Preaching Pastors’ Retreat

Session 1: May 4-6, 2015
Session 2: October 5-7, 2015


Sponsored by the Pastoral Support Committee – Sacramento Presbytery

With the grant that the Sacramento Presbytery was awarded, the cost in only $50 for all PC(USA) Ministers of the Word and Sacrament in the western five Synods. Invite your friends!

Session 1 – Featured Presenter: Dr. James Forbes

May 4-6, 2015

Preaching Justice in the Power of the Spirit

In Luke 4 Jesus said,

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Dr. Forbes will explore this theme of Preaching Justice in the Power of the Spirit by looking at Jesus, Elijah and Ezekiel as the prototypes for the prophetic word in our world today. Dr. Forbes will look at the two themes of Preaching Justice and Preaching in the Power of the Spirit and how we can bring about a real impact in our churches and communities through the preached word of compassion peace and justice.

Additionally, there will be a Preaching Clinic where we will have a Q&A time with Dr. Forbes to address any preaching concerns that ministers may have. As he jokingly says, he will help “scratch where we itch” so that he can make sure that he is addressing our contextual preaching concerns. We will close our time together by looking at the spiritual renewal of the preacher and the impact that can have on our congregations, community, and world. Come join us for a powerful conference that will be sure to strengthen and refresh your preaching and spirit.


James is a phenomenal preacher and teacher. He is the Senior Minister Emeritus of Riverside Church in New York City. He has taught preaching at Union Theological Seminary and Auburn Theological Seminary in New York.

Session 2 – Featured Presenter: Rev. Dr. Anna Carter Florence

October 5-7, 2015

Preaching the Verbs

If you do a quick survey of any bible passage, you’ll find that what is true in life is also true in scripture: the verbs dominate. Not adjectives; verbs. It’s what we do and don’t do that preoccupies human beings. And it’s the verbs we cannot imagine for ourselves (live, liberate, forgive, resurrect) that the church offers, and that we reach for, week after week. So what happens when we read scripture and let the verbs lead? In this conference, Anna puts a twist on dramatic theory and invites us to read the biblical “script” by focusing on the verbs that are given and chosen by the characters. What new things will we see and hear in both our sacred text and our human drama when we connect the verbs? How can that, in turn, change and renew our preaching?


Anna Carter Florence is the Peter Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and holds degrees from Yale College and Princeton Theological Seminary (M.Div. and Ph.D.). Before joining the Columbia faculty in 1998, Anna served as an associate pastor for youth and young adults at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. Her books include Preaching as Testimony and Inscribing the Word, as well as the forthcoming ‘A’ is for Alabaster: A Preacher’s Alphabet and The Repertory Church, based on her 2012 Lyman Beecher Lectures on Preaching at Yale Divinity School. She is a frequent teacher and lecturer in this country and abroad. Anna and her husband, the Rev. David Carter Florence, have two grown sons. They also have two dogs, two cats, a flock of chickens, and way too much knitting yarn.

Schedule of Events

Day 1

3:00pm – 6:00pm Registration
6:00pm Dinner
7:00pm Plenary 1

Day 2

8:00am Breakfast
9:00am – 10:15am Plenary 2
10:45am – 12:00pm Plenary 3
12:00pm Lunch
1:00pm – 6:00pm Afternoon Freetime
6:00pm Dinner
7:00pm Plenary 4

Day 3

8:00am Breakfast
9:00am – 10:30am Plenary 5
10:30am – 11:00am Worship

Safe Travel Home


Registration Fees

Per Pastor $50
for PC(USA) pastors in the western five Synods
All Other Pastors $230

Hurry! Single Occupancy room availability is filling fast. Once all single occupancy rooms are filled, double occupancy rooms may still be available.

  • Includes meals: Monday dinner through Wednesday breakfast
  • Balance due by Friday, April 24th