Message From Bishop Schol | Information Session Follow-up with Poll Data

January 28, 2022 | Messages from the Bishop

When people hurt, United Methodists help.

Dear Clergy, Conference and Congregational Leadership,

We had an excellent information session on Wednesday evening about the BSA reorganization plan and claims against GNJ and its congregations for sexual abuse of young people. More than 300 attendees participated in a poll at the end of the session about how GNJ will participate in the financial allocation to the Survivor Trust Fund ($910,420), provide opportunities for healing for survivors and strengthen our own policies and procedures for the safety of young people. The poll results are as follows.

  1. I support the UMC and GNJ participation in a financial contribution to the Survivor Trust.
    • 94% Agree or strongly agree.
  2. I believe congregations should share in part or all of the settlement over three years.
    • 88% Agree or strongly agree.
  3. If congregations are to participate in the financial settlement, I believe the appropriate percent to churches is:
    • 100% of GNJ’s commitment. 24% of participants
    • 75% of GNJ’s commitment. 19% of participants
    • 50% of GNJ’s commitment. 30% of participants
    • 25% of GNJ’s commitment. 26% of participants
  4. If congregations are to participate in the financial settlement, I believe the best way for congregations to participate is through:
    • Apportion an amount to the congregation. 59%
    • A voluntary request to congregations. 41%
  5. I will strongly recommend to our congregation to share the articles provided by the BSA Leadership Team.
    • 95% Agree or strongly agree
  6. I support GNJ recruiting leaders to listen to survivor experiences as we provide opportunities for healing and learning.
    • 97% Agree or strongly agree
  7. I will strongly recommend to our church that we review and update as appropriate our Sanctuary/Ministry Safe policies.
    • 100% Agree or strongly agree

I am proud of GNJ and its continued commitment to help and work toward the healing of people in many different circumstances. This poll will guide the team working on the BSA matter to prepare a report and legislation for the May 2022 Annual Conference Session.

You can also review the report given by CFO/Treasurer Rob Zuckerman, CFA Chairperson Vasanth Victor, Board of Trustees Chairperson Mathew Enzler, Connectional Table Chairperson Kay Dubuisson, Director of Connectional Ministries Eric Drew, and Conference Secretary Shelly Smith. You can visit this webpage to access the report and FAQs.

I ask each of you to continue to pray for the survivors, work to keep young people safe and work together as we bring healing and relief to others.

Keep the faith!


Bishop John Schol
The United Methodists of
Greater New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania