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Pathfinders

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SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH PATHFINDERS PROGRAM

PATHFINDERS AND FIRST FOOTSTEPS

For more information, call the church at (307) 235-3536.

INTRODUCTION

Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church proceeds from the conviction that the church’s nurture of youth into mature discipleship is more important than all forms of secular education. It is this priority that makes these pages crucially important.

This is our 17th year of LOGOS at Shepherd of the Hills and our 11th year of Pathfinders. Over this period of time, the session has decided to spare no cost in effort, time and congregational resources. This has allowed us to carry forward the essential mission of giving each of our youth the finest opportunity for education and growth available in the Christian church today. Because of this dedicated support from our congregation, our Logos Program has been extremely successful and is being extended to the younger age group.

WHAT IS PATHFINDERS?

Pathfinders is a dynamic ministry enabling young people (1st grade to 6th grade) to experience God’s unconditional love AND to have an opportunity to share that unconditional love with their peers and adult leaders and with their families. The basis for every aspect of Logos and Pathfinders is God’s love for us, and care for one another.

Pathfinders welcomes anyone from 1st grade through 6th grade who is willing to participate in a loving, fun-filled evening adventure in the context of a disciplined and structured program. It is designed to give our youth the best foundation for their lives now, and throughout adulthood: the love of God in Jesus Christ.

In our Tuesday Pathfinders time, young people enjoy fellowship through creative recreational activities, participation in learning and practicing some aspect of the Sunday morning worship, group Bible studies, and sharing meals together with adult leadership.

Shepherd of the Hills is part of a national network of several thousand LOGOS congregations. As a part of this network, we are able to have our leaders trained by the LOGOS Program Associates, a national nonprofit organization created to provide resources (including Bible curriculum at every grade level), support, and training to local congregations.

Its leaders speak of its “non-negotiable bones.” They are the skeletal strength of the program to which Shepherd of the Hills is committed:

PROGRAM OUTLINE

We require four areas of study and experience. These indispensable elements of the program are:

  1. BIBLE STUDY
    Pathfinders offers a creative, relevant, and interactive Bible study for each grade level. The Bible study is the heart of the program. It is designed to help young people develop into intelligent, committed, and concerned Christian individuals. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of each age group, and is a favorite among the young people.
  2. WORSHIP Every Pathfinder is expected to participate in Sunday morning worship actively! We strongly believe that worship is for God’s children of ALL AGES. Singing, sharing in dramatic readings, or otherwise giving of one’s self deepens the young person’s understanding of an individual Christian service and investment of life within the church. Youth will be involved in some part of the worship service about once a month.
  3. RECREATION ACTIVITIES In present day Casper where being busy and productive every minute of the day is the norm, time for non-competitive play is a rare and beautiful thing. The Pathfinders recreation time is highly valued for the opportunity that it provides young people to learn about themselves and each other as they play together, having great fun at the expense of no other person.
  4. FAMILY TIME A common meal together is an essential aspect of the Pathfinders experience. During the dinner hour, a unique sense of the family of God develops as young people and adult “table parents” eat and share conversion together. Meals are served family style, giving everyone the opportunity to practice table manners, common courtesy, sharing, and serving others.

These four essential parts of Pathfinders evening allows our youth to develop their Christian education and to establish close bonds with each other and to enjoy a sense of belonging within our Church Family!

VISITORS

Visitors are welcome at Pathfinders! Anyone in Pathfinders may invite a friend to come with them. Visitors are expected to stay with the person who brings them throughout the entire evening. The Pathfinders host is responsible for introducing your visitor to class members, teachers, and leaders. The host is also asked to explain how things are done during the Pathfinders evening to their visitor.

The same visitor may only attend Pathfinders two times without registering. It is not required that a child be a member of our church, but he/she must register as a member of Pathfinders. If the visitor chooses to become a member, he/she and their parents must meet with the Pathfinders Director and pay the registration fee. Parents must sign up to fulfill the parent participation requirement.

PARENT PARTICIPATION

All parents of Pathfinders participants are expected to contribute time to the program in some way. Parents who have not yet volunteered for some area of service need to check the listing of possible areas in which they may participate. This volunteer commitment is part of the registration process. Attendance at a bi-annual parents’ meeting is also mandatory for student participation.

There are other ways in which you may help your young person in the Pathfinders experience.

  1. INSIST upon regular attendance in the program on Tuesday night and at worship services on Sunday.
  2. ASSIST your child in preparation of any outside Bible assignments, worship duties, or other responsibilities. We do not expect you to prepare them but that you see to it that he/she does so. Anyone who is unprepared soon loses interest because he/she cannot follow the class.
  3. FULFILL your commitment in your assigned area of Pathfinders service. Staff members are not paid, but are committing their time for the development of young people, and you, too, can render a vital service to our youth by giving your time.
  4. PARTICIPATE in and encourage daily Bible reading and prayer at home.
  5. STRESS THE IMPORTANCE of courtesy and good behavior at Pathfinders.
  6. MAKE SURE that your son/daughter brings his/her Bible and study materials to class each week.

DISCIPLINE

The Pathfinders program is Christian in belief and in practice. As we practice each week, we will be living out the Pathfinders/LOGOS Program Rule:

I am a child of God.

You are a child of God.

We must treat each other as children of God,

 

with love and respect.

We will all make mistakes as we practice. If living out this rule is a continuous problem for a young person, the Pathfinders Program Director will address the problem in an appropriate manner. This may include a personal conversation between the individual and the Director, discussion of the problem between the individual, the parents, and the director, time-outs during the program, and other measures. A commitment to attend Pathfinders is also a commitment to attempt to live out the Pathfinders/Logos Program Rule.