Ava Seventh Day Adventist – Connie Opeka

July 6 – One of the hardest parts of having to social distance is that our children’s programs had to stop for a while. We were able to restart our Children’s Sabbath School programs at the beginning of June, but our Pathfinder program has only recently been able to complete the curriculum for 2019-20 season. In case you are not familiar with Pathfinders, the Pathfinder club, a church-centered recreational and spiritual program is designed for both boys and girls, grades 5 through 10. The program offers action, adventure, challenge and group activities that produce team spirit and loyalty to the church. Normally there would have been weekly programs that coincide with a school year, but this all came to a halt in the middle of March.

I am happy to say that as of last week, the Pathfinders were finally able to complete this year’s program. On Wednesday, June 24th at 7:00 pm we held our Pathfinder Investiture program to honor their completion of the requirements for their current level and advancing them to the next level for the upcoming year. Then on Saturday, June 27th during our Sabbath School and church programs the Pathfinders did not just take part in the program, they were in charge!

During the Sabbath School program the Pathfinders presented an oral history of the Seventh-day Adventist church, with each Pathfinder in turn speaking about one of our early church founders and missionaries. Then, during the church service, they took center stage again by leading out in prayer, collecting the offerings, providing special music, children’s story, and more. They proved themselves to be knowledgeable and prepared to become the future leaders of our church.

Elder Eck Ulrich was our speaker, and his sermon was titled “The Love of Christ Compels Me!”, which is the Pathfinder Motto. He spoke about the history of the Pathfinder club going back to its beginnings. Who started Pathfinders?  The short answer is that no one person did, but rather that a diverse group of youth-focused, God-loving, ministry-minded individuals in various location created “Pathfinder-like” clubs in various locations that eventually grew into the ministry we now know as Pathfinders.

Elder Ulrich told us that the first Pathfinder Club of record was in Anaheim, California in the late 1920’s. Another club began in 1930 in Santa Ana, California. By the late 1940’s California had over 20 clubs started. Beginning with the Pathfinder Clubs, in California, it did not take long for the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist church to adopt the program.  It thus, in 1950, became an official worldwide organization of the Adventist church, and grew rapidly. Pathfinders is now a global ministry affecting thousands (if not millions) of young people worldwide. 

We also want to celebrate our Pathfinder leaders for their dedication in working with our young people. This has not been an easy year for them, but they have made it through. And now we are not too far away from the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, which also means that a new Pathfinder season will begin.

Please join us next Saturday at 9:30 for Sabbath School or 10:30 for Praise and Prayer time or 11:00 for the worship service. If we can be of assistance to you, please call the church at 683-5713, or Elder Eck Ulrich at 683-3343.  Check us out at www.avaadventistchurch.org and follow us on Facebook! May God bless and keep you!