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Beyond the Red Blue Divide: Into the Purple Zone: A School for Ministry Autumn Intensive Session

October 14, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

$30 – $50

The School for Ministry invites you to Beyond the Red Blue Divide: Into the Purple Zone with Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, professor of Preaching at Lexington Theological Seminary.

SESSION 1: Ministry in a House Divided: Finding the Purple Zone

Red state/blue state politics threaten the foundations of our democracy and tear the fabric of our churches. Congregations and church leaders need new perspectives and insights for navigating this difficult time. Rev. Dr. Schade will offer an overview of “the purple zone” based on her longitudinal research of nearly 3000 clergy and 1000 laity from 2017-2023.

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.

SESSION 2: 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. Informed by insights from her longitudinal research of nearly 3000 clergy and 1000 laity from 2017-2021, Rev. Dr. Schade will help you think strategically about your sermons in the midst of this fractured time. Based on her book Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019), Dr. Schade offers a way to approach preaching in this politically divisive climate using two tools she developed: a “dialogical lens” for interpreting scripture, and the “Five Paths for Prophetic Preaching.” Participants will workshop upcoming lectionary texts for preaching using these tools.

SESSION 3: Navigating the Red-Blue Divide: Clergy and Congregations in Collaboration

How can clergy and laity work together to navigate the political divides that plague our society and our congregations? What are ways that congregations can support their pastors when they preach and teach about the social issues that affect the people of God?
Participants are invited to include congregants in this session. In this conversation guided by Rev. Dr. Schade, we’ll discuss challenges and opportunities for building relationships of trust and dialogue so that both pastors and parishioners can feel heard, respected, and held in God’s grace.

Learn more about Rev. Dr. Leah Schade here.


October 14, 2023
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
$30 – $50
Event Category:


School For Ministry
View Organizer Website


Zoom Meeting