Saturday, August 25, 2012

New preachers workshop

I’m tired.

Friday, August 24, I led a workshop in Dulce Nombre for new preachers, who will do the reflections at the Celebrations of the Word in their villages. Fourteen showed up and the workshop went well.

I had asked a friend, Jim Hayes, who has a doctorate in preaching and works at Simpson College, for some ideas which I used, partly since they coincided with some of my original plans.

I had to make some changes in my original plans for the workshop – partly because some had little training in liturgy. I ended with a short introduction to the Gospel of Luke since that is the basis of the lectionary next year.

We shared what makes good preaching – and also what makes bad preaching. I had them work in three groups for the description of what makes a good preacher and had them write it on sheets. They explained it and then we put the sheets on the walls.

I had to make some other changes.

One problem here is the reading and comprehension ability of many of the people, even those involved in pastoral work in the villages. And so we spent about half an hour having everyone read sentences from scripture. After I did a short introduction to Luke-Acts, I had them read the first verse of both books. For some it was very difficult but they realize they have difficulties reading (and I mentioned how I sometimes have a hard time pronouncing some words). My guess is that no one ever took time to help them deal with this. I’m going to include it in future workshops.

I almost always end my programs with an evaluation. During the evaluation one of the persons noted – after having explained how they liked my methodology – that what was on the wall was theirs. And if a book is written, it’s theirs, he said. Wow! That made me feel that my efforts to help them grow in faith – and even more in self-confidence – are bearing fruit. They recognize that what they learn comes, at least in part, from them and their experiences.

I will write later about the workshop I did today, Saturday, with members of Prison Ministry from the dioceses in the north and west of the country.

While the preachers’ workshop was going on, some young people were bringing in truckloads of turf and putting them on the soccer field behind the church. Photos follow:

Adán is enjoying the work.

A bit of turf in the parish truck.

laying turf

Padre Efraín and Marcos inspecting the work so far.

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