Turning the Text: Midrashic Biblical Imagination for Preachers and Congregations

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Friday & Saturday, November 2-3, 2018

9:00 am to 4:00 pm

How might we approach the biblical texts used in preaching and worship with a holy, open, even playful imagination that can inspire courageous, engaged and faithful living in a North American religious climate in which the Bible has often been weaponized, idolized, or even abandoned? One approach is with a midrashic biblical imagination, which has its roots within the Bible itself, and among its earliest Jewish rabbinic interpreters. Midrashic imagination “turns and turns the text” (Pirkei Avot 5:22) with an openness to the polyvalence of biblical texts and to multiple possible interpretations. It connects the biblical narrative to our contemporary contexts through a combina- tion of careful textual study and a reverent imaginative engagement with the Lively Word of God as it is found in Scripture. This process is also inherently communal, inviting not just the preacher but also the community into the interpretive process. The workshops will lead participants into a Midrashic process, using the upcoming Revised Common Lectionary texts, chosen for their curious complexity, and timeliness. Participants can expect to gain hands-on experience with a midrashic-exegetical approach to the preaching text, as well as learn tools for engaging congregations with this approach in both lectionary bible study and public worship.

About the instructor: Elisabeth Jones recently completed a D.Min. in Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN with a thesis “(Re)Discovering a Midrashic Biblical Imagination for the Christian Community.” She is an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada, having taught at Vancouver School of Theology and at United Theological College/Le Séminaire Uni, where she was Director of Studies. She is currently enjoying serving as Lead Minister at Cedar Park United in Pointe Claire, Quebec. You can find some of her Midrashic writing on her congregational blog “BeyondWoodandStone.”


$150 for Continuing Education;
$220 if you are attending for academic credit as a “Focus on Practice”
*Fees include lunch on Friday & Saturday.


United Theological College
3521 University Street, Montréal

How to register:

Deadline: Oct 26, 2018
Email: admin@utc.ca


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