DIOCESAN PREACHING CONFERENCES: OPTIONAL THEMES

Preaching Across the Divide

This conference addresses the challenges facing most preachers today: a congregation divided in beliefs and allegiances, exacerbated by today’s fractured political and social environment.

Narrative Preaching and Storytelling

At the heart of our faith are stories—the story of the people of God in the Hebrew scriptures, the Gospels telling us of Jesus, and the stories of the early Church. Narrative preaching and storytelling create opportunities for the preacher to link the stories of our origins with the stories of our lives in this day and age. This conference will combine learning of the tools of storytelling with an emphasis on their use and incorporation in the task of preaching.

The New Media Landscape: A New Context for Preaching

Homiletics is homiletics whether the sermon be preached from the pulpit, viewed live on national television, or screened on a smart phone via a social media platform. This 2-day workshop will examine how electronic media are being used to prepare for, present, and share the preaching event. Some preachers simply publish the text of their sermons; some beam a video of their sermons after the fact; some “preach live” on social media and then post that video elsewhere. The workshop will examine these electronic tools, how they’re being used by preachers today, and suggest ways to evaluate them for use in your own ministry.

Preaching in a Pastoral Context

In most cases the preacher is not only the leader of worship, but also the primary pastor to the people who attend Church. Such a context influences the content and style of preaching. The preacher develops a sensitivity to the needs of those sitting in the pews and walks a delicate balance between consoling and challenging a congregation. This conference assists preachers in becoming increasingly aware of the context in which they preach and how to find the best way for the Gospel to be heard.

Preaching the Hebrew Texts and the New Testament

We tend to forget that the early Church’s Bible was what we now call the Old Testament. They found Jesus there. But that does not mean we preach Old Testament lessons only as props for the New Testament. The Old Testament has an integrity all its own and speaks volumes to us about the love of God. In fact, the New Testament was written completely with the Old Testament in mind, not the other way around. This conference assists the preacher in discovering more about the Old Testament and allowing it to inform preaching in a new way.