• Book Reviews 22 hours ago

    Distance in Preaching: Room to Speak, Space To Listen

    Distance in Preaching: Room to Speak, Space To Listen

    by Michael Brothers Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich. 189 pages REVIEWED BY SEAN MILLER The preaching world still mourns the loss of Fred Craddock, though his preaching voice, style and profound impact on field of homiletics lives on. Craddock would invite the congregation into his preaching and trusted the hearer to make connections, draw relationships and to imagine. His was a voice that invited reflection, while creating space in the sermon and distance between preacher and hearer. As his student Barbara Brown Taylor once said about Fred Craddock, “He… continue reading...
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  • Outlook Features 2 days ago

    Invisible rays: Preaching in the 21st century

    Invisible rays: Preaching in the 21st century

    by Jana Childers
    Theologian Amos Wilder said that going to church should be like “approaching an open volcano where the world is molten and hearts are sifted. The altar is like a third rail that spatters sparks. The sanctuary is like the chamber next to the atomic oven: there are invisible rays and you leave your watch outside.” I like to ask my seminary students, “Do you know that church?” But pretty much no matter how they answer, I continue to point them to Wilder’s phantasmagoric vision. It’s an image suited to this… continue reading...
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  • Outlook Reporting 2 days ago

    Gradye Parsons announces will not seek another term, talks about what’s next

    Gradye Parsons announces will not seek another term, talks about what’s next

    by Leslie Scanlon
    Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) – the denomination’s top ecclesiastical officer – has announced that he won’t seek election to a third four-year term. That means the 2016 General Assembly will be asked to name a new stated clerk. It also means that the PC(USA) is facing a clean sweep of leadership at the top, as Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, left that post as of July 10 and an interim executive director has not yet been named. Parsons shows off his… continue reading...
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Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People celebrates 45 years of ministry

LOUISVILLE (PNS) More than 5,600 in 67 countries. That’s how many community projects have received support over the last 45 years from the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People. SDOP is celebrating the milestone this month and church leaders are thrilled with the progress communities have made. Working with a national committee as well as 25 presbytery and three synod committees, SDOP partners with communities struggling with economic and social justice issues by providing grants to help them become self-sustainable. Since its inception, SDOP has awarded more than $100 million to communities around the world. The ministry grew out of the civil rights era in the United States in the late 1960s. As the nation struggled with the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., activists like James Foreman, challenged mainline denominations to step up and make a difference. The Presbyterian Church acted on the challenge by creating a new form of ministry, … [Read more...]

Distance in Preaching: Room to Speak, Space To Listen

Brothers_Distance in Preaching_pb_wrk_013.indd

by Michael Brothers Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich. 189 pages REVIEWED BY SEAN MILLER The preaching world still mourns the loss of Fred Craddock, though his preaching voice, style and profound impact on field of homiletics lives on. Craddock would invite the congregation into his preaching and trusted the hearer to make connections, draw relationships and to imagine. His was a voice that invited reflection, while creating space in the sermon and distance between preacher and hearer. As his student Barbara Brown Taylor once said about Fred Craddock, “He lets us chew our own food.” In “Distance in Preaching,” Michael Brothers hosts a conversation between the preaching of Fred Craddock and speech performance studies in a consideration of what it means to create “distance.” Distance, or what Craddock called “overhearing,” invites the listener into the preaching moment, yet creates a sermon that says to the listener, “You are sitting in on something that is of such … [Read more...]

Tagged With: preaching

Hark! Listening for the Surprises of Advent

Cynthia Rigby

A 90-minute webinar presented by Cynthia Rigby Tuesday, October 27 at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. PT) Click here to purchase the live event with on-demand replay – $29.95 (1-6 participants) Click here to pre-order the DVD – $43.95 (free shipping) Remember when we were children, and it seemed like Christmas would never come? Now we might feel like it comes way too often! I have neighbors who don’t even bother taking down their outdoor holiday lights. “It feels like we’d just have to put them right back up again,” they explain. And pastors are often similarly apathetic about gearing up for the season, working hard to be motivated and innovative even when their hearts are not in it. What new thing can be said? Should we even wish, somehow, to get back to our sense of childhood anticipation and wonder? Or is that just not the way of the spiritually seasoned adult? What will this webinar cover? This webinar will be devoted to inviting us, again, into the surprises and wonders of Christmas. … [Read more...]

Invisible rays: Preaching in the 21st century

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.12.40 PM

Theologian Amos Wilder said that going to church should be like “approaching an open volcano where the world is molten and hearts are sifted. The altar is like a third rail that spatters sparks. The sanctuary is like the chamber next to the atomic oven: there are invisible rays and you leave your watch outside.” I like to ask my seminary students, “Do you know that church?” But pretty much no matter how they answer, I continue to point them to Wilder’s phantasmagoric vision. It’s an image suited to this generation of the church’s life, I believe. And to this age of preaching. Wilder’s metaphors remind us of the spark-spattering power of the Holy Spirit. It’s a theme that resonates with the view of Phyllis Tickle and others who describe this era of the church’s life as “the age of the Spirit.” In Tickle’s schema, the first 2,000 years of God’s project with human beings runs from the time of Abraham to the time of Christ; the second from the time of Christ to the year 2000; and the … [Read more...]

Tagged With: preaching