United Methodist leaders have reached a settlement in the matter of the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) pending bankruptcy proceedings. Upon final court approval, the settlement would absolve any claims of sexual abuse that may have occurred in congregation-sponsored Scouting programs.
Under the terms of the settlement, United Methodists would raise and give $30 million over a three-year period into a fund that will be utilized to compensate survivors, and United Methodist congregations that charter Scout troops and packs would be released from all abuse claims involving Scouting activities. A team has been formed to identify strategies and materials that may be used to raise the funds. Through the General Commission on United Methodist Men, United Methodists will work with the BSA to continue to ensure Scout safety and grow Scouting ministry as part of its mandate through The Book of Discipline.
“Bishops will be working with the church, the Survivor Working Group and BSA to address policies, programs, and procedures in order to keep Scouts safe from abuse,” said Bishop John Schol, chair of the UMC leadership team created to support the United Methodist chartering organizations in the bankruptcy matter. Under the terms of the agreement, denomination leaders will intensify efforts to prevent and raise awareness of child sexual abuse.
Steve Taylor, Executive Director of NC Conference Connectional Ministries said, “We feel deep sorrow for the survivors who experienced abuse from those they trusted, and we must intensify our efforts to ensure such abuse never occurs again. To that end, we deepen our commitment to a robust and effective Safe Sanctuaries ministry in every church in the North Carolina Conference.”
The settlement follows months of mediation by an Ad Hoc committee of bishops, chancellors and general agency employees that has been advocating for United Methodist interests.
“We are also grateful for the leadership in our United Methodist connection who worked hard to reach this settlement that placed at its center the care and concern of those survivors who experienced sexual abuse. God forever calls us to first care for the most vulnerable and violated among us. This is a measure of our love for and obedience to our crucified and resurrected Savior,” said Taylor.
More information will be forthcoming from conference leadership on how the North Carolina Conference will participate in this settlement process.
Now that United Methodists have reached a settlement in the BSA Bankruptcy, the United Methodist Ad Hoc Committee is recommending for all congregations that filed a proof of claim to vote to “accept” the plan as the plan now provides releases and protection from sexual abuse lawsuits for all United Methodist churches who presently or in the past chartered a BSA Troop or Cub Pack.
How to Change Your Vote
A local church that has already submitted its ballot with a vote to “reject” the plan can simply submit another ballot in order to change its vote to “accept.” (The last ballot received by December 28, 2021 4:00 pm is the one that will determine what vote is recorded.)
A local church that submitted a paper ballot can contact email@example.com to receive another hard copy of its ballot to complete and return. Alternatively, the local church can submit a replacement ballot online using its Unique E-Ballot ID#. The church will need its Unique eBallot ID from the top right corner of its ballot to use the e-ballot system. To the extent any church needs its Unique eBallot ID, it can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To the extent that a church submitted a ballot via hard copy and would like to change its vote using the e-ballot system, that works too. Those churches should insert their Unique eBallot IDs from the top right corner of their ballots into the e-balloting system to submit a new ballot electronically and seek assistance from the Solicitation Agent if needed at email@example.com. Again, to the extent any church needs its Unique eBallot ID, it can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline to receive your vote is December 28 at 4:00 pm ET.
A church does not need to call a new charge conference in order to change its vote in the bankruptcy , and if a church initially gave voting authority to the Board of Trustees, the Trustees may change their vote without seeking further authority from a new charge conference.
View the updated detailed Voting Guide (PDF)→
Voting yes will be helpful in approving the BSA Plan of Reorganization and continue scouting for 1.2 million youth across the United States. We expect to receive recommendations on chartering for scout groups going forward after the court acts on this proposed settlement.
If you have any additional questions, please contact us directly at email@example.com.