31 January 2017

Scout Sunday 2017/7525

Please see the following announcement from the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America about Scout Sunday for 2017:  
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Scout Sunday is an annual event among all faiths which recognize the good work that is done by Scouts in our religious communities. This year, Scout Sunday will be observed on February 5, 2017. The observance of Scout Sunday tradition was started years ago to make people in the church aware of Scouting, and to allow Scouts to live out of what is pledged each week. The Scout Law says that a “Scout is Reverent” and the Scouts of all ages promise to do their “Duty to God”. These values strengthen youth character in their family, community and faith.

In 1960, the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas [SCOBA] endorsed Scouting as viable part of their youth ministry and created the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting [EOCS]. This was the first agency created by SCOBA and presently an agency under The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas.

The EOCS Executive Board encourages all Orthodox Churches to recognize and celebrate this Scout Sunday even if their church does not sponsor a Scout unit. Anyone interested in their good work can go to the EOCS website at www.eocs.org to learn more about Scouting and the Orthodox Church. This year will be the National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia from July 23. Once again the EOCS will be sponsoring an Orthodox booth, holding services and meetings with Orthodox Scouts from around the country and around the world. I would encourage all Orthodox Scouts to attend and be involved at the Jamboree.

Some Scout Sunday Ideas:
  • If your parish sponsors a Scout unit have them arrive in full uniform.
  • If the church does not have a Scout program, have the Scouts come in uniform. Many priests are aware of Scout Sunday and will discuss Scouting at some point of the service. You can have the uniformed Scouts:
  1. Serve at the candle table in the narthex
  2. Serve as Ushers
  3. Help pass the collection tray
  4. Help serve during the coffee hour
  5. And any suggestions from the parish priest
  • Present Eastern Orthodox Religious Scout Awards and/or any other Scout Awards earned.
  • Have a Scout Display and recruitment.
  • Think of sponsoring or establishing a Scout unit in your parish.
  • Approach a local Scout unit and give them ideas for service projects which can benefit your parish and community.
  • Look at the many Orthodox Scout awards and encourage your Scouts to earn them. Scouting has proven to develop stronger church membership and it is a natural fit. Good Scouts make better Church members and good Church members make better Scouts.
  • Volunteer to assist the local Scout troop/pack/crew.
  • Take a collection and contribute funds to the EOCS so they can continue their good work. Think about establishing a local EOCS committee so all Orthodox Scouts in the region can gather and support one another.
May the Lord God send His Blessings upon our Scouts, our leaders and the many volunteers across the United States of America.

+ Bishop DANIEL
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States
Episcopal Liaison to the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting

01 December 2016

Updated "Duty to God" Faith Requirements for Cub Scouts

The following "Duty to God" Adventures were updated by the Boys Scouts of America on November 30th, 2016. They are required Adventures for a Cub Scout to earn his rank of Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos, and Arrow of Light. They are not optional electives, but must be worked on and earned by the Cub Scout and his family. The old 2015 requirements can be found at https://orthodoxscouter.blogspot.com/2016/11/a-scout-is-reverent-religious.html.

1st Grade Tiger Cub Scout My Family's Faith Adventure: "Tiger Circles: Duty to God" requirements

  1. Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.
  2. With a family member, attend a religious service or other activity that shows how your family expresses reverence for God.
  3. Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age or grade. (Saint George Medal for Eastern Orthodox Christians in America)
  4. Help with a local service project and talk with your den or family about how helping others is part of our duty to God.
  5. With the approval of your parent/guardian, den leader, or other caring adult, think of and then carry out an act of kindness or respect that you think shows duty to God.

2nd Grade Wolf Cub Scout Footsteps of Faith Adventure: "Duty to God Footsteps" requirements

  1. Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.
  2. Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not already done so. (Saint George Medal for Eastern Orthodox Christians in America)
  3. Offer a prayer, meditation, or reflection with your family, den, or pack.
  4. Read a story about people or groups of people who came to America to enjoy religious freedom.
  5. Learn and chant or sing a song that could be sung in reverence before or after meals or one that gives encouragement, reminds you how to show reverence, demonstrates your duty to God.
  6. Visit a religious monument or site where people might show reverence. Create a visual display of your visit with your den or your family, and show how it made you feel reverent or helped you better understand your duty to God.

3rd Grade Bear Cub Scout Fellowship of Faith Adventure: "Fellowship and Duty to God" requirements

  1. Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.
  2. Identify a person whose faith you admire, and discuss this person with your family.
  3. With a family member, provide service to a place of worship or a spiritual community, school, or community organization that puts into practice your ideals of duty to God and strengthens your fellowship with others.
  4. Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not already done so. (Saint George Medal for Eastern Orthodox Christians in America)
  5. Make a list of things you can do to practice your duty to God as you are taught in your home or place of worship or spiritual community. Select two of the items and practice them for at least two weeks.

4th Grade Webelos Cub Scout Faith in Action Adventure: "Duty to God and You" requirements

  1. Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.
  2. Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not done so already. (Chi-Rho Medal for Eastern Orthodox Christians in America)
  3. Discuss with your family, family’s faith leader, or other trusted adult how planning and participating in a service of worship or reflection helps you live your duty to God.
  4. List one thing that will bring you closer to doing your duty to God, and practice it.

5th Grade Arrow of Light Faith in Action Cub Scout Adventure: "Duty to God in Action" requirements

  1. Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.
  2. Under the direction of your parent, guardian, or religious or spiritual leader, do an act of service for someone in your family, neighborhood, or community. Talk about your service with your family. Tell your family how it related to doing your duty to God.
  3. Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not done so already. (Chi-Rho Medal for Eastern Orthodox Christians in America)
  4. With your parent, guardian, or religious or spiritual leader, discuss and make a plan to do two things you think will help you better do your duty to God. Do these things for at least one month.
  5. Discuss with your family how the Scout Oath and Scout Law relate to your beliefs about duty to God.
  6. For at least a month, pray or reverently meditate each day as taught by your family or faith community.

25 November 2016

The Eastern Orthodox Prophet Elias Scouter Award

“With us everything is secondary compared to our concern with young people and their upbringing in the instruction and teaching of the Lord. After all, what greater work is there than training the mind and forming the habits of the young?”  
-Saint John Chrysostom (+407)

With these words of St. John Chrysostom as a guide, the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting seeks to recognize and honor not only youth members of Scouting programs but also to recognize outstanding service by adults of the three tenured national youth Scouting agencies [Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., and Camp Fire Boys and girls], in the promotion and use of these programs for our Eastern Orthodox young people. The Prophet Elias (Elijah in the English form) is traditionally held to be the greatest of the Hebrew Prophets. He maintained the importance of the worship of the true God in the face of pagan cults and temptations (I Kings 18) and upheld the claims of moral uprightness and social justice (I Kings 21). His passing of his mantle to the younger Elisha showed that these teachings were to be continued. It is in the image of the Prophet Elias that recipients of this award pass on their religious heritage and teachings to younger Eastern Orthodox members of these national youth agencies.

These national youth agencies provide programs which our churches and other civic and religious groups may use in their ministry and service to young people. The leader chosen by the sponsoring group is the one who permeates the youth agency with the meaning of the name “Elias” – “Yahweh is my God”; especially since belief in God is one prerequisite to serving as a leader.

Adult awards are not earned like youth awards: An outside party must nominate an adult to receive an award by submitting the required applications, letter of recommendation, and resume of activities. Self and spouse nominations will not be accepted. Nominations cannot be made posthumously. Recognition of an adult in either group is a true recognition of devoted service, not merely an “honor” for someone serving as a leader.

ELIGIBILITY:
The Prophet Elias recognition is for both:
  1. Actively registered adult lay volunteers for at least 8 years who serve young people in one or more of the three national youth agencies: Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Trail Life USA, American Heritage Girls and Camp Fire Boys and Girls [whether sponsored by Eastern Orthodox Churches or another sponsoring group], and
  2. Adult members of other religious bodies who are active registered leaders for at least 8 years of one of the three national youth agencies who are performing an exceptional service to Eastern Orthodox young people.
REQUIREMENTS:
  1. A letter of recommendation from the Eastern Orthodox Priest of the sponsoring parish.
  2. A letter of recommendation from a professional Scouter (Scout Executive) including the tenure as a registered adult Scouter.
GUIDELINES:
  1. Actively participates in his/her religious institution and is a member in good standing.
  2. Encourages Eastern Orthodox youth to join Scouting programs and encourages Orthodox Churches to sponsor Scouting units.
  3. Aids Eastern Orthodox Scouts in earning the Saint George, Chi-Rho, and Alpha Omega awards.
  4. Promotes religious observance and participation at Scouting functions.
  5. Is a fully trained Scout leader.
  6. Has organized, promoted, and participated in the appropriate Boy Scout, Girl Scout or Camp Fire Sunday observances.
  7. Has promoted service projects and assisted in training and recruiting leaders.
  8. Has served Orthodox Scouting or Camp Fire USA for a minimum of 8 registered years.
  9. Has given exemplary service to the spiritual, physical, and moral development of Orthodox Youth through service to the Church and Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or Camp Fire USA.
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