ALASKA CHURCH REACHES “100” MILESTONE

St John United Methodist Church in Anchorage, Alaska conferred its 100th P.R.A.Y. award on Boy Scout Sunday in February 2017, and exceeded the milestone on Girl Scout Sunday in March when the 114th award was presented. The church offers all four awards (God and Me, God and Family, God and Church, and God and Life) and serves members of the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and its own youth group. The program started in 2003 by John Anderson, an Eagle Scout who earned his “God and Country” religious award as a youth. John, who has served as a teacher/counselor at St John UMC for nearly all of the awards, explained: “I feel called to this ministry because of the time and effort that was given to me by my pastor and scoutmaster when I was young. Our faith calls us to serve others––to be servant leaders––and, as my life was influenced in positive ways by servant leaders, I want to try to do the same.”

In addition to the youth awards, St. John UMC has presented 24 adult awards for exceptional service to youth.

Photo: The 2017 class of Scouts join their families after receiving P.R.A.Y. awards, along with the Rev. Andy Bartel pastor of St. John UMC (fourth row, third from left) and counselor/teacher John Anderson (third row, third from right).

Travis Earns Four Star Award

Grandma Shares in Four Star Journey

Nancy Easton had the rare privilege of sharing in the Four Star journey with her grandson Travis. From Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Folsom, CA, here’s her story:

July 2017 was the end of a wonderful journey that I took with my grandson Travis. We started our journey when he was in the second grade and finished it eight years later when he earned the Four Star Award. P.R.A.Y. enabled us to go on this faith journey to be closer to Christ. From playing games from his “game” box to our family pizza party to all of his service projects and our studies of the Bible, we not only became closer to Christ but also to each other. I would encourage all who have the opportunity to make this journey with a young person, to jump at the chance. You will get much more out of it than you put in. Blessings to you from Travis’ grandmother. 

Take Nancy Easton's advice ... use the P.R.A.Y. Program to embark on a spiritual journey with a young person today!

Girl Scout Connects P.R.A.Y. Friends

Johnna Visits P.R.A.Y. Booth at G.I.R.L. 2017

Johnna earned her God and Me award in 2015 with Rev. Rusty Cowden, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Warren, OH. Pastor Rusty was a member of the P.R.A.Y. Board of Directors for several years, even serving as Board President. When Johnna stopped by the P.R.A.Y. booth at G.I.R.L. in Columbus, OH, the first thing Deb Hazlewood did was to take a selfie and send it to Pastor Rusty. His reply? “The two of you have made my afternoon brighter.”

Thanks, Johnna, for connecting good friends and putting a face to our shared ministry!

Another Successful Run!

Epiphany Lutheran Church

"Epiphany Lutheran Church in Suwanee, Georgia is proud to announce the successful run of our 4th installment of a multi-level PRAY course! We have been running the program every other year for four sessions, allowing our oldest scouts to complete the levels as they age up. We extend the invitation outside of our home troops, and typically 25-30 students at all four levels join us for our multi-week sessions. This year, we are proud to announce that four Boy Scouts earned their Four Star awards! We also had several Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts complete God and Me, God and Family, and God and Church. The program ends with a pizza & cake celebration that is always a highlight! We hope to build on our success in two years to help our youth grow in faith and extend our church's outreach to the community. We sincerely appreciate Pastor Chris Hermansen and the Epiphany family for hosting us, and our many volunteers who are passionate about bringing this program to life!" - Submitted by Kim Towne

 

M.J. COOKS UP “PIZZA OF FAITH”

Where Faith Always Tastes Good!

M.J. completed the God and Family requirements and proudly displays his “Pizza of Faith” with the slogan “Where Faith Always Tastes Good.”

As part of the requirements, M.J. recorded his family’s recipe. Here are some of the ingredients for his family: smart (Mom), funny (Dad), interesting (Kaden), crazy (Amaya), and hyper (MJ).  And here is part of his recipe: “We try to pray every day at least twice.”

MJ also recorded what they learned together as a family:

  • God is always with us.
  • To always have faith in God.
  • To never give up.
  • Mom, dad, family, friends - they can give major support.
  • To always cherish good memories.
  • It is good to share. You can share in many different ways.

Thank you, MJ, for sharing your pizza with us!

Four Star Recipient

Slade Encourages Others to Earn P.R.A.Y. Awards

Slade L. received his God and Life award as well as his Four Star Award in May 2017. Slade is part of Troop 1045 in Hartville, Ohio in the Buckeye Council where he serves as Chaplain Aide. Here’s what Slade had to say about his experience earning the P.R.A.Y. Awards:

"While I was doing the last part to the P.R.A.Y Series, I definitely became closer to God. I started in Cub Scouts and ever since then, God has had a big part in my life. Just in the last two years I have joined my churches orchestra playing the trombone every Sunday and have been put in charge of worship with the five year olds and I have loved every minute of it. The P.R.A.Y Series has taught me a lot about life in general and just knowing that God has a big plan for my life is truly amazing!! To the Scouts that are considering doing the Series, I would really encourage it. 'A Scout is reverent.' I live by this part of the Scout Law every day. Keep your faith and spread His word. God Bless!"

Congratulations Slade, Well done!

 

Side by Side

RP3 Summer Project

Trisha Morgan shared pictures of her Girl Scout and Cub Scout holding their Bible patches.  Over the summer they wanted to earn the RP3 patches. Judging from the pictures which show 4 patches, they only have 2 more to go! (How nice to see the God and Me patch on their blankets, too!)

Girls Earn “Tents and Shelters” RP3 Patch

AHG Explorers Go Camping for First Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

10 AHG Explorers from Troop KY0522 went camping for the first time despite the rain. As they pitched tents and learned to make fires, they also carved out time for Bible study doing what else but the “Tents and Shelters” RP3 patch. According to Troop Shepherd Buffy Williams, “The girls had a wonderful time bonding and relishing in God's wonderful creation. It was such a blessing to be a part of this."

VENTURING CREW 8

Buntyn Presbyterian Church

Ronda Standridge reports that members of Crew 8 received their God and Life award. Ronda added, “I enjoyed watching them become more confident in talking about their faith through the process.” At the same time, Andrew Humphreys was presented with the adult Celtic Cross recognition.

Congratulations, Crew 8!

 

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

"Before" and "After"

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Pleasant Hill, CA celebrated 7 Cub Scouts earning the God and Family award during their Scout Sunday service on February 12, 2017. The boys met 8 times over a period of 4 months to complete the requirements for the God and Family program. The congregation supported the boys service project by donating 291 pairs of new socks as well as personal hygiene items and toiletries that were collected and given to a local shelter to benefit families in need. The boys had fun making their pizzas while learning about God's love for all of us! 

Congratulations to Joshua H., Jacob L., Tai C., Reece M., Jack S., Charley W., and Jack S.

Thanks to God and Family Counselor Jennifer Libby for sharing the “before” and “after” pictures. It's fun to see them hard at work in a classroom session, and then as proud recipients after the presentation!

[Check out the lesson being taught on the wall behind the boys in the top photo. Do you recognize the review of the “faith tools” presented in the Bake lesson (God and Family Lesson 5)? The P.R.A.Y. staff loves to see “stuff” from our Resource Library actually printed and being used in classroom settings. Thanks for making our day!]