Racial and planetary climates are shifting in ways that demand transformation: of our society, of our communities, and of our preaching. For clergy and lay leaders, "Transforming Climates: Preaching Environmental Justice" will explore how preaching changes in the face of the catastrophic failures of colonialist and exploitative systems. In lectures, workshops, and discussion groups, participants will develop tools for an embodied, attentive, and place-based approach to preaching that invites transformation of racial and environmental injustices.

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Conference Sessions

Lecture: The Sacredness of Water

Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre

The lecture begins by exploring the global indigenous worldviews of water, specifically how it has its own 'spirit' and its own agency. This indigenous worldview is then compared with a eurocentric worldview based on the commodification of water. We will then explore the damage done to water because of the global implementation of the eurocentric worldview. The lecture concludes by exploring how a theoretical approach seeking decoloniality might lead toward liberative praxis and preaching.

Lecture: Preaching Exilic Hope in the Climate Crisis: Facing Scripture's Biggest Questions

Dr. Jerusha Neal

One of the hidden reasons pastors avoid preaching about the climate crisis is the breadth and depth of the questions it surfaces. These questions are less about public policy and more about our deepest theological convictions. They are questions of human purpose, Christian hope, and the character of God. The biblical text is not afraid of such questions. This lecture will lift up the scriptural witness of God's exiled people as a model for preaching exilic hope in the face of ecological loss.

Workshop: Hearing and Preaching After Humanity

Dr. Andrew Thompson

This guided hike will consider how, in a time when human agency dominates, we might think more expansively about who—or what—speaks in our preaching.

Workshop: Climates Transforming Preaching

The Rev. Dr. David Stark

This workshop will examine how the development of anti-racist homiletics can inform approaches to preaching for environmental justice—especially with regard to embodiment, agency, place, and proclamation of good news. Then, we will apply these approaches to lectionary texts in Ordinary Time, Year B.