Introduction to Preaching in a Cross Cultural Context
Instructor: Rev. Sofía Betancourt
This non-lectionary, thematic preaching course embraces counter oppressive ministry through worship and the arts. Hands on learning will combine the sharing and peer review of brief homilies with exercises aimed at identifying your authentic preaching voice. Each student will also deliver two full-length sermons in class. Questions of how to make our worship services more relevant in today’s culturally shifting world will be explored through thea/ological study of homiletics through a libratory lens and an engagement with issues of cultural appropriation and misappropriation in Unitarian Universalist liturgical practice. Course work in basic homiletics is not required for this class. Students from all traditions are welcome.
Smith, Christine Marie, Preaching Justice: Ethnic and Cultural Perspectives (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock 2008).
List Price: $20.00
Arnason, Wayne, and Rolenz, Kathleen, Worship that Works: Theory and Practice for Unitarian Universalists (Boston: Skinner House, 2008).
List Price: $16.00
[Available at the UUA Bookstore online, or as an ebook ($7.99)]
Rzepka, Jane and Sawyer, Ken, Thematic Preaching: An Introduction (St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2001).
List Price: $28.99
Students are expected to:
- Gain a working knowledge of non-lectionary thematic preaching in a congregational setting;
- Acquire a basic understanding of cross cultural impacts on worship and the liturgical arts;
- Begin to build a toolkit of strategies for “preaching to every pew”; and
- Work on developing their own unique identity and voice as preachers.
Students are expected to:
- Attain proficiency in writing and delivering sermons;
- Understand the development of their own preaching voice; and
- Prioritize intersectional justice in their writing.
Students are required to:
- Complete all course readings as assigned, and be prepared to participate in thoughtful discussion;
- Complete brief homilies and two original full length sermons over the course of the semester; and
- Bring a compassionate and constructive voice to peer review and feedback.
Sermon Writing and Delivery:
Each student must write manuscripts for two original sermons, on the theme of your choosing, of 18-20 minutes in length. A starting benchmark is 100 words per minute. Remember that no two preachers are alike. Practice your sermon aloud, and time yourself. Along with each manuscript, students should include the full text of their readings and at least two hymns to complement the sermon. You may not use sermons for this class that you have already preached or that you have written for another class.
Sermons can be on any theme of your choosing. Please submit your working draft to the instructor via email on the Sunday before you are scheduled to preach.
Deadline: 11:59pm SUNDAY before you preach.
None, Introduction to Course
Worship That Works, Visions and Challenges section
Worship That Works, Qualities of Transformative Worship section
Worship That Works, Practical Details section and Conclusion
Thematic Preaching, “Blue Ducks” through “Trusting Instant Inspiration”
Thematic Preaching, “Sermons That Help the Healing” through “Sermons That Tend the Institution”
Thematic Preaching, “Getting Started” through “More Than a Message”
Thematic Preaching, “Sermons That Engage with the Larger World” through “Sermons That Build the Loving Community”
READING WEEK, NO CLASS
Thematic Preaching, “The Hour Draws Nigh” through “Preaching As a Ministry”
Thematic Preaching, “Sermons That Inspire” through “Sermons That Explain a Particular Religious Identity”
Thematic Preaching, “Issues in Preaching” through “Am I a Performer?”
Thematic Preaching, “Sermons That Provide Intellectual Stimulation” through “Sermons That Startle, Awaken, or Amuse”
Preaching Justice, Chp 1 and 2
Handout on Class Diversity and Preaching
Preaching Justice, Chp 3 and 4
Preaching Justice, Chp 4 and 5
Preaching Justice, Chp 6 and 7
Preaching Justice, Chp 8 and Conclusion
Grading for this course will be based on:
- Timely submission of assignments;
- Thoughtful class participation; and
- Your two sermons.