April 24th, 2005


Where I belong

I have mused often enough (okay, belly-ached would be a better word -- or maybe, whined) about not being able to find a place where I can truly and completely belong. I have hitherto found no comfortable group within the various sub-cultures and factions of my own denomination, nor do I feel a strong attraction to any other religious body.

But I realized this week that I have a group, a sub-culture, a place where I am truly at home. I am a United Methodist Clergy Scouter. We are a small tribe, but we instantly recognize each other. We're not all cut from the same cloth theologically or politically (The UMC covers the whole range of religious and political thought), but we are closer to each other than I've ever experienced in any other grouping of UM clergy.

And we have this Scouting background. We love the outdoors. And we love leading kids. Some of us are dyed-in-the-wool Scouts; others took to it as adults, probably when our kids were growing up and trying it out. But we're hooked. It's who we are.

The problem is, we are scattered from here to the top of Baldy, so we don't usually see a big gathering of us except when the Jamboree Chaplains are getting ready to go. The rest of the time, we either merge into all the other clergy or all the other Scouters.

Though it wore me out to drive down to Nashville and back last week, I was exhilarated to be there. I thoroughly enjoyed doing the training for the UM Jambo Chaplains. They're my tribe.