BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Several local scout troops and packs have been impacted by the controversial rule change that allows openly gay scouts.
Many churches decided to cut ties with the organization. Others are now offering to take their place.
The controversy left Cub Scout Pack 404 looking for a place to land.
St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Pelham wants to be that place.
“We don’t want to come across as there’s a sense of any kind of criticism or judgement against different organizations who are wrestling with certain issues. We have all our own issues we wrestle with so apart from all of that. We want to step apart from the controversy and really extend a hand of friendship and welcome,” said Rev. Neil M. Kaminski, St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church.
Several people have reached out to sponsor the scouts -and offer them a place to meet according to Jeff Calvert, Cubmaster of Pack 404- he says they had been meeting at Pelham First Baptist Church, but now must part ways. he says there are no hard feelings towards the church and he respects their decision.
They just want to move forward and limit the impact on the scouts as much as possible- particularly the younger ones-
“We just want to do what’s best for our scouts. They are at an age where they don’t really know anything about anything yet. And you know, we’d like for them to be innocent and naive as long as possible. Because eventually they will have to understand everything in the world. And you know, we don’t want that to be before the time is right,” said Jeff Calvert.
Pack 404 is still deciding where their new home will be, but the good news is- they have options.
The pastor of Pelham First Baptist Church, Mike Shaw, sent us the following statement via email.
”We have told the Boy Scout Troop and the Cub Scout Pack that we will assist them in any way possible to relocate. If it will help to maintain the vitality of the Cub Scout Pack they are welcome to stay until the end of the year but if it would be in their best interests to begin in a new place before then, we will be glad to help them. The Boy Scout Troop is planning at this time to stay through December 31, 2013 to allow those working on their Eagle award and other advancements to complete their work before that date. We wish the Boy Scouts and the Cub Scouts well and have enjoyed providing support for the boys and their leaders for the past thirty years,” said Rev. Mike Shaw, Pelham First Baptist Church.
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