Workshop Descriptions

Sticking Together in Times of Need: Cely Chicurel
Soil. Spirit. Sermon. Experience and explore the theology of clay. Clay work is an ancient metaphor for the process of creation of the sermon. Preaching at its best shapes the rich materials of Word and world with the creative breath of the spirit, and with the indelible imprint of the preacher a word of New Creation is formed.

Preaching across the Political Divide: Jenny Copeland
Many preachers say they cannot mention “hot button” issues from the pulpit because members of the congregation don’t come to church to hear about politics. By grounding our sermons in the Gospel (which is what they taught us to do in seminary), we’re not “preaching about politics,” but proclaiming the Gospel, which is a highly charged activity. In this age of polarizing politics, we must refract the issues confronting us through the lens of faith. Only then do the political, economic, and sociological norms that define our lives fade into the background and make room for God’s truth. Scripture is ripe with prophecies, narratives, parables, and epistles that give us fodder for sermons that can offer a lens for how we live and move and have our being in these days.

Prophetic Preaching That Fosters Lament: Rose Cornelious
We live in troubled times. There are wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes in divers places and cataclysmic storms. Political and church leaders have credibility issues. People in the pews are shaken and want to hear from God. In this workshop participants will examine the power of lament and how to preach to encourage and inspire reaching out to God in brokenness.

Preaching the Prophets: Carolyn Sharp
The ancient Hebrew prophets were countercultural dissidents and creative visionaries. In this workshop, we’ll consider two modes of prophetic preaching that can help our communities to live more deeply into compassion (Matt 25:31-46) and hope (1 Peter 1:3-5). First, Amos will show us the power of truth-telling about the disregard of suffering that distorts our common life. Second, Isaiah will teach us how to rejuvenate the spiritual imagination through vivid images of hope. Hands-on exercises will help participants discover ways to enact such preaching in their own congregations.

Weaving a Community: Sharon Schulze
Weaving has been around for at least 20,000 years, and in early times was considered a sacred activity. In this workshop each participant will weave an objet d’art to take home as we consider the ways that weaving brings together individual threads into cloth, much as individual people form communities. All materials will be provided – absolutely no experience in weaving necessary. Seriously, anyone can do this.

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