February 27, 2020

Menlo Church elder email (Feb 27)

DEAR MENLO CHURCH COMMUNITY,

The Board of Elders met this week and we wanted to share an update based on our discussion.

We recognize these past few months have been challenging. Since our last update, John Ortberg has remained focused on his Restoration Plan and shown great progress. John has appropriately faced difficult discussions with congregants, volunteers, staff members, and elders. In each encounter, John has sought to understand the pain and concerns his actions have caused, apologized personally for his mistakes, offered to make amends where possible, and asked for help in restoring trust. We are pleased to hear the constructive and positive feedback John has received following his meetings. John has also reaffirmed his support for and compliance with Menlo Church’s key policies and beliefs as well as those of our denomination, ECO.

After thoroughly reviewing the input from all constituencies and considering the progressive nature of building trust, and after prayerfully seeking God’s guidance, the Board believes John is ready to move beyond his Restoration Plan and prepare for his return to the pulpit. The Board has full confidence in John as our spiritual leader and together we look forward to him preaching again starting the weekend of March 7 after being away from the pulpit since mid-November.

We will now also work together as a Board and at John’s request, to consider changes to responsibilities that will involve John focusing a greater portion of his time and gifts on teaching, discipleship, and mentorship while we discern alternative means to provide excellent day-to-day operational leadership for Menlo Church.

We are so proud of our dedicated staff and volunteers and the incredible care and diligence they bring to ensuring the safety and security of all who enter Menlo’s doors at every campus. We will continue to look for ways to further improve and maintain the highest standards in providing a safe, God-honoring environment. We will also continue to provide a community where those who face challenging issues can find a confidential way to receive spiritual support.

We are grateful for your trust and patience through this season. Your prayers and intercession for the church, the members of our congregation, our staff, our volunteers, our campus pastors, John and his family, and our surrounding communities have been, and continue to be deeply appreciated. We have seen God move in response to our prayers and are committed to being obedient to his call to reach the Bay Area for Christ. And now let’s look forward together to continuing our mission of helping people find and follow Jesus.

In Christ,

Beth Seabolt
Chair, Board of Elders