Preaching the Stories We Don’t Always Hear

Like a Greatest Hits collection, it’s easy to return to the well-trodden path of recognizable Bible stories and not without good intentions. You want those narratives to inspire your congregation. But what if there was a way to talk about less familiar stories and connect in a brand new way?

We think there is.


Authors and educators Lisa Thompson, C. Wess Daniels, and Ashley Wilcox help us apply less widely-understood themes and stories from the Biblefrom The Book of Revelation to the feminine imagery of Godto the world we live in. If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in the same few texts or struggling to relate ancient truth to current events, this discussion will expand your heart and mind.

Thursday, August 12 at 1:00 PM CDT

FREE Admission

(Registration will be capped at 300 participants.)

Comfort zones are inevitable, and preachers, teachers, and lay leaders aren’t exempt. If anything, the stories, verses, and parables we’re most familiar with are the ones we tend to lean on for illustration and examplesometimes to a fault.

Acknowledging that tendency is a wonderful place to start, but knowing what to do next can be overwhelming. Thankfully, we have help. 

Lisa Thompson, Wess Daniels, and Ashley Wilcox have each studied, written, and taught extensively on these topics. What they have to share will change the way you think and talk about the Bible. 

You're invited to a time of discovery

Preaching the Headlines: Possibilities and Pitfalls

The headlines are where daily life meets the public squarebe it through social-media feeds, news outlets, or daily chatter. Preachers often feel stuck when met with quickly shifting and dense media topics. If and when preachers determine it is appropriate to address issues that arise in the news cycle, they are often at a loss for how to speak about these issues from the pulpit. When preachers understand that a responsibility to sustain life is embedded in the purposes of preaching, they discover greater fluidity between the everyday world, the biblical text, and preaching itself. Preaching the Headlines engages the intersections of social and religious discourse for the purpose of helping communities attend to everyday issues as matters of faith and faith as a practical, everyday aspect of life.

This book reframes preaching as an ongoing conversation between the modern world and the world of the text, exploring where the divides between the two may be less rigid than we acknowledge. In preaching, the preacher uses what they know about life as a bridge to the text, while life in the text provides the bridge back to faith in the contemporary world.

Resisting Empire: The Book of Revelation as Resistance

Revelation speaks to the reality that we are caught in the fray of cosmic conflict. We are guilty. We’ve already been contaminated. But it’s not too late for us to exit empire and enter the kingdom. We are yet both victim and victimizer. We have healing work to do, and we must take responsibility for the ways in which we have benefited from and been complicit with the religion of empire. This is the truth of Revelation. God wants to liberate us in body, heart, soul, and mind.

Revelation reveals how scapegoating functions within an empire. Revelation critiques wealth and shows that even in the first century there was prophetic critique against an economic system that was based on abundance for some while exploiting the rest. Revelation demonstrates the import

The Women’s Lectionary: Preaching the Women of the Bible throughout the Year

Focusing on passages about women in the Bible and feminine imagery of God, The Women's Lectionary reimagines the liturgical calendar of preaching for one year. These women are daughters, wives, and mothers. They are also strong leaders, evil queens, and wicked stepmothers. They are disciples, troublemakers, and prophetesses. Ashley Wilcox explores how the feminine descriptions of God in the Bible are similarly varied—how does it change our understanding if God is feminine wisdom, has wings, or is an angry mother bear?

Discover this must-have lectionary, perfect for every female clergyperson or anyone seeking to incorporate more insights from a female perspective into their preaching. From well-known figures like Miriam and Mary to lesser-known women like Huldah and Sapphira to feminine metaphors, this comprehensive resource features more than one hundred commentary essays with an Old Testament and New Testament passage for each Sunday of the year and special holy days in the calendar.

What You’ll Gain

  • Fresh ways to share a more complete image of God in and through your sermons
  • Insights into the people, places, and events thateven nowshape our conversations
  • Expanded imagery and language for God and faith
  • Practices from Christian traditions that support justice and liberation in church and society
  • Practical help for mobilizing communities of faith in the world today


Learn More

Often, we experience the Divine in the stories of human beingspeople with the same flaws and fears as us. By learning to see the image of God in their stories, we’re better able to see the same in ours.

Meet the Authors


Lisa L. Thompson, PhD

Dr. Lisa Thompson is Associate Professor and the Cornelius Vanderbilt Chancellor Faculty Fellow of Black Homiletics at the Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion of Vanderbilt University. As a leader in scholarship that values intellectual rigor and concerns of faith, she holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts in Religion from Vanderbilt University. She prioritizes discussing the ways religion can be used for the destruction or uplift of our lives together. Her current book projects are entitled Ingenuity: Preaching as the Outsider (Fall 2018) and Preaching the Headlines (Fall 2022). 


C. Wess Daniels, PhD

Dr. Wess Daniels is a graduate of Malone University (BA) and Fuller Theological Seminary (MAT and PhD) and is the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Previously he was the ‘released Quaker minister’ (i.e. pastor) at Camas Friends Church in Camas WA. His Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary is from the School of Intercultural Studies on the subject of the renewal of faith traditions within participatory culture. He is the author of Resisting Empire: The Book of Revelation as Resistance.


Ashley M. Wilcox

Ashley Wilcox is a Quaker minister and the author of The Women’s Lectionary: Preaching the Women of the Bible throughout the Year, a handbook for feminist preachers, available for pre-order from Westminster John Knox Press. Ashley is a graduate of Candler School of Theology and Willamette University College of Law. She founded Church of Mary Magdalene and Preaching with Confidence, and online coaching class for preachers. Ashley travels around the country to speak and preach, and has been leading workshops on women and spirituality for more than a decade. For the past four years, she has been teaching and preaching to the students at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. 

Are you an author whose book could be of value to the Faith+Lead audience? We might be able to feature you during an upcoming Book Hub event! Contact us to learn more.

Discover the beauty and the power of those Bible stories you may not be as familiar with.