November 30, 2021
Dear Virginia Annual Conference:
After months of exhaustive negotiations with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in its bankruptcy case pending in Delaware, The United Methodist Church’s attempts to obtain a proper settlement pertaining to the child sex abuse claims that both compensates the victims and protects the local churches that are or were chartering organizations with the BSA have not been successful.
The national United Methodist Ad Hoc Committee (which includes clergy and lay leaders and our lawyers) recommends voting NO on the BSA bankruptcy plan. This decision was reached late yesterday after intense discussions through the Thanksgiving holiday.
I have a great deal of respect and appreciation for the national United Methodist Ad Hoc Committee, led by Bishop John Schol, that has been seeking a just resolution on these matters for months.
The Church will continue to work for a settlement. Churches within the Virginia Conference that are eligible to vote are receiving additional information.
Thank you for your patience, understanding, and attention to these matters. Please pray for the Church, the national leadership team, and especially for the survivors of child sex abuse. I will continue to keep you informed of important developments.
Peace and Blessings,
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis
For additional information, please contact the Rev. Dr. Steve Summers, Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministries, at [email protected].