Especially during Induction and Investiture, clubs around the North American Division often use candles to signify the "Spirit of Pathfinders" or "Spirit of Adventurers," the class levels (Adventurers / Pathfinders), and even to represent each of the new inductees into the club ministry.
However, recently, many churches and therefore clubs have moved to electric lights or other versions of symbolism to avoid the potential risks they see as part of flame inside the facility. So, the question is, does Adventist Risk Management (ARM) allow candles, suggest other alternatives, or ban open flame within church-owned facilities?
David Fournier, the Regional Manager for ARM North America states:
While candles are not excluded from the insurance policy provided by Adventist Risk Management, Inc. we do take their use seriously as there is significant risk. Any activity involving fire represents a danger that is fast moving and can result in catastrophic damage and personal injury.
Also it should be noted that the authority in your local jurisdiction (likely the fire marshal) has final say on whether candles would be allowed as per the NFPA Life Safety code. You will want to check with the local authority. (Download - important prevention document here)
- ARM strongly cautions the use of candles in church-owned/rented facilities because of the high potential for loss
- The local Fire Authority (Fire Marshall) is the final word on whether the candles would even be allowed.
So, are there other options that work well and avoid the catastrophic potential of open flame? Yes there are.
One club in Texas posted the following:
This morning we had our Induction Service. doing a no candle ceremony.
We had an LED candle representative of the Spirit of Pathfinders and Adventurers.
We colored water according to each level of Adventurers and Pathfinders. Red ribbons for Pathfinders and Blue ribbons for Adventurers [decorated the front of each colored-water decorative container]. Each new member added a pebble to the bottle representative of their class. ~ Glorimar Teixeria, NAD Adventurer Advisory
Editorial Note: The following article first appeared on Pathfindersonline.org but has many points also applicable to Adventurer ministry, so we are sharing it here as well.
It seems that every August and parts of September, our churches start anew with a bundle of activities. Summer is over and school is starting. Brand new dreams, brand new ideas for the year and it seems that in the church, children’s and youth ministries start anew also. With all that activity going on, parents seem overwhelmed as to what to choose for their children. There are many plans for activities and in those activities you have Club ministries: Adventurers, Pathfinders and Master Guides!
Many of you know about two of these ministries, which are targeted towards children and youth from ages 4 through high school. Master Guide ministry is recently nascent in North America, but is growing. These ministries are a staple in many churches and some churches exist because of the life that these ministries bring into them. Yes, they bring life into the church…let me explain: