0.3 Discern Future State of Pathway Planning Team

In the early months of Beacons of Light, most Families of Parishes created a Pathway Team, sometimes called a Transition Team or Planning Team. Often, staff and parishioner representatives from each parish within a Family of Parishes comprised that team. They were tasked with advising the pastor about early steps to bring the people of the parishes together, seeking opportunities for prayer, social time and early steps toward building community in the Family. As Family Leadership Teams are now formed in many Families and staff and councils are more often focusing on the Family of Parishes (not a single parish within the Family), the question arises whether the Pathway Team is still necessary or advisable. Entering into Phase 2 and focusing on vision is an appropriate time to discern the future state of the Pathway Planning Team, where one exists.

Church Reversed

“By September 1, 2022, every Family of Parishes must form a Planning Team, led by the pastor, to coordinate pastoral planning geared toward the unification of the Family by June 30, 2027.” (Beacons Parameter 3)

Questions to Consider:

  • Does your Family of Parishes have a Pathway Planning Team?
    • If yes, what has been its role and contribution to date?
  • Has a Family Leadership Team (FLT) been identified?
    • If yes, how has its role been delineated from the Pathway Team?
  • Have you established a unified Family Pastoral Council, or do your parish pastoral councils meet together, at least occasionally?
    • If yes, how has its role been delineated from the Pathway Team?
  • Are there areas of pastoral life that could be addressed by the Pathway Team that are not within the purview of the FLT or unified Family Pastoral Council, for example, initiatives to build community, enhance common prayer or social time, connect parishioners with one another, identify potential parishioners for new or expanded ministries, etc.?

If your Pathway Team continues, clearly identify its roles and responsibilities. Consider presenting the team at the end of Mass, offering time after Mass for parishioners to share ideas and ensure the team is included in your Family’s website.