Jan. 30, Feb. 27, March 26, and April 23, 2020
Preachers may be reluctant to mention current events from the pulpit. But not speaking to the concerns people bring with them into church implicitly communicates that the church – and worse, God – doesn’t care. Together, we will discuss both our resistance and our sacred calling and learn ways to preach sermons that are pastorally sensitive, prophetically challenging, and particularly relevant in our world today.
As part of this class, participants will:
- discuss why preachers are resistant to addressing issues in the world today and why current issues should inform preaching, noting the risks and the rewards;
- explore the biblical call to speak to the concerns people bring with them to church;
- learn how to preach a relevant word to a restless people through a process of writing and a practice of preaching sermons; and
- share in Christian community our attempts to preach a relevant word in our congregations, getting feedback and support.
Donna Giver-Johnston is pastor of the Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon in Pittsburgh. A native Pennsylvanian, she was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church and ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Donna loves to read and travel, do yoga and swim, to listen to music, and to write; she has made pilgrimages to Taizé, Iona, and the Holy Land. She earned her bachelor’s from Westminster College, her M.Div. from Princeton Seminary, and master’s and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. In addition, she received a certificate in spiritual formation from Pittsburgh and Columbia Theological seminaries. Donna sees a glimpse of heaven when gathered with friends around the dinner table, enjoying nourishing food, fun fellowship, good red wine, and a delicious chocolate dessert!