February 14, 2022
Siblings in Christ,
Greetings in the abundant hope we have in Jesus.
I would begin with gratitude for your faithfulness in our effort to respond with restorative justice and healing in the Boy Scouts of America Bankruptcy matter. We have kept the harm of children at the center of our response that we might live as a repentant community, and one attentive to our stewardship of children, youth, and vulnerable adults. I write today to share an update from United Methodist Communications, Office of Public Information:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2022
United Methodists extend BSA charters through June 2022
"United Methodist leaders have reached an agreement with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to extend existing UMC-sponsored Scouting charters through June 30, 2022, to provide for uninterrupted ministry with young people through Scouting. The charters were previously extended to March 31, 2022, as legal proceedings continue in the BSA's bankruptcy case, particularly as the trial for confirmation has now been postponed until March 9, 2022. Churches do not need to take any action to extend their current organizational relationship with the BSA until June 30, 2022.
Organizational leaders are working together to develop a long-term solution regarding the church’s relationship with Scouting as they plan for new ‘Association’ agreements that will help to improve the program and safety of Scouting for future generations of young people.
While no action is required at this time regarding charter renewal, churches are to move forward with the annual membership renewal process for all youth and adults who participate in Scouting programs. Charter renewal and membership renewal are distinct processes. Charter renewal focuses on the organization-to-organization relationship, while membership renewal involves the relationship between individual Scouts and volunteers and the BSA.
Annual membership renewal is a vital step in allowing Scouting to continue, as maintaining active membership registrations for all Scouts and volunteers is critical to ensuring that Scouts and volunteers are covered by BSA’s insurance, that volunteers meet training and safety standards, and that both youth and volunteers continue to receive communications.
All Scout units and local councils should complete membership renewals by February 20 if possible, and no later than February 28. Local council representatives are available to support the process so that Scouting activities can continue without interruption.”
From the Episcopal Office:
To summarize the above:
- We advise that no church sign a new charter. Existing charters are extended until June 30, 2022 by agreement with the BSA.
- The UMC is working on a new ‘Association’ agreement to replace charters. This is expected to be completed prior to March 31, 2022
- Annual Membership renewals should be completed by February 28th.
- Discreet Scouting events can be hosted with the Facilities Use Agreement (attached).
Our work to repair harm continues and will continue in the power and love we know as Christ. Thank you for your attention to the nurture of relational integrity that makes Christ known.
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung, PhD.