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A Time to Mend

It has been a little over a week since I publicly announced my resignation and not a day has gone by that my heart hasn’t ached over all we’ve watched unfold since then. While the recent events have been painful, I remain steadfast in my belief that God has a plan for Willow. This is not to say that there won’t be challenging times ahead, but we trust that, with God’s guidance, there is a beautiful new season in store for this beloved community.

Willow Creek, as you humbly seek Christ to restore and forge your future, this pastor who once called Willow home is praying for you and cheering you on.

Many of you have gently inquired as to our wellbeing in this last week, and I am so grateful and humbled by your thoughtfulness. Sarah and I are seeking God’s heart and listening for His voice in this time. Although we don’t know what the future holds for us, He is reminding us to take time to heal. So that is what we are focused on doing. We are spending time with our kids, reading God’s word, receiving counsel from wise mentors, and just generally saying yes to those in our family in Christ who have offered to help, comfort, and love our little family.

The kindness we have received has been overwhelming and has prompted us to find a way to extend that love and support to others. To this end, we feel called to lift up this grassroots campaign focused on creating scholarship programs for those who have survived church and clergy abuse. Its aim is to provide survivors with access to therapy, mental health resources, and safe spaces to heal. If you have been heartbroken by the stories that have come out, if you are hurt or angry at the fallout, or if you are one of the many treasured people who have asked me how you can help, please consider a donation to this or other cause of your choice.

Above all else, our family continues to pray. We pray for each woman, each survivor, each leader, each congregant, each person affected by all that has happened and all the work that is still to be done. We pray for Willow Creek. We pray that those who have been hurt will be comforted and healed. We pray that those who have inflicted pain accept the invitation into transparency, understanding, and repentance. We pray that we, as the Church and as a family, lean into deep dependence on God, and experience His nearness and love like never before.

Grace + Peace

Steve Carter

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