Karen Hinkley’s Statement of Forgiveness!

After reviewing Karen’s circumstances in more detail, Matt and Josh specifically informed her that she did have biblical grounds for a divorce or annulment, that she should have been freed from Covenant Membership as she requested, and that she shouldn’t have been subjected to church discipline.

The Village Church/Karen Hinkley scandal seems to be finally coming to an end, at least for Karen.

matt chandler apology

If this situation is unfamiliar to you, you can read more about it at the following links:

Part 1 and Part 2 Documentation for WatcKeep

Before Karen Hinkley’s annulment was approved, we maintained regular touch with her and have been actively assisting her in her efforts to move on with her life.

Matt Chandler tried to set up a meeting with Karen on May 27 by sending her an email. Karen consented to the request after consulting with a counselor and praying about it.

That in-person discussion took place last Wednesday (June 3).

You can read the statement that Matt Chandler and the elders have just given to covenant members of The Village Church below.

In a statement that we are happy to publish, Karen Hinkley also expressed her opinions.

Matt Chandler and The Elders Have Made a Statement to The Village Church.

The Village Church’s Covenant Members,

We want to provide you an update on our examination of The Village Church’s current care and discipline procedure, especially our desire to atone for any wrongdoing toward people we failed to treat with the love and care that shepherds under the authority of a holy, loving God are obligated to do.

If you haven’t previously, we recommend watching or listening to the May 31 sermon “W anderer/Restorer” before continuing. This email will briefly update you on the elders’ ongoing care and discipline-related activities at The Village before going through one specific case in detail.

You have recently received two emails outlining a delicate and terrible circumstance involving Karen Hinkley and Jordan Root. Those emails sought to shed light on and offer an understanding of a delicate and complicated chain of events. Since sending those emails, we’ve had the chance to learn more, speak with more individuals, and listen to more perspectives.

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matt chandler apology

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Early on May 27th, Matt Chandler wrote Karen a private email requesting a face-to-face meeting at a location of her choice. The church informed all Covenant Members of our conviction that we owed Karen an apology through email the following afternoon.

A few days later, Karen replied to Matt, saying she was inspired but apprehensive and needed time to seek advice, pray, and reflect before consenting to a meeting. On May 30–31, Matt’s teaching over the weekend services reaffirmed our desire to confess our sins, beg for forgiveness, and work toward a sincere reconciliation with anybody we mistreated.

Karen wrote back in response to the sermon’s online posting, expressing her wish to meet with Lead Pastors Matt Chandler and Josh Patterson. Karen and a few of her close friends were individually met by Matt and Josh on June 3. Karen’s friends graciously offered their home for the gathering as an act of Christian hospitality.

Matt and Josh began the talk by informing Karen that they were there to beg forgiveness rather than to defend The Village’s activities. After reviewing Karen’s situation in more detail, Matt and Josh clearly informed her that she had biblical justification for a divorce or annulment, that she should have been freed from Covenant Membership as she requested, and that she shouldn’t have been subjected to church discipline.

Matt and Josh emphasized that their sole purpose in being by Karen’s side was to express repentance and not to defend The Village’s behavior. Karen replied with a mixture of love, optimism, and faith. She gave forgiveness and accepted the apologies with grace. The remainder of the day was spent attempting to wrap up tales, resolve misunderstandings, and negotiate future actions.

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This lovely encounter set the tone for all that would follow. By the time the meeting was through, Karen felt that we had addressed all of her issues, and she was keen to see us follow through on a few particular points.

matt chandler apology

Josh and Brian Miller met with Dallas campus elders and staff in the days that followed the meeting with Karen to further discuss and reevaluate our contacts with Karen and Jordan. The Village Church is doing the following things as a result of these discussions:

In front of you, our members, we are sincerely sorry to Karen. Though she is no longer a member, Karen has given her consent and cooperation for us to proceed. Our initial communication to Covenant Members on May 23 had some inappropriate information that did not accurately reflect the whole picture we have come to understand via our subsequent discussions and conversations. We regret the mistake we made and how it affected Karen.

Jordan has access to grace and the gospel, but we think that the nature of his sin necessitates a different approach than what The Village has been able to provide. We should have been more aware of our limitations. We have hired a licensed sex offender treatment provider to counsel Jordan Root as a result of an external referral. We shall carefully abide by the advice given by this counselor regarding what needs to be done next.

We apologized to numerous SIM employees, including the president, for instances when we didn’t properly listen to their advice and came out as threatening. Additionally, we are collaborating with SIM to maintain our long-standing collaboration to spread the gospel worldwide.

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As we stated in our earlier emails, we think The Village Church’s current policies and processes to safeguard children and families are effective. But notwithstanding what we believe, we are persevering with a careful examination of our abuse prevention and reporting procedures on all campuses. To make sure that we apply best practices everywhere, specialists will be scrutinizing everything we do in this area over the next months.

Also: Deshaun Watson Says Sorry to His Accusers for The First Time Since He Was Accused of Sexual Misconduct.

The elders have already had a number of small- and large-group gatherings to discuss our current practices and procedures. Based on these conversations, there will be clear modifications made to our system, such as a far more patient procedure before a member faces formal church discipline.

We also want to acknowledge that there are instances in which more specialized care is necessary than what we or even a licensed biblical counselor can provide. These new policies and procedures are currently in development; we’ll let you know when they’re ready.

You are aware, as Covenant Members of The Village, that those who belong to the Church have experienced God’s atoning work through the person of Jesus Christ. We have also been given the ministry of reconciliation as a result of this divine reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18).

In addition, we are urged to maintain a culture of confession and repentance. This email is intended to inform you of the precise efforts we are taking to repent and change while also demonstrating that, by God’s grace, we are trying to achieve both of these things. Although reconciliation is frequently painful and difficult, it is always beautiful. I appreciate your grace and tolerance throughout this time. Serving you is a privilege and a joy for me.

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