To the citizens of Spencer and the Iowa Great Lakes area
On a beautiful spring day in northwest Iowa almost 2 1/2 years ago, many of you felt like I sucker-punched you in the stomach.
I am so very sorry for what I have done. I hurt you. I betrayed your trust. I lied to you. I offended you.
I accept full responsibility for all of my sin. I alone am to blame. There is no justification for my actions. I accept the consequences of what I did and grieve the pain I have caused.
I fully realize how selfish and narcissistic I have been. My sinful behavior grieved the heart of God, brought great pain to my wife, my boys, and others … including many of you. It caused the death of several dreams and the loss of great friendships. I understand that as a pastor, I should be held to a "higher standard" and that my betrayal of that trust and esteem cut you to the core. For that, I am profoundly sorry.
The situation I caused has definitely put much of what we believe about grace and forgiveness to the test. I see now more than ever that I will never have to forgive anyone else as much as God has forgiven me.
The Word says, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." (Romans 12:18) This is why I am writing this open letter to all of you. I cannot begin to imagine all of the hurt I caused to so many in the community of Spencer and beyond.
I know that things will never be the same with any of you, and that is a consequence of my sin. If you need to work something out with me, I am willing to do that. I desire peace and restoration with you.
Please email me if you have anything you would like to say, or if you desire any clarification.
May God bless you and give you peace, and may God bless the wonderful hidden gem of America that is northwest Iowa.