The Meeting House Church in Ontario announced a temporary pause in its ministry activities due to challenges in securing insurance coverage.

The development stems from historical incidents and allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse involving former pastors, which continue to impact the church's reputation with insurers. 

In November 2021, Bruxy Cavey, a well-known pastor and author, was accused of sexual misconduct by a victim who came forward. The church conducted an investigation and determined that Cavey's actions constituted sexual abuse. The investigation also revealed that another former pastor had sexually abused an underage victim, further compounding the church's challenges and impacting its reputation and insurance standing.

In an email to members, the Meeting House Transition Board of Overseers and Network Leadership Team outlined the steps taken over the past few years to address systemic risk and prevent abuse. These measures include implementing new policies, restructuring governance, introducing new leadership, and enhancing training and volunteer screening. Despite positive feedback from insurers and experts regarding these actions, the church's past continues to pose a significant risk, leading to the non-renewal of their Abuse Liability (AL) and Employment Practices Liability (EPL) coverage.

"We were recently informed that, effective June 30, our current insurer will not be renewing our Abuse Liability (AL) coverage, or our Employment Practices Liability (EPL) coverage," the board stated. Efforts to find replacement insurance have so far been unsuccessful, with no insurers willing to provide the necessary coverage.

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As a result, the church leadership has decided to pause all ministry activities for the month of July. This includes suspending Sunday and mid-week gatherings, kids and youth programming, home church meetings, and pastoral counselling. The church says it will continue to provide a Sunday morning livestream and access to ministry resources during this period.

The board emphasized the importance of securing insurance to protect staff, volunteers, and the wider church community. They are exploring ways to maintain essential operations and support staff during the pause, including placing some staff on paid leave and managing necessary functions such as finances and property maintenance.

During the pause, the church will engage in a process of discernment and prayer with local leadership teams to explore new ways to move forward.

"We sense God at work in our midst in powerful ways, and have tremendous hope in the process of surrendering and listening to the Spirit as we discern together during this difficult time of pause," the board stated.

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The final Sunday gathering before the pause was held on June 23, with pastors and board members taking time to process the news with congregants and share local plans. Further updates on the insurance situation and ministry activities are expected by the end of July.

The Meeting House says it remains hopeful for the future, trusting in the "Spirit's leading" and the possibility of "new life emerging from this challenging period."