Our Current Study

The word “blessing” carries such a sense of extravagant goodness! We all crave blessing. We yearn for the favor and goodwill of those we love and respect. Above all, we need to know that a loving God smiles on us – that God will bless us.

Early in his ministry Jesus pronounced a series of blessings that we have come to call “the beatitudes.” These are some of the best known words of Jesus. In this nine session study, Unexpected Blessings: The Beatitudes Expanded, Debbie Schmidt explores and unpacks the beauty and the meaning of these beloved words.


Author Debbie Schmidt lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband, John, who is the Senior Pastor of Central Presbyterian Church. Debbie is a ‘professional volunteer,’ working with the women’s ministry at Central and training volunteers for Hope Springs, an HIV/ AIDS related ministry. She is also a past president of Presbyterians for Renewal.

Debbie’s teaching ministry has been shaped by the years she spent with her husband working with college students in Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, by her experience as a missionary with the PCUSA in Japan for ten years, and by her role as a pastor’s wife. The common denominator for her in all those experiences has been teaching the Bible in small groups and leading and teaching at retreats. As a wife, the mother of grown and married children, and a grandmother, she brings her own life experiences to bear on her teaching as she tries to make the Word of God clear and applicable to daily life.