I will be away from Glenview from January 29 to February 24. I've saved up two years worth of Continuing Education leave to do it. I'll be teaching preaching to ministers and theological students in Tamil Nadu and Nagaland States. One state is hot, dry, and flat. The other is temperate and mountainous. The map gives you an idea of the routes I'll be taking.
If you're curious about my itinerary you can download it here. If you want to follow me, please pray each day for my colleagues (Alfie and Ben) and me, and the people we will be working with. When I can, I'll post to the Glenview Facebook page and this Blog and include more detailed maps.
Last year a colleague from India contacted me and invited me to come and participate in a program of continuing education for preachers. I first met Dr. Alfred Stephen at a conference in Germany in 2012. We are both members of Societas Homiletica, an international association of preachers and teachers of preaching. In 2014 Alfie hosted a Societas meeting in his home base, Madurai in southern India. A friend warned me before I went to Madurai that, once I'd been in India I would want to go back. So I'm going back. Conversations we had about online education and continuing education at the 2016 Societas meeting in South Africa led Alfie to reach out and tell me about his program. He believes preachers in India, lay and ordained, need support, encouragement, and ongoing training.
We will be working with groups of preachers in Madurai and Trichy, in Tamil Nadu State. We will also teach seminary students in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu. I visited a colleague at that Ecumenical Lutheran Seminary in 2014.
We will move on to Nagaland, one of the states in northeast India. There the population is 80% Christian, a contrast to the southern states, where Christians make up 3 - 6% of the population. we'll be visiting the town of Wokha and Jalukie, and ending our program in the city of Dimapur. We will be working with pastors, and students in a Seminary and Bible College. I'll be working with another colleague from the Societas, Bendang (Ben) Onen. When we first met in 2014 he was one of Dr. Stephen's grad students.
I'll be preaching, too. Once in Madurai and three times in Jalukie. I've been told to expect to be asked to preach along the way, including sample sermons in class!
My assigned topics are the use of imagination, specifically analogy, in preaching. I'll be dusting off some old material and creating a lot of new stuff as I go along. It's hard to know what will work until I get there and started. My imagination will be stretched to its limits.
Here are pictures of four places I'll visit.