Jon Lyksett (JDLyksett@AOL.COM)
Tue, 6 Sep 1994 16:52:55 EDT
Well, folks, it looks like it's time already to post a salient comment.
Since signing back onto the list last week, I've had several messages
regarding the use of my Interfaith Devotional Handbook which can be found in
two forms (Reverent, which is text format, and Revword, which is MS Word
format) in the Scouts-L archives. I would hope that people would use this
material freely and that their Scouting colleagues would benefit from it, but
I have one cautionary word.
When I originally compiled this handbook, it was as a Wood Badge ticket
project. The idea stemmed from the fact that I was one of only two (my wife
being the other) members of my Wood Badge troop that was not of the Christian
faith. When we had our first Scout's Own service (excellently prepared by a
very dedicated staff), I felt somewhat left out, since all the material used
was biblical in nature and didn't reflect the variety of religious diversity
that is held by members of the Scouting movement. I approached the Course
Director with this concern and was asked to help with the next Scout's Own.
I delved into my "resource bag" and managed to come up with a number of
items from eastern, native, and other faith systems. These integrated nicely
into the service, and, I think, impressed the members of the troop with the
need to understand others and their ways of worship.
When I decided to compile the booklet, I put out a call to Scouting
colleagues, through this list, through Roundtables, and through personal
contact. I also wrote each of the groups that offer religious awards to
Scouts, asking for their input. The only constraints that I put on the
material used, was that it not be proselyting in nature and that it, in some
way, reflected the uniqueness of the particular faith being represented. I
was literally inundated with material, and with the desire to keep the thing
compact and "campable," I had to be very selective about what was included.
I categorized the materials in an effort to address the various traditional
segments of worship, so unfamiliar passages might feel familiar in their
When the whole project was completed, I felt that it reflected the vast
diversity of religious traditions represented in our great movement. I
published and distributed about 750 copies of it through various channels,
including a one-time offer to members of this group.
I welcome the use of the booklet by anyone that finds it useful, but feel
very strongly about any editing or excerpting of materials. As I struggled
with the compiling of the book, I found it hard not to "stack the deck" in
favor of my own particular faith. I would imagine that it would be similarly
difficult for any of you not to excerpt just those parts that were from
I guess my counsel is this. Let your Scouts and Scouter friends know about
the "unity in diversity" that exists out there in the world. No one is
asking you to change your faith, just to understand that there are brothers
(and sisters) in Scouting out there that may not worship the way you do. The
twelfth point of the Scout Law says: "A Scout is Reverent. He is faithful in
his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others...It is your duty to
respect and defend the rights of others whose beliefs may differ from yours."
(Boy Scout Handbook, Tenth edition, Dec. 1992 printing, page 561)
There have been several inquiries about the use of this material. I do not
question the motives of those using it, but some of the questions asked were
very pointedly directed toward selective use. I hope the above will make
clear my philosophy about this issue.
Thanks all for your "welcome back" messages. I feel like a just found the
campfire circle again and that twenty hands reached out with a hot cup of
Yours in Scouting's Spirit,
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City