Hulitt Gloer always has loved going into bookstores. But for many years, he felt guilty about stopping to browse the latest bestsellers and the new releases in nonfiction. Resolutely, Gloer pushed past bestselling novels, heading instead for the religion section to find the books he thought he should be reading. No more.
Hulitt Gloer and about a dozen other pastors will attend the Imaginative Reading for Creative Preaching retreat in Kerrville. Gloer, a professor at Baylor University's Truett Theological Seminary, gave himself permission to veer off the customary theological reading track. The result has been more meaningful, relevant sermons, he said. Now he is passing the word to other pastors: Banish the guilt. Come January, he and a dozen other preachers will head to a lodge near Kerrville for six days to discuss books, from such classics as To Kill a Mockingbird and The Grapes of Wrath to children's books such as Does God Have a Big Toe?--even science fantasy such as A Wrinkle in Time. Imaginative Reading for Creative Preaching, an annual retreat begun in 2006, is offered through the Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching at Truett Seminary.