O&F Schedule

The daily schedule for O&F 2021 is the same for each session

Day 1

Join between 8:15 and 8:25 using the webinar link.  

8:30 – 8:45 a.m.

Gathering and introductions

8:45 – 9:15

Opening worship with Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. preaching

9:15 – 10:00 Presentation #1 - Ministry in a House Divided: Finding the Purple Zone

Red state/blue state politics threaten the foundations of our democracy and rend the fabric of our churches. Congregations and church leaders require new perspectives and insights for navigating this difficult time. Rev. Dr. Leah Schade will offer an overview of “the purple zone” based on her survey of mainline Protestant pastors. She will then introduce a method for engaging issues of public concern called the “sermon-dialogue-sermon” process which enables congregations to find the values that bind them together and respond faithfully to God’s Word.

10:00 – 10:15


10:15-10:45 Presentation #2 - Uncovering Your Congregation’s “Theologies of Conflict”

Tensions and conflict are normal in the church but are sources of anxiety and dread for many congregations. We rarely discuss conflict from a theological perspective, but it’s important to understand the unspoken assumptions a congregation has about the relationship between God and our human disagreements and skirmishes. Is it possible to be in conflict and yet remain connected in the Body of Christ? How do we assess our congregation’s “theology of conflict?” This session will help unearth our hidden beliefs about how God relates to us and our congregations in the midst of conflict so that you can equip your church to handle tensions in a healthier and growth-producing way.

10:45 – 11:15

Small groups

You will leave the webinar and join your small group using the zoom meeting link you were sent.

Groups will practice using the “Theologies of Conflict” worksheet and discuss how they might use the resource with their congregations.

11:15 – 11:30 Break, during which you will return to the webinar.
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Q&A with Dr. Schade
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 3:00 Deliberative Dialogue Forum: The Role of the Church in a Divided Society

Join your small group (using the zoom meeting link, not the webinar) between 12:45 and 12:55

What should churches do to help their parishioners deal with the current, difficult state of political discourse in America? Using a nonpartisan form of discussion called “deliberative dialogue,” small groups will use a discussion guide that explores the church’s role in navigating the polarized political landscape that complicates our engagement with difficult social issues. You’ll learn a new technique for having a balanced, open-minded discussion in your own church that moves us beyond the current political debate and frames the conversation within biblical and theological perspectives.
3:00 – 3:15 Break, during which you will return to the webinar
3:15 – 4:00 Q&A with Bishop Saenz and Leah Schade
4:00 – 4:15 Closing prayer

Day 2

Join between 8:15 and 8:25 using the webinar link.

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. Opening worship time
8:45 – 9:15 Presentation #4 - Planning and Implementing the Sermon-Dialogue-Sermon Method in Your Congregation

Rev. Dr. Leah Schade will help clergy and lay leaders walk through the “sermon-dialogue-sermon” method for use in their own congregations. We’ll discuss how to choose “cool,” “warm,” or “hot” topics, and how to plan sermons and deliberative dialogues to address the chosen issue.

9:15 – 9:30 Break
9:30 – 10:00 Presentation #5 - Preaching Across the Divide: Strategies for Sermons in The Purple Zone
  The challenge of preaching across the red-blue divide in our churches is fraught with risks, but also offers opportunities for proclaiming the gospel and building community in profound and contextual ways. This session will help you think strategically about your sermons in the midst of this fractured time using two tools: a “dialogical lens” for interpreting scripture, and the “Five Paths for Prophetic Preaching.”
10:00 – 10:30

Small groups

You will leave the webinar and join your small group using the same zoom meeting link as on Day 1.

Participants will workshop upcoming lectionary texts for preaching using the dialogical lens.

10:30 – 10:45 Break, during which you will return to the webinar
10:45 – 11:15

Information about sermon-dialogue-sermon workshops

Final reflections with Bishop Saenz

11:15 – 12:15 Closing worship, Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. preaching