SVMC Continuing Education Events Look at Art in Worship, Preaching the Reign of God

The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC) based at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College is publicizing two continuing education events for ministers and other church leaders: “Reimagining Art for Worship” on Sept. 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Lititz (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, led by Diane Brandt; and “Preaching the Reign of God: Prophets, Poets, and Conversations” on Nov. 10, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Von Liebig Center at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., led by Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm.



Reimagining art for worship

“Like the choral anthem, the message, the prayers, and rituals, liturgical art enhances the worship experience,” said the announcement of this workshop. “Each element is meant to awaken us and open our hearts to God. The spiritual disciplines that go into sermon writing–prayer, meditation, study, and reflection–can also be used to create liturgical art. This kind of art-marking can be called co-creation, for one creates in partnership with the Creator, in a process that is itself an act of worship. This workshop will explore fresh possibilities for art in liturgical spaces and lead participants through a process for co-creating art themselves.” The event is led by Diane Brandt, minister of visual arts at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Lancaster, Pa. Cost is $65, which includes a light breakfast, lunch, a fee for materials, and .6 units of continuing education credit for ministers. The registration deadline is Aug. 24.



Preaching the reign of God

“Continuing the prophetic legacy of ancient Israel, the preaching of Jesus Christ is permeated with references to the kingdom (or reign) of God,” said an announcement. “Where is this reign of God to be found in the church’s relationship to the most difficult problems of our time–to terrorism, income inequality, climate change, and human sexuality? This preaching symposium will examine what Jesus preached about the reign of God, as well as how he did it. It will share new developments in the art and craft of preaching, in particular that of conversational homiletics. Through lecture, worship, small group discussion, and workshop time participants will explore how their own preaching may proclaim God’s life-giving reign among us.” The event is led by Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm, Brightbill Professor of Preaching and Worship at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind. The cost is $60, which includes a light breakfast, lunch, and .6 units of continuing education credit for ministers. The registration deadline is Oct. 25. This event is offered in collaboration with Bethany Theological Seminary and the chaplain’s office at Juniata College.


For registration forms contact the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center, One Alpha Dr., Elizabethtown, PA 17022; 717-361-1450;