Kayaking at BdeMakaSka - Photo courtesy of Meet Minneapolis

Festival Blog

2019 Festival of Homiletics - Minneapolis

"Preaching as Moral Imagination"



Speaker Profile: Eric Elnes

"When it comes down to it, we often experience God’s work at raising our vision and expanding our hearts not as something warm and fuzzy, but as violence, at least at first. The first hit feels more like a shock-wave than a love wave. It brings the barriers down that we have so carefully erected between ourselves and God – and between ourselves and other people. If we have deluded ourselves into thinking that an authentic relationship with God is only ever about warm fuzzies and never about rude awakenings, we had better batten down the hatches. We should also ask ourselves how we as Christians, whose central religious symbol is a Cross, have lost the awareness that the in-breaking of God’s love and grace rarely appears as something we embrace as great and godly at first, but is resisted mightily, even by the faithful. The Cross marks the site of impact – where stone hits a calm pond.  Ground Zero. It reminds us of the violence of our reaction when a Love that is great enough to embrace the whole world hits us." -Eric Elnes


Rev. Dr. Eric Elnes is the Senior Pastor of Countryside Community Church (UCC) in Omaha, NE.  Hi is also the host of Darkwood Brew, a weekly, interactive webcast that gathers people from around the world for an engaging exploration of Convergence Christianity using a blend of ancient Christian mystical practice (lectio divina), modern interactive web technology, world-class jazz, arts, biblical scholarship, special guests from around the world via Skype.  With a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Princeton Theological Seminary, Elnes is the author of several books and publications including, The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity (Jossey-Bass, 2006) and a book on experiential worship called Igniting Worship: The Seven Deadly Sins(Abingdon, 2004).  Dr. Elnes also helped lead a 2,500 walk from Phoenix to Washington, DC, in 2006 to promote awareness of progressive/emerging Christian faith and practice and meet with Christians at a grassroots to hear their hopes and dreams for the future of faith in America.  His journey, which is the subject of a feature-length film, The Asphalt Gospel, is recounted in his book, Asphalt Jesus: Finding a New Christian Faith on the Highways of America (Jossey-Bass, 2007).  

Festival Schedule

He will be speaking on 5/20/2014 at 1:30pm at Westminster Presbyterian and again on 5/20/2014 at 3:00pm in a follow-up session at Westminster Presbyterian. 

Additional Info

We are excited to welcome Eric Elnes here for the Festival in may. With his wealth of experiences, we are sure to learn a great deal in the way of "Preaching with Holy Imagination." For more about him, check out the following links: 



Darkwood Brew:





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