People often assume that preachers who read widely are on the prowl for illustrations. These people are right. Preachers are hunter-gatherers; they search not only the world’s fiction, crime journalism, and biography, hoping to dig up fresh and angular illustrations. But preachers are not merely in search of useful stories. Reading deepens the preacher’s knowledge of human cries of the heart – for example that we reap what we sow. In fact, the preacher’s reading deepens preaching because it deepens the preacher. The preacher who presumes to speak for God, or even for the church, has to struggle every day to understand human character, divine grace, and the surprises that gather at their intersection. To do so faithfully, most preachers will need the kind of vicarious experience that arises from immersion in well-chosen literature. Accordingly, this seminar will explore some of the sources, methods, and homiletical impact of imaginative reading for creative preaching. Persons involved full-time in church ministries and those who prepare such persons for ministry are welcome to apply. Thanks to generous underwriting by the CEP, the cost for coming to this week-long event will be very modest. The church of each participant accepted into the seminar will be asked to pay a $100 registration fee for its pastor, who will also receive a stipend from the CEP to help off-set travel costs. Lodging will be provided at the Prince Conference Center on the Calvin College campus, beginning Sunday, July 5. Meals will include breakfast and lunch each day, Monday-Friday. Group activities, including some dinners at area restaurants, are being planned for a couple of the evenings. The books for the seminar will also be provided. The books will be sent out to the participants early enough so that they can be read in advance of arrival in Grand Rapids.
Please send all application material to Rev. Scott Hoezee, firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred) OR Calvin Theological Seminary, 3233 Burton Street SE Grand Rapids, MI 49507-4387. All applications must be submitted by January 15, 2015.
Hotel registration: Sunday July 5, 2015 after 3:00 pm. First session: 8:30 am on Monday July 6, 2015.
Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., Calvin Theological Seminary President Emeritus, Senior Research Fellow, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship; Hulitt Gloer, Baylor University, Professor of Preaching and Christian Scriptures, Director of the Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching, Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, and Visiting Professor of Law, Baylor Law School.