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Grand Island, NE

Light Snow/Windy, 10 F

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Great Preaching for the Great Plains

This five-session studio features Dr. Alyce McKenzie, LeVan Professor of Preaching and Worship, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, Perkins School of Theology; and Dr. Richard F. Ward, Fred B. Craddock Professor of Preaching and Worship at Phillips Theological Seminary, as the faculty for the second year of the the Great Preaching Studio.

There will be three, two-day teaching retreats in Wichita, Kan. These retreats begin at 1 p.m., on Monday and end at 3 p.m., on Tuesday and will be held at Collage Hill UMC, 2930 E. 1st St. N., Wichita, KS. The remaining two sessions will be gatherings of a small group of participants and one facilitator. These groupings will be geographically determined. Facilitators will be recruited from those who participated in the first studio. The studio is limited to 50 participants. The cost to participate is $100, which covers the cost of motels and meals for all five sessions. The purchase of required books is the responsibility of the participant.

Christ-centered excellence in preaching and worship is one of the missional priorities of the Great Plains Conference. The Rev. Nancy Lambert, director of Clergy Excellence, says, "Preaching is one of the most visible skills of a clergyperson. Each of us can improve our preaching no matter how many sermons we have already delivered." This studio is an opportunity to develop new practices that lead to more effective preaching.

The studio is made possible by a generous donor gift. This second cohort follows one held in 2013.


  • September 8-9, 2014

    Plenary session with Dr. McKenzie and Dr. Ward in Wichita, Kan.
    "What Not to Say!" Telling the Story"

  • October 13-14, 2014

    Local sessions in geographical groups
    "Say Something Significant, Demand Something Substantive: Preaching Sermons with a What, a So What and a Now What"

  • November 17-18, 2014

    Plenary session with Dr. McKenzie and Dr. Ward in Wichita, Kan.
    "Nurturing Creativity in the Preaching Life and the Creative Sermon"

  • January 12-13, 2015

    Local sessions in geographical groups
    "Crafting Memorable, Moving Sermons"

  • February 16-17, 2015

    Plenary session with Dr. McKenzie and Dr. Ward in Wichita, Kan.
    "Honing Skills as Communicators"

It is expected that each participant will complete all reading assignments and incorporate insights into sermons that are recorded and made available to the professors and facilitators. Download flier with list of required reading.

Please note that there are seven books on the required book list. If you ordered your books from Cokesbury at the Great Plains Annual Conference Session, one has been added since.

Contact the Rev. Nancy Lambert, director of clergy excellence, for more information at Motel reservations will be made for you at double occupancy. If you prefer a private room, you will be changed the difference.




You are encouraged to check out this website.



Contact Us  
Prairie Rivers District Office of The United Methodist Church
2418 N Webb Road Suite I
PO Box 5048
Grand Island, Nebraska 68802-5048
Telephone: 308 384 0603
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