New Expeditions launching
September 8, 2019.
A Guided Path to Spiritual Growth
Mountain Pathways is our initiative to encourage intentional spiritual growth. Mountain Pathways is an experimental shift away from many churches' history of emphasizing programs and a return to the ancient church's emphasis on discipleship through personal relationship. Mountain Pathways is not about the organized church working to provide ministries, but about empowering church members to help one another to identify and pursue their next steps so they can grow as committed followers of Jesus Christ.
For most participants, Mountain Pathways will take the shape of a short-term small group experience (a four-week "Expedition") led by a Mountain Pathways Guide. These small groups will involve honest self-assessment, personal reflection, reflective conversation, and relational mentoring.
Read on to learn more or scroll to the bottom of this page to sign up for our next Expedition(s).
Why Mountain Pathways?
Mountain Pathways is an effort, led by Rev. Ron Bartlow, to help members of our church re-claim our historical role to "help one another" grow in faith. At Trinity Heights, we take seriously this calling to help one another grow as deeply committed followers of Jesus Christ, courageously working to change our world. Our primary goal in all things we do is helping encourage one another to grow as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
Ron and other church leaders have been working to develop Mountain Pathways as a means to guiding intentional spiritual formation. Recent research suggests intentionality is the number one characteristic of those who successfully pursue spiritual growth. Spiritual maturity develops in those who not only desire to know God in a deeper way, but also purposefully strive toward that goal. Whether experienced through the fullness of a small group experience as designed, or simply read and utilized, Mountain Pathways exists to help you grow.
What is Mountain Pathways like?
Most who choose to participate in Mountain Pathways will do so as part of a four-week small group study, what we call an "Expedition," led by a pair of Pathways Guides. During the course of the four-week small group, participants will...
- Read through the Mountain Pathways Guidebook, including some personal self-assessment
- Reflect on their current experience of spiritual formation
- Discuss Biblical and personal insights with other members of the small group Expedition
- Identify areas of strength and growth
- Make a plan for their next steps for spiritual formation
The spiritual practice of reflecting on Scripture has been shown to have the greatest impact on Christian spiritual formation. Methodists have long held Scripture as foundational to spiritual formation. Expeditions include time to read and discuss Scripture together in addition to reflecting on participants' self-assessment and self-reflections.
Mountain Pathways emphasizes the basic definition that a disciple allows their commitment to Jesus Christ to influence their behavior. There are a great variety of spiritual practices that help us to grow in our awareness of and commitment to the divine presence. While many are referenced through the Expeditions, at the core of the experience are: Worship, Scripture, Prayer, Christian Conferencing (aka "small groups"), Spiritual Retreat, Service, and Stewardship.
Diversity and Inclusiveness
The Church has always been made up of people from different backgrounds with different perspectives on how to follow Christ. While these differences have sometimes, sadly, led to division, Mountain Pathways adopts the principle that they are a part of our God-given diversity, and our Pathways Guides will seek to create safe, hospitable places where participants can share freely. The Guidebook and Expedition experiences seek to embody a line of thought attributed to John Wesley:
"In essentials, unity;
in non-essentials, liberty;
in all things, charity."
Through the readings and self-reflections of the Guidebook and conversation with peers during the small group Expedition, Mountain Pathways helps us to fulfill our church's mission
to help one another grow...
Mountain Pathways nurtures our church's member to encourage, mentor, and teach one another about Christian faith and life.
as deeply committed followers of Jesus Christ,
Mountain Pathways is focused around what it means to grow and live as a "deeply committed follower of Jesus Christ," guiding us into deep, transformational discipleship.
courageously working to change our world.
By helping participants reflect not heir current spiritual maturity and choose steps to grow, Mountain Pathways empowers us toward a life of positive, meaningful impact in our church and world.
September, 2019 Expeditions
Our next Mountain Pathways expeditions launch the week of September 8, 2019. Each Expedition can accommodate up to six participants. If you choose to sign up, you should be contacted by one of your Pathways Guides and provided a copy of the 100-some page Mountain Pathways Guidebook.
Sign up now!
Expedition 1: Sundays (Sept. 8, 15, 22, 29) at 10:30am
Led by Guides Karen Bradford and Emily Hill.
Youth Expedition: Sundays (Sept. 8, 15, 22, 29) at 10:30am
For High School Youth and Young Adults. Led by Ron Bartlow and Sarah Stamer.
Expedition 2: Weeknights, TBD
Led by Guides Matt Harris and Randy Sealover.