Moment for Mission
“The mighty one, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.” — Psalm 50:1, NRSV
Campfires and canoe trips, pinewood derbies and cookie sales are just some of things that come to mind when scouting is mentioned. On this Sunday, as we observe Scouting Ministries Sunday, let us remember the Scouts’ consistent commitment to faith and developing the character of children and young people.
The Boy Scouts of America take an oath to keep “physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” In the Girl Scout Law, girls promise to be honest, fair and helpful. Even in the growing diversity of scouting, there continues to be a commitment or duty to serve God.
Scouting ministries offer many opportunities to explore faith, whether that is through their experiences in God’s creation or their commitment to serve God and neighbor.
Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the modern scouting movement, describes these outdoor experiences saying, “The study of nature brings into a harmonious whole the questions of the infinite, the historic, and the microscopic as part of the Great Creator's work.”
In the sunset, the sunrise and the star-filled night, our Scouts have the opportunity to experience God. In relationships with mentors, leaders and churches, Scouts experience an invitation to be a part of God’s people.
The General Commission on United Methodist Men recognizes these experiences as opportunities for the church to reach out to the community and invite them inside.
Great Creator, we thank you for the beauty of the sunrise and the sunset. We thank you for teachers and mentors. We thank you for the ways you reveal yourself to us. We pray those involved in scouting ministries at our churches would experience your love and grace. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Transfiguration Sunday - Holy God, we are in awe of you and your miraculous power! Your glorious light shone around Jesus as he prayed on the mountain. Thank you for this glimpse of Jesus’ divinity before his resurrection. The world may see just a humble teacher who died on a cross. Your Spirit gives us faith to recognize Jesus as the Savior of the world. Fill us with joy in sharing that good news, so that those who are far away will be drawn to you. Receive our offerings through your beloved Son Jesus. Amen. (Mark 9:2-9)
Scouting Ministries Sunday is observed each year across The United Methodist Church. More than learning how to tie knots or start fires, scouting encourages young people to live with integrity, to serve God and others, and to use natural resources wisely.
In a cultural climate where there is an unhealthy consumption of screen time, scouting provides an opportunity for children and young people to look up and outside.
Scouts are encouraged to be active and outdoors. Merit badges include hiking, cycling and swimming. Developing survival skills continues to be a valuable activity for scouts. These outdoor activities are opportunities to observe God’s creation first hand.
Scouts are encouraged to look up, to attend to their duty to God. This is a great opportunity for discipleship and evangelism. This alignment of values is how the relationship between the General Commission on United Methodist Men and scouting ministries began. United Methodist Men seeks to encourage and support congregations and the evangelistic and disciple-making opportunities that come in partnering with scouting ministries.