Preaching across the (political) divide was the general theme of an inspiring content-packed workshop entitled “Enhancing the Way We Are Preaching the Word” recently sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming. The 51 lay and ordained attendees included seasoned seminary-trained priests, bivocational clergy, licensed lay preachers, students in the Seminary of the Southwest’s Wyoming Iona Collaborative Program and a raft of others interested in improving and enhancing their preaching style and content.
Attendees at the February workshop received 20 hours of instruction in a delivery format that encouraged small group participation and real-life examples. Instructors from the Episcopal Preaching Foundation included the Rev. Dr. Wesley Allen, Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics, SMU Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, Texas; the Rev. Will Mebane, Rector St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Falmouth, Massachusetts; Christine Parton-Burkett, Lecturing Fellow in Speech at Duke Divinity School; the Rev. Canon Charles Cesaretti, Board President, Episcopal Preaching Foundation; and the Very Rev. Dr. Sylvia Sweeney, Dean and President of the Bloy House at Episcopal Theological School of Claremont, Diocese of Los Angeles.
This was a rare educational opportunity to hear from high caliber preaching instructors and participant testimonials was glowing, as the comments that follow demonstrate:
Over the years I have had the opportunity to attend many different classes or conferences on preaching. This training was unlike most that I have experienced, in that I had the opportunity to learn from five very experienced professionals in one weekend, as well as participating in small groups where we got the chance to preach and give and receive feedback.
The faculty from the Episcopal Preaching Foundation were top drawer. Each instructor brought very informative and helpful teaching that I will be putting to use in my own preaching ministry. The three breakouts into our small preaching groups were very helpful and effective as well. It was a great way to get feedback as well as to try out some of the ideas about non-verbal communication we had learned about.
I would unreservedly recommend this training to anyone who is seeking to become a more effective preacher. – Walt Seeley
The preaching conference was fabulous! Every single presenter was a real professional at the top of their game. It gave us much to think about. Thank you to the diocese for bringing us such a wonderful, content-filled weekend! – Nancy Fees
I thought the presenters did a masterful job of moving back and forth between content to delivery. The small group feedback was insightful and encouraging. – Doug Wasinger
I was fearful that this was going to be an exercise in Academia; but was so happily surprised that this was a spiritual event that taught me to search my heart and mind prayerfully to listen to the message God wants me to share. These folks were fun and real, and so willingly shared their knowledge and expertise with us. It was a true blessing for me. – Jennie Ketner
To be taught through lesson and example by such high caliber preaching instructors was a rare educational opportunity of which I am exceedingly grateful. – Michael Evers
Photo shows instructors of Episcopal Preaching Foundation with the Very Rev. Lori Modesitt, Dean of the Wyoming Iona School.
EPF instructors, (from left to right), Will Mebane, O. Wesley Allen, Jr., Sylvia Sweeney, Charles Cesaretti, Lori Modesitt, Dean of the Wyoming Iona Collaborative, and Christine Parton Burkett