Welcome to De-Commissioned, a place for former members of the Great Commission movement (aka GCM, GCC, GCAC, GCI, the Blitz) to discuss problems they've experienced in the association's practices and theology.

You may read and post, but some features are restricted to registered members. Please consider registering to gain full access! Registration is free and only takes a few moments to complete.
De-Commissioned Forum
March 24, 2019, 10:25:39 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 
  Home   Forum   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Reflections on the Anniversary of the Tweet  (Read 1265 times)
Linda
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2303



« on: January 05, 2019, 07:32:07 am »

Lest we forget.

January  5, 2019.

One year ago, Scout tweeted this:

Pastor who abused me is still in pulpit though he was outed to other pastors that are still there.  Tweet is for me ❤️and other women ❤️ abused by Mark Darling and Evergreen Community Church.  @evergreen_bloom @Evergreen_NH @rockthechurch @EvergreenLake @maryearlyknox #MeToo
4:32 PM - 5 Jan 2018"


Three days later, ECC replied to her Tweet with this:

 @evergreen_bloom
 8 Jan 2018
Replying to @notabystandermn @Evergreen_NH and 3 others

20 years ago, this was investigated by EC leadership, board chairman, & 3rd party mediator. After a review of facts, mediator and van Dykes were satisfied by the integrity of the Darlings’ and EC’s response. We are willing to talk privately if you want to share more concerns. pic.twitter.com/NE4VDZh8wF

ECC attached this statement to the Tweet:

Suzanne was fully heard in this matter 20 years ago by her husband John, Mark and Kathy Darling, Mark Bowen (Chairman of ECC Board of Trustees) and a trusted Christian counselor chosen by Suzanne to fulfill the role of independent, 3rd party mediator. After careful listening and a thorough review of all facts, the mediator was completely satisfied by the transparency and integrity of the Darlings and Evergreen Church's response. No further action steps were recommended by the mediator, nor required by the van Dycks.

Within a year of the completion of the mediation process, John and Suzanne accepted Evergreen Church's sponsorship and gift of over $1,000,000 to enable them to carry out their dream of planting a church in Berlin, Germany. Since returning from Berlin, Suzanne has chosen to have no contact with Evergreen Church. We have honored her decision. We have nothing but good will toward Suzanne, John and their family. If Suzanne would like to discuss concerns in a personal meeting with the same or another mediator of her choosing, we would welcome that.


On February 4, 2018, ECC issued this statement in which they denied the accusations on behalf of Mark and announced they would be hiring an investigator:

Allegations, made by one individual, have arisen claiming inappropriate sexual behavior prior to 2001 by Mark Darling, a pastor at The Rock. General claims against Mark Darling were first shared by this person through social media on January 5, 2018. However, more specific allegations were posted online on Wednesday, January 24th. In addition, this person has implied that Evergreen Church was aware of the offensive behavior and did not act appropriately.

We take all allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously, although we are mindful that an allegation alone does not assign guilt. In an effort to discern the truth of these allegations - impartially and without bias - Evergreen is in the process of hiring a reputable, third party investigator to independently investigate the facts surrounding these claims. Mark unequivocally denies these allegations and he is cooperating fully with this process. Mark is on paid administrative leave and will not perform any pastoral duties during the investigation, including teaching, counseling, or oversight. At the close of the investigation, the findings will be submitted to the Evergreen Board of Trustees to determine the appropriate next steps.
Statistics show that 1-in-4 women, and 1-in-6 men, have been victims of some kind of sexual assault. For some, this announcement may trigger very painful memories, thoughts and feelings. We are informing you about this situation, and our response, for the sake of integrity and God’s glory, and to alleviate questions or concerns which might arise as details of the situation become more wide-spread. If you would like support in processing those thoughts and feelings, we are available to assist you in finding a skilled counseling resource.
Please pray for God’s grace and mercy on all parties involved, and for all victims of sexual abuse. Pray for God to be glorified by the truth made clear throughout this process, and that God will bless this church with wisdom and strength in the days ahead. If you have any questions, you may contact Lynn Newman, Evergreen Operations Manager by email at lnewman@evergreenchurch.com, but in an effort to protect the integrity of the investigation and those impacted by this process, please understand that only limited information can be provided at this time.


Then on March 8, 2018, Jeromy Darling, an employee of ECC at the time, issued a defense of his father (complete with soundtrack) in which he attacked Suzanne and those who believed her story. On March 10, 2019, he spammed her Twitter account nearly 100 times (I just counted 96, but may have missed a couple) saying her story had been debunked.

The investigator was hired, ECC defenders took over this site for a few months and tried to bully Suzanne and those of us who believed her through name calling and threats.

And, what did the investigator find?

From the investigator’s report: “ECC failed to take appropriate action in response to misconduct allegations.”

And from the BOT report:

In 2001, the four Evergreen pastors, Mark Bowen, Brent Knox, Doug Patterson and John van Dyck made aware of Susanne van Dyck’s concerns about Mark Darling’s conduct acknowledged those concerns, and engaged with Mark Darling in a process (Matthew 18) over the course of several months in a good faith effort to address her concerns, but failed to follow through and implement appropriate corrective action regarding Mark Darling’s conduct

It is interesting to note that Suzanne's initial tweet was spot on.  

What has changed?

Well, for starters, the pastor she referred to is no longer a pastor. Whatever he did that the BOT was aware of proved to be disqualifying and his ordination was removed.

Second, the other pastors, as it turned out, were shown to have known about the behavior for many years.

Third, as mentioned in the tweet, there were others. The investigation revealed that, as well.

Mostly, in looking back, I think of the year with sorrow. Sorrow over lives, families, marriages, and reputations damaged by sin that was covered up. Sorrow and anger over pastors who failed to protect their flock in the most basic way and used donated funds to "investigate" something they already knew was true.

To the women who were involved in this, I want to say I am so sorry. This should not have happened.

To the families of those women, I want to say, I am sorry for the damage done to you, as well.

To all, it is my prayer that we all have a better understanding of the idea that when men claim to represent God it does not mean they actually represent God.

To ECC pastors who are still covering anything, I say repent.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 07:46:13 am by Linda » Logged

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
Huldah
Private Forum Access
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 699



« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 01:17:13 pm »

I hope Suzanne is doing well these days. She was subjected to so much abuse by Mark's supporters, and yet she managed to stay classy through it all. The strain must have been horrendous. Furthermore, not one of the abusers who came to this forum has ever returned to apologize, even after Suzanne and the other victims were vindicated by the BOT. I hope all of these women have found a measure of peace, now that the truth is known.
Logged
Huldah
Private Forum Access
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 699



« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2019, 05:48:10 pm »

One more thing I'd like to add, on further reflection.

In the past two or three years, a number of high-profile pastors and ministries have been exposed for sexual or financial misdeeds, or both. If you have a pastor whom you love and respect, please don't forget to pray for him, that he wouldn`t fall prey to these temptations. Pray for his family, too. Recent events have really driven home to me how much our pastors and their families need our prayer support.
Logged
Heidi
Regular (15-99 Posts)
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 47



« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2019, 11:45:58 am »

Lest we forget.

January  5, 2019.

One year ago, Scout tweeted this:

Pastor who abused me is still in pulpit though he was outed to other pastors that are still there.  Tweet is for me ❤️and other women ❤️ abused by Mark Darling and Evergreen Community Church.  @evergreen_bloom @Evergreen_NH @rockthechurch @EvergreenLake @maryearlyknox #MeToo
4:32 PM - 5 Jan 2018"

   


Three days later, ECC replied to her Tweet with this:

 @evergreen_bloom
 8 Jan 2018
Replying to @notabystandermn @Evergreen_NH and 3 others

20 years ago, this was investigated by EC leadership, board chairman, & 3rd party mediator. After a review of facts, mediator and van Dykes were satisfied by the integrity of the Darlings’ and EC’s response. We are willing to talk privately if you want to share more concerns. pic.twitter.com/NE4VDZh8wF

ECC attached this statement to the Tweet:

Suzanne was fully heard in this matter 20 years ago by her husband John, Mark and Kathy Darling, Mark Bowen (Chairman of ECC Board of Trustees) and a trusted Christian counselor chosen by Suzanne to fulfill the role of independent, 3rd party mediator. After careful listening and a thorough review of all facts, the mediator was completely satisfied by the transparency and integrity of the Darlings and Evergreen Church's response. No further action steps were recommended by the mediator, nor required by the van Dycks.

Within a year of the completion of the mediation process, John and Suzanne accepted Evergreen Church's sponsorship and gift of over $1,000,000 to enable them to carry out their dream of planting a church in Berlin, Germany. Since returning from Berlin, Suzanne has chosen to have no contact with Evergreen Church. We have honored her decision. We have nothing but good will toward Suzanne, John and their family. If Suzanne would like to discuss concerns in a personal meeting with the same or another mediator of her choosing, we would welcome that.


On February 4, 2018, ECC issued this statement in which they denied the accusations on behalf of Mark and announced they would be hiring an investigator:

Allegations, made by one individual, have arisen claiming inappropriate sexual behavior prior to 2001 by Mark Darling, a pastor at The Rock. General claims against Mark Darling were first shared by this person through social media on January 5, 2018. However, more specific allegations were posted online on Wednesday, January 24th. In addition, this person has implied that Evergreen Church was aware of the offensive behavior and did not act appropriately.

We take all allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously, although we are mindful that an allegation alone does not assign guilt. In an effort to discern the truth of these allegations - impartially and without bias - Evergreen is in the process of hiring a reputable, third party investigator to independently investigate the facts surrounding these claims. Mark unequivocally denies these allegations and he is cooperating fully with this process. Mark is on paid administrative leave and will not perform any pastoral duties during the investigation, including teaching, counseling, or oversight. At the close of the investigation, the findings will be submitted to the Evergreen Board of Trustees to determine the appropriate next steps.
Statistics show that 1-in-4 women, and 1-in-6 men, have been victims of some kind of sexual assault. For some, this announcement may trigger very painful memories, thoughts and feelings. We are informing you about this situation, and our response, for the sake of integrity and God’s glory, and to alleviate questions or concerns which might arise as details of the situation become more wide-spread. If you would like support in processing those thoughts and feelings, we are available to assist you in finding a skilled counseling resource.
Please pray for God’s grace and mercy on all parties involved, and for all victims of sexual abuse. Pray for God to be glorified by the truth made clear throughout this process, and that God will bless this church with wisdom and strength in the days ahead. If you have any questions, you may contact Lynn Newman, Evergreen Operations Manager by email at lnewman@evergreenchurch.com, but in an effort to protect the integrity of the investigation and those impacted by this process, please understand that only limited information can be provided at this time.


Then on March 8, 2018, Jeromy Darling, an employee of ECC at the time, issued a defense of his father (complete with soundtrack) in which he attacked Suzanne and those who believed her story. On March 10, 2019, he spammed her Twitter account nearly 100 times (I just counted 96, but may have missed a couple) saying her story had been debunked.

The investigator was hired, ECC defenders took over this site for a few months and tried to bully Suzanne and those of us who believed her through name calling and threats.

And, what did the investigator find?

From the investigator’s report: “ECC failed to take appropriate action in response to misconduct allegations.”

And from the BOT report:

In 2001, the four Evergreen pastors, Mark Bowen, Brent Knox, Doug Patterson and John van Dyck made aware of Susanne van Dyck’s concerns about Mark Darling’s conduct acknowledged those concerns, and engaged with Mark Darling in a process (Matthew 18) over the course of several months in a good faith effort to address her concerns, but failed to follow through and implement appropriate corrective action regarding Mark Darling’s conduct

It is interesting to note that Suzanne's initial tweet was spot on.  

What has changed?

Well, for starters, the pastor she referred to is no longer a pastor. Whatever he did that the BOT was aware of proved to be disqualifying and his ordination was removed.

Second, the other pastors, as it turned out, were shown to have known about the behavior for many years.

Third, as mentioned in the tweet, there were others. The investigation revealed that, as well.

Mostly, in looking back, I think of the year with sorrow. Sorrow over lives, families, marriages, and reputations damaged by sin that was covered up. Sorrow and anger over pastors who failed to protect their flock in the most basic way and used donated funds to "investigate" something they already knew was true.

To the women who were involved in this, I want to say I am so sorry. This should not have happened.

To the families of those women, I want to say, I am sorry for the damage done to you, as well.

To all, it is my prayer that we all have a better understanding of the idea that when men claim to represent God it does not mean they actually represent God.

To ECC pastors who are still covering anything, I say repent.


Wow Linda,
Thanks for that summary.
I wept again as I reread the summary and reflected on the last year. 
Suzanne was courageous in speaking out AGAIN. She was dismissed in 2001 and labeled as " the problem."  She was not and is not the problem in this church mess.
It is not to late for true repentance for the current church leadership.  There has not been true repentance that I have seen. 

In January of 2002, I went to Berlin, Germany to visit my brother John van Dyck and Suzanne van Dyck.  My brother exposed to me the division between himself and Mark Darling at this time.  He told me he had  " concerns about me being under Mark Darling's leadership."  What was I suppose to do with that statement.  It was one of the most confusing weeks of my life, I did not sleep and I had so many questions.  My spirit also sensed that what he was saying might be true....What would that mean?Huh I had been a part of this GCM movement since 1982.
I was shocked, confused, and concerned that there was division that was exposed to me.
I came home from Berlin , Germany with so many concerns and questions, and so much confusion.  I had SO many questions and concerns.  I address them with all those involved. 
 I addressed all these concerns with my husband, with John van Dyck, Brent Knox, Mark Bowen, Mark Darling, Doug Patterson, and Jeff Kern the GCM manager at the time.

The confusion came because I had put those men on a pedestal and I believed that they had authentic, transparent relationships and their was a unity between them because that is what they preached!!!!!!
There is so much more to the story.  True repentance did not happen then.  It still has not.       
Feel free to message me if you have specific questions or need help processing your confusion.  ( I thankfully had some very good counselors and a faithful God)
The bottom line is that the leadership covered up the sin and disunity between the leadership and
did not deal with the real problems that John and Suzanne had initially addressed, that were issues with Mark Darling.
 John and Suzanne did the most loving thing by confronting Mark on some things, and the leadership did not hold him to account.  They played church for 18 more years. 
God will not be mocked.  He will not share His glory with another.  Mark Darling has remained unrepentant and the church goes on hoping it will go away.   
It will not go away until there is true repentance.
Still praying- Heidi Anfinson
Logged
Heidi
Regular (15-99 Posts)
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 47



« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 03:36:26 pm »

Bump
Logged
PietWowo
Veteran (100-299 Posts)
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 159



« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 10:16:43 pm »

Anniversary??? Well, Congratulations!!!  Enjoy yourself!!!
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 10:22:03 pm by PietWowo » Logged
Mango
Regular (15-99 Posts)
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 35



« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2019, 02:21:36 pm »

Playing the same old hits. Happy anniversary. What a crew.
Logged
Linda
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2303



« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2019, 08:07:53 am »

On August 6, 1969, my mother-in-law and two of my nieces were killed in a tornado that went through Emily, MN and Outing, MN. They were on a family vacation. My husband had 6 siblings. He, his mother, and 4 of his siblings along with their spouses and children were vacationing on Lake Roosevelt. As the storm approached, they ran to the 2 lower cabins to take shelter. Both cabins were picked up by the tornado and thrown into the lake. When the storm passed, the cabins were gone and 13 people from our family and, if I remember correctly, 6 others who were friends vacationing with them were floating in the middle of the lake grabbing bits of anything that would float to make it to shore. There were 4 others they were vacationing with who also died in that tornado. 7 family and friends altogether died. The bodies of my mother-in-law and a niece were located that day. It took divers a few days to locate the body of my 5 year old niece. My husband and many family members spent the night in the hospital. He still has scars on his back from the nails and debris.

This summer marks the 50th Anniversary of that event. My niece spent many hours this past year interviewing everyone who was there. No one has forgotten how this changed their life and all are aware of the milestone anniversary. On the other hand, no one will be eating cake and celebrating the day with joy, but they will remember what happened on that day because it was traumatic and life changing.

Pietwowo and Mango, your sarcastic comments regarding the word "anniversary" are a reflection of your lack of compassion and serve as proof of your attempts at character assassination of the women and of those who post here because your love for your church and your pastors seems to outweigh any sense of sorrow you may have over pastoral abuse that the investigation discovered.

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 2 Corinthians 7:10

I have yet to see public Godly sorrow come from anyone in ECC or GCC (the man accused was on the national board, GCC should have commented) with the exception of the pastors from Urban Refuge (who as far as I can tell, had nothing to do with the abuse or the mishandling of it). There has been lots of worldly sorrow. It would behoove you and your church to think about what Godly sorrow would look like in this situation.


« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 09:01:56 am by Linda » Logged

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
Cult Proof
Regular (15-99 Posts)
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 68



« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2019, 09:38:04 am »

Very well said, Linda.  Thank you.
Logged
Huldah
Private Forum Access
Household Name (300+ Posts)
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 699



« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2019, 06:42:46 pm »

Linda, no words can say how sorry I am that your family had to experience that.

Earlier, I had thought about posting a reply to the effect that not all anniversaries are happy. Pearl Harbor Day and 9/11 come to mind. You, however, put the idea into words much better than I could have done.

Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  


Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.1.1