Special UMC Charge Conference Dec 1


The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy after numerous suits were filed for sexual abuse. The United Methodist Church as a denomination is implicated in that bankruptcy as a party to help with settling the sexual abuse financial claims. This is because many United Methodist Churches either hosted or sponsored Boy Scout troops throughout the years, including Baraboo First United Methodist Church.

As part of the bankruptcy process, United Methodist local churches across the country had the opportunity to file a proof of claim. Filing a proof of claim indicated, among other things, that the local church had a right to be indemnified or protected by the Boy Scouts, as well as Boy Scout insurance policy coverage, for any claim filed against the local church by a Scout sexual abuse survivor.

We understand that the Baraboo First United Methodist Church may be considered a charter Boy Scout organization, and thus, a lawsuit could potentially be filed by an abuse survivor against our local church. However, we understand that our church has not filed a proof of claim.

Our church has the opportunity to vote on the bankruptcy plan. Because local churches’ votes must be received by December 14, 2021, and because we will not know if all United Methodist local churches will be covered against Boy Scouts of America claims until November 23, 2021, all United Methodist local churches that filed a proof of claim must prepare now to record their vote. The congregation’s vote is critical to ensuring that United Methodist local churches are protected from a lawsuit filed concerning an individual claiming they were abused while in a scouting program associated with the local church.

A special joint Zoom United Methodist Church Charge Conference has been set for November 29, 2021 and December 1, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss this matter. Our church’s Administrative Council will attend on December 1, where we will be asked to vote on the following motion: A charge conference is called between November 23 and December 5 to act on the recommendation and submit the ballot so that it is received by December 14, 2021.  We, the Administrative Council of the Baraboo First United Methodist Church, (approve) (disapprove) the Boy Scouts of America plan of reorganization and give authority for the chair of the board of trustees to execute the plan ballot document.

No action is being asked of you, our congregation, at this time. Please know that the Baraboo First UMC Administrative Council is representing our church in this Boy Scouts of America matter. We will keep you informed as more information is available.

Although I currently have limited information, please feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you.

Keri Olson, Baraboo FUMC Administrative Council Chairperson

kerijolson@gmail.com, (608) 393-7419

November 18, 2021; Revised November 19, 2021