The final vote to either disband or deny a 105-year old relationship between Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop 301 and First Congregational Church of Webster Groves (FCCWG) is scheduled for Sunday Sept. 29 at 11 A.M. Rev. David Denoon, of FCCWG, believes 80 to 85 members of the congregation will be present to vote on a resolution.
BSA National Council revised its stance on homosexual members and will allow openly gay scouters beginning in 2014. They still exclude openly gay eagle scouts, troop leaders and parents to be involved.
FCCWG added an “open and affirming resolution,” in 2008 that states, “We respond to God’s call by welcoming everyone regardless of ability, age, ethnicity, race, gender identity, sexual orientation or socio-economic background.”
A resolution committee of nine volunteer congregation members and Denoon, formed a process to analyze the church’s relationship with BSA. A final resolution was approved by the Executive Ministry on Aug. 11. It was created from the opinions expressed by congregation members at two open discussion on April 28 and June 2.
Denoon said he knows of some members who would vote no on the resolution due to BSA for only allowing openly gay scouters.
The vote is closed ballot and papers will be passed through the pews and congregation members can mark and yes or no vote. After the Executive Ministry presents the resolution there will be opportunity for discussion. Usually in a congregational church the vote would be orally and Denoon said it is uncommon way to vote. This is the first time since the 2008 “open and affirming” resolution that FCCWG has done a closed ballot.
“We want to give me them a chance to vote their concence rather than be intimated by the crowd,” Denoon said. “We take a great deal of pride in creating a safe place for people to uphold their opinion.”
In the 2008 vote there were only 3 “no” votes and Denoon said in a pole in May 2013 about 90 percent of the church was in favor of continuing the relationship with Troop 301.