I don’t understand how actual big shot author types survive authentic speaking tours. I’m only averaging one Pietist Option-related event per month from January through March, and even that’s enough to make me feel tired.
But then, that’s partly because I’m not only teaching about Pietism, but giving sermons at three different churches. It’s been a few years since my first visit to the pulpit, but preaching still fills me with trepidation — if no longer sheer terror.
So if you live in the Twin Cities, want to learn more about our “option,” and/or are curious to see if I can subdue my nerves and lack of training long enough to deliver a decent homily, here are your next three opportunities:
Sunday, January 28 — Rice Creek Covenant Church (Lino Lakes, MN)
Rice Creek is going to take part in our denomination’s Immerse Bible reading experience, with my visit coinciding with the first twenty chapters of Exodus. After preaching (10am) on what that chunk of text reveals about liberation, I’ll lead a short class on Pietism today (11:15am).
Friday/Saturday/Sunday, February 9-11 — Bethlehem Covenant Church (Minneapolis, MN)
I’m honored to be asked back for a second appearance as the speaker for Bethlehem’s Winter Seminar. In 2013, that annual event gave me a chance to start to think out loud about “The Pietist Impulse in the 21st Century.” This time I’m going to use the Friday evening (6:45pm) and Saturday morning (9:00 and 11:00am) classes to consider the Pietist Option in light of the Reformation’s 500th anniversary. Then I’ll preach (8:45am contemporary, 11:00am classic) on Elisha picking up Elijah’s mantle (2 Kings 2) and what that story might suggest about the future of the Church.
Sunday, March 4 — Salem Covenant Church (New Brighton, MN)
Glad as I am for the chance to speak in other churches, it’s a particular joy to be invited back to the pulpit of my own — typically filled by my co-author, Salem senior pastor Mark Pattie. All the more so because I’ll be preaching (8:30am and 9:45am traditional, 11:00am contemporary) as part of a series on The Pietist Option — so readers might want to attend other Sundays in February and March to hear Mark and others preach on the book’s themes. I haven’t picked a text yet, but one way or another I’ll revisit the topic of ch. 4: “The Common Priesthood for the Common Good.” (What better topic for a lay preacher?)