In 2021, building on its history of generous outreach, St. John the Divine launched a major initiative called the Community Engagement Project to discern how the church could meaningfully enhance its impact through significant community engagement. Volunteers formed three teams to study disparate outcomes in the areas of education, employment, and housing. After months of research and reflection, the Community Engagement Project teams aligned on a shared focus: improving outcomes in our city for the very young, for school-aged children, and for young adults aging out of foster care.
We are proud to announce the launch of A Lighted Path—a new nonprofit expressing the vision of St. John the Divine to launch and operate programs focused on relationship-based community engagement in areas of greatest need. One of the first new programs to launch is focused on young adults aging out of foster care. Through A Lighted Path we will partner with DePelchin Children’s Center and leverage professional and volunteer resources to provide support, opportunities, and navigation to 20 young adults (ages 18-20) residing at DePelchin’s supervised independent living facility. We will call this initiative our Adults in Training program. We hope all 20 DePelchin residents will be our founding Adults in Training—a name they chose for themselves. Across all projects launched by A Lighted Path, we will need ally teams (mentors), professional teams (teaching life skills courses, providing professional services, or leading enrichment activities), event teams (planning special events), and prayer teams. Many volunteers are needed and there is a place for everyone along the path.