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Story Based Preaching

Join Rev. Sadie Lansdale  at The Distillery to explore the trouble and grace in stories and learn a theological reflection method that will bring greater depth to your preaching and more meaning to your own spiritual life as a preacher. As a bonus, you can teach a version of this workshop to lay leaders in your congregation to prepare them for powerful storytelling with a theological core.

The Un-Sermon

Rev. Kim Debus workshop is called The Un-Sermon. We often take homiletics to mean speaking for however long our topic (and our congregations) will allow. But what if we engage with more than the spoken word? In this workshop, we'll explore homiletic arcs that include music, movement, ritual, visual art, and more; we'll also talk about how to integrate these arcs into 'regular' worship.

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Preaching Theologically

In this workshop, we'll examine the theological foundations of a UU Homiletic. Given our ecclesiology, incarnationalism, theories of salvation and liberation, and pluralistic approach to "the text", what homiletic strategies are most useful? We'll practice text-based response, the "mutual ongoing conversation", and get super nerdy about theology and preaching.


This workshop is led by The Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson who is the Senior Minister of The UU Church, Rockford, IL.

Faith, Flesh, and Fury: The Black Preaching Tradition and Unitarian Universalism

The Black Preaching Tradition emerged in the United States as a distinct homiletical praxis that speaks to the spiritual and cultural particularity of Black people. Stretching across theological, economic, geographic, and educational differences, the Black Preaching Tradition's primary focus is "making it plain." That is, for proclaiming the Good News in a world hell-bent on dealing death. Presenters will explore the various means in which they embody the Tradition while also uplifting how it is both in line and at odds with the typical preaching style in Unitarian Universalism.

Join our presenters, Reverends Ali KC Bell, Byron Tyler Coles, Adam Lawrence Dyer, Sara Green, and Darrick Jackson for Faith, Flesh, and Fury: The Black Preaching Tradition and Unitarian Universalism.

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Straight from the Heart

Led by Rev Amy Zucker Morgenstern.

This is a workshop for those who want to add script-less preaching to their toolbox—or even throw the script away forever! If the prospect of preaching without a script fills you with trepidation, all the more reason to come and try it in a supportive, encouraging environment. You might find, as Rev. Amy has, that letting go of the script not only enlivens your preaching and your connection to the congregation, but takes the terror out of the sermon-preparation process and makes it downright fun. We’ll share our hopes, fears, and concerns about preaching this way, and learn some ways to incorporate more spontaneity into our sermons even if we don’t go cold turkey. At the heart of the workshop: each person will create very brief notes for a mini-sermon, and preach from them to the rest of the group. Scary, right?—but you will leave knowing you can do it and feeling empowered.

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