South Shields Pathfinder Induction
14th March 2018
Alex Simon, from Sunderland, would have been so proud to see the Pathfinders, Adventurers and Little Lambs gathering for their induction ceremony at the South Shields Seventh-day Adventist church. Alex, the former Pathfinder leader and well-known Pathfinder trainer in the North England Conference was at home recovering from a recent injury.
The South Shields church has spent time and money returning some way to its former self. With new windows, a full repointing of the building and much roofing work, an influx of children has led to the need for a full range of children's activities in the church. The 17 children ready for induction are at the heart of the church's life and thought.
To the children the induction ceremony, which was held on Sabbath 10 March, had a significance that went beyond the drill and the attention to detail. Manuel Vieira, the current Pathfinder director for the church, was once the Portuguese Union Pathfinder director. He knows his ropes. Now retired from legal practice he now runs the excellent club with a small staff ‒ a teacher, a doctor, a taxi driver, an IT specialist along with an art student. These children are not just well led but enthusiastically guided.
Highlights of the ceremony included Hannah Chan playing an excellent modern version of 'Amazing Grace' on her violin. Jonathan, a young Adventurer, opened the short sermon time as he described what an induction ceremony is for and explained that there were even induction ceremonies in the Bible. Matthew and Eve Zhikali showed that the earliest Pathfinders, the disciples of Jesus, were called into action for God to provide service to men and women. Nicely Hadjo charged her fellow Pathfinders that they were to recognise their induction as a similar call to service.
Local Area Pathfinder co-ordinator Simon Facey, took the children through the final part of the service and encouraged both children and leaders to grow spiritually through the year and achieve the completion of tasks set by the Pathfinder, Adventurer and Little Lamb coursework.
The club will soon be saying farewell to Brother Vieira and his wife, Rute and daughter Katerina as they head north to join in worship at the Aberdeen church. South Shields' loss is most definitely Aberdeen's gain.