BSA Bankruptcy Settlement Agreement

Central Texas Conference to Hear From, Support and Work Toward Healing for Victims as Part of BSA Settlement

The United Methodist Church has reached a Settlement Agreement in the Boy Scouts of America Bankruptcy case (pending court approval). Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr., episcopal leader of the Central Texas Conference, issued the following statement on the settlement agreement to all CTC clergy and churches on Jan. 13.
Dear Central Conference Clergy and Churches,
The grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with your spirit as we begin a new year.
This letter serves to inform you of a settlement agreement in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) bankruptcy case, pending court approval. As part of the settlement agreement currently before the court, United Methodists have agreed to contribute $30 million toward a $3 billion Survivors Trust Fund that will receive contributions from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), insurance companies and charter organizations.  Every United Methodist annual conference has been asked by the UMC’s Ad Hoc Committee on the BSA Bankruptcy to contribute toward the $30 million fund. The Central Texas Conference portion of the $30 million settlement to the Survivors Trust Fund is $208,096. The Central Texas Core Team, the CTC Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) and the Conference Trustees have approved and authorized the payment of our allocation in one lump sum from our conference operating reserves. Local churches will not be asked to provide additional funds in support of the CTC’s assigned allocation.
The Survivors Trust Fund will be used to compensate persons alleged to have experienced abuse while in Scouting. The BSA has filed for bankruptcy as it faces more than 80,000 claims for alleged child sexual abuse during the last 80 years. United Methodist congregations sponsor more than 6,000 Boy Scout troops and Cub packs in the U.S.
United Methodists participated in the bankruptcy mediation process with the following five goals firmly in mind.
  1. Healing and support for survivors.
  2. Releases from claims related to sexual abuse for United Methodist congregations that chartered Boy Scout troops and Cub packs.
  3. Releases for all charter organizations.
  4. Preservation of congregations’ and annual conferences’ insurance.
  5. A fair and just financial settlement.
The settlement agreement meets each goal, but the cornerstone of the United Methodist settlement is the healing and support offered for the survivors in efforts to restore their dignity and alleviate social stigmatization.
The United Methodist Church does not tolerate sexual abuse of any kind and has consistently worked to keep young people safe. Most of the 80,000 claims occurred in the 1950s through the 1970s. Since that time, new practices and policies have been put in place by the BSA and UMC that have dramatically decreased child sexual abuse. For United Methodists, only one percent of all claims alleged to have taken place in and through United Methodist Scouting programs occurred in the last 20 years. While that is a dramatic reduction, even one case is too many.
In addition to a financial contribution, United Methodists are committing to the following:
  1. Train leaders to meet with and hear the experience and hopes of any survivor who participated in Scouting activities connected with a United Methodist congregation.
  2. Review all MinistrySafe/Safe Sanctuary policies and update as necessary.
  3. Develop a series of articles about how to ensure safe youth programing.
  4. Participate in a survivors’ justice and healing working group formed by survivors who filed claims.
Each United Methodist Annual Conference is now being asked to commit to follow-through with the UMC commitments listed above by agreeing to the following:
  1. Identify leaders who are willing to be trained and listen to survivors’ experiences.
  2. Review all MinistrySafe/Safe Sanctuary policies of congregations and the conference to ensure they are up-to-date and are being followed.
  3. Re-publish the series of articles about child sexual abuse.
  4. Raise funds for the Survivors Trust Fund.
When people, especially children, are hurt, God hurts, draws near, and cares. As God’s people, United Methodists also hurt and are moved by the love of Christ to show God’s love, mercy, and justice to a hurting world.
Ruben Saenz Jr.
Bishop of the Central Texas Conference UMC

A brief FAQ on this issue will be available at This is not intended to be a comprehensive FAQ related to the entire BSA Bankruptcy. Rather it is specific to the Settlement Agreement Bishop Saenz mentions in his letter above. If you have questions, please contact your District Superintendent or email Jeff at