You have the fuel you need to reduce isolation and navigate grief. You can lead with confidence because God has already provided manna for this day.

It all starts with a story. Your story. God’s story.

Manna, a new six-week online course, is a way through the fear and pain. Based on a simple, effective model for telling stories, each week you will be invited to listen with curiosity and empathy for God in your own story and in the stories of those around you.



    Watch and reflect on a video (15 minutes)
    Each Monday during the 6-week session, you will receive a short video introducing the week’s focus.


    Meet digitally (1.5 hours)
    Each Wednesday or Thursday (pick the day and time that’s best for you), you will participate in a 45 minute webinar followed by a 45 minute breakout session with a small group of your peers.

Contact LEAD if you have questions.



Intro to telling stories with the power to heal.

God humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of YHWH. Deuteronomy 8:3 (The Inclusive Bible)

It starts with a story. Life’s stories that include challenge and transformation are the best gifts of hope. Learn a process for reading scripture and for sharing faith stories with the power to heal. Jim Merhaut has developed a story-telling, story-hearing art form that you are invited into with some urgency. People need to tell their story. We need to hear it. It is God’s story. This is how we heal.


Listening with self-awareness, curiosity, and empathy.

Listening to the story includes knowing our own point of view (POV) and welcoming others who think differently.

We are changed when we are open to learning. What we understand depends on our abilities to recognize our own world view. We all have blind spots we bring to the ways we listen. Every polarized perspective offers space to get curious. Can I thoughtfully listen to people who feel very different from me? Is it possible that there is more than one right way?


Forming trusted groups of people: home, work, church.

The best meals are eaten with family, friends and co-workers. There is an art to encouraging authentic community. When we build trust, are vulnerable, and create space that does not tolerate abuse, relationships can grow and heal.

Building environments where people are valued and able to truly bring themselves to the conversation takes intentionality. This may be at our kitchen table, office, or church. How we show up and contribute to setting clear expectations is a big step forward. How we show up and hold space for others is even more essential. This is a life’s journey, but it starts now


Listening for God by building faith-habits.

Listening to God with all your heart invites us all to grow deeper each day in our prayers, study of scripture and practices that center our life.

Our faith practices may start in crisis, or unexpectedly. When we turn to prayer to hold us in hard times, spiritual life can offer us a way forward. Day by day our faith can grow deeper and more meaningful, giving us courage to lead through whatever life gives us.


Listening to God as a healing congregation.

Gathered around the table, we listen for God. What does this mean for the community that bears God’s name? How are Christian congregations expanding their community beyond Sunday morning, to be present for one another, to welcome new people to their own tables, at home or digitally, and to care for people in need around them?

It starts with how the Christians practice community. What is distinct about the Christian life that creates a culture of caring for each other, that holds values, and shares gifts?


Listening to our neighbors as we heal together.

The gift of our neighbors, near our physical location or digitally connected, is beyond our imagination. God’s people are called out, even sent out, to speak a word of God’s grace. Maybe even more importantly, we are called to receive God’s grace as it comes to us from the neighbor.

Our neighbors reflect God to us in ways we may miss if we stay in our comfort zone. Our neighbors needs and our needs along with our neighbors gifts and our gifts are the intersection that gives us a bigger view of God.