Pathway Style Groups

These groups are structured to provide a safe space for self reflection. They will guide us through unpacking our experiences and utilize the reflection model developed in our Pathway ministry.

Preparing For the Journey

Who is this for?

These groups are for anyone and everyone whose real life does not always match the ideal; for those of us who experience stress, tension, and anxiety; and for everyone who has hang-ups, hurts, and habits to think and work through.

What will the meetings entail?

First, the facilitator reviews the agreed-upon group guidelines, reads aloud the page-long reflection from the Exploring the Wilderness Workbook, and asks the first question.  Each person then has the opportunity to pass or to take up to five uninterrupted minutes to share their own experiences and perspectives. One person shares at a time.  After everyone has had the opportunity to answer the first question, the facilitator reads the second question, to which each group member may respond or pass. Groups are single-gender, and participants are asked to protect confidentiality by using headphones while in shared space.

**A printout of materials is available at the Melrose campus office or can be mailed upon request to

Our starting point: We all have hang-ups, hurts, and habits that we need to think about and work through.

Our approach: We acknowledge and honor each person’s ability to work through their issues. Other group members listen and bear witness but do not offer feedback unless asked.

Our resources: The Exploring the Wilderness Workbook and Daily Reading Journal offer individuals the opportunity to develop self-awareness, work through various challenges, and move toward a healthier place of healing and honesty.

Download Entire Exploring the Wilderness Workbook and Daily Reading Journal

Additional Resources

The videos referenced in the Daily Reading Journal have been compiled as a YouTube Playlist. The Spotified playlist, curated by Carla Lafontaine (Greenwood Worship Team), brings together a soundtrack for wilderness journeys.

Watch “A Way in the Wilderness” Series

Youtube Playlist

Spotify Playlist

About the Authors

Katy Attanasi Barker is the Minister of Formation at Broadway United Methodist. She and her husband James have two children, ages 6 and 9, who are being homeschooled this year due to COVID. She has a PhD in religion from Vanderbilt, and she enjoys sewing and playing the harp in her free time. Katy grew up in northern Virginia outside of DC and moved to Bowling Green in 2015. She has lived in five states and seven cities and traveled to two dozen countries.

Raised in a pastor’s home, Wendell VanValin is the Pathway Minister at Broadway United Methodist.  With a BA from Asbury College and a Masters in Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary, Wendell has been a senior pastor for twenty-five years.  He has worked in recovery at Broadway since 2005 and has written several books.  In his free time, Wendell enjoys writing, gardening, hunting, and fishing as well as spending time with his wife, Robbie, and their two kids and three grandchildren.