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Scout Policy - Religious Worship Services

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"I am not sure what we do for a high adventure trip that covered a weekend. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it."


I have it on good authority that God really dosen't get too upset if you miss a Sunday every now and then (your grandmother may not agree).

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Inter-faith is the best term for a generic service. Ecumenical is the best term for a generic Christian service.


Most "Scout's Own" services I have attended were ecumenical. I have attended a few that were inter-faith, but they were all within the context of the three great monotheistic faiths. The only time I have attended inter-faith services that attempted to include more than those three faiths it seemed to me to be a very awkward experience for all involved. Attempting to include everything generally makes things such that anyone that believes anything specific is excluded. Such services take on an almost secular tone. It ceases to be a worship service (because no one can agree on what to worship), or an expression of faith (because there is no common elements to the faiths).


Now one possibility for making an inter-faith service would be to have each chaplain's aid contribute something to the service. If that person wants to read from the book of Genesis, or John, or from the Koran that would work. If they wish to do a Buddhist chant, well, that could work. The problem would come with certain religions where the basic precepts are directly opposed. (I don't mean worship of different powers, but rather opposing morals, or a faith that specifically denounces some aspect of another faith.) Now if the chaplain's aid wished to do a poetry reading about flowers, I would ask in what way that is an expression of faith. If the answer is that it glorifies the Great Spirit's creation, well that is good. If the answer is that it won't offend anyone, now that I would have a problem with.


Perhaps the best answer is to have a monotheistic inter-faith service for anyone that doesn't have specific requirements. Also providing an opportunity for others to organize their own service would be appropriate. Contacting the various committees that work with the council on religious relations, or the units chartered to faith based institutions, far enough in advance to allow for organizing something would probably cover it. I know for most major events in this area (council camporees, section conclaves) there is usually a Christian leaning inter-faith service and a Roman Catholic mass. Though if you decide to schedule a Catholic mass, make certain someone actually arranges for a priest, otherwise you will upset your Catholic population. At least one conclave I went to they agreed ahead of time to have a mass, and put it on the schedule. Unfortunately no one thought about the fact that a priest would be needed for that mass. So, many Catholics showed up, and waited around for the priest to show, only to find out one had been asked to come. That became a double offense of sorts, because everyone had planned on attending mass at the conclave, and we missed out on the inter-faith service.

(This message has been edited by Proud Eagle)

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Let me see if we are on the same page

Some of the service that might take place at summer camp, district and council events are

Nondemoniational - Protestant -


Roman Catholic






Let me ask a question has your experience been that more advance work could be done in setting up worship services.


copies of hymns, scriptures etc should be printed up ahead of time.





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