News and Reminders
National Association of Presbyterian
*Visit the new LEARNING CENTER on the P.R.A.Y. Website to view videos on the P.R.A.Y. curriculum.
Currently there are 3 presentations:
These presentations are geared for churches and adults who want to learn about the P.R.A.Y. program and the opportunities for evangelism and membership outreach.
Future plans include kid-friendly presentations as well as in depth presentations on each of the four programs.
- Ten Things to Know About the P.R.A.Y. Program
- P.R.A.Y. Programs as Evangelism
- P.R.A.Y. Program Summaries
*Don’t forget your PUZZLE PATCHES. More importantly, don’t forget to promote religious emblems! Make a presentation NOW because Scout Sunday will be here before you know it.
Click here for sample scripts, or click here to go directly to the P.R.A.Y. online store.
* Honor your leaders with an ADULT RELIGIOUS AWARD. Adult recognitions are for individuals who have given outstanding service to youth through Scouting and also their faith community. Adult awards are by nomination only. Nominate someone TODAY in order to recognize them on SCOUT SUNDAY in February.
Click here for nomination forms and specific eligibility requirements.
Faith Based Initiative Offers Tremendous Opportunities for Presbyterians;
Religious Emblems Coordinator Usage Growing
Presbyterians have been involved in Scouting ministries since the earliest days of the movement in America and have vigorously supported “duty to God” and “a Scout is reverent.” (Furthermore, the majority of Scouting units in the young Boy Scouts of America were related to Protestant churches.) Therefore, it should come as good news to Presbyterian Scouters that the Faith Based Initiative in Scouting has emerged as we embark on another 100 years of service to children, youth, and families. Described by some as “Religious Relationships’ response to BSA’s Journey to Excellence,” the initiative includes tools for engaging more of the faith community in starting and sustaining units.
Approximately 70% of all Scout units in America are chartered to local Presbyterian churches and other faith based organizations. Yet, the vast majority of these local houses of worship have only one member of the Scouting family (a troop, pack, or crew). While it is exciting that well over 116,000 youth receive Scouting through slightly more than 3,600 Presbyterian Scouting units i, there are thousands of Presbyterian churches which currently have no Scouting units. Can you imagine what would happen if every Presbyterian church now using Scouting would simply add another member of the Scouting family? What if other congregations were convinced of the importance of adopting Scouting as an integral church ministry to children, youth, and families? Needless to say, we would experience a membership explosion resulting in more positively changed lives.ii
Among the messages of FBI is that councils and congregations have four shared needs and interests which can better be accomplished by working together in the community. Sometimes called the “4 M’s,” they are:
1. Mission (Churches and Scouting are both are charged with making a difference in the lives of children, youth, and families.)
2. Membership (Both need young families.)
3. Manpower (Both are seeking more leadership, particular younger leaders.)
4. Money (Both require financial support for ongoing operation.)
Based on the successful model of Project 200 currently being conducted in Houston, Texas, where the council is endeavoring to start 200 new faith based units in 2011, 200 more in 2012, and another 100 in 2013, 30 pilot Boy Scout councils are now in the latter stages of training professionals and volunteers for this sizeable growth opportunity in partnership with the faith community. While most Scout councils are not large enough to have new unit goals as high as Houston, they can emulate their approach of goal-setting by district, enlisting New Unit Commissioners who commit to standing alongside one new unit for at least three years and New Unit Organizers who are involved from the very beginning, and adopting the philosophy of proper unit organization and follow up.
Numerous Faith Based Initiative resources may be found by going to www.praypub.org and selecting “Faith Based Initiative Resources.”
Another tool for strengthening the faith alliance in local councils while contributing to strong, sustainable units is the Religious Emblems Coordinator (REC). Since introduction of the REC position several months ago, interest has been steadily building. One indication of its long term, positive impact on Scouting is the number of persons who have been volunteering to fill this position on the council and district advancement committees. As a further proof, the Religious Emblems Coordinator workshop at the National Annual Meeting in San Diego was well-attended. And, the noontime Religious Emblems Coordinator workshop in mid-July at Philmont Training Center had to be repeated later in the week because of the number of persons seeking the information. There will soon be position patches available for the Council Religious Emblems Coordinator as well as the District Religious Emblems Coordinator. Also, consideration is now being given to creating a Religious Emblems Coordinator position at the unit level.
[To view the REC video from www.scouting.org as well as to discover an entire page of resources from printed pieces to PowerPoints to job descriptions and handouts, visit www.praypub.org and click on “Religious Emblems Coordinator.”]
As local councils and congregations look to the future, there is abundant evidence that the outlook is much brighter and stronger by working together. We have 100 years of experience which verify the validity of the FBI.
Community Alliances Team Leader Matt Budz receives a “sneak peek” of Faith Based Initiative shirts and hats
from Mark Hazlewood, Membership Subcommittee Chair for Religious Relationships, and R. Chip Turner,
Chair of Religious Relationships, during Religious Relationships conferences last summer at Philmont Training Center.
Response to the Religious Emblems Coordinator workshop offered at noontime in mid-July at Philmont Training Center was so great that a second session had to be added later in the week.
R. Chip Turner is chairman of Religious Relationships for the BSA and is Director of Communication and Training for P.R.A.Y. Publishing which produces the religious emblems program used by Presbyterians and other Protestant and Independent denominations. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
iThese statistics are based on the September 2011 edition of BSA’s “National Chartered Organizations Using the Traditional Scouting Program” monthly report.
iiBSA research affirms that faith based Scout units last longer than other type of unit and that Scouts in these faith based units advance in much larger numbers than in others. To see the actual statistics and charts which verify this assertion, go to www.praypub.org, click on “Faith Based Initiative Resources” and then select “FBI Handout” at the top of the page.