Events for Clergy Jan Richardson

The Preacher as Poet

Kathleen Norris writes that when she began attending a small church in her town, it struck her that "for a religion of 'the Word,' Christianity had a long way to go to take words—and their real power, beauty and mystery—seriously enough." As preachers, we are stewards of the Word, and of the words by which we invite people to enter into the mystery of Christ. In a world inundated by words that can overwhelm with their emptiness and sheer volume, preachers—like poets—bear a particular responsibility and call to wrestle with words and to find a language that returns us anew to the One who came to us as the Word made flesh.

This event is designed to help those who proclaim the Word fall in love with the Word—and words—all over again, and to reclaim the power, beauty, and mystery they hold. More than this, we explore the role of the preacher as one who, like the poet, knows what it means to live with uncertainty, to navigate in the dark, to struggle with the forces that work against creativity, to find inspiration in the most unlikely places, and to offer wholeness and meaning in the midst of a broken world.