Category Archives: Preaching

Preaching in the Latin@ Context

Our ALTE program, Advanced Latin@ Theological Education, has been hosting exceptional workshops for almost two years now.  The upcoming workshop will focus on preaching in the Hispanic context.  I’ll keep posting information on these wonderful, bilingual resources.  You consider attending one.

Advanced Latin@ Theological EducationPresenta

“Homilética en la Iglesia Latino/a”
Homelitics in the Latino/a Community

Reverend Magdalena GarciaPor:
Rev. Magdalena García
Pastora de Ravenswood Presbyterian Church

Sábado (Saturday), 28 de Mayo (May) del 2011
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Garrett-Evangelical Seminary
2100 Ridge Avenue
Room 205
Evanston, IL 60201

Este taller es para pastores y lideres laicos
(This workshop is open to pastors and congregation members)

Homiletics is the art of sharing the Word of God, in a relevant and entertaining way, through a homily or sermon. It is an essential part of pastoral ministry and for the Latin American Hispanic Church. This workshop will focus on techniques and tool to help lay people and pastors improve their performance in this vital field for the local church.

La homilética es el arte de compartir la Palabra de Dios, de forma relevante y amena, por medio de una homilía o un sermón. Es una parte esencial del ministerio pastoral y de la iglesia hispana/latina. Este taller enfocará técnicas y herramientas para ayudar a laicos/as y pastores/as amejorar su desempeño en esta campo tan vital para la iglesia local.

For more information and to RSVP
Contact the ALTE office at
(773) 252-3929 or respond via email at
felisa{at} or iris{at}

Donation: $10.00
Lunch will be provided

Let’s Give It Another Go

The 2011 Hallett Lecture has been rescheduled for Wednesday, March 23.

Don’t miss out on Father Michael Pfleger and Robert McClory, author of “Radical Disciple: Father Pfleger, St. Sabina Church, and the Fight for Social Justice”:

Michael Pfleger Hallett LectureMichael Pfleger Hallett Lecture

Highlighting Some of our Speakers

2011 Congress on Urban Ministry

Who Decides when Enough is Enough?

Cover article from a recent Chicago newspaper

Like many other large American cities, Chicago has been rocked by incidents of violence on such a regular basis that many residents simply seem to have tuned it out.  Sure, every now and then some report of recent violence will raise the collective eyebrows of the masses but, for the most part, most seem resigned to suffer the violence of this grand city or unmoved because this violence has yet to affect them or their community.

With the recent shooting of Michael Bailey, a well-loved police officer who was due to retire in a few weeks, many Chicago-ans are being reawakened to the crisis.  The reports say that many have simply had enough.

Many others, though, had enough months or years ago…  And even now, with the renewed interest and political power of a population that is half frightened and half outraged, it isn’t clear that a solution to the epidemic of violence is any nearer.

Eulogizing at the funeral services for Bailey last Friday, Father Michael Pfleger spoke passionately about the need for the transformational involvement of citizens rather than passive by-standing that stems from fear and indifference.  Pfleger, a friend of the Bailey family, combined a moving remembrance of the slain officer with inspiring and resolute words calling people to individual and communal action.  Not one to let the chance to make a point slip by, Father Pfleger also broadened the focus by citing public policy issues like the ease of handgun availability and a proposed law that would title handguns like states title automobiles.

Continuing a familiar theme that seems consistently to fall upon deaf ears, Pfleger restated his conviction that violence in America has reached epidemic levels: “People dying in the streets of urban America is a national emergency!”  (ABC currently has footage of the entire eulogy on their website)

What remains to be seen is if the lament and outrage of cities like Chicago, overwhelmed with violence and fed-up with things seeming only to get worse, will lead to the awareness and urgency that leaders like Pfleger are calling for.

Will the outrage over the recent shootings of three Chicago police officers (3 in 2 months) be strong enough to spark the transformation that the shootings of Chicago Public School students (508 shot in 16 months) couldn’t?

Art of Prophetic Preaching in the Urban Context

Dave Frenchak

“Don’t preach to me”!  Which one of us have not heard that expression or perhaps said those words.  What does this plea tell us about the image of preaching?  Certainly it is not a positive image, and while it may be based on a stereotype image of preaching my fear is that stereotype is, all too often, lived out from pulpits every Sunday.

When I was in high school I won a regional speech contest by memorizing Jonathan Edwards’ fiery sermon, preached during the Great Awakening, entitled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God“.  I was so proud with myself for winning but now I am aghast at the destructiveness such a presentation has on the image of preaching.

What is that image?  Preaching is seen and understood as someone in authority telling them others what they should or should not be doing related to a particular issue or agenda.  Even worse, preaching is telling others what they are now doing or have done in the past is bad and wrong and not only do they need to stop, if they do not stop they are damned.  No one, I repeat no one, likes to be preached at in this way.

The image of preaching needs an overhaul and those of us who preach need to assume responsibility for transforming the image.  While we are all sinners in the hands of God, we are not in the hands of an angry God but a loving God.  That is good news!  That is preaching.  If our sermons are not grounded in good news not only are they not good sermons it is not preaching; call it something else.  Preaching is the proclamation of good news!

– Dave Frenchak

Dave Frenchak introducing the Art of Prophetic Preaching

Each April, Dave Frenchak teaches a graduate level SCUPE class on the Art of Prophetic Preaching in the Urban Context.  The class focuses on freeing up the prophetic imagination from within the preacher by releasing inhibitions in favor of creating space for the Holy Spirit, by celebrating the unique gifts of each individual, and by connecting with vital skills and perspectives that bring social context and biblical Word together in the preached moment.

In resent years the class has been co-taught by the Rev. Otis Moss III from Trinity UCC in Chicago.

Otis Moss III teaching on the opening weekend

You can hear an excerpt of Otis Moss III teaching on the opening weekend of the class: the Priest and the Prophet.