In the coming days, many United Methodist churches will receive a package in the mail from the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy case. The mailing is being sent to all chartered organizations that sponsored a troop with Boy Scouts and is called a Disclosure Statement Package. It is intended to summarize for chartered organizations how the BSA’s proposed plan of reorganization will affect the legal rights of chartered organizations with respect to Scouting-related sexual abuse claims potentially connected to chartered organizations. The Package will include the following:
- A “plain language” summary of the Disclosure Statement drafted specifically for chartered organizations;
- An “opt out” form relating to options all chartered organizations have as to how sexual abuse claims against each chartered organization will be dealt with. THIS SHOULD NOT BE FILLED OUT BY A LOCAL CHURCH UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE (more information on this will be provided by the UM Ad Hoc Committee in the next two weeks); and
- A ballot for casting a vote for or against the plan (only local churches that timely filed a “proof of claim” with the bankruptcy court will receive a ballot, other chartered organizations will only receive the rest of the Package). THIS SHOULD NOT BE FILLED OUT AT THIS TIME (more information on this will be provided by the UM Ad Hoc Committee in the next two weeks).
The Package is being sent by the BSA to all known chartered organizations, so it will be received by local churches that are chartered organizations regardless of whether they filed a proof of claim. ANY LOCAL CHURCH THAT RECEIVES THE PACKAGE SHOULD TAKE NO ACTION AT THIS TIME. Please contact your District Superintendent with questions. The United Methodist Ad Hoc Committee is also developing recommendations for local churches on how to complete the included ballot, which will be shared as soon as they are complete (and well before the voting deadline of December 14, 2021). Local churches will also be provided with a summary of the most important aspects of the plan. Additionally, information sessions for district superintendents, as well as webinars for church leaders about how to complete the form, why the vote matters, and how the outcome may affect our congregations, will be provided.