A Generous Place to Learn

By the Rev. Dr. Tisha Brown

The Damascus Project, funded in part by Our Church’s Wider Mission, engages lay people, seekers and pastors in high-quality educational programs. The name of this innovative project was inspired by Paul’s transformation on the road to Damascus.

The story began with Paul heading to Damascus to continue his persecution of the first Christians. A flash of light forced Paul to the ground and he heard Jesus speak to him. Blinded, Paul stumbled on to Damascus. A Christian named Ananias nursed him to health and taught him about Christianity. Ananias offered Paul a generous place to learn.

People often remember the fall to the ground but forget Ananias’ role in Paul’s transformation. Yet, for most of us, true change in our lives comes from friendships and communities that encourage us to reflect, imagine and learn.

The Damascus Project takes seriously the need for companions on our faith exploration and learning journeys. This is why we created not just a set of online videos but an engaging social community, a network of people exploring faith and leadership. Two foundational programs for lay people and Members in Discernment begin in January: Faith Foundations and Leadership Skills.

You might be interested in Faith Foundations if you want to:

  • Wonder about God, Jesus, and Scripture in a non-judgmental space.
  • Discover new tools for interpreting the Bible.
  • Develop language for speaking with confidence about your faith and finding your voice.
  • Explore gifts for serving God in ministries of all kinds.

Leadership Skills might be the place for you if you would like to:

  • Learn about different leadership styles and identify your own.
  • Develop methods for strengthening relationships, building community and navigating conflict.
  • Equip yourself with new skills for serving your community.
  • Deepen your knowledge about the United Church of Christ.

If you are intrigued, explore the many registration options available by visiting the Damascus Project website. New registrations are welcome through the end of December. Members of the Minnesota and Wisconsin Conferences get a 15% discount using the code MNWI. Email the Damascus Project or call 507-222-0914 for more information.

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