Last week I posted two articles related to the Vienna Presbyterian Church in Vienna, Virginia. Between 2001 and 2005, as many as a dozen teenage girls may have suffered sexual, emotional and spiritual abuse from a church youth director. This year, the youth director was long gone, but church leaders felt that the wounds had not be properly addressed and healed. So a few months ago, the pastor and church issued a public apology.
Lawyers for the church’s insurance company warned the church not to accept responsibility for the failings of the youth director. Doing so, the insurance company said, would jeopardize the church’s coverage in case a lawsuit was filed.
The Vienna Presbyterian Church ignored the demands of its insurance company. On March 27, Pastor Peter James preached a sermon that acknowledged the church’s failings.