“I was a reluctant attendee.  The topic and style didn’t seem to resonate with me.  I came to the ministry after two degrees in English and am a lover of the written word. …  But as I attended the workshop, I found myself drawn in.  I tried out the methods I learned … back in my congregation and it was transformative for me. The congregation loves the more connected, personal and heart-based style of extemporaneous preaching, and I find that when I preach this way I cut my preparation time dramatically, leaving me less stressed and overworked, with more time to spend with family. …  (The listeners) are looking for something fresh, something spiritual, something that connects them and inspires them.  What I learned from M’ellen and Stephen is that this need  isn’t just about a change in content, it’s about a whole different way of preaching.  I’m grateful that my collegial connections drove me to take this workshop.”  – Rev. Cynthia Landrum, Clarklake, MI

“I really enjoyed the Preaching by Heart class.  What I found so useful was the chance to try something new in a safe setting, especially in the presence of such committed teachers/leaders and such accepting listeners.”  – Lay speaker, Washington, VT

“After I participated in the workshop… I  prepared my first sermon by figuring out the structure of the message ‘orally’ rather than through writing.  In doing so, I found new transitions that enlivened my sermon and connected both with my heart and my mind. One member of the community, noticed the difference right away and surprised me with these words, ‘You were speaking from your heart.’  Since that time, I have felt a more open connection with my people when I preach.  As an added bonus, the workshop experience brought me closer to the ministers of our region.   Preaching from the heart opened hearts.”  – Rev. Patty C. Willis, Salt Lake City, UT

“M’ellen and Stephen’s workshop was exactly the nudge I needed to follow my instinct and begin preaching from my heart in earnest. … The workshop gave me the courage and confidence to try.  As a result my preaching and my sermon prep have been completely transformed.  I now spend most of my time on WHAT I want to say and only limited amounts of time on HOW I want to say it. It makes me come alive. I love the intimacy it makes possible and the freedom it gives me to read a room, or my own heart, and to adjust on the fly.” – Rev. Michael Leuchtenberger, Concord, NH