This is a copy of an email I sent to the FGCC Council on March 26, 2024. I'm re-publishing it here for transparency and archival purposes as the Instagram account referenced in the email will be deleted at some point.

I’m writing to you regarding The Sanctuary Door on Instagram that has apparently been an ongoing issue for council, despite the account being dormant for almost a year.

Just so there’s no confusion or attempt to discredit any other people or group, I am the one who set up The Sanctuary Door account on Instagram. My wife didn’t know I set it up. Nobody from the former North Site community was involved in setting it up. No former or current staff of FGCC were involved in setting it up. I am the one solely responsible for the content on the account. 

Anyone who follows the account, past or present, should not be held responsible for what is posted on the account. It would be a gross misrepresentation of someone’s intent to judge them for following an account on social media.

I set up the account in my hurt and confusion over what happened to Sue Enns and Lizzie Rowan. The how and why they were let go, as well as the way council and FGCC leadership treated the congregation(s) before and after. 

It was set up long before I was aware of any issues with the former North Site community. Content on the account was posted when congregation members still had access to copies of council minutes without supervision.

It was not set up:

  • to bring down a church. 
  • to get someone fired, or removed from leadership.
  • to get Sue, Lizzie, or any other former staff their job back.
  • to promote the progressive church.

I wanted to raise awareness over what felt like troubling things going on in the church I had been part of, raised a family in, and served in for most of my life. I did it anonymously because I felt powerless—that anything coming from me would sound like someone bitter over their spouse losing their job, and miss the point of the real issues I was trying to point to. 

In hindsight, I wish I would have posted the content with my name attached so that nobody else could be maligned or judged for what was on the account. I felt it was fairly obvious that I was behind the account given when it appeared, and was unaware it was still being brought up in discussions by council.

There are 9 posts total on the account with the first one posted September, 2022 and the final post in April, 2023. Aside from one post that dealt with the internal questions FGCC Council / Reg Toews asked staff, everything else was available to members of FGCC. While what I posted was certainly critical of leadership, and came with my opinion and experiences, I’m curious what the issues are that FGCC Council has with the content on the account? 

If FGCC Council has been struggling with the account and who was behind it, I’m curious why no one sent a message to the account to engage in a conversation about why it existed? Anyone could have DM’d the account directly or sent an email to the address listed on the account for most of it’s existence. 

And yet I’ve had conversations with people where just following the account has been used as a way for council members to judge their character. It seems the focus by council has been on who is behind the account, and how terrible it is that it exists, rather than seeing the hurt and pain coming out of the leadership choices at FGCC that are at the root of things like this account, and processing how to do better as church leadership.

I would be willing to meet with Council to explain anything in person you would like to know or understand about The Sanctuary Door, and the hurt and pain we felt at the hands of FGCC Council and leadership. 

Since I’ve lost faith in FGCC leadership to accurately communicate this, I will be posting a version of this email on The Sanctuary Door account for transparency and verification, and then deleting the account later in April. I have also CC’d the current lead pastor, Matt Ewert, in the interest of full transparency on the matter with new leadership.

Letter to FGCC Council

I'm re-publishing an email I sent for transparency and archival purposes.