Monday, January 28, 2019

Adam's Speaking Topics

Are you interested in having me speak at your conference, retreat, school, or church? Because I am a self-acknowledged introvert, some people assume I'm a train-wreck of a speaker, but in reality, I'm more of a fender-bender. There will be some damage, but you'll still be able to drive home afterwards. Really, what it means is that after I speak and mingle for a weekend, I need a good long nap.


The Listening Life, Introverts in the Church

I have a number of talks centered around my books The Listening Life and Introverts in the Church. I am particularly passionate about teaching groups how to listen to people in pain, flowing from my years of experience as a hospice chaplain. I have talks on the following subjects:

Listening to God
Listening to Others
Listening to People in Pain
Listening to Scripture
Thriving as an Introvert in an Extroverted World
Leading as an Introvert

"Adam McHugh shares a tremendous message about intentional listening and its vital signficance. He is an engaging and insightful speaker. He speaks vulnerably and with grace. He uses humor and evokes compassion. Those who heard and met him recently at our annual fundraising event left impressed and challenged to consider the transformative and healing impact of good listening in our lives. We recommend him highly. His insights can inspire us all to be surprised by intentional listening's impact." Michael Gingerich and Tom Kaden, Co-founders, Someone To Tell It To 

Wine and The Spirit 

My newest study is on the spirituality and history of wine. I moved from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara County a few years ago to delve deeply into wine, viticulture, and the spiritual meaning of place. My newest book project, to be published in 2021, will tell the story of my move from hospice chaplain to wine educator. Do you know that the modern wine industry, whether in the old world or in California, owes its greatness to the monastic and missionary traditions of the past? People immersed in the scriptures and in the grand Christian tradition have placed wine at the center of their rituals and tables for millennia.

In addition to being an ordained minister and spiritual director, I am also a sommelier and Certified Specialist of Wine. I worked as Tasting Room Manager at Au Bon Climat in Santa Barbara for 2 years, and now I work at boutique wineries in Los Olivos and also offer wine tours that cover the wines and history of the Santa Ynez Valley. I even have access occasionally to a stunning house up on a hill in Solvang if you are interested in a weekend wine and spirituality retreat for your small group.

I regularly teach the basics of wine tasting and wine and food pairing, and I lead wine tours that cover geology, viticulture, climate and how they influence the wine in your glass. I have led "Wine and The Spirit" seminars at the Glen Workshop in Santa Fe and have a series of lectures and discussions on: 

How To Taste Wine
Pairing Food and Wine
Wine and Christian Spirituality
Wine in the History of the Church

These subjects, of course augmented with actual wine tasting, would be fantastic for retreats and conferences. I can tailor events for diverse audiences, whether or not there is any spiritual or religious bent. Email me for more information on speaking, wine tours, or wine retreats.

"Adam talks about wine like someone who doesn't just know his subject, but loves it. He's winsome and funny, and turns what can be a very intimidating subject into something accessible and enjoyable, without flattening any of the complexity of the topic. Adam threads his deep knowledge of theology and spirituality into his discussion of the wine, bringing its fuller significance into the light. As he talks about it, wine becomes more than just a bottle on a shelf or a liquid in a glass -- it's something alive and vital." Alissa Wilkinson, Film Critic at Vox.com and Associate Professor of English and Humanities at The King's College

Speaking Highlights


March 2019 - Moshin Winery, Healdsburg CA, Writer-in-Residence

March 2018 - Casa Dumetz Winery, Los Alamos CA, Words to Live By series

April 2018 - Azusa Pacific University, Azusa CA, Writing as an Act of Listening

October 2017 - John Brown University, Siloam Springs AR, Relationships Week

September 2016 - Someone To Tell It To Banquet, Hershey PA

August 2015 and 2016 - Glen Workshop, Santa Fe NM, Wine and Food and Spirit

January 2014 - World Vision International, Monrovia CA

April 2013 - Image Journal Retreat, Napa CA, Ferment: Winemaking and the Creative Process

February 2012 - U.S. House of Representatives, Washington D.C., Guest Chaplaincy

April 2012 - Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA, Introverts in the Church

July 2011 - Laity Lodge, Leakey TX

April 2011 - Glenkirk Church, Glendora CA.

October 2010 - Irvine Presbyterian Church, Irvine CA.