Sharing Our Story

MCEC Apologizes for Causing Pain

A Review of Past Disciplinary Actions Concludes that MCEC Failed to Communicate Adequately

In November 2018, a survivor of sexual misconduct perpetrated in the 1980’s by formerly ordained MCEC minister, Dalton Jantzi, contacted Marilyn Rudy-Froese, MCEC Church Leadership Minister. Along with a volunteer from Mennonite Abuse Prevention List (MAP), they requested clarification regarding the status of Jantzi’s ministerial credential and his engagement in ministry.

Upon receiving these concerns, MCEC conducted a thorough review of past disciplinary actions related to Jantzi. This review concluded that MCEC failed to communicate adequately to the entire constituency the termination of Jantzi’s ministerial credential on October 12, 2001. Further, it came to our attention that a listing of ordination anniversaries in the Discernment Documents for the 2015 annual delegate meeting incorrectly included Jantzi. We regret that this error went unnoticed and will publish a correction in the 2019 annual report.

We recognize that these failures caused further pain to those hurt by Jantzi’s sexual misconduct, and confusion within the broader church regarding Jantzi’s credential.

MCEC apologizes for these failures and
for the further pain they have caused.

MCEC apologizes for these failures and for the further pain they have caused. In the spirit of transparency, a summary overview of actions taken in regard to Jantzi’s credential is available for review from MCEC.

The courage of victims who come forward to tell their stories helps us as a church to learn and move forward in addressing clergy sexual misconduct and to facilitate healing and recovery. We are committed to learning from past mistakes, and finding a just and redemptive path forward.

We are committed to investigate any allegation of ministerial misconduct immediately, will transparently report to our constituency any disciplinary actions and sanctions regarding ministerial misconduct, and will proactively promote awareness and educational initiatives, so that persons of all ages can safely participate in the activities of our faith communities.

MCEC has enriched its long-standing commitment to fostering safe faith communities by these recent initiatives:

  • Require all MCEC credentialed pastors to participate in a revised Healthy Boundaries workshop at least once every three years.
  • In January 2019, MCEC hosted Marie Fortune and Emily Cohen of FaithTrust Institute for a two-day training workshop with MCEC pastors and leaders from 11 other denominations. Training was focused on policy and procedures for investigations, holding justice-making at the centre when addressing sexual misconduct, and developing caregiving practices in congregations so that they can be safe places for victims/survivors to tell their stories.
  • Commissioned #ChurchToo, a play on ministerial sexual misconduct presented in 20 locations across MCEC and Canada.
  • Published Sacred Trust and SafeZone, story-based resources written by Carol Penner, for use in congregations, camps and schools, to educate on sexual misconduct in the church.
  • Reminded all MCEC congregations to adopt and implement a congregational Safe Space policy.
  • Regular review of MCEC policies for how allegations of clergy sexual misconduct are received, investigated and appropriate discipline applied.

 

MCEC is committed to healing and hope for all who have experienced pain. If you are a survivor of clergy sexual misconduct, we welcome hearing your experience. Please contact Marilyn Rudy-Froese to share your story or concern. (855) 476-2500, ext. 704; mrudyfroese@mcec.ca