2019 Spring Retreat

Bishop’s Spring Clergy Retreat with Dr. Thomas G. Long

Monday, May 6 – Wednesday, May 8; All Day
Shrine Mont

About Dr. Thomas G. Long

Dr. Thomas G. Long’s primary area of research is homiletics (the history, theory, and practice of preaching.) His introductory textbook, The Witness of Preaching, has been translated into a number of languages and is widely used in theological schools around the world. In 2010, Preaching magazine named The Witness of Preaching one of the 25 most influential books in preaching for the last 25 years. Long gave the distinguished Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale, which were published in his 2009 book Preaching from Memory to Hope.

Long is also deeply interested in biblical studies, practical theology, and liturgy. He has written commentaries on the biblical books of Hebrews, the Gospel of Matthew, and the Pastoral Epistles, and his books on the Christian funeral, Accompany Them with Singing and The Good Funeral (co-authored with noted poet and funeral director Thomas Lynch), have generated interest both in the academy and the media. His book What Shall We Say? Evil, Suffering, and the Crisis of Faith, which addresses the issue of innocent suffering and the goodness of God, was selected as the Book of the Year for 2011, an award given by the Academy of Parish Clergy to the best book published for parish ministry in the previous year.

Long, an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), served as the senior homiletics editor of The New Interpreter’s Bible, and he is associate editor of Journal for Preachers and editor-at-large for the Christian Century. The Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary identified Long as one of the 12 most effective preachers of 2018. Emory University awarded him the Emory Williams Award for teaching excellence in 2011. His wife, Kimberly, also a Presbyterian minister, is professor of worship at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta.

Session Descriptions & Recordings

“Between Lament and Hallelujah: Prayerful Discernment in Preaching”

Session 1  |  Monday Evening

There has been much discussion in recent years about finding one’s voice in preaching, preaching as artistic expression, and the like. While these issues are quite important, preaching is not primarily about releasing our own voices, but be attuned to God’s voice. In this session, we will think about the preacher as a person of prayerful discernment. We will look particularly at examples of prayers in the psalms and ways of faithfully listening to scripture as we prepare to preach.

Click here for session 1 recording (file size: 82.0 MB; Time: 1:09:48)

“At the Intersection of Pastoral Care and Prophecy: Speaking Faith and Truth in Toxic Times”

Session 2  |  Tuesday Morning

Pastors are keenly aware that the toxic rhetoric and attitudes of the current culture wars do not remain safely outside the walls of the church. Congregations are often as polarized and as ready to speak acrimony as are those in the larger culture, and sermons must be delivered into this social context . Both in plenary and in small groups, we will explore in this session what kind of sermons faithfully address people in this cultural moment.

Click here for session 2 part 1 recording (file size: 51.2 MB; Time: 0:56:01)

Click here for session 2 part 2 recording.  Please note the later section of recording is Q/A with very little volume.  (file size:  50.9 MB; Time: 00:55:36)

Sermon | Tuesday Evening

Click here for the sermon preached at retreat Holy Eucharist service (file size: 14.6 MB; Time: 00:15:58)

“You Have the Words of Eternal Life: Preparing to Preach in the Seasons of Life and Death”

Session 3  |  Wednesday Morning

Just as the Word accompanies Christians throughout their lives, so preachers are summoned to speak gospel in every season of life, from birth to death. In this session, we will look at several seasons in life and think about what speaking the gospel in these seasons might mean.

Click here for session 3 recording (file size: 50.0 MB; Time: 00:54:38)