This morning is a bit of a cause for celebration on several fronts.
1) I was privileged to participate in one of the most extraordinary conversations of my lifetime last night, and I'm proud to say I initiated it. If you've been following this blog for any length of time you know I've been openly critical of the Boy Scouts of America for their handling of the current membership/leadership requirements issue--that is, should boys and men who have a homosexual orientation be allowed membership in Scouting as Scouts and adult leaders? Although many parents--not to mention the scoutmaster and two assistants--begged off the monthly committee meeting, the five parents and leaders who attended spoke at length with The Reverend Dwayne Mosier, pastor of our chartering organization, Reformed Church of the Ascension UCC, about the United Church of Christ's stand on the Boy Scout's new membership policy and our present and future relationship with the charter organization. Pastor Mosier's comments lent clarity to some rather cloudy internal issues, and the tone of the conversation, while lively at times, was always civil and never mean-spirited.
Out of this landmark meeting came several ideas:
First, that we as an organization are in dire need of training about what to do if a boy (or leader) "comes out" to us, or is actively questioning his orientation. For most of us that will be a new experience, truly one for which we as members of this organization are unprepared.
Second, that safeguards are in place to help protect the boys (and leaders) from any troubling behavior that may occur. I suspect that while some will want heightened scrutiny as an edict from National, individual troops and their councils will engage in greater vigilance using existing rules and procedures, individually and in cooperation with each other. I just hope it doesn't turn into a witch hunt.
Third, upon reflection, it is clear that implementation of the new rules will not be as simple as an edict or series of edicts from National; Individual Scouts, Parents of Scouts, Scouters, Troops, and Councils will have a LOT to say in the months leading up to 2014. National, are you listening?
Finally, Assistant Scoutmaster Paul Errington brought up the crucial point of how to address bullying. While we have guidelines in place as a national organization, It would be a valuable exercise to revisit those guidelines in the fall in the interest of educating and protecting the boys.
2) I was shown a small but significant kindness by a professor at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. recently. Thank you, Dr. Ha! Took a significant load off of my mind.
3) The back of the house is done (for now) and it looks great. Thanks, Ernest!
Classes begin again Monday the 10th. Bibliography of the Humanities and Integrating Technologies in Libraries. It'll be an intense four weeks, but after that it's the home stretch into the fall and graduation in December--almost "written in the stone"! Cheers.
*-- David Foster, Maurice White, Allee Willis, I am, 1979 (Columbia)