At the end of January, The Stranger published this story about Mars Hill Church and ex-members who felt it was crossing the line from faith community into something more menacing.
A few days ago, Mars Hill put a link to this post—"A Call for Reconciliation"—on its homepage.
Dear Mars Hill,
Lately, we’ve gotten some negative press... To our critics, we’d humbly ask you to imagine how complicated situations such as this are for us. When someone says they have a issue with us, they get to tell the media their side of the story. If we tell the other side of the story, we risk breaching laws and exposing people—both the people in the discipline process and the people they’ve sinned against—to public backlash. The choice for us as a church is often to either take the hits in the press or put one of our members forward (often a young woman sexually sinned against) to let our members take the hits and endure the criticism. Obviously, we’d rather take the hits as a church than expose our members to the media and potentially break the law by divulging private information shared in a counseling session by a victim.
Here’s the bottom line: we love people.
At the bottom of the post is a web form, asking for the names and phone numbers of people who feel aggrieved by the church's behavior, so pastors can get in touch, "opening up a line of reconciliation."