BSA Bankruptcy Update: November 30, 2021


November 30, 2021 Update

After months of mediation to achieve a settlement in the BSA bankruptcy and working with annual conferences about voting on the plan, we do not have a signed settlement that would bring healing to the survivors and a release from claims against United Methodist local churches and other United Methodist entities. 

District Superintendents received information today about steps to move forward. This information is important, time-sensitive, and requires action.

  • Churches that did not file a Proof of Claim: Take no action.
  • Churches that filed a Proof of Claim: Clergy should check their email for information on next steps. 

November 29, 2021 Update

While the UMC Ad Hoc Committee had hoped to have an announcement by now, United Methodists do not yet have a settlement agreement in the BSA Bankruptcy Case. The United Methodist mediation team has been mediating and negotiating almost daily for the last two weeks, including through the holidays. 

The Ad Hoc Committee is aware that charge conferences are being held and recommends that charge conferences give the church board of trustees the authority to vote on behalf of the congregation. They are aware that congregations need to cast a timely vote so that the vote is received by December 14, 2021. Voting NO at this point will have impact on plan approval if we receive a fair settlement, and the same for voting YES if we do not have a fair settlement. 

The Ad Hoc committee projects that in a few days it will be clearer if a settlement will be finalized.

November 12, 2021

United Methodist churches that have sponsored Boy Scout troops can expect to receive (or have already received) a “disclosure statement package” from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) regarding its pending bankruptcy proceeding. The mailing seeks to summarize for chartered organizations how the BSA’s proposed plan of reorganization will affect those organizations’ legal rights with respect to Scouting-related sexual abuse claims to which they may potentially be connected. 

The BSA is mailing the packets to all known chartered organizations. The packet is expected to include an “opt out” form related to chartered organizations’ options. In addition, churches that filed a “proof of claim” with the bankruptcy court during the designated timeframe will also receive a ballot. 

The United Methodist Ad Hoc Committee, which advocates for United Methodist interests within the bankruptcy process, has advised that churches that receive the packet should not take any action at this time and should not fill out the opt-out form under any circumstances.

More information will be forthcoming shortly.

In Summary

  1. All churches that ever chartered a Boy Scout Troup according to BSA records have already or soon will receive packet from the BSA.
  2. All churches which filed a proof of claim will receive a packet AND it will include a ballot for approval/rejection of the BSA settlement and plan of reorganization.
  3. Wait to complete your ballot until you hear from the ad hoc committee.
  4. The packets contain a release or opt-out. Churches SHOULD NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES sign the opt-out.
  5. Once a settlement is announced and the ad hoc committee has a recommendation, a church can call a charge conference to vote on the matter. However, since there is a 10-day notification rule in the BOD, it may not be practical to have a charge conference.
  6. Therefore, the ad hoc committee or GCFA will provide delegation of authority language that will allow either the administrative council or the trustees to vote on the matter.
  • Nov. 22 – Last day for UMC to negotiate settlement
  • Nov. 23 – Guidance issued by GCFA and sent to District Superintendents
  • Dec 14th, 4pm EST – all ballots must be received; postmark is not sufficient