We are pleased to introduce Ted Creen, the author of Say What?. Ted’s book is now available for order through your local Christian bookstore. We asked Ted, to share some information about himself and his latest book!
Ted Creen is a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, now in semi-retirement. After graduating with a M.Div. from Knox College in Toronto, Ted and his wife Lorraine served congregations in Stouffville and Owen Sound, Ontario. Ted is currently the summer pastoral coordinator of Huron Feathers Presbyterian Centre at Sauble Beach, Ontario.
One of Ted’s passions in ministry is the teaching/preaching role. Both he and Lorraine are students of the Word and spend much time reading, reflecting, and applying God’s truths. This, for Ted, has developed into a writing ministry as well. His first book, Moving Mountains (or at least managing them), used references for mountains through the Scriptures to explore faith today. This book is now out of print.
The creative arts have also played a strong role in Ted’s ministry. He has written a number of musical dramas for children based on stories from the Bible. One song from those musicals, Lead Me, Jesus, is published in the current Presbyterian hymnbook. For a dramatized worship, Ted memorized Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount and recited it in dramatic fashion. It was a profound experience for Ted. He became particularly attracted to the eight beatitudes that begin the Sermon, which led to writing a book, Get a Life! This book is currently available through Word Alive Press.
During his time in Owen Sound, Ted became a spiritual advisor to the palliative care team at the local hospital. Along with the medical doctor on the team, Ted has spoken at many venues across Canada. Currently, Ted conducts grief and bereavement support groups. To enable that work, Ted created a special illustrated Christmas story, Myrrh is Mine. This book, available through Word Alive Press, offers healing and hope for those dealing with loss at Christmas.
He has received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Princeton Theological Seminary with a thesis based on enabling hope in the terminally ill.
Ted is excited about this new book, Say What?, and hopes that it will provide spiritual insights for anyone who reads it. He is always interested in receiving feedback from readers and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How did you first get into writing? What inspired or challenged you to take up writing?
A: One aspect of ministry I have constantly enjoyed is the challenge of preparing a weekly sermon, particularly when I have the time to truly “dig into” a passage of scripture, learn about the original language used, discover the original setting for the passage and then to allow the passage to speak to our current situation. At times, such as with the summer ministry I conduct in Sauble Beach Ontario, I have the opportunity to pursue a theme for the entire 10 weeks of summer. My preparation for the summer of 2013, learning as much as I could about the Beatitudes of Jesus resulted in the book “Get a Life!. During the summer of 2016, my summer congregation dealt with the parables of Jesus. This became my most recent book, Say What?.
Q: How have those two books been received?
A: I have been gratified that through writing, I can reach out to a wider audience. Get a Life! has been used by numerous congregations as a Bible Study tool. I have shared with those congregations a special accompanying study guide. I trust that God will use my new book, Say What? in a similar way, putting me in touch with Christians and congregations throughout the continent.
Q: You have writted another book, Myrrh is Mine which has a very different format. Where did the ideas for this book come from?
A: Until semi-retiring in 2011, I served St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Owen Sound, Ontario. Early in that ministry I was asked to serve as a Pastoral Consultant to the newly developed palliative care team at the local hospital. I continued in that position for many years—dealing with critical illness and, approaching death with families was both challenging and an intense growing experience. Out of that, I began to offer workshops on the grieving process following loss. Most recently, I became a facilitator for small bereavement groups through the Victoria Order of Nurses. Out of many issues arising from supporting those grieving the loss of a loved one was the potential difficulties around holidays such as Christmas. It is hard to express joy and merriment when one’s heart has been broken. I wrote Myrrh is Mine as a fable to share with families at Christmas. Word Alive Press enabled the story to be beautifully illustrated and made into a picture/story book. I have been giving it to grieving families and using it along side “Coping with the Holidays” workshops.
Q: Do you have any projects currently in the works?
A: I have embarked on another research and preaching project for the summer of 2018 at Huron Feathers in Sauble Beach. This year we will spend the summer exploring the topic of Christian love through 1 Corinthians 13. Whether this turns eventually into a book is up to the Holy Spirit. I would also love to create a graphic novel for young people. I have a story in mind drawn from the Bible.
Q: From what you have said so far, it would appear that your writing draws from your active ministry. What advice might you give to someone contemplating writing?
A: My books have come from my life experience as a minister and as a chaplain in palliative care. Everyone has their own unique life situation. I would suggest that the call towards writing a book should arise from that situation. What have you learned or experienced that could potentially be shared with others through a book? Be open to allow that experience to shape just what kind of book that might become. For me, two basically Bible Study books and a story book for healing grief. I have been working with a new author who has quite a life story he will be sharing in an upcoming book through Word Alive Press. For someone else, it might be a short children’s book.
I also caution new writers to be ready for quite a task. Turning a great idea into an actual manuscript is not easy. Take time, be patient, and re-write until it is right. Have someone who can (with caring criticism) pick their way through the manuscript from the point of view of a reader. I have been gifted with two such people in my family: my wife Lorraine and daughter Sarah. With Say What? they took time to carefully read the manuscript and suggest some very necessary corrections and additions. That part of the process takes time but truly does pay off.
Ted Creen is a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, currently serving as the pastoral coordinator of Huron Feathers Presbyterian Centre at Sauble Beach, Ontario. Ted and his wife Lorraine reside in Owen Sound. They have one daughter, Sarah, who is married to Michael and they have two children, Grace and Jonah. Ted has written a number of books, including Get a Life!, based on the beatitudes of Jesus, and Myrrh is Mine, an illustrated fable to provide healing and hope for those who are grieving at Christmas.