Dyer said she hopes the elders will provide more detail on Tuesday night about what led them to their conclusions. “I believe that detail, rather than causing unnecessary obscurity and harm, would help illuminate truth and give needed closure to people in the congregation, to the global church, and to the women and their advocates.”
(Julie Roys) The elders at suburban Chicago Willow Creek Community Church today released a “last statement” about the scandal involving church founder Bill Hybels, charging Hybels with “unchecked sin and intimidating behavior,” and addressing “specific harms” against Hybels’ accusers and their advocates.
In their statement, the elders said they had met with the women accusing Hybels of wrongdoing and their advocates over the past six months. And as a result, they had learned of how the church’s response had led to verbal and written attacks on the women. They said they also learned that a “narrative persists in identifying (the women) as liars and colluders,” despite apologies by the lead pastors and former Elders.
The elders stated that they “unequivocally support” the findings of an independent council, which concluded that the women’s claims of “sexually inappropriate” conduct by Hybels are credible. They added, “We ask anyone who participated in verbal and written attacks to prayerfully examine their actions, apologize for wrongdoing, and seek to mend the relationship.”
Similarly, the elders urged Hybels to “reflect on his years in ministry, repent where necessary,” and seek “reconciliation.” They said they had reached out to Hybels, but he had “chosen not to engage in dialogue at this time.”