|Dear C4SO Community, |
In a world where the vulnerable continue to be exploited, the Church must take action in safeguarding the physical, emotional and spiritual health of every person in its care.
Last December, our Ombudsman, Canon Kimberley Pfeiler, received allegations of “actions not appropriate for clergy” involving the Rev. Canon Jay Greener, Rector at Church of the Redeemer. I determined that an independent investigation was required, and the Diocese then engaged Wade Mullen of Pellucid Consulting.
The investigation included interviews with 27 current and past staff, vestry and congregation members, a survey involving 99 Redeemer parishioners, and a review of supporting documentation. On that basis, Pellucid delivered their Independent Assessment Report last week, concluding that they found “credible and compelling” accusations of inappropriate conduct, including the abuse of power, sexual harassment, and alcohol abuse.
After reviewing the report with his Chaplain/Representative, Bishop Kevin Donlon, and discussing the report with me, Jay resigned as Rector of Church of the Redeemer and forfeited his license in C4SO. Because he is canonically resident in the Province of Rwanda, Jay will now be under the care of Archbishop Laurent Mbanda, Vice Chairman of GAFCON, who received the Independent Assessment Report and will ensure Jay’s future accountability.
Accountability is only the first step. C4SO will begin actively working with Church of the Redeemer to promote healing and learning. Bishop Dan Scott, a clinical counselor, will provide support for individual and congregational healing. Midwest Regional Dean Patrick Wildman will support the church’s efforts to bring health to their leadership, structures and processes. Canon Scot McKnight and his wife, Dr. Kristen McKnight, members at Redeemer, will come alongside the Staff at Redeemer to help construct a process for healing and growth. C4SO remains grateful for the effective leadership of the Rev. Amanda Holm Rosengren, who will continue to lead as priest-in-charge.
We appreciate all of Wade’s diligent work over four months to deliver a thorough, thoughtful report. We also want to thank everyone at Redeemer who respected the relational boundaries that allowed the investigation to be conducted safely and objectively. More importantly, we want to commend the courage of the victim-survivors who, risking much, came forward and told their stories. Our empathy binds us to them in godly love, working for their healing.
At C4SO, we do our best to safeguard against any kind of harm in a church setting by developing and implementing our Safe Church Training resources, developed with MinistrySafe, our Chancellor Myron Steeves, and experts in the fields of abuse and trauma care. To learn more about our Safe Church Training, click here.Our scope of work with Pellucid included an assessment of the structures and policies of both Redeemer Church and C4SO. The Independent Assessment Report includes recommendations to strengthen C4SO’s already-robust Safe Church Training. We plan to adopt those recommendations as soon as possible, and we are committed to advancing our understanding and practices of how our clergy and churches can better care for their staff and congregations.If you have observed or experienced sexual harassment or any kind of wrongdoing in a church setting, you can and should report it via the C4SO Whistleblowing Reporting Form. You may also contact our Ombudsman, Canon Kimberley Pfeiler, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grace and peace,
Bishop Todd Hunter