2011 ESR Pastors Conference

Preaching, Testimony, and Living the Word

September 26, 2011 - 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Anna Carter Florence

About Our Conference Leader

ANNA CARTER FLORENCE is the Peter Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. She spends her days listening to student sermons, talking with pastors and churches about preaching, and thinking about exactly what it is we have all gotten ourselves into. Her first book, Preaching as Testimony, was published in 2007 (WJKP); she is currently at work on a second one. Anna holds degrees from Yale College and Princeton Theological Seminary, and is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She and her husband, the Rev. David Carter Florence, have two lacrosse-playing sons, Caleb (19) and Jonah (15). They also have two dogs and a flock of chickens. This is all excellent counterpoint for sermons, and as Anna has learned, you can get a lot of knitting done at sports events.

Plenary Sessions:

Session 1:  "Preaching and Testimony" Testimony is a loaded word for preachers; it conjures up all sorts of images, positive and negative.  But it is also an ancient word, with deep biblical roots.  How can these roots inform and energize our preaching?  How can the tradition of testimony serve as a source of renewal for the church today?

Session 2:  "Living the Script in Scripture" Testimony is much more than "telling your story."  For preachers, it can be a method of engaging scripture as your story, for entering the biblical text and finding in it a script you know and recognize.  How can we adapt this method for our own communities of faith? In this session, we'll walk through a biblical text together as we experiment with new ways of reading scripture.

Session 3:  "Preaching the Verbs, Telling the Truth" Once we've gone deep into the text, we preachers have to say something--and not about us: about God!  What can the testimony tradition teach us about new ways to make the move from text to sermon?  Our last session will be a workshop in which we practice this very move.

Workshops will include:

Neighborhood Pastoring - Brett Stewart
The Pastor and Spiritual Disciplines - Becca Clouse
The Quaker Pastor: A Different Kind of Animal? - Phil Baisley

Cost is $40 per person and includes breakfast and lunch.
REGISTRATION FORM: Complete this registration form and mail it with your check made out to Earlham School of Religion.
For more information contact Mandy Ford at fordma@earlham.edu or by calling(800) 432-1377.



8:30 – 9:00



9:00 – 9:15



9:15 – 10:30

Session One: Preaching and Testimony


10:30 – 11:00

Break with light refreshments


11:00 – 11:40



11:40 – 12:45

Lunch and free time


12:45 – 2:00

Session Two: Living the Script in Scripture


2:00 – 2:15



2:15 – 3:15

Choice of three workshops


Being a Neighborhood Pastor – Brett Stewart


The Pastor and Spritual Disciplines – Becca Clouse


The Quaker Pastor: A Different Kind of Animal? – Phil Baisley


3:15 – 3:45

Break with light refreshments


3:45 – 5:00

Session Three: Preaching the Verbs, Telling the Truth


Event Date: 09/26/2011 - 8:00am - 5:00pm