Monday, January 25, 2010
Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. (Psalm 144:12)
February 7, 2010
The Hierarchs of the Standing Conference
of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas
To the Most Reverend Clergy, Venerable Monastics and Devout Faithful
of the Holy Orthodox Churches in the Americas.
Dearly Beloved in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ.
In 1955, the hierarchs leading the various Orthodox Christian Churches in our land came together to recognize and endorse the work of the Boy Scouts of America. This encounter prefigured the promising possibilities for witnessing our unity in Jesus Christ in this land and culture when we live and work in unity. Then and now, we believe that the Scout affirmation and Law are significant aids to our parishes and families in raising young men and women who "do their duty to God." The methods of the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts USA, and the Camp Fire Boys and Girls programs are tremendous tools and we continue to fully endorse the work of these valued institutions.
We encourage each of our parishes to actively support the celebration of "Scout Sunday" on Sunday, February 7, 2010. We recognize our Orthodox Scouts every February but this year's celebration is a particular joy to us as the Boy Scouts of America celebrates 100 years of vital service to the youth of our nation. We are grateful for the efforts of the first SCOBA endorsed agency, the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting [EOCS], that has prepared materials for our parishes to assist in their celebration, available at www.eocs.org. We also call on the reverend pastors and faithful of our parishes to support and recognize their youth engaged in neighborhood units. Integrating a young person's Scouting experience in the fullness of Church life and the Church's youth ministry programs is a powerful witness to our conviction that Christ is all and in all (Colossians 3:11).
We prayerfully look forward to commemorating Scout Sunday with you on February 7. We ask you to work with the EOCS (www.eocs.org) or with your Church's Scouting representative to make this day a success for our youth ministry.
With paternal blessings and love in Christ,
+Archbishop DEMETRIOS, Chairman
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
+Metropolitan PHILIP, Vice Chairman
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
+Metropolitan CHRISTOPHER, Secretary
Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America
+Metropolitan NICHOLAS of Amissos, Treasurer
American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese in the USA
Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas
Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Church
Orthodox Church in America
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
+Archpriest Alexander Abramov
Acting Representative of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA
+Bishop ILIA of Philomelion
Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America