A MOMENT FOR MISSION
"You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.'" – Psalm 91:1-2, NRSV
At a time when technology seems to separate children and youth from forming genuine connections, those involved with scouting ministries recognize their need to make an impact on the world to benefit others. Children and youth involved in scouting ministries connect intimately with the earth God created and with one another.
The United Methodist Church is involved with thousands of young people through Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Camp Fire.
"The scouting ideal of cheerful service," explains Will Ryan, a United Methodist Boy Scout, "is one way I've been deeply changed by the program. We are taught to go out and seek those who ask for help and then volunteer to step up and assist people cheerfully and as willing souls. When I was first taught that, it struck me how close this idea mirrors the beliefs of our faith."
Community service is a key part of scouting ministries. Scouts volunteer countless hours each year, caring for creation by starting recycling programs, planting trees and cleaning up natural areas. Scouts serve others by helping older adults with yard work, collecting food for those who are hungry and assisting with emergency preparedness.
Young people involved in scouting ministries accomplish great things in formational activities that reinforce what it is to be a servant of God, God's people and God's creation.
God, we seek to guide our young people into a life of following you. Help us to give them opportunities to meet you in your creation and in the strangers they meet along the path. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: First Sunday in Lent - O Lord, our God, you help us throughout our lives. It is by your faithfulness and generosity that we receive what we need. Today, we are mindful of those who are refugees, those who need a home, and those looking for work. In gratitude, we celebrate the bounty you have given. Receive this offering as our first fruits to bless others through the mission of this congregation. Amen. (Deuteronomy 26:1 – 11)
For Cub Scouts, preparing a car for the Pinewood Derby is more than just trying to win a race. It is an opportunity for boys to develop skills, work cooperatively and discover God-created gifts.
In December 2015, a Girl Scout Troop in Nashville, Tennessee, volunteered at a local bookstore. They giftwrapped for tips to benefit an unemployed single mother struggling to provide for her family at Christmastime.
Young people involved in Scouting Ministries explore the gifts that God has placed within them. They use those gifts serving their neighbors and preserving and restoring creation. United Methodists are involved with thousands of young people through Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Camp Fire in their journey toward servanthood.
"Nurturing children, teens, and families through outreach and evangelism and incorporating them into the life of the church may have tremendous, eternal results for the youth, their family and the church," says the United Methodist Commission on United Methodist Men, which oversees scouting ministries.