence and helps us experience more inner peace and joy, better mental recall, and less anxiety and depression and strengthens our preaching.

Susan Sparks – Bio
The Universe is Singing: Leveraging the Grace of Natural Creation for Preaching

All aspects of the universe — from quarks, to rivers, to wildlife, to black holes — are literally singing. And that song is the thing that connects us to God’s grace. Join Rev. Susan Sparks for a fun and engaging look at creative ways to bring the music of nature into your sermons and highlight the “Amazing Grace” all around us.

R.H. Thomson – Bio
Searching for our Authentic Voice

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.

Andrew Stirling – Bio
What People Want to Hear? or What People Need to Hear?

In this workshop, preachers will explore the relationship between Law and Grace with a special emphasis on the Letters of Paul. Arising from this analysis, we will examine the current cultural context where legalism has taken on new forms. We will ask: Are preachers just ‘Influencers’ alongside many other voices? Is preaching Law, as opposed to Grace, any easy option in our very judgmental world?  The assumption here is that Grace is ultimately God’s initiative, and it has apocalyptic, theological, and ethical ramifications, all of which arise from the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This workshop aims to inspire all preachers to advocate for Grace.

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Fine-Tuned Preaching is an extraordinary 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 Gail Ricciuti – Bio
Group 3 led by Peter Holmes – Bio
Group 4 led by Susan Sparks – Bio
Group 5 led by Emily Bissett – Bio

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