Welcome to the IPC Pathways Signposts Blog!
Last fall, a small group of us at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in McLean, Virginia, started a career exploration program for Immanuel youth and young adults. The group included the two of us (Steve is a member of the Spirituality & Learning Committee and Lynley is a member of the Youth Ministries Committee), Pastor Katie Strednak Singer Doug Mar, and others.
We’re all about branding, so we call the Immanuel youth and young adults “seekers.” We use the term seekers because they are much more than just mentees. And we gave the program a name, selected from an online straw poll: “IPC Pathways.”
We’re involved in IPC Pathways because we believe four things:
- Many young people at Immanuel could do more to make informed career decisions. We should know, because when we were younger we could have been more informed about the career paths we chose. Careers chosen after little conversation with those in our chosen career. Job offers accepted without adequately exploring why (other than earning a living).
- Immanuel mentors can inject spirituality into career considerations – a good thing.
- A mentoring exploration program can build a stronger community with Immanuel youth and young adults, a group essential to our future as a congregation.
- Immanuel is a perfect place for a career exploration program. Why? Because Immanuel has a strong mentoring tradition, having embarked on two “Dreamers” programs, in which Immanulites mentored students whose college tuition the church paid. More importantly, Immanuel has an untapped asset: career experience and wisdom, in the older members.
IPC Pathways is designed to make it easy for Immanuel to tap into this asset. Seekers can connect with mentors they know and trust in the congregation. Mentors will be supportive.
The results so far are gratifying, as you can see on the testimonials page of our website.
Until now, IPC Pathways has been conducted in person and by email. Now, thanks to the support of many in the congregation, including the Spirituality & Learning Committee and Youth Ministries Committee, we can offer IPC Pathways online. The IPC Pathways website is capable of hosting a variety of accessible career exploration resources contributed by Immanuelites. We also have an online mentor database to facilitate mentoring conversations.
With these resources, IPC Pathways is ready to include more participants and to offer a richer experience. But to do that effectively, we need your help. Please volunteer to help us!
Steve Parker and Lynley Ogilvey