Mastery Foundation Logo The Mastery Foundation - March 2005
This is the first issue of a quarterly newsletter designed to keep you up-to-date on the work of the Mastery Foundation. Below you can read about our plans for 2005, and by clicking here you can read a summary of all the work we did last year and some wonderful stories and comments from some of our participants in the 2004 Annual Report.

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Fr. Basil Pennington and Sister Anna Interfaith
We are offering our newly redesigned interfaith program, Making a Difference: A Course for Those Who Minister, four times this year. More than 2500 individuals called to ministry from a rich diversity of faith traditions have participated in this program since we began in 1984. They tell us long after that it is one of the most powerful and transforming experiences of their ministry.

As Fr. Basil Pennington says, "To make a difference is the deep aspiration of each of us whose life is about sacred ministry. The power of a Moses who led a people to freedom, the power of a Gandhi to march to the sea and lead a people to freedom and dignity, the power of a Martin Luther King, of a Teresa of Calcutta. The same power resides within each one of us. But it is restrained by our considerations, our memories, our fears. Whether you call it a workshop or a retreat, the Making a Difference course enables us to get in touch with our power and in living out of that power, to make the difference we want to make."

Schedule of 2005 Workshops
April 12 - 14 Cookstown, Northern Ireland
August 22 - 24 Litchfield, Connecticut
October 5 - 7 Frederick, Maryland
October 17 - 19 Bloomingdale, New Jersey
Community Empowerment Program Workshop Community Empowerment
Our work in the Mississippi communities of Clarksdale and Greenville began this year with hundreds of voices joined in song - and not just any song, but rousing spirituals and gospel music. In February, we joined forces with Delta State University and St. James Episcopal Church to bring together local residents for two afternoons of learning and singing with the wonderful musician and teacher, Dr. Horace Boyer. These events are one way to gather together in community a diversity of people and also invite them to participate in the Community Empowerment programs. On June 20-21, we will hold our first Community Empowerment Program in Greenville. On August 30-31, we will hold our fourth Community Empowerment Program in Clarksdale. (We will also hold our fourth Community Empowerment Program in Northern Ireland in June.)
Mural: Omagh, Northern Ireland Peace and Reconciliation
Our first trip to Israel this year is in April. We will be delivering two programs there. The first program will be held in the Arab village of Tamra for leaders of that municipality and other Arab villages in Northern Israel. These men and women are deeply committed to the overall welfare of their community. They are also resigned about working within a system where many important decisions are not in the hands of the local community and frustrated at having so little to show for all their efforts. Our job is to empower them with new ideas and tools that will transform their frustration and resignation and help them reclaim the power of having something to say about the way it is. Then we will do a three-day program for the staff of the Lokey International Academy of Jewish Studies, a part of the Leo Baeck Education Center. We plan a second trip to deliver other programs in Israel in the summer.

Our work in Northern Ireland is the most diversified; every year we offer programs there in all three areas of our work. Our Interfaith and Community Empowerment programs will take place in the spring. In September, we will have Intensive I, our basic program for those grassroots leaders at work on reconciliation and peace building. Later in the year, we will return to do advanced work with those who participated in Intensive I over the past seven years.

Houses of Worship Leadership Opportunities
What the Mastery Foundation has to offer those in ministry, in community building, and in peace and reconciliation is a kind and quality of education that is as unique as it is empowering. As the demand for our programs grows, we need to recruit and train more volunteers to lead those programs. This year we are designing a new curriculum to train leaders in the distinctions of our work. Among the many challenges in doing this is figuring out how to economically train volunteers scattered around the world without sacrificing quality or giving up consistency.
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