We are committed to lifelong learning. In addition to our Leadership School courses, we are planning several video courses that will initially take place “live” but be recorded for others to use.

Our first video course is Israel and Palestine Conflict: A Christian Perspective. This course was primarily taught by Michael Connor, Ph.D.

Dr. Michael Connor first visited Israel and the West Bank in October 2012 as part of a mission trip arranged by Mission Opportunities Short Term (MOST) and Christmas Lutheran Church, Bethlehem. He was inspired by community initiatives led by Dr. Rev. Mitri Raheb to provide hope and purpose in Palestine. Dr. Connor currently leads the Palestine Ministry at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Salisbury, North Carolina, which partners with Bright Stars of Bethlehem.

In 2017, Dr. Connor spent 3 months in Palestine and Israel as a volunteer Ecumenical Accompanier, providing “protective presence” for people like bedouin shepherds and schoolchildren in the South Hebron Hills area of the occupied West Bank. The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme is under the auspices of the World Council of Churches.

Dr. Connor is a retired biostatistician with over 40 years of professional experience in health care analytics and research. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Grove City College in Pennsylvania, and master’s and doctor of public health degrees in biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Rev. Rhodes Woolly, St. John’s, Salisbury co-teaches one of the classes as well. Rhodes Woolly is the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Salisbury, NC. For 22 years he has served congregations in Virginia and North Carolina, with particular focus on discipleship, ancient-future worship, global engagement, and finding clarity in the Christian narrative. Of late he has been interested in leveraging the church as the natural location for “conversations that matter,” and developing a new model that connects faith, vocation, and leadership. He has degrees from Lenoir-Rhyne, the University of South Carolina, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, and is currently enrolled in a doctor of ministry program at Emory University. In addition to his work at St. John’s, he serves on the Board of Trustees at Lenoir-Rhyne, the LTSS Advisory Council, the Board of Directors of Downtown Salisbury, Inc, and as a third grade reading mentor.

Thank you both for your leadership!