|8:45 am ||Breakout Sessions: Robert Benson, Marilyn McEntyre, David Morris, Frank Thomas |
Robert Benson: “Go to Your Room: Becoming a Working Writer”
In this practical seminar, acclaimed writer and teacher Robert Benson will talk about cultivating habits and practices that will help you write and see yourself as a writer.
Marilyn McEntyre: “Living by Lists: How a Simple Practice Can Enrich Your Writing Life”
List making serves a variety of purposes: people make lists to get organized, to plan the day, to set priorities, to clarify pros and cons, to explore their feelings, to dispel mental fog, to articulate goals, and to identify their deepest purposes. When you make a list, putting down whatever comes up, you begin to clarify your values, your concerns, the direction your life is taking, your relationship to your inner voice, your humor, your secrets. Lists are mirrors and maps. A list can grow up to be a poem, a table of contents, a song, a credo, a litany. In this session we’ll look at how lists can enrich writing practices at every stage of a project.
David Morris: “Writing for a Time Such as This”
All writing, however beautiful, insightful, and timeless, is embedded in the time in which it is created. It is located socially, personally, historically, and culturally. This presentation will explore some of the ways that writing is a prism through which to perceive our world and to illuminate hope and healing. We’ll take time to consider examples of creative work that is located in other places and times, and then move toward conjectures on the questions and pinings of our time, the events that are shaping our spiritual focus, and the state of American religious imagination.
Frank A. Thomas: “Listening to Your Life: The Backstory Behind the Sermon”
This workshop helps develop an understanding that every sermon has a backstory. Much like an iceberg, where the largest part of the iceberg is underwater, so it is with the sermon. The sermon is the tip of the iceberg, and what is underwater and unseen is a huge mass of feeling, depth, and passion. Not that every sermon has to expose the backstory to the audience, but it is instructive to the preacher to understand how the biblical text intersects with their own deepest thoughts and feelings. The preacher will discover where the text speaks to their lives even as they speak the text to the audience. An awareness of how the text speaks to the preacher’s life helps the preacher maintain a more authentic relationship with God.