The Damascus Project
The BTS Center has provided two years of grant funding, in the amount of $10,000 annually, to The Damascus Project, an initiative of the Wisconsin Conference and Minnesota Conferences, United Church of Christ. We are excited about this project, which helps us to carry out our mission of catalyzing spiritual imagination with enduring wisdom for transformative faith leadership.
The Damascus Project seeks to both honor the traditions and experiences of our past and to build upon them as we move into the future. They cultivate communities of learners to deepen Christian learning and discipleship for a wide variety of populations – parishioners, church leaders, licensed clergy, ordained clergy, pilgrims, and seekers. Their aim is nothing short of the transformation of hearts and minds as the scales “fall from our eyes” and they see more clearly how we as people of faith might contribute to the development of God’s beloved community in existing congregations and in emerging faith communities.
As The Damascus Project continue to engage this work, they are embracing these Core Values:
- Engaging Life-long learning & faith development
- Offering UCC informed, theologically grounded, spiritually rich learning opportunities
- Attending to real people, real stories, real needs and real world application
- Empowering the development of people’s spiritual gifts for ministries of all kinds
- Creating communities of learners and hospitable learning spaces
- Working for justice and peace by equipping people to address issues of concern from a faith-based perspective
- Fostering creativity, innovation and transformation
Since fall 2018, The Damascus Project has offered 5 courses, with an enrollment of 34 people from across both Conferences. These courses have been grounded in the wisdom of the Christian tradition, incorporating an outcome-based, action-reflection model of teaching and learning that focuses on learners’ real-life ministry contexts. The Damascus Project offers safe learning spaces in which questions are encouraged, wisdom is drawn from real-life contexts and experiences, and God’s people are empowered to develop their spiritual gifts for ministries of all kinds. We are excited by the possibilities revealed and eager to see the project go to the next level.
The Damascus Project will have two courses to be offered right after Easter: 1) The Church’s Response to Mental Health and Addiction; and 2) Being a Faith Change Agent: A New Paradigm for Transformational Pastoral Leadership. We are very excited to share more with you about these learning opportunities. Stay tuned.