Pathfinders “Come to the Table”

by Megan McCormick, July 10, 2018

For most, Pathfinder Fair means camping with clubs from across UCC. But this year, the Fair was so much more! Not only were Pathfinders able to participate in all of the usual activities, they were also able to experience a day of Outreach.

Come to the table
Come join the sinners who have been redeemed 
Take your place beside the Saviour
Sit down and be set free
Come to the table

In May, six hundred eighty-eight Pathfinders and staff attending this year’s Pathfinder Fair sang this theme song before each worship talk, putting special emphasis on the idea of inviting all to come and fellowship with Jesus.    

For most, Pathfinder Fair means camping with clubs from across Upper Columbia Conference, craft displays, marching and drilling, the Grand Parade, and an amazing speaker. But this year, the Fair was so much more! Not only were Pathfinders able to participate in all of the usual activities, they were also able to experience a day of Outreach. The goal of this focused time was to provide Pathfinders the opportunity to spend more time focusing on others rather than themselves.

One major outreach project Pathfinders tackled was packing Adventist Community Services (ACS) buckets full of cleaning supplies for families affected by the recent flooding in Eastern Washington and Montana. In one afternoon, two hundred twenty five buckets were prepared for distribution. 

Other outreach projects included literature distribution, a door-to-door canned food drive, prayer knocking, community needs assessment, handing out VBS invitations, packing candy for the Grand Parade, a kid’s story and activity hour, sharing bottled water in a local park, and outreach focused honors. 

Also new this year, was a revamped and streamlined schedule to not only ease the stress of club directors and staff, but to also open up a large window of opportunity for Pathfinders to have a more visible presence in the local community. One example of this was the Grand Parade. Normally, the Grand Parade takes place Sabbath morning, and simply provides an opportunity for Pathfinders to march around campus in front of judges and their family and friends. Instead, Pastor Richie Brower, Associate Director of Youth, Young Adult, and Family Ministry, went before the Fairfield Town Council to request permission for the Grand Parade to take place down the Main Street of their town. The Council was inclined to grant his request based on the favorable work teen Pathfinders had accomplished in their community during Teen Pathfinder Mission Adventure the last two years. 

Sabbath evening, after spending a full afternoon serving in surrounding communities, Pathfinders gathered in Thiele Park, Fairfield, WA to prepare for the Grand Parade down Main Street. The driver of a local fire truck leading the parade, upon observing the orderliness in which events were conducted, commented, “You guys are really organized!” With thirty-two clubs marching, each proudly flying a colorful banner telling who they were and where they were from, they provided a wonderful visual example of the invitation Jesus is offering to each of us to “Come to the Table.” The momentous parade culminated in Hart Park, where the community was invited to a vespers program entitled “Worship in the Park.”
The speaker for the entire weekend, Pastor Dick Duerksen, Oregon Conference Assistant to the President for Creative Ministries, possesses the unique ability to keep his listeners spell-bound as he shares stories of what God has done in his life, and in the lives of those he’s come into contact with.   With messages so simple, and yet so profound Pastor Duerksen shared the gospel message on a very relatable level that even the youngest in attendance understood.  Sunday morning, during his final talk of the weekend, Pastor Duerksen challenged his listeners to surrender their lives to Christ’s keeping, quoting the following passages, “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him…if then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God…For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God”  Colossians 2:13, Colossians 3:1, 3.
Megan McCormick is a teen Pathfinder from the Deer Park Mountaineers Pathfinder club.

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