Presbyterian Church Challenges Boy Scout Policy

Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, a welcoming and affirming congregation in Maryland, joined forces last week with their local boy scout troop to host a rainbow-themed Pancake Supper.

Boy Scout Troop 33 adopted the theme to show their support for Ryan Andresen, the California teen who was denied his Eagle Scout award after he came out as gay.

Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, the troop's charter organization, affirmed their support for Troop 33 and their status as a welcoming congregation.

In September, Pastor Mark Greiner sent a session endorsed letter to the Boys Scouts of America and the National Capital Area Council:

Troop 33 and Pack 33, with strong support from the church, will continue their policy of selecting adult leaders based on commitment, ability, and adherence to Scout principles. Sexual orientation will not be a consideration.

The church's letter points out that the Boy Scout policy of excluding “open or avowed homosexuals” is inconsistent with the Scout principle of inclusiveness. Takoma Park originally adopted this statement in 2000, and it was recently re-affirmed by the congregation's governing board.

Takoma Park Presbyterian Church is a proud member of More Light Presbyterians, an organization working for the full participation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people of faith in the life, ministry and witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

How has your church responded to the exclusion of gays and lesbians in your communities?

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