Three Parishes Picked for Pathways Program

The Pathways to Vitality program, a three-year program funded by the Lilly Endowment, has named the three congregations that will participate in its next three-year learning cohort. After an orientation in June, St. John’s, Crawfordsville; St. Matthew’s, Indianapolis; and St. Peter’s, Lebanon, will participate in a year-long leadership development program designed to strengthen lay leadership, renew energy, and create a vitality project.

To be eligible for the Pathways program, congregations must be financially sustainable or have the potential in the near future of being financially self-supporting, says Canon Kristin White. Each participating congregation forms a vitality team, which includes the rector or priest-in-charge, that develops a “vitality project” to respond to the needs of the congregation.

The Rev. Dr. James Lemler, Pathways chaplain and moderator, and Melissa Hickman, program director, will facilitate a series of leadership development programs for vitality team members. Lemler says the program is based in the understanding that teaching, and learning, financial and organizational skills are spiritual practices.

Between now and June, the diocese will hire a Pathways Priest, a newly ordained priest who will serve an eight-month rotation in each congregation.