Ad Hoc Committee Recommends Local Churches Vote NO
Negotiations Continue, but No Signed Settlement to Date
Votes Must be Received by the Court by 4 p.m. EST, Dec. 14
Greetings in the name of the Risen Christ! We pray that this Advent Season has been and will continue to be a blessed time of preparation and joyful expectation of the birth of our Lord.
The Central Texas Conference has finally received the official voting recommendation on the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) plan for reorganization from the United Methodist BSA Ad Hoc Committee*. Due to the Ad Hoc Committee not being able to achieve a signed settlement at this time, combined with the rapidly approaching Dec. 14 deadline to have all votes to the court, the Ad Hoc Committee recommends voting NO on the plan. A signed settlement that would bring healing to the survivors and a release from claims against UMC churches and affiliated organizations is essential to prevent congregations/UMC entities from being sued and numerous court cases for United Methodists to defend.
Why a NO Vote? According to the UMC Ad Hoc Committee, voting NO is essential for two important reasons:
It communicates to the bankruptcy judge that United Methodists do not approve the plan because it does not provide releases for chartering organizations.
As the plan currently stands, United Methodist local churches and other UMC entities will not be released from liability for all claims associated with UMCs involving abuse that took place during scouting activities (only claims from Jan. 1, 1976 and later are currently included in the plan). This could result in lawsuits against congregations, annual conferences and other United Methodist entities.
Churches that submitted a Proof of Claim by the Nov. 16, 2020 deadline are eligible to vote in this matter. The Conference Communications team will be sending a packet of information by the close of business Wednesday, Dec. 1 to the churches of which the CTC is aware filed the Proof of Claim. The packet will include a Plan Summary Document, a sample ballot, a blank ballot and instructions on how to complete and send the ballot to meet the 4 p.m. EST, Dec. 14 deadline.
If you are unsure if your church filed a Proof of Claim, please visit ctcumc.org/proof-of-claim-CTC-churches to see a full list of churches that the CTC has record of filing the Proof of Claim. If you submitted a Proof of Claim by the deadline and your church is not listed, please email Jeff Roper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Open Zoom Call with Jeff originally planned for Nov. 29 has been rescheduled for next Monday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. This non-mandatory meeting is designed to address any lingering questions churches might have about the official voting recommendations, filling out the appropriate forms, getting the documentation to the court on time and any other topic related to the BSA Bankruptcy. If you had already registered for the Nov. 29 meeting, the meeting access link you received will allow you to attend the Dec. 6 meeting. If you haven’t yet registered, you may click here or go to ctcumc.org/BSA-update-Dec6 to register for the meeting and receive your Zoom access link.
As difficult as this situation currently is for all, may we be reminded of the ever-present guidance of the Lord. The great 46th Psalm speaks the Word of God to all of us, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. …. The Lord of Hosts is with us.” (Psalm 46:1,7) May we patiently persevere to a better future for all involved, especially for those who have been hurt by abuse.
Yours in Christ,