Board of Directors
Pathways to Promise and home to the Companionship Movement and Mental Health Ministries, is supported by experienced professionals who have live, practice, and train in the mental health industry. They together work in tandem with wisdom to help families and individuals who face crisis and mental health circumstances.
Rev. Mark Stephenson My journey has given me a big heart for the mental health challenges that we all face, and it has given me great joy to serve on the board of Pathways to Promise since 2006 in our mission to connect mental health, faith, and culture. I am passionate about my faith, and the ways faith commitments and faith communities can help people with mental health challenges flourish. Like the undertow along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, anxiety pulled at me and sometimes threatened me throughout my life. For much of my life, I tried to deny its existence, and once I was fully aware of its presence, I tried to eliminate it, but that was impossible. In recent years, I have finally learned that, like the common presence of undertow and rip currents in Lake Michigan, I need to make peace with my anxiety and live with it in my journey with family, friends, and fellow believers. Taking the Enneagram a few years ago helped me immensely in this regard. (I am an Enneagram 6.) I was ordained as a Minister of the Word in the Christian Reformed denomination in 1989 and served as pastor of two congregations for 17 years. I recently retired after serving another 16 years as a leader of Christian Reformed denominational ministries, primarily Disability Concerns, helping congregations engage healthily with people with disabilities and mental health challenges. Early on, I coined Disability Concerns’s tagline “Everybody belongs. Everybody serves.” to describe in a few words what that healthy engagement looks like. Having a heart for people at the margins, I also served as interim director of my denomination’s ministries of race relations, social justice, and chaplaincy. I have two advanced theological degrees, and have two units of training in Clinical Pastoral Education. I am a certified Companionship workshop leader, serve various volunteer roles in my local multicultural congregation, serve my denomination as a facilitator for Race Relations training events, and am a Sandan (third degree black belt) in Shorin Ryu karate. My wife and I have lived in west Michigan most of our lives. We have five living children, and one child who passed away. Our oldest daughter lives joyfully with severe, multiple disabilities, and we adopted our youngest child when he was 19 years old. Two of our children are married, and we take great delight in our three grandsons.
Doug Beach is the parent of an adult son living with a mental health diagnosis. He is the President of NAMI San Antonio, a NAMI Family to Family Instructor and leads a Family Support Group for families impacted by a mental illness. In 2016 Doug helped launch PATHWAYS TO HOPE, a conference for mental health professionals, social workers, educators, law enforcement, family members and people living with a mental health diagnosis. After the 2020 Pathways to Hope Conference, Doug led the formation of the Bridges to Care San Antonio initiative in conjunction with the COSA Dept. of Human Services. Doug serves as the Chairperson of NAMI FaithNet, an advisory group to NAMI national to assist NAMI affiliates in outreach to faith communities. Doug is also a member of the twelve person CEO Taskforce for the NAMI national CEO. Doug is also the past Chairperson and current Member of the Behavioral Health Advisory Committee (BHAC) of the Texas Dept. of Health and Human Services and is the Chair of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) of the local LMHA, the Center For Health Care Services. He is also the Co-Chair of the Bexar County Task Force on Mental Health and Criminal Justice.
Dr. Sarah Lund
Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund, Minister for Disabilities and Mental Health Justice The Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund’s mission is to partner with others to share hope and healing. She is an ordained minister in both the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. Sarah has served as pastor to churches in Brooklyn, NY, Minneapolis, MN, and New Smyrna Beach, FL. Sarah served as Regional Minister in the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ and as a Vice President for Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN. She holds degrees from Trinity University (BA), Princeton Theological Seminary (MDiv), Rutgers University (MSW), and McCormick Theological Seminary (DMin). Sarah received the Dell Award for Mental Health Education at the 30th General Synod of the UCC. Sarah currently serves as Minister for Disabilities and Mental Health Justice on the national staff of the UCC and as senior pastor of First Congregational UCC of Indianapolis, IN. She volunteers on the national boards of Pathways to Promise, Mental Health America, Bethany Fellows, and Piedmont University. In January of 2022, Sarah joined two US Department of Health and Human Services national Think Tanks, the first about faith communities and suicide, and the second Think Tank about faith communities and youth mental health. Sarah is the author of several books about mental health: Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family, and Church (2014), Blessed Union: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness and Marriage (2021), and Blessed Youth: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness with Children and Teens (2022), and a pocket-sized mental health resource book for youth: Blessed Youth Survival Guide (2022). Sarah blogs at www.sarahgriffithlund.com.
Robert Skrocki is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker retired after a career of 37 years in a public health and community mental health setting at DuPage County Health Department, Mental Health Services in Illinois. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Prison Ministry of Illinois and Facilitator of In-Prison Programming. He co-leads a healing circle at Cook County Jail. He is a certified trainer in Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid, and former trainer in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention. He has a Master’s In Social Work, and clinical pastoral education training as part of a program at Meadville Lombard Theological School. He has a special interest in how faith communities can help build mental health resiliency and support the recovery of persons with mental illnesses. He is communications coordinator for the Interfaith Mental Health Coalition, a Greater Chicagoland organization working to connect faith leaders to mental health resources. He is on the board of the national level Pathways to Promise organization that is helping promote mental health training coalitions for faith communities all over the country. He is a lay community minister (specializing in mental health) in the Unitarian Universalist Society for Community Ministry and has been Mental Health Ministry Development Coordinator for SamaraCare Counseling in Naperville IL. He consults to faith communities, is a member of the Chicagoland Trauma Informed Congregations Network, a trained trainer in development of trauma informed congregations using the “Risking Connections in Faith Communities: A Training Curriculum for Faith Leaders Supporting Trauma”, has taught the Pathways to Promise Mental Health 101 and Companionship courses, and has been a member of the Pastoral Ministry Associates and the Companionship Care Team at DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church in Naperville, Illinois.
Curtis Ramsey-Lucas is editor of The Christian Citizen, a digital-first publication of American Baptist Home Mission Societies and editor of #InThisTogether: Ministries in Times of Crisis, published by Judson Press. An award-winning writer, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Christian Century, Religion News Service, Sojourners, and Baptist News Global. Ramsey-Lucas served as director of interfaith engagement at the American Association of People with Disabilities and is currently a member of AAPD’s Disability Advisory Roundtable. He helped establish the American Psychiatric Association’s Mental Health and Faith Community Partnership, a collaboration between psychiatrists and clergy aimed at fostering a dialogue between two fields, reducing stigma, and accounting for medical and spiritual dimensions as people seek care. In addition to his board service with Pathways to Promise, Ramsey-Lucas serves on the board of directors of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, and the Religious Liberty and Human Rights commissions of the Baptist World Alliance. He is a member of the National Press Club, the Religion Communicators Council, and the Religion and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations. Read more at: https://post.news/?r=yVwMv
Deacon Ed Shoener
Deacon Ed Shoener President, Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers Diocese of Scranton, PA Ed Shoener was ordained a permanent deacon in 2004 and serves at St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Diocese of Scranton. Shoener is a founding member of the Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers and the Catholic Institute of Mental Health Ministry at the University of San Diego. He serves on the Council on Mental Illness of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability and on the Board of Pathways to Promise, an interfaith cooperative that facilitates the faith community’s work in reaching out to those with mental illnesses and their families. Deacon Shoener, along with Bishop John Dolan, is coauthor of the books Responding to Suicide: A Pastoral Handbook for Catholic Leaders and When a Loved One Dies by Suicide (Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN). He, along with family and friends, founded “The Katie Foundation” after his daughter, Kathleen, died by suicide in 2016. Katie’s obituary went viral because it spoke to the needs and concerns of people who live with mental illness. He lives with his family in Scranton, Pennsylvania
Dr. Bernard Franklin
Dr. Bernard Franklin is Managing Director of Uncornered, a national nonprofit organization focused on reducing and eliminating urban violence. Franklin is a nationally recognized thought-leader on issues confronting urban violence, urban trauma, resilience, mental health, boys and men’s development, higher education and K-12 issues. His near 40-year adult career has been spent leading 5 higher education institutions and leadership with a major philanthropy. This past December, Franklin completed a year Fellowship in Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative. His fellowship research focused on urban mental health issues, specifically how to best serve those involved in the staggering life and death issues of urban violence. Franklin earned an MS in Counseling and Behavioral Studies from the University of South Alabama, and a Ph.D. in Counseling and Higher Education Administration, with an outside emphasis in family studies from Kansas State University. Franklin has a Master’s Professional Training Certificate focused on the trauma/resilience theory model of Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) from Texas Christian University (TCU). Franklin has taught courses, led workshops and consulted national K-12 organizations on social emotional teaching and learning, trauma, attachment disorder, resilience and neuroscience. Franklin has served as Chaplin and a member of the NFL Kansas City Chiefs professional counseling team. Among Franklin’s many awards and honors, he was twice honored one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans in Kansas City (1998, 2009). His work with urban boys was recognized in the opening chapter of Bill Cosby’s book, “Come On People” (2008). The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce honored him with the distinguished Leadership Award (2009) for contributions to urban education, and the Kansas City Downtown Council awarded him an “Urban Hero” for his work in urban public education. Franklin has consulted and keynoted national and regional conferences and conducted professional development to numerous higher education, K-12 institutions, and many national and international organizations on a wide range of education, leadership, diversity, trauma and neuroscience. Bernard is the widowed and proud father of a beautiful and talented daughter Christina (27, DC), and three incredible sons, Brandon (42, Topeka), Morgan (32, Topeka), and Blake (31, KC); and he has seven adorable grandchildren (Topeka).