Monday, April 28, 2014

Festival of Homiletics

2014 Festival of Homiletics is being hosted by Central Lutheran Church and Westminster Presbyteran Church in Minneapolis May 19th to 23rd 2014

Presenters include:
Anthony Bailey:  Minister of Worship, Parkdale United Church, Ottawa, Canada
Craig Barnes:  President and Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary
John Bell:  Liturgical Composer and Church Musician
Tangled Blue:  Folk-rock Traveling Music Duo
Barbara Brown Taylor:  Professor of Religion, Piedmont College
Walter Brueggemann:  Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary
Anna Carter Florence:  Peter Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching, Columbia Theological Seminary
David Cherwien:  Artistic Director - The National Lutheran Choir, 2013-14 Season
 Cindy Senarighi:  YogadevotionYoga, healing prayer and chair massage
Michael Curry:  Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina
Lillian Daniel: Senior Minister, First Congregational Church, Glen Ellyn, IL.
Angela Dienhart Hancock: Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Worship, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Eric Elnes:  Senior Minister, Countryside Community Church (UCC), Omaha, NE, and Host of Darkwood Brew
The Hurst Family:  Music Ministry in the Kingdom of God
The Fleshpots of Egypt:  Bluegrass Music Group
Yvette Flunder:  Founder and Lead Pastor of City of Refuge UCC Church; San Francisco, CA
Tonia Hughes:  National Recording Artist and Worship Leader
Grace Imathiu:  Minister, United Methodist Church
Rolf Jacobson:  Associate Professor of Old Testament; Luther Seminary
Kevin Kling:  Author, Playwright, Storyteller, and American commentator for National Public Radio
Karoline Lewis:  Alvin N. Rogness Associate Professor of Homiletics, Luther Seminary
David Lose:  The Marbury E. Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching, Luther Seminary
National Lutheran Choir:  The National Lutheran Choir, under the direction of Dr. David Cherwien
Chuck Marohnic:  Jazz Pianist, Musician, Educator, Author, Composer and Arranger.
MaryAnn McKibben Dana:  Pastor, Idylwood Presbyterian Church & Co-Chair of NEXT Church
Brian McLaren:  Author, speaker and activist
Otis Moss III:  Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago
Susan Palo Cherwien:  Freelance Writer and Musician
Luke Powery:  Dean of Duke University Chapel & Associate Professor of the Practice of Homiletics at the Divinity School
Sara Renner:  Director of Contemporary Worship at St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN
Robert Robinson:  Recording Artist
Carol Rogers:  Award-winning Jazz Vocalist & Vocal Coach
Peter Rollins:  Writer, Lecturer, Storyteller and Public Speaker
David Schmalenberger:  Assistant Head of the Percussion Department at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, Minnesota
Mark Sedio:  Director of Music at Central Lutheran Church
Mike Slaughter:  Lead Pastor, Ginghamsburg UMC; Ohio
Billy Steele:  Grammy Award Winning, World-Renowned Singer & Songwriter
Darnell Davis & the Remnants:  Songwriter & Producer, Gospel Ensemble
Jamar Esaw and TRIAD: 4CHRIST:  Gospel Artist and his 30+ member Gospel Choir
Will Willimon:  Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry
Lauren Winner:  Assistant Professor of Christian Spirituality, Duke Divinity School; Priest Associate at St. Luke's Episcopal Church and Author
Heatherlyn:   Yogadevotions, Singer & Songwriter

For more information visit Festival of Homiletics 

North American Association for the Catechumenate

The North American Association for the Catechumenate seeks to promote and nurture the catechumenal process in order that the whole faith community might fulfill Christ's commission to make disciples, baptizing and teaching all peoples.  

Its web site offers:

  • Articles
  • Bible Studies
  • Catechumenate with Children and Youth
  • Congregation to Catechumenal Community
  • Faith and Font
  • History and Theology
  • Lectionary and Preaching
  • Newsletters
  • Information about similar Organizations
  • Post Baptism: Mystagogy and Vocation
  • Practical Help
  • Presentations at Annual Gatherings
  • Training: Designs, Implementation, Previous Training Events
  • Video Resources
  • Workshop Presentations
  • Worship Resources
  • An open forum to encourage interaction between those leading the catechumatal process.
  • Information on their annual event

Visit the North American Association for the Catechumenate 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Interview: Sarcamental Leadership

Pastor Bill Woolsey was recently interviewed in relation to leadership, engaging culture, and  “sacramental entrepreneurs.”  

The interview includes responses to:
What are sacramental entrepreneurs?
What does being sacramental look like when it comes to being in our communities and blessing people in our communities?

to listen to the interview visit:

Presentation - Apologetics and Evangelism

Pastor Nathan Hedt presented a Prezi on Apologetics and Evangelism at the Easter Camp for Lutheran Young Adults.

Knowing and giving a reasoned defense of the Christian faith

You can access the presentation by visiting here

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Theses on worship LCMS

In 2009 the College of Presidents of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod presented a theses on worship.   

1.  Worship is not adiaphoron
2.  Scripture and the confessions give the people of God considerable freedom in choosing those forms, aids and ceremonies that aid the worship of God.
3.  The liturgy of the Church builds the framework for the worshiper to live the life of faith.
4.  Imposing a certain form, rite or ceremony on the Church burdens men's consciences and therefore mitigates against the Gospel.
5.  Great care is necessary in choosing forms, rites and ceremonies because they either support or hinder true worship.  There are no neutral forms.
6.  Uniformity in certain forms, rites and ceremonies while desirable, is not essential to the unity of the Church.
7.  The polarization that is affecting the Church concerning issues of forms, rites and ceremonies is sinful and hinders the proclamation of the Gospel.
8.  The people of God are commanded by God  to keep talking with each other under His word, so that divisions are healed and the Church is united in doctrine and practice.

To read the entire theses visit here

Monday, April 21, 2014

Article: Christmas outside the Gospels

James Wakefield an associate pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Utah and Associate Professor of Salt Lake Theological Seminary explores what the rest of the New Testament teaches us about the incarnation we celebrate at Christmas.  

To read the article visit here  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

15% off Logos Lutheran Bible Software

Logos is offering 15% off the base Lutheran packages

Lutheran Starter pack includes 195 resources retails at $294.95 or $29.58 a month  with 15% off $250.75
Lutheran Bronze pack includes 368 resources retails at $629.95 or $57.50 a month  with 15% off $535.46
Lutheran Silver pack includes 506 resources retails at $999.95 or $60.50 a month with 15% off $849.96
Lutheran Gold pack includes 752 resources retails at $1549.95 or $91.11 a month with 15% off $1317.46

To obtain the 15% discount you must use the promo code:  LUTHERANBP at checkout

Free Ebook: 50 Reasons why Jesus came to die

The most important questions anyone can ask are:
Why was Jesus Christ crucified?
Why did he suffer so much?
What has this to do with me?
Finally, who sent him to his death?
The answer to the last question is that God did. Jesus was God's Son. The suffering was unsurpassed, but the whole message of the Bible leads to this answer.
The central issue of Jesus' death is not the cause, but the meaning.
That is what 50 reasons why Jesus came to dies is about.
John Piper has gathered from the New Testament fifty reasons in answer to the most important question that each of us must face:
What did God achieve for sinners like us in sending his Son to die?

You can obtain 50 reasons Jesus came to die as a pdf book from here

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tips for Good Presentations, Public Speaking and maybe sermons

McCrindle Research has released the top 5 tips for conference presentations for 2014.....

Now if we are to be effective in sharing the Gospel to people, maybe some of these are worth thinking about and thinking how can we can contextual these for sermons and other Christian presentations....

1.   Conferences are going TED-style:
a. Speak to the audience not at the audience (free yourself from the lectern)
b. Present your message not your outline (minimise your notes)
c. Don’t give a long speech, craft an engaging presentation (shorter can be more impacting than longer).

2.  Keep it visual:
a. It’s a presentation to be seen not a podcast to be downloaded
b. Use slides as visual reinforcing of your point not a written summary of your content.
c. Think images not just words. .

3.  Ensure it’s evidence-based:
a. The average business audience has twice as many university graduates today as 1990
b. Statistics are great- but so are case studies
c. In a world of hype- keep it real, relevant and responsive.

4.  Deliver current, contextual and customised content:
a. In a world of emerging trends- make sure it is now
b. In a world of ideas- keep it practical
c. In a world of global ideas- apply it to the local.

5.  Motivate even if you’re not a motivational speaker:
a. A positive message will always be better received than a negative one
b. Sure- be provocative and challenging but deliver it with warmth and encouragement

c. Ensure you both equip the head and engage the heart of your listener.

Think about which of these apply to sermon proclamation and which was are less likely to apply.   This is not about watering down the message but about thinking how can we more effectively proclaim the Gospel to people today!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Book for preaching: Giving Blood by Leonard Sweet

A Groundbreaking Resource for Preaching If the church wishes to converse effectively with a culture, it must learn the culture's language. Today, shifts in technology mean that language is increasingly one of symbols and metaphors, stories and images---not words. So what does this mean for the sermon, that long-standing, word-based tradition of Christianity? In this ground-breaking resource, bestselling author Leonard Sweet offers an alternative to traditional models of preaching, one that is fitting to a new culture and a new mode of thinking. The first book of its kind to move preaching beyond its pulpit-centric fixation and toward more interactive, participatory modes of communication, Sweet presents both a challenge and a path forward for a church struggling to maintain its relevance in a post-modern, media-saturated culture.

Chapters include:
Part 1:  Introductory words from the LAB
  • Under the Microscope Preaching in a Google World
  • Blood and Water - Narraphor - Narrative and Metaphor
  • Blood Work - Making Narraphors EPIC
Part 2:   A+ Positive Prep
  • Blood Stream Scriptures
  • Blood types and blood screening - Deduction, Induction, Abduction and Transduction
Part 3:  B+  Body Building
  • Blood Flow -  bicameral preaching
  • Blood Cells - Organic Architecture
  • Blood bank - Narrative and Metaphor = Narraphor
  • Blood Enriching Nutrients - Style and twist
  • Blood and Guts - Passion
  • Blood Pumping EPICitivites - Pumping up preaching with Apps
  • Blood Thinners - the role of humour
Part 4:  AB+ Going live
  • Blood Supply - incarnation and culture
  • Blood Transfusion - Infusing creativity
  • Blood donors - congregational interplay
  • Blood drives - the closure of altar and after calls
  • Blood vessels - Sacramentality
  • Blood Chills and Thrills - Impact and delivery
Part 5 Dealing with Negatives
  • Blood Clots - the preachers block
  • Blood feuds and blood baths - handling criticism
  • Blood Hematoma - avoiding bruising
  • Blood pressure -  the nervous preacher
  • Blood doping and bad blood - false props and bad leads
  • Blood poisoning - dealing with heresies
Part 6 O Homiletic Miscellany  
  • Red blood realities -  the preacher's humility and humanity
  • Blood ties - learning from peers and relationships with colleagues
  • Blood Testing - interpreting effect and response
Part 7 LAB to LIFE
  • Life Blood -  food for the body
  • Giving Blood - Salvation and ressurection

Monday, April 07, 2014

Public Domain Hymn Resources

Public Domain Hymns offers:

  • Powerpoint Sheet Music
  • Powerpoint Lyrics
  • Midi files 
  • Finale (2002) files

for many public domain hymns

visit to gain free access to these resources

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Action Bible - Easter Story FREE kindle book

The Action Bible Easter Story is a great way to share the Easter Story with kids who are familiar with illustrations from Marvel and DC Comics...  
Sergio Cariello an illustrator with Marvel and DC Comics brings the story of Jesus to life. 

This is a great resource for parents and churches to help children know about the miracle of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection using this tool. 

Congregations why not let your members know about this great tool to help the young people in your church engage with the Easter story through a tool they are familiar with...

Whether you have a kindle, an ipad or android or you only use the web...using the relevant free kindle can obtain this ebook for free for a short period of time before Easter 2014...

Apostles Creed in song by Hillsong

Hillsong will be releasing a version of the Apostles Creed in song...This I believe in July at their Hillsong conference, according to an article in the Bible Society of Australia's publication Eternity.... 

As a side line the quickness of this coming to fruition is something some churches can learn January 2014 John Dickson, an Anglican theologian  wrote on his facebook...
Can someone with real Hillsong contacts please urge their brilliant song writers to put the Apostles Creed to inspiring music?
By March Hillsong were singing this song at the Hillsong Women's Colours Conference, and in July 2014 it will be available for all churches...

The official video

Check out the early release