July 5, 2020

Menlo Church email to subset of families (Jul 5)

DEAR FAMILIES,

Earlier this year, we notified our church about a decision Pastor John made regarding an individual who was volunteering with Menlo Church students. An independent, third-party investigation found no evidence of misconduct, and we have no reason to believe there was any wrongdoing. This past week, the name of the volunteer was made public. While our elders have been aware of the identity of the volunteer, based on the fact that no misconduct or wrongdoing was found, we have kept the name of the volunteer confidential. We realize, however, that this new development could raise questions and concerns for students, parents, and volunteers at our church. My purpose in reaching out to you is to affirm that the safety and well-being of our students have always been of utmost importance. We love and care deeply for our students.

I realize you may be processing this information in a new way and may have questions or concerns. So I wanted to let you know that we are here for you and available to talk to you by phone or Zoom. If you would like to be contacted by one of our pastors or elders, or believe your family might benefit from access to a professional counselor, you can reach me at elee@menlo.church or one of our elders at elders@menlo.church. In addition, should you wish to share your perspectives directly with John or have a dialogue around this topic, please mention that to a staff member or directly to me.

All staff, as well as volunteers for Kids’, Student’s, and Missions’ areas, are background checked and have been for many years. We also extended the program several years ago to include background checks for all regular volunteer roles. Additionally, all staff are required to go through workplace training and all mandated compliance training. Volunteers also receive “behavior and conduct” training during onboarding, which is repeated at regular intervals. The Elder Board is ultimately accountable to ensure that the right safeguards are in place and that the operational policies and actions of Menlo Church staff are consistently followed.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if we can help or support you in any way.