four-day morning workshops

Engle fellows choose one (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.)

In Times Like These: Embodied Hope and the Power of Proclamation

Leader:  Veronice Miles
Description: How do we preach hope when confronted with social, political, and ecclesial challenges that negate the possibility of God’s redemptive presence? How do we resist distraction and embrace the hope-filled work to which the gospel invites us? This workshop explores the challenges and possibilities of preaching hope in the face of despairing realities that leave us feeling hopeless, anxious, and drained of imaginative potential. Against notions that limit hope to a feeling or attitude manipulatable by life’s circumstances, we will illumine an embodied theology of hope, highlighting hope’s anticipatory and praxiological potential. We will also ask, “what prevents us from living with hope?” In response, we will expose common misconceptions about hope, examine the dangers negating cultural realities pose for our ability to engage in hope-filled practice, and highlight preaching as a conduit for eliminating distortion, revealing possibilities, and emboldening individuals and communities to live with hope.

Empowering the Voice of the Female Preacher

Leader: Nancy Lammers Gross
Description: This workshop deals with the woman physical speaking voice. The voice is a full-body instrument, but many women preachers struggle to speak because we are disconnected from our own bodies, and because we have trouble claiming our voices in the pulpit. Through interactive practicum, discussion, and mutual support, this workshop will enable women to increase the effectiveness of their public speaking voices. In advance of coming to Engle, fellows who wish to enroll in this workshop should please read Women’s Voices and the Practice of Preaching by Nancy Lammers Gross, Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co., 2017.

Preaching to a Purple Church

Leader: Patrick Johnson
Description: This workshop will explore the challenges of preaching to a “purple church,” a congregation that mixes the red and blue of the political spectrum, and offer insights and strategies for faithful preaching in that context. We will look at the ways political views shape personal and congregational identities; address the question of when and how a preacher should speak to political topics; and explore resources in scripture, theology, and culture for addressing public issues. Fellows should bring one sermon to share in which they have dealt in some way with a political issue. 

Preaching on Special Occasions

Leader: Wayne Croft
Description: Apart from our world’s calendar, the church has its own calendar and special occasions. Preachers must know how to develop and deliver clear, concise, and relevant sermons for these occasions. This seminar examines some of these occasions, as well as the history and theology of preaching and developing sermons for particular events. Attendees will be expected to bring and/or preach sermons they have developed around these occasions. Sermons will focus on Advent, funerals, and world crises.

Two-day afternoon workshops

Engle fellows choose two (Monday/Tuesday, 2 p.m.–4 p.m. and Wednesday/Thursday, 2 p.m.–4 p.m.)

Prophetic Preaching With Everyday People of Faith

Leader: Veronice Miles
Description: Prophetic preaching, in common vernacular, involves speaking truth to power. With emphasis upon calling the powerful to account, dismantling repressive structures, and evoking new imagination, prophetic preachers seek to become agents of transformation and flourishing in the world today. Our challenge, however, is that our congregations are often populated by everyday people who love God but struggle to discern the correlation between God’s salvific intent in Christ and prophetic preaching’s commitment to eliminating oppression and promoting life-affirming possibilities for all creation. On day one, we will explore homiletical strategies and sermonic content intended to cultivate sensibilities and practices that lean everyday people in the direction of a more loving, just, and God-infused existence for all creation. Incorporating insights from day one, participants will, in dialogue with peers, identify prophetic elements in one of their existing sermons and deliver that sermon on day two of our gathering.

Preaching Ephesians

Leader: Nancy Lammers Gross
Description: We memorize the passage, “for by grace you have been saved through faith” (Eph. 2:8), but we cannot tolerate “wives be subject to your husbands” (Eph. 5:22). We long to say “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and father of all who is above all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:2). But we know that just around the corner we find, “slaves obey your masters” (Eph. 6:2). Come and discover how, through oral interpretation, we can reclaim the letter to the Ephesians for the whole people of God. We will also find clues for how to deal with other difficult sayings of Paul.​

Preaching as Partnership

Leader: Patrick Johnson
Description: What makes for good preaching in your context? What kind of listeners do you have in your congregation? What do they need to hear from you as a preacher over the course of one, two, or three years? How does your preaching relate to the congregation’s vision for ministry and context? This workshop will seek to connect preaching to the larger work of pastoral leadership in the congregation and community. Fellows will have an opportunity to do a guided reflection on their context, to identify and explore the hopes and concerns of their congregations and how they could be addressed in preaching, and to create a strategy for developing a strong dialogical partnership between the preacher and the lay leaders in the congregation. 

Podcasting for Preachers: An Introduction

Leader:  Pablo Jiménez
Description: A brief introduction to podcasting through video and audio streaming, for active preachers. This workshop will address the basic elements of podcasting, such as equipment, recording, hosting, and publishing.

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