Sharing the light


By Steven Scheid


A little-known part of the Scouting movement is the sharing of the Peace Light of Bethlehem, an ever-burning flame at the birthplace of Jesus.


Every year since 2001, the flame has been brought by Scouts and Scout leaders from Bethlehem to Europe and then to North America.


In 2018, the flame arrived in New York City via Austrian Airlines on November 25.


Scouts and Scouters then transported the peace light to several cities across the U.S. On December 9, the flame arrived at First UMC in Hiram, Ga., where it was used by the Helton family to light the Christ candle at the center of their Advent wreath.


Just as the peace light was carried by Scouts from Bethlehem to Hiram, so scouting has the potential to light a fire in the hearts of youth. The fire is emblematic of the give and take of ministry. When we give, we receive.


I encourage each church to embrace their youth by initiating or expanding their scouting ministry.


Next Christmas the peace light will return. Scouts, consider bringing this ever-burning flame to your church. 


Steven Scheid, director of the Center for Scouting Ministries

General Commission on UM Men

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