Start date: July 21st, 2020
Length: Six weeks, one session per week from 1:00pm-2:30pm
Platform: All sessions will be held online
Cost: $200, contact Samantha Houser for scholarship information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration: Register here by July 17th
NOTE: This counts towards Continuing Education for ministers in our conferences!
Preaching without a manuscript, without nailing every word into place ahead of time, is an invitation to sound our voices down to their depths, into that place where our authentic expression lies. We tap our insides for the internal authority that dwells there, allowing us to speak our truth in conversation with text and context. We each learn our own natural ways of organizing spoken material and freed of furniture or papers, we can embody our message, with all of who we are, more fully, among those who are gathered with us. When we preach without a manuscript, we risk entering with boldness into the flow of Spirit. We also tend to give our imagination more room to stretch. As a result, our sermons are less likely to resemble a lecture and more likely to be a living engagement between speaker and congregation, an engagement that begins with the preacher’s words and ends in the hearts and actions of the hearers.
Rev. Dr. Martha Brunell taught adjunct at Eden Seminary and Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis in several seasons over a period of seventeen years. She earned a Doctor of Ministry from Aquinas Institute of Theology and did her doctoral work on internal authority for preaching. Her home base is in Chicago, and she currently pastors a small church, is a spiritual director and writer, and frequently serves as a program, workshop, and retreat leader.
A word from the instructor, Rev. Dr. Martha Brunell: “People who inquire about Preaching from the Inside Out sometimes doubt their capacity to preach without words scripted on paper ahead of time. I remind them of how often they are asked a theological or spiritual question informally that they answer on the spot without writing out what they have to say on paper first. Preaching from the Inside Out introduces various strategies for preachers to organize material that they can remember for delivery and that listeners can remember for embodiment of the preached word in their daily lives. During the course, there are two preaching opportunities for each class member. Preaching from the Inside Out relies on my spiritual writing practice called Wild With Words. Participants develop a preacher’s journal utilizing this writing practice to dive into their unscripted depths where the sound of their genuine voice lies. Wild With Words is consistently effective in keeping our word flow open. And finally, preachers also explore and enter into some of the specifics of who they are through a series of short interlocking reflective papers. The two texts for the course are Charlotte’s Web by E. W. White and How Then Shall We Live by Wayne Muller. When our preaching lives rise from the bedrock of who we are within, as Spirit stirs among us, what is called out is a fuller response from our listeners. Preaching from the Inside Out is collaborative and creative. It builds community while setting loose the courage for all to speak transforming truth. It values far more the conversation than the perfect words.”