Dear UMC Institutional Heads:
Thank you for the impact you have on the youth of our community through Scouting and the United Methodist Church. In an effort to keep you informed as the Institutional Head of a Chartering Boy Scouts of America program with United Methodist Church of the North Georgia Conference, we have included news from Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson below. Please take a moment to review the message.
The key takeaway in this communication is to support your continued patience in the charter renewal process, all UMC BSA 2021 charters will be extended from December 31, 2021 to March 31, 2022. This 3 month extension should allow the time needed to make a clear path for Scouting and the United Methodist Church’s continued partnership.
Our Field Service team is ready to support you if you have any questions.
Thanks for all you do!
Atlanta Area Council, BSA
CC Unit Key 3s
Director of Field Service
Atlanta Area Council, BSA
October 6, 2021
Dear North Georgia United Methodists and Friends of Scouting,
Sometimes there is a need to change a practice to achieve desired results. Today, those working on the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy and to resolve more than 5,200 abuse claims since 1940 against United Methodist congregations are recommending a modification in how United Methodist congregations charter with Boy Scout troops and Cub packs.
Several months ago it was recommended that congregations pause the rechartering process and extend existing charters through the end of the year or use a facility use agreement. This has been a very helpful practice up until this time. We gained clarity about liability issues, resolved a couple of critical issues through the mediation process, and helped people working on resolution recognize how important United Methodists are in the healing of survivors and serving young people. The following is a joint statement of the Boy Scouts of America and United Methodist leadership working on resolving United Methodist claims.
“United Methodist leadership and the BSA have agreed to the following joint statement regarding the status of units chartered by United Methodist churches.
The Boy Scouts of America and United Methodist leadership continue to work together to resolve matters related to BSA’s financial restructuring and have agreed, in the best interest of the young people who participate in Scouting, to strongly recommend to United Methodist chartering organizations and Boy Scout Councils to extend existing charter agreements and facility use agreements in force at this time through March 31, 2022. There will be no additional fee required from those chartering organizations through March 31, 2022. This will pause new chartering, re-chartering, and the use of facility use agreements with United Methodist churches. This automatic extension will allow Boy Scouts of America, United Methodist leadership, and other parties in the bankruptcy case time to resolve important issues affecting chartered organizations, including a favorable release for chartered organizations for any Scout abuse claims.”
Congregations that charter Scouts are strongly encouraged to follow this process as it resolves confusion and helps us resolve our concerns in the mediation process. To be clear, this statement calls for the BSA and UM congregations to pause any rechartering conversations and use what is in place at this time. There is a team working on a new UM charter for Scouting ministries that may be used in the future.
The United Methodist Church has four goals to meet through the mediation process.
- The healing of survivors and commitment to how we will continue to work to end abuse. Our congregations and UMC leadership have and continue to make progress on ending abuse. Less than 1% of our cases occurred in the last 20 years. The other 99% occurred prior to 2000. While this is significant progress, we strive to work toward ending abuse.
- Gaining a release for all of the UM claims against our congregations that will prevent anyone from suing a congregation for a claim directly related to Boy Scout activity prior to 2020.
- Not using a congregation’s insurance to resolve any of the more than 5,200 UM claims.
- A financial settlement.
We want to assure you that our United Methodist chancellors and more than 200 United Methodist leaders are working on your behalf to reach these goals. In addition to pausing all rechartering through March of 2022 and continuing with the present charter or facilities use agreement, today we ask that you pray for the survivors’ healing. We also ask you to pray for those leading this effort. God has gifted us with compassion and wisdom to reach just settlements and faithfully steward the resources of The United Methodist Church.
Yours in Scouting and in Christ,
Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson Chris Karabinos
UMC, North Georgia Conference Conference Scouting Coordinator
Virtual Duty-to-God Roundtable
Council Wide Event
Thursday September 30th
Faith-based CORS, Scout leaders and clergy.
Virtual Roundtable to share ideas about building faith into your Scout program.
Held 4x annually, on the 5th Thursdays of the year (July, Sept, January and April). 7:00 pm est.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 842 8299 5024
- Hosted by the North Georgia UMCOS
- Purpose: to ask questions about how the evolving relationship between the UMC and BSA affects where and how Scouts BSA units in North Georgia recharter in 2022 and the steps they will need to take.
- 7:00 pm est
As you may know, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is currently going through a bankruptcy process. Representatives of The United Methodist Church and the North Georgia Conference are monitoring the proceedings closely. There has not been a final decision or ruling made in the matter.
We want to communicate that the partnership between the BSA and United Methodist Church remains strong and we are working to see that this partnership, which has borne so much fruit and ministered to so many young people, continues to flourish for years to come. Scouting is an important and vibrant ministry of the church. As such, we celebrate the large number of churches in the North Georgia Annual Conference that have a scouting presence and would love to see that number continue to grow.
Given this, Conference and denominational leaders offer a few recommendations at this time:
- We strongly encourage churches to continue supporting their Scouts BSA (and Girl Scout) packs, troops, and crews.
- Although it is still early, we ask that churches not renew their charter agreements with the BSA in 2022. Your current charter agreement is good through December 31, 2021. (More info will be forthcoming to provide additional guidance over the coming weeks and months).
- We propose that churches consider a “Facilities Use Agreement” in 2022 and going forward.
A Letter from Our Bishop and Conference Scouting Coordinator:
Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and Scouting Coordinator Chris Karabinos wrote a letter to North Georgia United Methodists and friends of Scouting in our Conference. Read that letter below.
Council Wide Duty to God Roundtable
The Council Religious Relationships Committee is leading the first Duty to God Roundtable
Why should leaders come and participate? Here’s 5 topics to be covered.
- Religious Emblems Basics of many faiths
- How to use Scout Prayers in Duty to God
- Scout’s Own/Interfaith Resources
- Chaplain/Chaplain’s Aide training
- Upcoming Duty to God Events
When……: July 29th
Time…….: 7 pm to 8 pm
Where….: Virtual via Zoom
Save the Date & Register Here
March 21st @ 4pm - 8pm (Eastern)
Join us on Zoom as we learn more about six spring religious holidays. Then join us each year as we celebrate a different season to earn that year’s ribbon.
Zoom event is free to attend. Register at the link below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Patches will be available for sale as soon as we finalize the pricing.
Scouters Religious Academy (SRA)
Saturday, April 24, 2021, 8:30am -4:30pm
A major tenant of Scouting is Duty to God. Although the BSA doesn’t directly provide religious relations programs for its youth, it partners with a variety of organizations to provide religious programs for every religion and faith group. Every religion has a program that has been endorsed by the BSA to help teach our scouts duty to God, in whatever way is most compatible with each family’s beliefs. Most religious relations programs are delivered through a faith institution, be it a church, synagogue, temple.
The programs help scouts of all ages pursue a deeper understanding of their faith with other scouts through their faith. These programs fulfill the requirements for religious awards earned by Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Enrollment is not limited to scouts and is open to any children in grades 1-12. Courses are designed to be age relevant and typically are completed in about three months for Cub Scouts, or six – nine months for Boys Scouts and Venturers.
If you are interested in having your son or daughter participate in a program for your faith, you can do one of two things: (1) participate in a program offered by one of the religious institutions in the district or (2) start a program at your own church, synagogue or temple. If you are interested in helping start a program, please contact the district’s Religious Relations Chair, Mark Whelan,
Scout Sunday / Sabbath Planning
On February 8, 1909 William Dickson Boyce, reeling from his London experience with scouting and meetings with Lord Baden-Powell, proposed the incorporation of The Boy Scouts of America. The purpose of this new organization, in Boyce’s document “Shall be to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in Scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods which are in common use by Boy Scouts.”
The first week of February is often referred to as Scouting Anniversary Week. The first Sunday in February is known as Scout Sunday and the following Saturday, Scout Sabbath. During February, many of our scouts will celebrate the founding of scouting in America by wearing their “Class-A” uniforms to religious services on these special days. Every scout and leader is encouraged to participate.