PALO ALTO (CA)
February 7, 2020
By Emily Mibach
A popular pastor at Menlo Church in downtown Menlo Park was put on leave for two months because he allowed a volunteer who had unwanted thoughts about children to continue volunteering with the youth in the church.
The congregant told pastor John Ortberg in July 2018 that he had “an unwanted thought pattern of attraction to minors,” according to a letter from church Elder Board Chair Beth Seabolt to church members.
The congregant claims to have not acted on this attraction attraction, and was seeking Ortberg’s support, according to the letter. Ortberg prayed with the church member and provided referrals for counseling, the letter says.
“However, John failed to take the required steps to prevent the person from volunteering with minors at the Menlo Park campus and did not consult anyone else at Menlo Church about the situation,” the letter says.
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