February 4, 2022
Dear Virginia Annual Conference:
Thank you to our clergy and lay members for your presence, time, and attention during the Special Annual Conference on January 29, 2022. With the funding mechanism for the Boy Scouts of America settlement voted on by the annual conference body, we look ahead to our continued work for the survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
As a reminder, we, as a United Methodist denomination, are committed to the following non-monetary items as part of the settlement, which benefit both survivors and the church.
- Train leaders to meet with and hear the experience and hopes of any survivor who participated in Scouting activities connected with a United Methodist congregation.
- Review all Safe Sanctuaries/Ministry Safe policies and update as necessary.
- Develop a series of articles about how to ensure safe youth programing.
- Participate in a survivors’ justice and healing working group formed by survivors who filed claims.
More information will be forthcoming from the denomination and the conference on these items. If you are a member of the laity and would like to train as a leader to meet with survivors, please contact your district lay leader. Clergy should contact their district superintendent.
Thank you for your attention to these matters.
Peace and Blessings,
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis