Your baby is growing up. Long gone are the days where you held your child’s hand to help him walk across the room, onto the school bus and into the church. As an adolescent, your middle schooler has begun to grapple with the meaning of his own faith. Now he is asking the most important questions in his life: “What do I believe and why?” Your faith is no longer sufficient for him. He hungers for understanding and meaning for what is unseen. Whom do I trust? What path should I choose to walk? Whom do I follow?
A “pathfinder” is a person who finds or makes a path, a way, a route, through a previously unexplored or untraveled wilderness. Here at Midway UMC we offer our 6th and 7th graders a road map with trail guides for their spiritual journey, a journey that has many curves, hills to climb and paths to choose. We call this our “Pathfinders” class. The Pathfinders class teaches the content and meaning of the Christian faith, our Methodist history and beliefs and our role as professing members within our Midway UMC family. However, the Pathfinders class is more than just a series of Sunday school classes.
In addition to learning about their faith, the Pathfinders must also experience their faith and have a sense of how to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ. They do this by being fully engaged in the life of the church by attending and participating in worship, working alongside other Christians in service of God and neighbor, participating in Christian education, having relationships with other Christians (adult and youth) and by actively supporting the ministries of the church.
Our Pathfinders are challenged to:
- Take responsibility for their faith.
- Experience their faith and to live as a disciple of Christ in covenant relationship with the church.
- Affirm the faith into which they were baptized.
- Profess with boldness their belief in God the Father, in Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit.
Our Pathfinders class is a two-year confirmation program starting in 6th grade. Confirmation is an act of the Holy Spirit, working in and through the church. It is the Spirit that leads the youth to make a profession of faith and empowers them to live as disciples of Jesus Christ. We encourage our Pathfinders to be active and committed participants for two years in the Pathfinders/Confirmation program and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit to make their own decision to follow Jesus Christ.
Confirmation is not a graduation exercise, in which a person goes to class, learns church doctrine and graduates into full membership in the church. Confirmation is a continuation of our faith journey, a journey begun at our baptism and our covenant relationship with the church – not an end unto itself. Confirmation is a lifelong journey!
The Pathfinders class meets on Sunday mornings in the Youth Room at 9:30 AM. Classes begin in September and end in June of the following year. 6th and 7th grade youth can join the class any time during the year. For your questions, please contact our Pathfinders class leaders Dustin Alexander or Cheryl Dilworth.