United Methodist Congregation in Indiana Severs Ties with Cub Scouts

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DAYTON, IN – The Dayton United Methodist Church located in Dayton, IN announced this past Sunday that they were officially severing all ties with the Boy Scouts of America. As reported in the Lafayette Journal and Courier newspaper, the church’s administrative council voted unanimously on June 11, 2013 not to renew the charter for Cub Scout Pack 3316.

Rev. Mike Dominick, Sr. Pastor of Dayton United Methodist Church

In a statement read by the Rev. Mike Dominick on Sunday, June 16, the decision to end ties with the Boy Scouts of America was due to the recent decision by the Boy Scouts to open their membership to homosexuals. “The issue, for us, is biblical faithfulness,” the statement said. “We disagree with the direction being taken by the Boy Scouts of America.”

The statement by the church goes on to quote the official positions on homosexuality maintained in the United Methodist Book of Discipline: “…that all persons of any sexual orientation are persons of sacred worth and that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” “We love all people,” the council reiterated, “but we do not endorse all lifestyles.”

According to Larry Coppock, National Director of Scouting Ministries at the General Commission on United Methodist Men (which has the responsibility for promoting and coordinating scouting ministries in the United Methodist Church) the action by the Dayton church is the first of its kind within the UMC.

Bishop Michael J. Coyner, who oversees the Indiana Episcopal Area, did not respond directly to the announcement, but pointed questions toward his earlier released statement on the Boy Scouts of America decision “The decision by the Boys Scouts of America to welcome all boys as Scouts without regard to their own perceived sexual orientation brings the BSA into alignment with the Social Principles of our United Methodist Church where we encourage all of our churches to be in ministry to and with all persons.  I trust that our many congregations who sponsor Scout troops will continue to do so, because I believe Scouting ministries are an excellent way for us to be in ministry to boys and girls.”

Rev. Scott Mann, Sr. Pastor, Christ United Methodist Church, Lafayette, IN

The Rev. Scott Mann, Sr. Pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in neighboring Lafayette, IN, worried about how the decision of the Dayton UMC would affect perceptions of United Methodists in the area. “The perception among some that we’ve heard from is that this decision says that United Methodists don’t really care about kids,” said Rev. Mann. “We certainly don’t want what it means to be United Methodist defined over this issue.”

Dayton is a suburb of Lafayette, Indiana, the home of Purdue University.

“We have been receiving phone calls from people associated with the Dayton UMC and the cub scout troop in tears,” said Rev. Mann. “They are telling our staff how devastated they are by the decision.”

Christ UMC has reached out to the Boy Scouts of America and said that they would welcome Pack 3316 in their church. According to a report at jconline.com Cub Scout Pack 3316 has found a new home at the Memorial Presbyterian Church in Dayton.

“We are happy they have found a home,” said Rev. Mann, “but we want folks in Lafayette to know that all are welcome here at Christ UMC.”

Jay Voorhees, Former Executive Editor

The Rev. Jay Voorhees is the Executive Editor of The United Methodist Reporter and the Chief Creative Officer for CircuitWriter Media LLC which operates this site and MethoBlog.com. Jay is an ordained elder in the Tennessee Annual Conference. Jay has written on life and the practice of faith in The United Methodist Church at Only Wonder Understands since 2003.

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19 Comments on "United Methodist Congregation in Indiana Severs Ties with Cub Scouts"

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
 
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abyers
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Our military also allows homosexuals. Is Dayton going to also stop supporting them? Dayton gives to many Mission groups, many whom I have grown to know personally. I do not think that any of the leaders of these organizations would turn away people because they are "gay and in need" instead of just "in need" I don't understand why Dayton would turn away from children. As this congregation continues to bleed membership as well as pastors please pray for them as there are some wonderful people that attend. Supporting Boy Scouts doesn't equal supporting homosexuality no more than supporting our… Read more »
dsensing
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So a UM church in Indiana has decided to that the membership requirements for Cub Scouts should be more restrictive than for the church itself. God have mercy.

My church sponsors Boy Scouts. This won't happen there, not on my watch. (Blessedly, I have no expectation that I will need to face it).

scottmann48
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Praying for all and hoping that God's love wins on this and many matters that face the UM church.

methodistjeffry
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Dear friend, I write this in a spirit of friendliness. I must tell you that your references to Scripture to justify your belief that being gay is wrong, are not taken in the right context. People quote these texts like a broken record, but must often, they really do not know the really meaning and the actual specific ancient Hebrew or Greek language that is used. In the text you cite above, the language used is ancient Greek. "Unnatural" as how it is used in Romans does not mean something that is outside of the laws of nature. It does… Read more »
bellasmama
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methodistjeffry, I think you missed a huge opportunity here. I am actually reading this article because this topic is something I am deeply conflicted about. I would love for someone to have a non-judgmental open conversation about this with me, but I can't find anyone who is strong enough to not resort to to the type of rhetoric you've used above. I am not a hateful person, I try my best to read the good book and put it into practice in my life. I am afraid of making the wrong decision here as with many of the opinions I… Read more »
susang
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My 56 year old roots in the UMC are very deep. My commitment to the church has been unwavering up until very recently. My dad and brother are pastors. I worked for the UMC. I raised four children, adopted and now young adults, in the church where I chaired every committee of any substance, served as worship leader, sang in the choir, did mission projects, gardened, cleaned, prayed, and gave a real tithe which was -still is – always welcome. But I am gay. The church loves me. Really? Only in seriously fake words. Whose spouse would accept the sort… Read more »
ajred
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Oh my heavens!!! What is this world coming to!! A UMC actually thought that perhaps God says is more important than the discipline or what other people think!!
Thank you, Pastor Mann, for having the courage to stand by biblical principles.

bgfam
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This is why people who identify themselves as "spiritual" do not attend churches. So often we humans who run churches lose our way and do things that are very "unchristian-like." I am sad for the pastor that made that decision, I am sad for his congregation and I am sad for all Methodists who will be tainted by this misguided decision. As we lead our churches, please remember to "love thy neighbor as thyself" and we can't go wrong!

buzzy
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As a Mother and a former Asst. Cub Pack Master, I am so disappointed by the actions of this Church. Only in recent years have I learned that one of my former Cub Scouts is gay. During the time he was in my den, he, nor those of us around him, were aware of, or the least bit interested in, his sexuality. He was just a little boy enjoying the fellowship of other boys his own age and working hard as any of them to live up to his Cub Scout Oath. He was a joy to be around as… Read more »
oncemethodist
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It is ironic timing that just today, Alan Chambers, executive director of Exodus International, issued a lengthy apology for the negative effects his ministry has had on individuals and the Church over the last 37 years.

"Exodus International is the prodigal’s older brother, trying to impose its will on God’s promises, and make judgments on who’s worthy of His Kingdom. God is calling us to be the Father – to welcome everyone, to love unhindered.”

If the world-famous "ex-gay" ministry can recognize God's call to welcome everyone, then shouldn't the church of "open hearts, open minds, open doors?"

oncemethodist
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Open hearts, open minds, open doors? Brand failure.

mainerain
Guest

I have NEVER liked that slogan anyways and I hope that the UMC drops it. We should be warm hearts, Scripturally minded, open doors.

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