The FaceBook discussion group is the interactive portion of this site. Feel free to join the group and share you ideas, questions and answers. As this is Scouting related and faith based, please keep all posts and images appropriate.I will delete offensive material if I see it or if I receive a complaint. A Scout is Reverent.

Religious Emblems Corner

The religious emblems corner is a monthly addition to the Coyote Creek District newsletter that I contribute as the District Religious Emblems Coordinator. The goal is to educate the readers of the religious observances for the month and focus on a specific faith award. Feel free to use this information as you see fit.

If if you have anarticle that you would like to see added to this page, please email me at content@bsachaplain.org

December 2011

I just wanted to introduce myself, I am Patrick Wilson. I serve as Chaplain for Pack, Troop and Crew 92 in Milpitas. I will also be serving as you District Religious Emblems Coordinator. My website is www.bsachaplain.org.

In the coming months, I hope to add a note to the district newsletter that highlights the religious emblems program also list important religious observances for the current and upcoming month.

The religious emblems programs are programs created by the various religious groups to encourage youth to grow stronger in their faith. The Boy Scouts of America has approved of these programs and allows the emblems to be worn on the official uniform. The various religious groups administer the programs.

For this month, I would like to highlight the opportunities available to the Protestant Scouts. Most of the Protestant churches have standardized on these four programs although there may be variations based on your particular denomination.

God and Me (Grades 1,2 & 3)

God and Family (Grades 4 & 5)

God and Church (Grades 6, 7 & 8)

God and Life (Grades 9-12)

Young people who participate in these programs grow stronger in faith and in service to God. True, they receive an award, but they receive many more benefits that come from studying the Bible, working with an adult Christian, getting to know their pastor, and designing their own projects to reinforce Bible lessons. More information may be found at www.praypub.org.

Important observances to remember for

December and January:

DECEMBER 2011

8 Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) - Buddhism

8 Immaculate Conception - Catholic Christian

21-28 Hannukah* - Jewish

25 Christmas - Christian

26 Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra - Zoroastrian)

26 -1/1 Kwanzaa - Interfaith

JANUARY 2012

1 Mary, Mother of God – Catholic Christian

1 Feast of St. Basil – Orthodox Christian

1 Gantan-sai (New Years) – Shinto

6 Theophany – Eastern-rite Catholic Christian

13 Maghi - Sikh

15 World Religion Day - Baha'i

 

January  2012

On many Eagle Boards of Review, I ask “What is your duty to God?” and “What does it mean to be reverent?” Most will respond to with the general answer found in the Scout Handbook. If that is all they can say after 6 or 10 years of Scouting, have we really taught them to live the Oath and Law? 

As leaders, we are not religious educators and most of us are in units of mixed faiths. It is impossible to know everything, but we can encourage the use Religious Emblems Program. These programs are programs created by the various religious groups to encourage youth to grow stronger in their faith. The Boy Scouts of America has approved of these programs and allows the emblems to be worn on the official uniform. The various religious groups administer the programs. 

For this month, I would like to highlight the opportunities available to the Buddhist Scouts. The National Buddhist Committee on Scouting in association with the Buddhist Churches of America has developed the Metta Award for Cub Scouts and the Sangha Award for Boy Scouts and Venturing. 

The Metta Award Program is designed to help Cub Scouts of Buddhist faith to deepen their faith and to futher their knowledge and practice of the Buddhist religion. The Sangha Award is to give the Buddhist Scouts a practical guidance in achieving the spiritual pledge made in the Scout Oath and Law, thereby developing a Scout whose views and actions in life would stem from the highest of the Buddhist thoughts. 

More information on these awards may be found at http://bcascout.webs.com/ 

Important observances to remember for January and February: 

JANUARY 2012

1 Mary, Mother of God – Catholic Christian

1 Feast of St. Basil – Orthodox Christian

1 Gantan-sai (New Years) – Shinto

6 Theophany – Eastern-rite Catholic Christian

13 Maghi - Sikh

15 World Religion Day - Baha'I 

FEBRUARY 2012

5 Scout Sunday

12 Scout Sabbath

15 Mawlid an Nabi - Islam

Nirvana Day – Buddhism

Note:

Scout Sunday is February 5th and Scout Sabbath is February 12th. Encourage your Scouts to attend services in uniform on these dates. If your unit plans to participate in a service as a unit, start talking to your pastor now as he is already planning for that date.

 

February 2012

Does your troop have a Chaplain Aide? The Chaplain Aid is a leadership position appointed by the Senior Patrol Leader and reports to the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. He works with the Unit Chaplain to meet the religious needs of the scouts. He also works to promote the Religious Emblems Program. The Chaplain Aide may ask or be asked to lead the troop in prayer. If the group consists of members with mixed beliefs, or if the beliefs of the group are unknown, then prayers should be of an interfaith content. If the group is known to be of like belief, then it is appropriate to offer belief-specific prayer. A full list of responsibilities of the Chaplain Aide may be found on my homepage at www.bsachaplain.org

Religious Emblem Highlight

Since this month’s news letter is scheduled to come out on the Wednesday between Scout Sunday and the Scout Sabbath, I thought I would highlight the Religious Emblem opportunities available to the Jewish Scouts.

It was a natural outgrowth of the relationship between Scouting and Jewish organizations that the religious emblems program was originated to give recognition to youth who had demonstrated religious growth. In 1945 the National Jewish Committee on Scouting issued the Ner Tamid emblem for Boy Scouts and Venturers who are Jewish. Today there is also the Aleph emblem for Cub Scouts and the Maccabee emblem for Tiger Cubs who are Jewish.

Since these emblems were designed and implemented by Rabbis and not by the Boy Scouts of America, it is appropriate that they be presented during a religious service at a youth's synagogue as well as recognition at a Crew Meeting, Troop Court of Honor or Pack Meeting.

More information on the religious emblems programs for Jewish Scouts can be found at http://www.jewishscouting.org.

Important religious observances for February and March:

FEBRUARY 2012

4

Mawlid an Nabi – Islam

5

Scout Sunday

8

Tu Bishvat – Jewish

11

Scout Sabbath

15

Nirvana Day - Buddhism

22

Lent begins – Eastern-rite Catholic Christian

22

Ash Wednesday – Christian

MARCH 2012

8

Purim - Jewish (precludes Scout activities)

21

Naw Rú/ (New Year) – Baha’i

21

Norouz (The New Year) – Zoroastrian

28

Khordad Sal (Birth of Prophet Zaranhushtra) - Zoroastrian

 

March 2012

Does your unit conduct a Scouts Own when away on weekend or weeklong outings?

A Scouts' Own service is usually short, often lasting no longer than 15 minutes. They are made up of a mixture of readings, prayers, reflections and music. Many Scouts' Owns are based on a particular theme, such as friendship, using resources wisely, or fairness. This might be connected to a certain event or occasion. A Scouts' Own is open to EVERYONE and is not a replacement for an individual's own worship according to their faith.

This does not mean that you cannot have a service that satisfies the requirements for an individual's own worship? If, as a Chaplain, you are also and ordained minister, authorized by your particular church to conduct the sacraments of the faith, you can plan a break-out session after the Scout's Own to conduct these service elements for the members of your faith.

Religious Emblem Highlight

The “Good Life” religious emblem shows recognition of Zoroastrian youth by various Zoroastrian Associations in the United States for the advancement of their religious knowledge and participation in community service. The “Good Life” award is available to Boy Scouts and Venturing Scouts up to age 21, there is no Cub Scout award for members of this faith. Scouts working on this award should plan on it taking about a year to complete.

The purpose of the program is three-fold:
1. To make Zoroastrian youth more aware of their faith, it’s outlook and achievements.
2. To encourage them to achieve meaningful spiritual experience in living their faith.
3. To encourage them to enthusiastically participate in a community oriented project, thereby practicing the principles of their faith, i.e. happiness unto him who makes others happy.

For more information on the “Good Life” award, contact The Zoroastrian Association of Greater New York, The Good Life Program, 12 Rockwell Circle, Marlboro, NJ 07746

Important religious observances for March and April:

MARCH 2012

8

Purim* - Jewish (precludes Scout activities)

21

Naw Rú/ (New Year) – Baha’i

21

Norouz (The New Year) – Zoroastrian

28

Khordad Sal (Birth of Prophet Zarahushtra) - Zoroastrian

APRIL 2012

6

Good Friday - Christian

7-14

Pesach (Passover)* - Jewish 

8

Easter - Christian

14

Baisakhi - Sikh

15

Easter/Pascha - Orthodox Christian

 

April 2012

For the majority of the 2.2 billion Christians of the world, Easter, the most important celebration of the Christian faith was last Sunday, April, 8th. But not all, the Orthodox Christians of the world will celebrate Easter on April 15th. Why two Easters? Why is Easter of a different day each year?

Well this one is a little more complex, but not too bad. First of all, history in the first century was not recorded by date, but by events. History tells us that Jesus was crucified on the last day of the Passover and resurrected the following Sunday. Therefore, Easter must occur on a Sunday. The Jewish Passover occurred on in the Hebrew month of Nisan. The calendar in use at the time the Easter celebration was established by the Roman church was based on the Julian calendar, which is still used today to establish the Easter celebration in the Orthodox Church. The Roman Church of today uses the Gregorian calendar which is the common calendar used in the western world today. Not so confusing is it? It’s similar to the situation with the annual Asian New Year celebration.

Religious Emblem Highlight

The emblems for the Eastern Orthodox Church are:

·         The Saint George, for registered Tiger Cub, Wolf or Bear, who is a communicant member of an Orthodox Christian Church.

·         The Chi-Rho, for registered Weblos who attend church school or other formal religious instruction program.

·         The Alpha Omega, for registered Boy Scouts or Venturers through the 12th grade who is a communicant member of an Orthodox Christian Church.

For more information on the Eastern Orthodox award program, contact PRAY program at www.praypub.org or call 800-933-7729

Important religious observances for April and May:

APRIL 2012

6

Good Friday - Christian

7-14

Pesach (Passover)* - Jewish 

8

Easter - Christian

14

Baisakhi - Sikh

15

Easter/Pascha - Orthodox Christian

MAY 2012

6

Buddha Day (Vesak)** - Buddhist

10

Lag Ba'Omer* - Jewish

17

Ascension of Christ – Christian

27-28

Shavuot* – Jewish

29

Ascension of Baha'u'llah* - Baha'i

 

May 2012

As I sit here writing this today, I have to tell you that as always, I waited until the last minute. I am actually at 30000 feet on a flight to Minneapolis, MN. I am typing on a bluetooth keyboard, connected to my Blackberry Playbook, connected via bluetooth to the data on my LG phone. Because I am connected, I can still be fruitful. In the gospel of John, Ch 15, Jesus says "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." What Jesus is talking about here is being connected. Being connected to God. 

We want our Scouts to be fruitful. We want them to be connected to their God. We ask them to promise to do their best to do their duty to God. We ask them to be reverent towards God. Although Scouting is non-sectarian in faith, our founder always stressed that faith is an intrical part of the movement. The religious emblems program is designed to get the youth connected to their faith. 

Religious Emblem Highlight 

The "Unity of Mankind" religious award program provides an opportunity for Scouts oh the Baha`I faith to earn a lovely award and certificate. It is specifically designed to help participants realize their potential as citizens of the world. The program is available to participants of the Baha'i faith and those interested in learning more about the Baha'i faith and it's teachings of unity. To learn more, send an email to schools@usbnc.org. 

Important Religious Observances for April and May 

May 2012

6  Buddha Day (Vesak) - Buddhist

10  Lag Ba'Omer - Jewish

17  Ascension of Christ - Christian

27-28  Shvuot - Jewish

29  Ascension of Baha'u'llah - Baha'I 

June 2012

12  Race Unity Day - Baha'i

29  Ss Peter and Paul - Eastern Rite

 

June 2012

From Rovering to Success, 1922, Baden-Powell stated The method of expression of reverence to God varies with every sect and denomination. What sect or denomination a boy belongs to depends, as a rule, on his parents' wishes. It is they who decide. It is our business to respect their wishes and to second their efforts to inculcate reverence, whatever form of religion the boy professes.” 

The religious emblems program is designed to do just that. This is how we “second their efforts”. The young person is learning. He or she is developing their morals and beliefs. It may be years before they determine what they believe, but the morals that they develop today will carry with them throughout life. Our job is to help guide them along their way. Remind your Scouts to do their “duty to God”. Encourage them to explore their faith.  

It always surprises me when a Scout is preparing for his Eagle Board of Review and he doesn’t know what his parents believe. This often happens in a family where the parents have differing beliefs. The parents may not know how to start the conversation with their child or figure he will ask when he wants to know. Tell them that it is OK to bring the subject up with their parents. 

Religious Emblem Highlight 

A Latter-Day Saint Cubs Scout that is eight years old may begin working on his Faith in God award. To earn the award, he must complete the requirements before his twelfth birthday. His parents and Primary leaders can help him with the activities. 

The On My Honor Award is the Latter-day Saint religious award for Boy Scouts. To earn the On My Honor Award, young men must (1) complete the requirements for the Duty to God certificate for deacons (or for another Duty to God certificate) and (2) achieve the Scout rank of Star. 

Important Religious Observances for June and July 

JUNE 2012

12

Race Unity Day - Baha'i

29

Ss. Peter & Paul – Eastern-rite Catholic Christian

JULY 2012

9

Martyrdom of the Bab - Baha'i

24

Pioneer Day - Mormon Christian

29

Tisha B’Av* – Jewish

 

July 2012

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan starts in July. Based on sightability in North America, Ramadan will start a day later - on Saturday, the 21st of July. Note that in the Muslim calendar, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Muslims will celebrate Ramadan on the sunset of Thursday, the 20th of July.

Although Ramadan is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year, since the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar and the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar. This difference means Ramadan moves in the Gregorian calendar approximately 11 days every year.

Ramadan is the largest Muslim religious holiday celebrated each year.  During Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to fast and simplify their lifestyles by removing temptations and focusing their energies on their religion. Ramadan is a time for purity and wholesome living. You can support your Scouts by encouraging them to live the oath and law.

Scouting has been recognized by Muslims as a great movement uniting the youth of the world under the banner of mutually held and valued spiritual, patriotic and moral ideals. Our concern is to fulfill our responsibilities toward the Muslim youth and to prepare them for the leadership roles of tomorrow in the nations where they reside as citizens in this world that we all share. The spiritual bond, while not exemplifying one religion over another, can readily be recognized in the opening phrase of the Scout’s Oath: “On my honor I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country.” - National Islamic Committee on Scouting (NICS) 

Religious Emblem Highlight

The Islamic Council on Scouting has developed the Bismillah Emblem program to encourage Muslim youth who are Cub Scouts advance in the knowledge and practice of Islamic religious living. The Bismillah Award Program also provides the opportunity for the boys to receive closer guidance from parents, Imam and religious school teachers who serve as counselor. The pendant is attached to a bronze bar pin that carries the Arabic lettering from the Holy Book Qur’an.

In The Name of Allah “GOD” emblem, for Scouts and Venturers, is a pendant representing world beginning of the Arabic calligraphic of Holy Qur’an and in center Word GOD in English is engraved. It is attached to a green ribbon and a bronze bar pin that carries the inscription "GOD" in English.

Important Religious Observances for July and August

JULY 2012

9

Martyrdom of the Bab - Baha'i

21

Ramadan Begins - Islam

24

Pioneer Day - Mormon Christian

29

Tisha B’Av* – Jewish

AUGUST 2012

1

Fast in Honor of Holy Mother of Lord Jesus begins - Orthodox Christian

   

15

Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary - Catholic Christian

15

Dormition of the Theotokos - Orthodox Christian

19

Eid Al-Fitr; Ramadan ends - Islam

 

August 2012

In August we see two observances listed as Orthodox Christian. The word “Orthodox” is derived from two short Greek words, orthos, meaning correct, and doxa, meaning belief or glory. Thus, they used the word “Orthodox” to indicate their conviction that they believe and worship God correctly. They emphasize Apostolic tradition, continuity and conservatism over a 2,000 year history.

The Church is also spoken of as the “Eastern Church” to distinguish it from the Churches of the West. “Eastern” is used to indicate that in the first millennium the influence of their Church was concentrated in the eastern part of the Christian world and to show that a very large number of their membership is of other than Greek national origin. Thus, Orthodox Christians throughout the world use various ethnic or national titles: “Greek”, “Russian”, “Serbian”, “Romanian”, “Ukrainian”, “Bulgarian”, “Antiochian”, “Albanian”, “Carpatho-Russian”, or more inclusively, as “Eastern Orthodox”.

In 1955, Archbishop Michael, of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, Metropolitan Anthony Bashir, of the Antiochoian Orthodox Archdiocese, Bishop Orestes Chormock, of American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Diocese, and Metropolitan Leonty, of the Orthodox Church in America met with Joseph A. Brunton, Jr., the Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. The prelates came attired in their robes of office to bestow their blessing of the Boy Scouts and to make known to their constituents that they wanted Scouting to become a part of the youth programs of the local churches. This was one of the first cross-jurisdictional enterprises of the Orthodox Churches in North America. Later they included the Girl Scouts USA. As a result of this historical meeting, the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting [EOCS] was created in 1960 by the Standing Conference of Orthodox Bishops in the Americas, whose purpose is to conduct the mission of our Lord and His Church via the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts USA programs on a national level. 

Religious Emblem Highlight

Orthodox Scouts may earn one of three age-appropriate religious awards:  Saint George for Registered Tiger Cub, Cub Scout of the Wolf Rank or Bear Rank in the Boy Scouts of America. Weblos Scouts in fourth and fifth grade work toward their Chi-Rho award. The Alpha-Omega award is for the Boy Scouts and Venturing Scouts.  The awards require progressively more challenging work including service projects.  

More information on these awards can be found at http://eocs.org/. 

Important Religious Observances for August and September

AUGUST 2012

1

Fast in Honor of Holy Mother of Lord Jesus begins - Orthodox Christian

15

Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary - Catholic Christian

15

Dormition of the Theotokos - Orthodox Christian

19

Eid Al-Fitr; Ramadan ends – Islam

SEPTEMBER 2012

17-18

Rosh Hashanah* - Jewish (precludes Scouting activities)

26

Yom Kippur* – Jewish

 

September 2012

September and October have some special days in the Jewish calendar. September has the High Holy Days of Yom Kippur and Rash Hashanah. October has the Three Pilgimage Festival, Sukkot, as well as the Simhat Torah.

According to oral tradition, Rosh Hashanah is the Day of Memorial or Remembrance and the Day of Judgment. God judges each person individually according to his/her deeds, and makes a decree for the following year. The holiday is characterized by the specific mitzvah of blowing the shofar. According to the Torah, this is the first day of the seventh month of the calendar year, and marks the beginning of a ten day period leading up to Yom Kippur. 

Yom Kippur, being the holiest day of the year for Jews, is a day of atonement. Its central theme is atonement and reconciliation. This is accomplished through prayer and complete fasting – including abstinence from all food and drink (including water) – by all healthy adults. Bathing, wearing of perfume or cologne, wearing of leather shoes are some of the other prohibitions on Yom Kippur - all them designed to ensure one's attention is completely and absolutely focused on the quest for atonement with God. Yom Kippur is also unique among holidays as having work-related restrictions identical to those of Sabbath 

Sukkot is one of the three biblically mandated festivals Shalosh regalim on which Hebrews were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Sukkot is a seven day holiday, with the first day celebrated as a full festival with special prayer services and holiday meals. The remaining days are known as “festival weekdays”. The sukkah is intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of travel in the desert after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt. 

The Simhat Torah is a celebration marking the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle. Simhat Torah is a component of the Biblical Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret ("Eighth Day of Assembly"), which follows immediately after the festival of Sukkot in the month of Tishrei. 

Rosh Hashanah and Simhat Torah take precedence over Scouting activities.

Religious Emblem Highlight

As a review from the February newsletter, National Jewish Committee on Scouting has issued the Ner Tamid emblem for Boy Scouts and Venturers who are Jewish. Today there is also the Aleph emblem for Cub Scouts and the Maccabee emblem for Tiger Cubs who are Jewish. See http://www.jewishscouting.org for more info on the Jewish religious emblems program.

Important Religious Observances for September and October

SEPTEMBER 2012

17-18

Rosh Hashanah* - Jewish (precludes Scouting activities)

26

Yom Kippur* – Jewish

OCTOBER 2012

1-7

Sukkot* - Jewish 

9

Simhat Torah* - Jewish (precludes Scouting activities)

20

Birth of the B'ab - Baha'i

*Jewish holidays begin at sundown prior to the first date listed.

 

October 2012

This month I will let the BSA do my writing. I wanted to share the latest Unit Position. If you have interest in this position or can think of someone within your unit who would like to take on this position, please share this with them. Have them contact me at my email above and I will start some get togethers for discussion and training. 

Unit Religious Emblems Coordinator Position Officially Approved
BSA INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS   SEPTEMBER 27, 2012

Since the inception of the Religious Emblems Coordinator (REC) concept, it has been recognized that, like so many other Scouting functions, there needs to be a unit-level position to correspond to the council and district. The REC team is now complete with the addition of the Unit Religious Emblems Coordinator (UREC). The UREC is now recognized as a position on the unit committee.

The Unit Religious Emblems Coordinator position was created to strengthen units by building an infrastructure that would create cohesiveness between units and district- and council-level volunteers, ultimately to better serve youth members in the realm of Duty to God.

The responsibility of the coordinator is to educate, motivate, evaluate, and facilitate the religious emblems program at the unit level. In addition to serving on the unit committee, a key function of the position is to serve as the liaison to the District Religious Emblems Coordinator. Of course there is a new patch being developed to accompany the position.

Additional information regarding the position, including a complete position description, can be found by viewing the brief presentation at: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Awards/ReligiousAwards/Coordinator.aspx  

Religious Emblem Highlight

The religious emblem highlight for this month is the Roman Catholic awards for Scouts.  Most of the Catholic Scouts are already working on their award for this year, but it never too late to start.  

Light of Christ – Designed for 6-7 year old Cub Scouts

Parvuli Dei – Designed for 8-10 year old Cub Scouts

Ad Altare Dei – Designed for 13 -14 year old Boy Scouts

Pope Pius XII – designed for Venturing Crew Members and Boy Scouts 15 years and older

Light is Life – Designed for Boy Scouts, 12 – 13 years old of the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches. Scouts in the Eastern Catholic Churches work on Light is Life rather than the Ad Altare Dei emblem 

Important Religious Observances for October and November

OCTOBER 2012

1-7

Sukkot* - Jewish 

9

Simhat Torah* - Jewish (precludes Scouting activities)

20

Birth of the B'ab - Baha'i

*Jewish holidays begin at sundown prior to the first date listed.

NOVEMBER 2012

1

All Saints' Day - Christian

2

All Souls' Day - Catholic Christian

12

Birth of Baha'u'llah - Baha'i

22

Thanksgiving - Interfaith

26

Day of the Covenant - Baha'i

 

November 2012

The Churches of Christ is one on the many Christian denominations that is active in the Bay Area and in Scouting in general. You may have a Scout that calls a Churches of Christ congregation his family.  

Churches of Christ are autonomous Christian congregations associated with one another through common beliefs and practices. They seek to base doctrine and practice on the Bible alone, and seek to be New Testament congregations as originally established by the authority of Christ. 

The original founders came out of the Presbyterian movement, but they declared their independence from the denomination, seeking a fresh start to restore the New Testament church of 30AD. They have been officially recognized as a distinct movement since 1906. 

Members of the Churches of Christ for Scouting (MCCS) is dedicated to helping youth develop servant hearts for Christ. 

MCCS is an organization, independent of but recognized by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Girls Scouts of the U.S.A. (GSUSA) and American Heritage Girls programs. 

The mission of MCCS is to: 

·         Interpreting Scouting to Churches of Christ

·         Encouraging the use of Scouting by members of Churches of Christ

·         Promoting spiritual growth by encouraging use of the Servant Leadership Series 

Religious Emblem Highlight 

The Servant Leadership Series is the cornerstone leadership program offered by MCCS. It is a unique study and activities based curriculum that is designed to encourage age-appropriate faith development for Scouts and non-scouts alike. 

The Servant Leadership Series has been prepared in the spirit of Philippians 2:1-11 — modeled upon the example of Jesus Christ, who "took the very nature of a servant." The most effective style of leadership — and the only everlasting leadership — in our families, churches, nation and world is Servant Leadership. 

Loving Servant Grades 1-3 – Minimum two-month curriculum

Joyful Servant, Grades 4-6 – Minimum three-month curriculum

Good Servant, Grades 6-8 – Minimum four month curriculum

Giving Servant, Grades 9-12 (Venturers 14-20) – Minimum four month curriculum 

For more information on these awards or to download the curriculum, go to http://www.goodservant.org/home.php 

Important Religious Observances for November and December 

NOVEMBER 2012

1

All Saints' Day - Christian

2

All Souls' Day - Catholic Christian

12

Birth of Baha'u'llah - Baha'i

22

Thanksgiving - Interfaith

26

Day of the Covenant - Baha'i

DECEMBER 2012

8

Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) - Buddhism

8

Immaculate Conception - Catholic Christian

9-16

Hannukah* - Jewish

25

Christmas - Christian

26

Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra - Zoroastrian

26 - Jan 1

Kwanzaa - Interfaith

 

December 2012

Welcome to December. Another year has past and baring any catastophic events predicted in years past, we will end school for a couple of weeks, enjoy a lot of time together with family and friends. 

On the religious calendar, the Jewish community will celebrate the festival of lights, Hanukah from sunset on December 9th through sunset December 16th.  This is the celebration of the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem during the 2nd century BCE. The date is based on the Hebrew calendar, which may occur anytime from late November to the late December. 

Most of the Christian community will celebrate the birth of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on December 25. Some of the Eastern Rite churches will celebrate Christmas on January 6th or 7th based on the Gregorian calendar or in conjunction with the Epiphany. 

Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 as the first specifically African-American holiday. Karenga said his goal was to "give Blacks an alternative to the existing holiday and give Blacks an opportunity to celebrate themselves and their history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society." The name Kwanzaa derives from the Swahili phrase matunda ya kwanza, meaning first fruits of the harvest.  

All three of these events are important to a significant segment of our society and is important to the groups who celebrate it. As a Chaplain and a Minister, I feel it is important not to bow to the pressure of our society’s need for political correctness and reduce the meaning of these celebrations to an insignificant phrase of “Happy Holidays” when addressing an individual.  

If I know you are a Christian, I will wish you a “Merry Christmas”. If I know you are Jewish, I will you a “Happy Hanukah” and If I know that you celebrate Kwanzaa, I will wish you a “Happy Kwanzaa”. If I don’t know, I may ask to learn more about you and your culture or faith and give you the appropriate greeting because “a Scout is Reverent”. 

As I address this to a wide audience of multiple cultures and faith groups, I will with you all a wonderful, safe and happy celebration, no matter what it is you celebrate. Take Pride in it and share the meaning of it with others. 

Religious Emblem Highlight

For this month, I will not highlight a specific faith’s religious emblem, but I would ask that if you have a Scout in your group that is of a faith that has not been highlighted, let me know and I will add it to the coming year’s calendar. 

Also, if your unit does not have a Religious Emblems Coordinator, Chaplain or Chaplain Aide, I would love to schedule some time to join your unit and talk about these important positions.  Contact me at the address above. 

Important Religious Observances for December and January 

DECEMBER 2012

8

Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) - Buddhism

8

Immaculate Conception - Catholic Christian

9-16

Hannukah* - Jewish

25

Christmas - Christian

26

Zarathosht Diso (Death of Prophet Zarathushtra - Zoroastrian

26 - Jan 1

Kwanzaa - Interfaith


JANUARY 2013

1

Mary, Mother of God – Catholic Christian

1

Feast of St. Basil – Orthodox Christian

1

Gantan-sai (New Years) – Shinto

6

Theophany Eastern-rite Catholic Christian

13

Maghi - Sikh

15

World Religion Day - Baha'i

26

Tu Bishvat* – Jewish


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