I am available for a variety of speaking engagements. Below, I have listed a number of courses, sermons, poetry readings, etc. that I would be delighted to serve you with [This is not an exhaustive list]. I am a guest speaker who likes to tailor my talks to suit your purposes so I am always happy to rework things to that end.
COLUMBIA ON THE ROAD COURSES
EARTH CRAMMED WITH HEAVEN: Living Theology in the Every-Day
This is a three session course claiming that everyone who believes in God is a theologian and that theology is something we live rather than believe.
- Work as Worship: Exploring a Theology of Vocation: Work is not part of the curse but part of God’s call to humanity. How can we overcome the secular/sacred divide and practice our work as worship?
- Praying all Day: Practicing the Presence of God: A fresh exploration of age-old questions: What is prayer? Why pray? How can I pray in the midst of ordinary life and make my life a prayer?
- Keeping the Sabbath: Time to just “Be”: What does Sabbath keeping look like today? Why keep Sabbath when no one else does? What are some disciplines for Sabbath-keeping?
This is a four session course that introduces the 16th century Anabaptist movement in Europe using PowerPoint pictures from Europe. It includes stories from the 16th century as well as theological reflections on contemporary issues.
1. Life in the 16th century: “Major Cultural Shift”
2. The Swiss Anabaptist Movement: “Baptism as Rebellion”
3. The German/Austrian Anabaptist Movement: “Embracing Diversity in Community”
4. The Dutch Anabaptist Movement: “Responding to Violence”
HURT AND HEALING
This is a three session course or retreat that focuses on the universal experience of pain and a practical Christian response for personal growth, relationships, and ministry to others.
- Everybody Hurts. This session invites people to acknowledge pain as a universal experience. It will highlight the importance of personal formation and the wounding of the self, especially in the context of family systems.
- The Journey of Healing. This session will look at the typical journey of healing using poetry and personal story. This journey often includes stages of denial, fear, pain, despair, anger, acceptance, and reconciliation.
- Wounded Healers. This session explores how our wounds can become gifts of healing that we offer to others in relationships and ministry.
MEN’S SPIRITUALITY WORKSHOPS
I would be willing to develop any combination of the metaphors in my book into workshops or for a men’s retreat. Here are two that have a fair bit of experience.
What is a spiritual man? This session explores what it means to be a man that relates to God, especially through work.
Growing Up to Be a Man, Growing Down to Be a Son. This session explores the stages of male development as well as stages of spiritual growth.
One of my favorite things to do is to read poetry aloud. I have posted some of my poems on the “poetry” page on this website but my poems really need to be heard to be fully appreciated. They are truly spoken word poems.
MY LIFE AS A TEENAGER: A poetry reading full of angst and humor using poems written during my adolescence and young adulthood. Especially appropriate for youth groups.
LOST BOY: A poetry reading of my journey of healing from childhood sexual abuse. It encompasses all the emotions: numbness, fear, pain, anger, healing, security, etc.
NAKED LAND: A SOUL GEOGRAPHY OF WESTERN CANADA: A poetry reading about all the places I have lived, from Manitoba to BC. Especially appropriate for those in mid-life.
I have almost 30 years of preaching experience from Genesis to Revelation. I have spoken in many churches from Ontario to BC, to groups from 5 in a living room to 5000 in a convention centre [see my CV]. Some of my sermons are posted on the “sermons” page on this website.
Books that I’m particularly fond of and/or have numerous sermons on are Genesis [especially Joseph stories], Psalms, Jeremiah, Luke, John, Acts, Ephesians, Colossians.
I am a great believer in the value of retreats. I have been part of planning and leading dozens of retreats and conferences for youth and adults. I am open to developing any of my topics above into retreat packages. A few additional retreat ideas are listed below:
IDENTITY AND APPRECIATION: A retreat using either the Enneagram or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to help people understand their unique personality and to appreciate differences with others.
FRIENDS FROM THE BIBLE: A retreat using character sketches of biblical persons in order to embrace them as spiritual friends, e.g. Joseph, David, Jeremiah, Ruth, Hannah, Peter, Mary, etc.
MEN’S SPIRITUALITY: A combination of any of the metaphors in my book on men’s spirituality. Here is one example:
Men Under Construction
- What are we building? [an introductory session with table activities and stories, based on chapter 1]
- Pouring the Foundation [a Bible study session, using the texts from Luke on p.60-61, chapter 4]
- Framing and Mudding [a session exploring a spirituality of work, based on chapter 10]
- Interior Decorating [a session on Sabbath and spiritual disciplines, based on parts of chapters 10, 11, 13]
SPIRITUALITY WITH CLOTHES ON: A combination of sessions based on chapters from my latest book, Spirituality With Clothes On: Examining what makes us who we are [Wipf & Stock, 2015]. Here are two sample combinations:
CELEBRATING INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES: Examining how gender, personality, developmental stage, and family systems influence our spirituality, i.e. how we pray, worship, and relate to God.
CHURCH ENGAGING CULTURE:
- There’s no Escape! Examining cultural changes today
- Witness or Withdraw: Looking at how Mennonites have engaged culture throughout history
- How? A look at some models of how churches can engage culture
- Monks in the Marketplace: Developing an economic spirituality
I am an ordained minister of the Mennonite Church. My life calling is to serve the church. I do appreciate an honorarium for my speaking engagements as well as coverage of all expenses related to the speaking engagement such as travel, meals, and lodging. A basic minimal guide for honorariums is: sermons- $150, workshops up to 90 minutes- $200, weekend retreats or Columbia on the Road courses up to 4 sessions- $500. Other configurations or special needs can be negotiated. For retreats and engagements requiring lodging I appreciate private accommodation.