Exploring R-E-S-P-E-C-T at Interfaith Service

Exploring R-E-S-P-E-C-T at Interfaith Service

More than 200 Girl Scouts, their leaders, and families came together for an interfaith service designed to showcase the part of the Girl Scout Law that states, “Respect Myself and Others.”  The interactive event has been an annual favorite for Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan (GSSEM) for going on ten years.  Girls from 30 different troops, as well as a number of Juliettes, were in attendance.

The 2024 Interfaith Service was held at First Baptist Institutional Church in Detroit on January 21, and was organized by the volunteer Religious Relationships Committee of GSSEM in coordination with area clergy.  The program for the day featured a service component led by the hostess, Reverend Dr. Robyn Moore, Senior Pastor at First Baptist Institutional Church.  

The inspirational ensemble of celebrants including Rabbi Dorit Edut, Imam Mohammed Elahi, Rev. Lawence Zurawski, and Rev. Keyna James talked about how similar the Girl Scout Law is to various teachings of different devotions.   

The Girl Scout tenant of “respecting myself and others” was on display all through the service and hands-on activities. Girls were courteous and curious about the different celebrations of faith. Sweatshirts worn by the adult Religious Relationships Committee volunteers had the message of the day spelled out on them:  R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  

“We wanted to reinforce a foundational message that stays with our girls and helps them be open and respectful to others,” said Denise Minoletti, Chief Operating Officer, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan.  “Showing our similarities as opposed to concentrating on differences is one way to do it.”  

Following the Interfaith Service with the clergy, the Girl Scouts adjourned to the church atrium to participate in a take-home craft project, “Hands of Respect.”  After tracing their own hand, the Girl Scouts included different words each felt represented respect on the fingers and palms. They glued their hand tracing to a blank CD and took it home as a reminder of the lesson of the day.

They also played “Respect- It’s on the cards.”  Each table had a small deck of dry erase cards containing the individual letters R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  

As a group they selected a card and agreed on a word or phrase that began with that letter and signified respect to their group. These were shared with the whole group.

The closing ceremony was a friendship circle, a closing prayer reflection by Rev. Kenya James, Pastor, St. Peter African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church, Hamtramck, followed by TAPS and the traditional Girl Scout friendship hand squeeze and spin out.

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
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