AUGUSTA, Ga.––A Scout executive, has developed a 40-day meditation guide to help people think theologically about their role in scouting and to sample various spiritual practices leading to a closer relationship with God.
Ty LaValley, a UM Silver Torch recipient and scouting ministry specialist, has developed The 40 Day Shepherd Challenge, a free spiritual formation e-workbook based on the aims and methods of Scouting.
Ty serves as the Scout executive for the Kiokee River District in Georgia-Carolina Council, His district includes1,800 young people and 700 adults in the eight counties.
The guide is his personal Messengers of Peace Service Project, a World Scout Committee effort to encourage young men and women in more than 220 countries and territories to work toward peace.
“The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make moral and ethical choices over the course of a lifetime by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law,” says Ty.
With a graduate certificate in Christian education from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Ty compares the BSA mission with the UMC mission “to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
“The area where these two missions intersect is the subject of this spiritual-formation workbook,” says the Scout leader. “Inside these covers is a buffet of spiritual-formation practices for you to try.”
Gregory Francisco, an archbishop in the Anglican Communion, wrote the foreword: “The most superb part of this workbook is that it does not water down the Christian perspective or the scouting perspective but gives each one a comparative complimentary observation. It is a workbook for all ages.”
Anyone interested in this free study may access the PDF online at: 40 Day Shepherd Challenge.
Participants who have completed the 40-Day Shepherd Challenge may send in the form at the end of the workbook for a free 40-Day-Shepherd Challenge Patch.
Ty is a recipient of the BSA Heroism Medal for saving two people who were drowning in a rip tide.
He is a former director of spiritual formation of Springfield UMC near Savannah, Ga. He also served as a UMC chartered organization representative and scouting coordinator for the South Georgia Conference.
Ty retired from the Army as a sergeant first class, in 1998, and he served Ashland Place UMC in Mobile, Alabama as youth and education director before he was recalled for duty in Iraq in 2004-2005.
Ty and wife, Cheryl, have two adult children: Dana, a college student, and Joey, an anthropologist.