Date: Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 3:54 PM
Subject: Laner Muchin
Heather and Pam,
Date: Friday, April 13, 2018 at 3:26 PM
Subject: An Appeal
My appeal to you, the elders of WCCC,
- John Ortberg, April 2, 2018 — https://t.co/D3OW93tjCO
- Vonda Dyer, April 8, 2018 — https://vondadyer.weebly.com/blog
- Betty Schmidt, April 10, 2018 — https://veritasbetold.wixsite.com/website
- Nancy Beach, April 11, 2018 — http://www.nancylbeach.com/blog/2018/4/11/why-we-cant-move-on
- Nancy Ortberg, April 12, 2018 — https://www.nancylortberg.com/
Please tell us where their stories are flawed.
Rob Speight (Sp8)
Date: Friday, April 20, 2018 at 7:24 PM
Subject: Recent Realizations
This is the third email that I sent. It was immediately after the elders sent out their most recent email to the congregation, but it was BEFORE I was aware that the elders knew another article was being published in Christianity Today the following day. Here is the link to that article. https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/april/bill-hybels-willow-creek-promises-investigation-allegations.html
- The “Bill” Camp — = Bill is not guilty of the accusations. He has been railroaded out of Willow by disgruntled ex-staff.
- The “He’s Guilty” Camp — = You telling me all of these respected leaders and women are lying? Only Bill is telling the truth? I don’t think so.
- The “I don’t want to talk about it” Camp — = Let’s just move on.
1) Many are stuck on the methodology of Bill’s accusers going to the press rather than processing the matter soley within the church.
- Many believe that it was flat out wrong to go to the media with the accusations.
- Many do not understand why supposedly mature Christian leaders would go public with such salacious allegations against a beloved Christian pastor and leader.
- Thus many conclude: Bill has been hanged unfairly by the court of public opinion, and he is the victim of disgruntled former employees of Willow.
- Many have little idea what the personal impact is on a woman inappropriately approached by a man of power in their lives.
- MOST have NO idea what the personal impact is on a woman inappropriately approached by their world-renowned pastor and leader!
- Many think, “Really? Why did these people wait 20 years to come forward?”
- Many believe that if something really did occur to the accusing women they should have spoken up immediately.
- Thus many conclude: the accusations are illegitimate, or at a minimum the accusations are minimized.
- Did Bill Hybels abuse his power and conduct himself inappropriately with some women in his sphere of influence?
Rob Speight (Sp8)
Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 2:33 PM
Subject: A request for recusal
A request to the elders of WCCC,
Date: Monday, April 30, 2018 at 1:27 PM
Subject: A response requested
Elder Secretary, As you know, there is an increasing number of people requesting a totally independent investigation into the allegations against Bill. The day after I sent my email to the elders, The Chicago Tribune published Cathy Ellison’s opinion to the editor requesting the same.
- If so, what is the timeline to establish this investigation?
- If so, when do you think you will decide one way or the other?
- If this is the case, do you plan on discussing the topic in the near future?
- If yes, when do you plan on discussing the topic?
Rob Speight (Sp8)
Date: Friday, May 18, 2018, 1:06 PM
Subject: Clarity requested from the WCA
Tom and Dick,
- Question: What does “caring deeply for the women” look like in real life? How will the women know that you care deeply for them? We are being told by the elders that not all of the women’s stories are lies. Is that caring deeply for them? Were 90% lies? 10% lies? What were lies? Who determines what stories are lies and what stories are true? What are the true stories?
- Question: What will you do after you “listen to all with love and respect”? I think the women want more than listening. They have expressed a desire for a totally independent third-party investigation and that has not been granted. Is that listening with love and respect?
- Question: Who are you calling to repent? As far as I am aware, no one has confessed anything that they must repent from. Confession is always the prelude to repentance.
- Question: What parties will be involved with “reconciliation and restoration of relationship”? The women and Bill? The women and the elders? The Ortbergs and Mellados with Bill? With the elders who accused them of colluding?
- Question: What is an “environment of acceptance”? And how is it relevant in this mess?
- Question: What does a “mutually beneficial resolution” mean? That phrase sounds like you’re referring to two parties that have had a disagreement for which they seek a resolution as opposed to women who feel they have been sinned against and a true confession and apology is necessary.
- Question: What does it mean to “walk with Bill during an appropriate season of reflection”? What does that look like practically? Who is in charge of this season of reflection? Bill? The elders?
- Question: What does “support and help” look like? Is Bill the victim that needs support and help?
- Question: What does “reconciliation and restoration” look like for Bill? Reconciliation to the women? To the former senior leaders of Willow who have accused him, who he claimed colluded against him? Restoration to leading the WCA? Restoration to teaching at Willow?
Rob Speight (Sp8)
Email 7Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018, 8:52 AMSubject: Encouragement for elders’ statements to be clear
Rob Speight (Sp8)
Email 8Date: Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 9:28 AMSubject: Unity
Elder Response Team Members
I thought it interesting, when we were together one week ago, that you placed a very high value on unity in the church especially during these troubling days at Willow. I even asked you if unity was your highest good because of your emphasis on it.
I came upon this tweet from Beth Moore on unity. I think it is insightful.
Thanks again for the encouragement to attend the ongoing updates from the elders. I look forward to tonight.
A fellow pilgrim,
Rob Speight (Sp8)
Email 9Date: Thursday, June 16, 2018, 4:46 PMSubject: My Response to the Elder Response Team follow-up
Thank you for inviting me to talk with you yesterday in order to gain increasing clarity regarding the desires, intentions, and goals of my communication with the elders. Thanks too for providing your summary of the focus and outcome below, as you see them. My responses to your thoughts are below in red.
- you are sincerely troubled by how the elders have handled the process so far. Yes!
- you feel led by the Spirit to voice your concerns. Yes!
- you fear that the elders are unaware of how untrustworthy their responses appear to you and the friends/congregants that you talk to.No. I do not fear that the elders are unaware that they have lost the trust of many.
- They have already acknowledged that they have lost the trust of people in their communications with the congregation. They have stated that they seek to rebuild trust with the congregation because of their self-proclaimed missteps.
- Unfortunately, not only have those missteps resulted in a loss of trust within the Willow family, but also a loss of respect from those outside of Willow.
- your feel someone should hold the elders accountable and you feel that you have a role to play in holding them accountable.What I stated is that the elders need to be held accountable, especially currently in how they handle the accusations of the various women.
- I don’t believe that role of holding the elders accountable should be vested in one individual. In fact, I believe the elders are accountable to the entire congregation as servant leaders.
- I view myself as one voice from the congregation.
- I hope others, including the two of you, have the courage to express their (your) concerns to the elders as well when they (you) are troubled with decisions the elders make.
- you voice your concerns and feedback directly to the elders on Wednesday evenings when they are available in person, and take advantage of the opportunity to process your anger, disappointment, fears and concerns. Thank you for the invitation to voice my concerns and feedback on the Wednesday evenings when the elders update the congregation and are available in person. Because of your encouragement, I have already made the decision to attend the next update from the elders on June 6. And if I have questions on Wednesday night, I plan on engaging in the setting that is encouraged by the elders. Thank you.
- I did not / do not agree to make the Wednesday evening update venues to be the sole way / time that I communicate with the elders.
- Regarding what I process, I used the descriptors of: disappointment, fears, and concerns. That is absolutely true.
- In the 75 minutes that we had together yesterday, I don’t recall either you or me using the descriptor of anger in my reactions expressed orally nor in my written communications over the past 2 months.
- when you voice your concerns, we encourage you to surrender the outcome to the work of God’s Spirit without demanding it be done your way.I am not exactly sure what your point is in this bullet.
- Are you equating whatever the elders ultimately decide / conclude to be the work of God’s Spirit? I don’t necessarily agree with that assertion (if indeed you are asserting such). See above statements on elder accountability.
- Nobody has to do anything “my way.” And I have not once used the word “demand,” in any of my communications.
- I am absolutely trusting God’s Spirit to reveal the truth and bring justice to the impacted women and to begin the healing of our church and its reputation.
- when you process your thoughts and opinions with friends/congregants that you will continue to use your pastoral discernment and wisdom by guarding against passing on judgement or accusations with a humble posture that all of us have an incomplete perspective.I promise to prayerfully ask God to give me wisdom and discernment in what, how, and to whom I communicate.
- May I point out that the elders’ statements of the women lying and former leaders colluding would fall under the categories of passing judgment and accusing and hardly expressed in a humble posture.
- In fact, there are thousands of folks at Willow that formulated their opinions on Bill’s innocence and the accompanying dismissal of the women based on those self-assured judgments and accusations by Bill and the elders.
Thanks, Elder Response Team Members, for your desire and efforts to clearly understand one another. My desire for Willow to move on and minister in power and for unity to be restored is not one iota less than yours. But all of these desires can only be realized if the truth is made known and we all humbly respond to that truth. Without the revelation of the truth and accompanying confession and contrition, the ministry of Willow may go on and look similar outwardly as in the past, but it will be without the blessing and power of God.
Rob Speight (Sp8)