Relationships is Key

First United Methodist Fox Hill sponsored all four P.R.A.Y. classes, and the largest class was not the youngest program, but the high school class, God and Life. Twelve of the 25 participants were high school students pursuing the God and Life award. And four of the twelve God and Life participants achieved Four Star status. Steven, Mitchell, Caedmon, and Catriona started in 2009 with the God and Me program and culminated their journey in February 2017 when they were presented their Four Star awards.

P.R.A.Y. contacted Shan Sixbey about the key to their success, and her response centered on “relationships” and building on the foundation set by her predecessors. First UMC Fox Hill has always been intentional about including Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts in the P.R.A.Y. classes. Having a core group of kids that started with the first level provided incentive and momentum to continue the program. Talking about Duty to God and building relationships has been the key. The core group was ready for in-depth religious instruction. Sixbey said they also saw the Four Star award “as a chance to earn something truly elite, more so than the Eagle or Gold Award.” Cultivating relationships with the kids, their parents, church members who were willing to teach the classes and connect with kids who were not in the church, and knowing the pastor as a real person and not just some “mythical pastor” all contributed to the success of their program.

Thanks to First United Methodist Fox Hill - and countless other churches like them - for their ministry to young people through the P.R.A.Y. Program.

Click here for more information on understanding the P.R.A.Y. program as ministry and evangelism.

Plan NOW to Offer a Class in the Fall
Looking to offer a P.R.A.Y. class in the fall? Your first task is picking a date for the Kick-Off Meeting and publicizing it. The deadline for doing this is NOW before the end of the school year. Why so early? Some scout groups make their annual calendars in April/May. Make sure that the P.R.A.Y. Program Kick-Off date appears on their calendars. Create a promotional flyer that can be posted on your district website, and email the flyer to scout units and their families. Be sure to also inform your Religious Relationships Committee.

Click here to view a sample backdated calendar outlining the steps leading up to the presentation of awards on Scout Sunday. Thanks to Johns Creek United Methodist Church for sharing this resource.
Start now, it's easy … Pick a date and publicize it!

Pastors, Counselors, Mentors … Who is Who?  
In many ways, the success of the P.R.A.Y. Program is determined by the adults involved. We often say that resources and curriculum cannot replace the impact that a dedicated adult Christian can have on the lives of young people.  Pastors, leaders and parents participate in various roles. What is the role of the pastor? What is a “counselor?” How does a counselor differ from a mentor? Click here to find out!
Jason Noland Represents P.R.A.Y. at Local, Regional, and National Events
  • Greater St. Louis Area Council’s Protestant Religious Award Recognition Day, March 26, 2017 - The Protestant Religious Relations Committee invited P.R.A.Y. CEO Jason to attend their annual recognition day. Jason enjoyed the opportunity to meet P.R.A.Y. awardees and celebrate their achievements. 
  • BSA’s Central Region All Hands Conference, April 5-7, 2017, French Lick, IN - Jason worked with the National Alliance Group to make presentations on religious emblems and faith-based initiatives. The P.R.A.Y. booth in the exhibit hall enabled Jason to network with council executives and explore ways to collaborate.

  • P.R.A.Y. National Board of Directors Meeting, March 14-16, 2017, St. Louis, MO - In addition to presenting the business and financial reports to the Board, including updates on the bylaws review and progress on the strategic plan, Jason led special breakout sessions which focused on strengthening P.R.A.Y.’s connection with the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. and building up P.R.A.Y.’s nominating committee. 

P.R.A.Y. Program Usage Increases 5% in 2016

Thank you for promoting the P.R.A.Y. Programs for the past year.  Usage of the P.R.A.Y. program increased 5% in 2016. P.R.A.Y. has updated the data online and posted usage figures by denomination and by agency. Click here to view P.R.A.Y. usage data. Reminder: the usage figures posted on the P.R.A.Y. website are strictly from Protestant and Independent Christian Churches.

Share Your Story

We invite you to share a photo and story of young people who have earned P.R.A.Y. awards. Our new website has a Spotlight section to encourage and celebrate ministry to children, youth and families through the P.R.A.Y. program. Click here to read Spotlight stories and upload your own photos.