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Last updated on Thursday, July 25, 2013
(INDIANAPOLIS) - A large Indianapolis church is cutting ties with a Boy Scout troop because the national organization is allowing openly gay members.
The East 91st Street Christian Church says it's "no longer in alignment" with the youth organization.
Communications Director Jamie Shafer said, "it was absolutely a tough decision," noting that many members had strong ties to the scouts.
The church has sponsored a troop since 1996. Shafer said there are about 75 scouts in Troop 910, many members of the church, but others from the community.
The church shared this statement on its web site.
"The Elder Council of East 91st Street Christian Church shares great appreciation for the ministry of Boy Scout Troop #910 and Pack #910 and for the rich history of the Boy Scouts of America. Our vision as a church is to equip and mobilize people to transform our world for Jesus Christ. In support of that vision, the Elders have made a decision not to charter the Boy Scouts of America beyond September 1, 2014.
"Although we are no longer in alignment with the Boy Scouts of America, we desire to continue a scouting ministry that is consistent with our vision and in commitment to our mission to love God, follow Jesus and serve your world. As a result, we will use the time needed between now and September 1, 2014, in consultation with our current Scout Leadership Council, to investigate affiliation with a Christ-centered scouting organization that will allow us to develop and disciple young men. This decision comes through much prayer and seeking the Lord's direction in this matter as we humbly seek to be a church that loves all people with the love and truth of Jesus Christ."
The Boy Scouts of America Crossroads of America Council issued this statement when asked about the church ending its charter:
"We continue to keep an open dialogue with our units, parents, and chartered organizations on this very complex issue. There have been some chartered organizations who no longer wish to be sponsors and in every case thus far, we have found new ones willing to step in. Every family who wishes to remain in Scouting has an available pack or troop.
Additionally, we also have new organizations who are offering to start new packs and troops, our camps are very active right now and the vast majority of our families are excited about what Scouting offers their kids."
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