Lasting Partnerships Forged Between NTC Churches, Scouting Associations
How will your church recognize youth on upcoming Scouting Sunday?
Scouting Sunday is observed in United Methodist churches Feb. 9 to recognize youth and leaders as a ministry of the church. In worship, scouts will serve in roles such as ushers, acolytes or musicians.
The Commission on United Methodist Men officially sponsors all scouting programs in The United Methodist Church because of the impact scouting programs have on youth and the community. The UMM works with several scouting associations including the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA, both of which are active in the North Texas Conference.
St. Stephen UMC in Mesquite is beginning a scouting relationship with church members acting as Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster. Stonebridge UMC and First UMC Richardson have long-standing relationships including hosting special events and ceremonies. First UMC Argyle and First UMC DeSoto invite the scouts to participate in service projects.
The relationships are mutually beneficial. The church is not just a place to meet. It’s a place to learn about service to others. Many service projects are done for a church. One Eagle Scout coordinated re-striping the parking lot at First UMC Irving.
“There is always something that needs to be done [at a church], and we fill in where we can,” said Joe Lorich, coordinator of scouting at First UMC Irving.
Lorich added that the leaders of tomorrow need to have faith and morals to be successful. He said scout leaders of today need to be that example for the youth.
Circle Ten Council is the regional Boy Scout council serving North Texas, with 4,200 scouts and roughly 1,300 adults registered to approximately 200 units chartered by United Methodist churches. The partnership between Circle Ten and The United Methodist Church celebrates 100 years this month.
“A duty to God is a key tenet of the scouting program because faith breeds hope, optimism, compassion and belief in a better tomorrow – something we desire for all youth,” Circle Ten Coucil Scout Executive/CEO Sam Thompson said.
Rev. Paul Maletic agrees with that assessment. He was scout at First UMC Irving where he earned his Eagle Scout ranking.
“Scouts was a place and space coupled with my church youth group that helped me figure out what it means to be a leader,” said Rev. Maletic, the youth minister at First UMC Rockwall. “Scouting impacted my life by providing an opportunity to begin to hone the craft of relating with and leading others.”
Ministering to others is what Rev. Peter McNabb of First UMC Terrell learned as Boy Scout volunteer for 17 years, serving at the local and district level.
“Scouting as an adult leader really guided me and prepared me well for ministry. In many ways, a Scoutmaster is like a pastor to a group of families,” Rev. McNabb said.
First UMC McKinney church member Sally Dover not only participated in Girl Scouts as a youth, but she now serves in a leadership position for the Northeast Texas Council.
“Growing up, I got to be in a Girl Scout troop and also belonged to First United Methodist Church in McKinney,” Dover said. “Both of these were great opportunities for me to belong, grow and serve with my peers and to develop relationships with supportive adults.”
Girl Scouts encourages exploring faith, service and building community relationships, which Dover said aligns with the missions of The UMC and Girl Scouts wanting to do good.
“Churches, Girl Scouts and their communities can all benefit from supporting one another,” Dover said. “Beneficence is a powerful force of good, and it is valuable for people of all ages and genders to support girls leading in their communities when they do things like organize food or clothing drives, run their own cookie businesses, or earn their Girl Scout Gold Awards by completing an in-depth project that addresses a community need in a sustainable way.”
Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2020