You don’t need to be enrolled in college to take a 101 class in the intricacies of gardening, remote controlled helicopters, stained glass or baking bread. Members at the Harrisonburg and Charlottesville (Va.) churches have been tuning in weekly to discover what hidden talents fellow Potomac members can share via Zoom, an online video conferencing platform.
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 one of his members 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 the ropes 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—ones 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 initially grew out of necessity due to state mandated 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 home—while quarantined and beyond.”