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Cburkhardt

Revewal of Episcopal Scouting?

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Recent membership policy changes may be renewing interest on the part of Episcopal parishes in the sponsorship of Scouting units.  In our large metropolitan council our Bishop personally supported formation of new units and appeared and spoke at the formation of our first new Scouts BSA Troop for Girls (sponsored by an Episcopal parish).  This was motivated in part by our having visited with the Bishop's staff long before unit formation.  I solicited and followed several suggestions they provided and they consequently have a very favorable view of the program and the "ownership" viewpoint we always try to encourage in chartered organizations.  Other Episcopal parishes have formed new units this spring as well in our council.  It would appear that, perhaps, there may be a turn-around in what appeared to have been a reluctance to engage with the BSA because of some of the previous membership policies.  This posting is intended to focus on whether you see similar things happening in your council with respect to increased or renewed interest in your Episcopal parish or Episcopal diocese.  It would be interesting to have the views of members of the Episcopal Scouters Association on this, as they would have the "long view". 

I do not wish to discuss whether the membership policy changes were good ideas.  There are several postings elsewhere to do that.

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Well, I'm threading a different guantlet.

What's a plus for Episcopalians might be a minus for Anglicans. Same for PC/USA vs PCA. Lot's of big tents have ripped these days.

Among houses who promote a restrictive sexual ethic, three concerns rise to the fore:

  • Liability. Speculation is circulating that exercising the "local option" means that the CO could garner the ire of activists for inclusion if a volunteer is dismissed for conduct not befitting the ideals of the CO.
  • Leadership/resource drain. As membership and attendance rapidly grows. They need their people for other things. There is less space in the building for another activity.
  • Intransigence towards atheists. Some families attending don't believe in God. A program that excludes such youth is not looked upon favorably by the CO.

Maybe after church membership re-shuffles a little more, BSA will be seen as a good partner. Maybe not.

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10 hours ago, qwazse said:

 

  • Intransigence towards atheists. Some families attending don't believe in God. A program that excludes such youth is not looked upon favorably by the CO.

 

Maybe it's because I don't recognize the initials/acronyms you used, but I'm puzzled by why a church would a) have families attending who don't believe in God, and b) have a problem with intransigence towards atheists. 

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25 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

Maybe it's because I don't recognize the initials/acronyms you used, but I'm puzzled by why a church would a) have families attending who don't believe in God, and b) have a problem with intransigence towards atheists. 

Sorry about the acronyms for a couple (current) varieties of Presbyterian. One the larger, the other an upstart. I'll not bore you with details.

a) of course a conservative church would be steady on with non-believers. Sinners and publicans ... that's the recipe for growth. They might not be members, and they can't take communion, but they certainly are welcome. There's a reason they are called Easter worshippers and not solely Christians. ;)

b) well ... there are athiests and there are athiests. If one shows up for Bible study or providing music or sharing some other talent and trying thier level best to raise their kids in the church community, they are God's gift to the church as long as they are there. So, someone telling such a CO that a program that they would sponsor won't allow people under their care to participate, well that's a click against the program, not the company the church keeps.

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My intention with this posting is to see if others are observing a renewed interest in supporting Scouting on the part of the Episcopal Church as it currently exists.  I am observing some movement in that direction locally because that church is in alignment with the direction of the new BSA membership policies.  The increased number of units is being requested by BSA folks and is now being welcomed, whereas before I speculate there would have been a less-interested reaction.  My personal observation is that all families are being welcomed to participate regardless of their current faith or rigor of belief.

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