Monday, January 25, 2016
Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting
An Endorsed Agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA
February 7, 2016 is National Scout Sunday
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On Sunday, February 7, 2016, Scouts all over the United States will celebrate National Scout Sunday. Scout Sunday is an annual event among all faiths which recognizes the good work that is done by Scouts in our religious communities. 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 “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. That is why this Sunday is set aside to honor God and to remind us that we are all His Creatures and made in His Image or more precisely-to image (reflect) Him to the world.
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America has designated February 7 as Orthodox Scout Sunday. Through the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting (EOCS), the Assembly and its predecessor, SCOBA, have been actively supporting both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts of the United States since the l960’s.
As Orthodox Christians, we have a responsibility to honor our Boy and Girl Scouts and what they represent. The Scouting organization consists of young people aged 5 to l8 and adults who lead them. Scouting is an effective way to help Orthodox youths to do their duty to God and Country. Scouting builds character and teaches devotion to God in an environment that provides education and fun under the guidance of strong adult role models. The scouting program provides a wonderful channel to involve youth in the life of our Orthodox parishes throughout the country.
The EOCS Executive Board encourages all Orthodox Churches to recognize and celebrate this Boy Scout Sunday event even if their own church does not sponsor a Scout unit. Scouting should be an integral part of our Orthodox youth ministry. Anyone who is interested is encouraged to go to the EOCS website at www.eocs.org to learn more about Scouting, the Orthodox Religious Awards and the Orthodox Church.
Here are some Scout Sunday ideas:
- If your parish sponsors a Scout unit, have the Scouts arrive in full uniform. Regardless of whether or not your parish sponsors a Scout unit, have Scouts arrive in their full uniform. Many priests are aware of Scout Sunday and will discuss Scouting at some point following church services.
- Have the uniformed scouts: serve at the Candle table in the Narthex; serve as Ushers; help pass the collection tray, help serve during the coffee hour.
- Present Eastern Orthodox Religious Scout awards and /or any other Scout Awards earned. Have a Scout display and recruitment material available for parishioners to see during coffee hour.
On behalf of the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting, we thank you for your continued support.
The Right Reverend Bishop Daniel, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, Western Eparchy (Episcopal Liaison to EOCS)
George N. Boulukos, Chairman, Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting