Story by Tiffany Doss
You don’t need to be enrolled in college to take a 101 class in the intricacies of gardening, maneuvering remote controlled helicopters, creating stained glass or baking bread. Members at Potomac Conference’s Harrisonburg and Charlottesville churches in Virginia have been tuning in weekly via Zoom to discover what hidden talents fellow district members can teach each other.
The idea for these “101 Classes” started in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Wanting to provide a healthy source of entertainment and intellect for his members, District Pastor Kosly Joseph asked Joanne Goodwin, the treasurer of the Charlottesville church, if she would be willing to share her baking talents when she mentioned she had to get off a call with him to teach a friend how to bake bread via Skype.
“Every session is simply an introduction that focuses on what one needs to know to get started in a certain hobby or craft,” explains Joseph. “Currently we have held sessions on baking, gardening, maneuvering remote controlled helicopters and the basics of web surfing. And we are working to schedule more, like how to do stained glass projects.”
Currently, members convene once a week, generally on Sundays, to learn something new. “What really gets me excited is the number of different members who are taking advantage of these sessions,” says Joseph. “It’s bringing different people across congregations together.”
While the idea initially grew out of the state-mandated necessities to physically distance, Joseph says the 101 classes and growing virtual culture are here to stay. “This is a much easier way for larger groups of people to connect,” he explains. “It cuts down on commuting time and allows people to learn from the comfort of their own homes—while quarantined and beyond.”