onWORD Conference logoThe onWORD Conference is an annual event that is centered on experiencing and enjoying the Scripture. This fall in conjunction with Bethel Lutheran Church, the E P Wahl Centre at Taylor was pleased to present the 2017 onWORD Conference.

Each year a main speaker tackles a central theme on a Bible topic, and other speakers and artists help us encounter and enjoy the text in new, memorable and (we trust) life-changing ways. These workshops and breakout sessions are where scholars and Bible teachers will help us journey through scripture, exploring, discovering, tasting and understanding.

This is a curated experience of the people, places and stories of the Bible using the gifts of artists, and featuring such speakers as Dr. Preston Pouteaux, Dr. David Gowler, Pastor Marv Ziprick, Meg Ziprick-Rieder, Dr. Tony Maan, Tim Willson and Dr. Randy Ritz. One of our featured speakers is Dr. David Gowler of Oxford College of Emory University, author of the new The Parables After Jesus (2017, Baker Academic); he explored the ‘reception history’ of this story.

The conclusion of the onWORD Conference was a first-century feast with a fattened calf: we tasted the flavors provided by the father and enjoyed by the Lost Son and all their neighbours. We experienced one of the most important and profound stories ever told: The Prodigal

onWORD Conference 2017

The annual onWORD Conference, was artful, thoughtful, meaningful – a fresh encounter with scripture.

Artists took this opportunity to engage with the text (Luke 15), and shared their gifts with the Church. Thank you for considering this opportunity!

Note: We had submissions in the Youth and Adult categories.



onWORD Speakers 


Dr. David Gowler is the Dr. Lovick Pierce and Bishop George F. Pierce Professor of Religion at Oxford College of Emory University (Atlanta, GA). Dr. Gowler is the author of Host, Guest, Enemy, and Friend: Portraits of the Pharisees in Luke and Acts; What Are They Saying about the Parables?; and What Are They Saying About the Historical Jesus? His newest book releases this fall from Baker Academic, The Parables After Jesus. His current project is James Through the Centuries (forthcoming, Blackwell Press).

Dr. Preston Pouteaux has been a pastor at Lake Ridge Community Church since 2013 and is passionate about exploring the ways that God's grace is at work in our neighbourhoods. Preston studied at Covenant College, Briercrest College, Regent College, Jerusalem University College, and Tyndale Seminary. He is a national team member of the Forge Canada Missional Training Network. He is the author of the Recently-released The Bees of Rainbow Falls. Preston is married to Kelly and they have two daughters.

Pastor Marv Ziprick has been serving at Bethel Lutheran Church in Sherwood Park for thirty years. He and his wife Becky have 3 children and 11 grandchildren.

Dr. Randy Ritz is a well-known musician and drama instructor/performer in the Edmonton area, notably as a faculty member at Concordia University. He presently spends much of his time playing the blues, performing as Dr. Blu.

Meg Ziprick-Reider is a gifted poet, and the author of her own book of poetry, On Following. Meg and her husband Paul have four children; they live on an acreage east of Sherwood Park.

Dr. Tony Maan serves as pastor of the Christian Reformed Church of St. Albert. He has degrees from Calvin College, Calvin Theological Seminary, and the University of Alberta. He and his wife MaryAnn have 4 children and 12 grandchildren. Tony has been an enthusiastic supporter of the onWORD Conference, but will be out of town for the event. His remarks about Henri Nouwen and Rembrandt’s painting Return of the Prodigal Son will be delivered via video.

Tim Willson is the Director of Communications and Marketing for Taylor Seminary and the E P Wahl Centre, and curator of the onWORD Conference. He and his wife Leanne and their daughters are active members at Bethel.

And more!