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Bishop Hagiya’s Briefing on BSA (1/25/2022)

Now that the groundwork of our negotiations with the Boy Scouts of America and the resulting pre-trial agreements are finalized, I want to share with you in full transparency where we are.  

Before this, delicate negotiations were confidential, and we were constrained from disclosing all of the details. However, now that the first step is finalized, I want to share where we are going in the trial phase. 

The trial court is ready to hear about the proposals for a bankruptcy reorganization plan for the Boy Scouts of America. We need to keep in mind that nothing is final until the courts rule on the conditions and terms of this bankruptcy. 

Our United Methodist perspective was not just our self-interest, but we took up the cause of the victims themselves and the other smaller Chartering Organizations as the main priority. Our number one priority is the healing of the survivors of abuse. We remain committed to this central priority. 

All of our United Methodist work so far has represented us as a Chartering Organization. We also have taken up the cause of smaller Chartering Organizations that could not represent themselves. These negotiations were tedious and challenging, and we need to thank the Council of Bishops, our UMC Chancellors, and key general church agency leaders. They represented us and the greater good, including the abuse victims, with honor and integrity. 

In commitment to the cause and healing of the victims of abuse, the United Methodist Church is committing $30 million over three years to a Survivor’s Trust Fund.  This represents 1% of the 3 billion dollar settlement.  We also offered to assist in raising an additional 100 million dollars from other chartering organizations so that all will be able to continue to serve young people through Scouting.  We further pledge to provide resources ensuring such abuses do not happen again and to make every effort to ensure that our churches are places of safety for all who come into our doors. If the courts approve the final settlement, we will be released from the liability of all the cases that have come to light as of this date. 

For the Survivor’s Trust Fund, each U.S. annual conference will be assessed, based on the number of cases against it, a portion of the $30 million.  For our California-Pacific Annual Conference, that amounts to $676,312.  We have also already contributed $20,000 in legal fees to cover the costs of the protracted negotiations.  Because we are committed to helping the victims as soon as possible, we have also agreed to pay this all off as soon as possible, and not delay it over 3 years. 

I am so proud of the commitment of our annual conference leadership in stepping up and making the sacrifices in order to do what is just and right in this difficult situation.  I also need to thank all of those who put so much time and effort into making this happen:  Treasurer Archana Carey, Chancellor Lori Meaders, the Appointed Cabinet: Melissa MacKinnon, Mark Nakagawa, Moonyoung Lee, Sandy Olewine, Siosaia Tu’itahi, Erin Hawkins-Smith, John Farley, and David Richardson, Communications Director Cedrick Bridgeforth, Assistant Miya Kim, Trustee Chair Karen Tannheimer, and the CFA, Chaired by Howard Hudson, and members: Beverly Davis, Dan Griffin, George Hooper, Lee Holmes, Ongo Koli, Ben Liu, Cleopatra Marcus, Lyn Matthews, Molly Vetter, Josie Grant, and Hauati Makakaufaki.   

This is your United Methodist Connection at its very best, and I am so proud to be a part of our California-Pacific Annual Conference! 

Be the Hope,

Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop