Special Notice from Lore Blinn Gibson, Conference Superintendent

November 17, 2021

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NOTICE
I am convening a special called charge conference for all churches in the Northwest District who have received ballots pertaining to the Boy Scouts of America’s bankruptcy reorganization plan. The special called charge conference will be convened solely for the purpose of voting one of two options regarding the BSA plan and no other business will be transacted. This will be held at 7 pm ET on Monday, November 29, via ZOOM.

REMINDER that you are responsible to comply with the 2016 Book of Discipline, paragraph 246.8 to announce this special called charge conference to your congregation by two or more of the following ways – pulpit, worship bulletin, newsletter, mail/email.

Join Zoom Meeting on Monday, November 29, 7 pm ET

https://inumc.zoom.us/j/98713054721?pwd=NFRRaVBKSGF1S0k1ano4YmtaSy9WQT09

Meeting ID: 987 1305 4721

Passcode: 384663

        888 788 0099 US Toll-free

        877 853 5247 US Toll-free

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for bankruptcy after numerous suits were filed against the organization for sexual abuse. As part of the bankruptcy process, United Methodist local churches across the country had the opportunity to file a proof of claim if they served as chartering organizations for troops named in abuse claims filed in the BSA bankruptcy proceeding. Filing a proof of claim indicated, among other things, that the local church had a right to be indemnified/protected by BSA as well as BSA insurance policy coverage for any claim filed against the local church by a scout survivor.

According to our records, your congregation was in the past and/or is presently: a charter organization, filed a proof of claim last fall, and should have received a ballot in the Boy Scout packet mailed to you.

While your church now has the opportunity to vote on the bankruptcy reorganization plan, we ask that you NOT complete the ballot until after the special called charge conference. Completing it incorrectly may eliminate your congregation’s protection from a lawsuit. In addition, mediation will be continuing through November 22, 2021, between the Boy Scouts and United Methodist representatives. We are still hopeful that all United Methodist local churches will be covered against BSA claims regardless of when the alleged abuse occurred, but we will not know until mediation ends. For that reason, we will be sending you voting recommendations from denominational leadership that we expect to have shortly after November 23, 2021.

The congregation’s vote is critical to ensure United Methodist local churches are protected from lawsuits filed concerning sexual abuse that occurred through scouting programs associated with the local church. Prior to the special called charge conference we recommend that you consult with legal counsel on how the BSA reorganization plan will affect your congregation.

A special called group charge conference has been set for churches in your district on December 8, 2021, to approve one of the following motions.

Option 1: A special called charge conference gives authority to act on the recommendation and submit the ballot so that it is received by December 14, 2021.

“We the ______________ United Methodist Church (approve) (disapprove) the BSA plan of reorganization and give authority for the chair of the board of trustees to execute the plan ballot document.”

Or

Option 2:  A special called charge conference gives authority to the board of trustees as allowed by The Book of Discipline, paragraph 2529.

“We the ______________ United Methodist Church give authority to the board of trustees to review the recommendation of United Methodist lawyers in conjunction with annual conference leadership and the Council of Bishops as to whether or not to approve the BSA plan of reorganization, and to vote on the plan on behalf of the church. The chair of the board of trustees is further empowered to execute the plan ballot document.”

Members of your church are asked to attend the special called charge conference via ZOOM. If you do not have internet connection, you may join by phone.

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St. Andrew United Methodist Church
4703 N 50 W | West Lafayette, Indiana 47906
765-497-7755