An Address by Charles Rardin to the Congregation on Scout Sunday
From Dr. Charles R. Rardin - February 11th, 2018
I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that these are strange times. Humans have always been complicated creatures, so maybe none of this is new, but there seems to be a collective sense of being unsettled. Public figures and those in positions of power are celebrated one day, and the next day are discovered or declared villains. Racial, gender, ethnic and political divisions seem deeper than we knew. Public and political discourse seems to be irresistibly degenerating into name-calling and bickering, in 140 characters or fewer. Behavior that we would never tolerate in an 8-year old is accepted and even celebrated by some in power. If this is difficult and confusing for those of us who at least like to pretend we are adults, imagine trying to figure it out as a young person.
Central Church, as an organization and a community, lives and demonstrates good character. It reaches out to those who can’t make it in. It provides space and sanctuary to those who are in need of help, in a wide variety of support groups that meet here throughout the week. The Church itself tithes – gives a tenth of its treasure to charity. And it is the Sponsoring Organization for Pack 88 and Troop 28 Providence of the Boy Scouts of America. Scouting for many years, nationally and here at Central, has offered young men not just the opportunity for adventure and camaraderie, but also mentorship in character. As my wife’s group, as it sponsors the Pancake Breakfast each year, puts it – “Center for OBGyn – women thanking Boy Scouts for raising good men.”
Scouting roots grow deep here at Central, and I’d like to recognize, and ask to stand, any Eagle Scouts that are present – once an Eagle, always an Eagle. Also, please stand if you have been involved in Scouting at some point. And now I’d ask Pack 88 and Troop 28 to stand. Even if it is very familiar to you, I’d like you to listen with fresh ears to the Scout Law; Many has been the time when, dismayed and discouraged by the ways in which humans can treat each other, hearing this weekly commitment to character makes me feel just a bit more optimistic.
A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. As is our tradition, Boy Scout Troop 28 offers its thanks to Central Church, in the form of ice cream in Chapel Hall. We are once again grateful to Bob Kaloostian for his contribution of toppings and goodies. We hope you enjoy.