The Boy Scouts of America is mailing a Disclosure Statement Package to churches sponsoring troops. Bishop Bard advises churches not to respond at this time.
BISHOP DAVID BARD
Michigan Area United Methodist Church
Many United Methodist churches will receive a package in the mail from the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy case in the coming days. 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 “plan language” summary of the Disclosure Statement drafted specifically for chartered organizations;
- An “opt-out” form relating to all chartered organizations’ options 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 in the next two weeks.);
- 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 in the next two weeks.)
The BSA sends the Package 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. Therefore, ANY LOCAL CHURCH THAT RECEIVES THE PACKAGE SHOULD TAKE NO ACTION AT THIS TIME.
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.
~ Note: This update is being shared with all pastors serving local churches within the conference to ensure it reaches every local church that might receive a Disclosure Statement Package in the near future. If your church does not receive the Package, you can safely ignore this update. If your church does receive the Package, do not take any action at this time.