Our Story

How it all started...

In 1999 Rev. Lang was working to complete a Doctor of Ministry degree with an emphasis on Christian Spiritual Formation.  He began an adult faith-formation ministry called Seekers of Shalom (SOS) which sought to teach lay-leaders in the church the disciplines of faith-formation and to provide them a support structure for deepening their discipleship.  Seekers of Shalom was an active ministry at Peace Presbyterian Church and was under development from 1999 until 2012 when Rev. Lang took a new call to become Pastor and Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church in Fargo, North Dakota.
Peace Presbyterian Church

A New Ministry Springing Up From The Old...

In 2013 Rev. Lang gathered a team of lay-leaders from First Presbyterian Church in Fargo, ND and began to develop a new ministry which used the metaphor of "pilgrimage" to provide a thematic structure for the ministry.  The new ministry (initially named  "Presbyterian Pilgrimage Program" or "P3" for short) soon was renamed The Pilgrimage.  This ministry was under development for roughly a year before it came to the attention of Rev. Dr. Ben C. Johnson who was a friend and mentor to Rev. Lang.   Ben Johnson's initial response to the ministry was captured in a message sent to Rev. Lang:  "Paul. This is an amazing program -- creative, imaginative, inclusive, theologically & pedagogically sound -- and many more adjectives.  BCJ" — July 1, 2014.  Soon Ben began to provide guidance and support to the budding ministry.
In 2016, following the death of Dr. Johnson, the Institute of Church Renewal asked Rev. Lang to serve as Executive Director of the Institute and began to focus the resources and passion of ICR on development of the ministry for use nation-wide in support of the renewal of the church in the 21rst century.  The ability to share this ministry beyond Rev. Lang's local congregation is due to the generous support of ICR.
Local lay-leaders (The Guides) have worked along side Paul in Fargo to develop curriculum and the systems of support for the broader ministry.  The Guides have consistently been at the heart of the success of this nascent ministry and have played a critical role in steering its development and envisioning its future.

Where we are headed...

Beginning in 2017 The Pilgrimage has been underway not only in Fargo, but in pilot churches in other locations.  Our first pilot congregation was Shallowford Presbyterian Church in Lewisville, NC where the ministry has thrived.  Not only has the local Guides-team at Shallowford done much to ensure its health and growth, the congregation has also enhanced the ministry by sharing the gifts and skills of several people who are essential in the development of our distance-learning packets for the courses developed for The Pilgrimage.  In 2020 Cary Presbyterian Church in Cary, NC became a new pilot-location for the ministry.  We are still looking to expand the pilot-program for the ministry so if you are in a congregation which is yearning for a ministry like this please be sure to contact Rev. Lang.

Be a part of our story...Contact us if you want to know more.