2018 Bishop's Retreat

An Inspiring Opportunity for Our Pastors
Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center
West Hartford, CT 06107
October 30 - Nov 1, 2018*
The theme of our synodical program year is: “Proclaiming the Gospel – for Such a Time as This.” What are the challenges and opportunities when it comes to preaching in our day? How is preaching ministry different today than in previous generations? How is it the same? What does it mean to proclaim the gospel in a Lutheran key today? How can we understand proclamation more expansively to include occasions and experiences beyond the monologue sermon, such as music, drama, and other forms of the arts? At this year’s Bishop’s Retreat, we will explore responses to these questions during our keynote presentations, conversations, and during our times of worship, when will also experientially explore music, drama, dance, and other visual arts as forms of gospel proclamation. 
Our keynote speaker and one of the proclaimers for our worship time is the renowned preacher, professor, author, and bishop, William Willimon. Here is his description of his approach for the three keynote presentations at this event: 
Amid the cultural divisions, the cacophony of voices, and the social conflict that is occurring in our time, the gospel is peculiarly relevant. Times such as ours are a call for the preaching of the Good News. During our time together we will focus upon the ministry of preaching for such a time as this. Our hope is encouragement for those who weekly perform the ministry of proclamation.
Here are the titles and descriptions of Professor Willimon’s presentations: 
  1. Beginning with the Word. Christianity as inherently acoustical and auditory. Jesus as the embodiment of good news. Faith comes through hearing. 
  2. Preaching as the most important work of the pastor. How the proclamation of the church is changing. The greatest challenges in preaching today.
  3. The joy of preaching in a world that thinks it already knows God. How preaching is a core, countercultural activity of the church. Sustaining the ministry of preaching. 
*One or two-night registration options are available.
The Rev. William Henry Willimon
The Reverend Dr. William H. Willimon is Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry at the Divinity School, Duke University. He served eight years as Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of The United Methodist Church, where he led the 157,000 Methodists and 792 pastors in North Alabama. 
For twenty years prior to the episcopacy, he was Dean of the Chapel and Professor of Christian Ministry at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
Dr. Willimon is a graduate of Wofford College (B.A., 1968), Yale Divinity School (M.Div., 1971) and Emory University (S.T.D., 1973). He has served as pastor of churches in Georgia and South Carolina. 
Dr. Willimon is the author of sixty books. His Worship as Pastoral Care was selected as one of the ten most useful books for pastors in 1979 by the Academy of Parish Clergy. Over one million copies of his books have been sold. In 1996, an international survey conducted by Baylor University named him one of the Twelve Most Effective Preachers in the English-speaking world.
Bishop Willimon has given lectures and taught courses at many pastors’ schools and at colleges and universities in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. 
Tuesday, October 30
Simon & Jude, Apostles (Transferred)
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Registration and Room Assignments
3:30 – 4:00                  
Welcome, Opening Prayer and Introduction to the Retreat
4:00 – 5:30
Keynote One and Conversation: “Beginning with the Word”
Holy Communion, Simon and Jude, Apostles
Wednesday, October 31  
Reformation Day
7:30 am     
8:30 – 9:30   
Keynote Two and Conversation: “Preaching as the Most Important Work of the Pastor”
9:30 – 9:45   
9:45 – 11:00   
Keynote Three and Conversation: “The Joy of Preaching in a World that Thinks it Already Knows God”
11:15 – 11:45   
Midday Prayer and Homily by Bishop McCoid
1:00 – 6:00 pm   
Sabbath and Wellness Time, with a Variety of Activities of your Choice 
Conversation with the Bishop 
Holy Communion, Reformation Day – Drama as Gospel Proclamation


Thursday, November 1 
All Saints’ Day   
7:30 am     
Morning Prayer 
9:30 – 10:45   
Music as Proclamation with Donald Meineke 
11:00 – 12:00   
Holy Communion, All Saints’ Day – Dance and Visual Arts as Gospel Proclamation
1:00 pm