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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church


    news article

    The 2017-2018 Illuminate Preaching Academy begins in September

    June 27, 2017 / By UNY Communications

    Built around the characteristics of bright spot preaching, Illuminate Preaching Academy seeks to come alongside good preachers and help them grow toward being great preachers. Time is given to exploring methods of sermon writing, series development, delivery of the sermon, and connecting with the community to whom we are preaching.

    “Every year we try to gather guest faculty from across the Connection to provide insight and instruction for Illuminate Preaching Academy and Leadership Academy. This year the teams have once again brought together a faculty that is sure to help every Christ-following leader grow in leadership capacity” the Rev. Dr. Aaron Bouwens, Director of Vital Congregations said. He went on to add, “The Academies are a great opportunity to grow in skills, as well as spiritual depth from which our leadership originates.”

    The 2017sessions will be held Sept. 26-28 and Nov. 7-9; the remaining sessions will be held Jan. 9-11, April 10-12, and May 15-17 in 2018.

    Reflections from UNY Conference leaders who have attended the Illuminate Preaching Academy in the past include:

    "Preaching academy was a wonderful experience. I was shown some new technics and different was to approach preparing a sermon. My favorite part was the opportunity to preach for other pastors and learn from their experiences. As a CLM new to serving a church I am aware of the big responsibility of sharing God's word. Preaching academy has giving me the confidence to do that with more passion."-Jeanette Mann

    "Like every Vital Congregations' training I have experienced, I found the training events insightful, relevant, and fruitful. We all get different things from them. It is the kind of training that is both theoretical and hands on. The program not only brings in national leaders whenever it can, but it shares insights from peers in our conference. The more relaxed environment gives a chance to allow the seeds of awareness and growth to just begin to take root. For me, I think I got as much or more from sharing with colleagues and friends as I did from the teaching."-Rev Mike Weeden, DS

    "I have to admit, I signed up for the Illuminate Preaching Academy to fulfill the obligation of continuing edu-cation requirements - I had no idea what God had in store for me. I enjoyed the experience much more than I anticipated I would and gained more knowledge about myself as well as the art and craft of sermon prep and preaching. The colleagues I met and the connections I made have stayed with me and I find myself thinking of them each and every time I step to the pulpit to preach, I say a prayer for them as I re-member the bond we now share. The Illuminate Preaching Academy experience was much more than a filling of an obligation, it was a much needed time of learning, self-reflecting, connecting (with God and colleagues), fellowship and retreat." -Pastor Jack Ford

    "Knowing the importance of preaching, I've always worked very hard on this craft. There are some great resources out there and I've taken advantage of many of them. That said, Illuminate Preaching Academy (IPA) was a game changer for me. I loved the collegiality. Whether listening to fantastic presenters or just listening and learning from other great preachers, whom I would never otherwise get the chance to hear, it brought my preaching to the next level.In fact, that's just it. Sharing in the IPA program, took my preaching to a place I may never have achieved on my own. If you want to be your best too, check out Preaching Academy. I promise you, the results will speak for themselves." -Chris Wylie

    Click here to register for this training.

    TAGGED / Vital Congregations


    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 867 local churches and 65 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."