February 25, 2021
Dear Menlo Church Family,
It is with heavy hearts as we write in response to allegations against John Ortberg from his time as a pastor at Willow Creek, prior to his service at Menlo Church. While these allegations, we believe, were made public in April 2018, they are resurfacing and reaching a wider audience through new social media posts.
We are heartbroken for anyone who has been abused by any person. Sexual abuse, as with any abuse, goes against everything that the Christian faith believes about the inherent value of every single person. Abuse is a fundamental violation of how God has meant for us to live with each other. Discipleship to Jesus Christ must unequivocally affirm the full dignity of each person.
We do not have any independent knowledge as to the truth or veracity of the allegations. In the 17 years that John Ortberg was with Menlo Church, we are not aware of any complaints to Menlo Church concerning any accusations of abuse, sexual or otherwise, about John Ortberg during his service time at Menlo Church. Still, we take all allegations extremely seriously. If you have information that we should know about, please contact your campus pastor or our Session (Elder Board) by email to email@example.com. You can also contact an independent organization, Zero Abuse Project (firstname.lastname@example.org), the nationally-recognized organization conducting the supplemental investigation.
Together, we want to find the truth and help individuals heal who have been harmed through abuse. Since these issues can be deeply painful, we want to continually offer pastoral and professional support. We intend to continue our path of reckoning and healing as a church. We can only do this by the grace of our God—and we are so grateful to have you as our partner in this journey.
John Crosby, Transitional Pastor
David Kim, Chair of Session