Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Joanne Goodwin, treasurer for the Charlottesville (Va.) church, demonstrates the basic steps needed to bake homemade bread.

101 Classes Introduce New Hobbies to Members

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 Potomac members have and are sharing with one another.

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 talents on how to bake bread, when she mentioned she had to get off a call to teach a friend 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 three sessions—one on baking, gardening and remote controlled helicopters—and are working to schedule one on how to do stained glass projects. This Sunday we will have a class on the basics of web surfing.” 

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 intially grew out of the necessity due to state-mandated social (and physical) distancing, 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."

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