November 28, 2022
The Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada is committed to creating and ensuring safe environments for worship, witness, and work; free from sexual misconduct. We will not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form including sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and child abuse by its credentialed ministers and workers, (non-licensed) employees, contract workers, or volunteers in service to or with EMCC, its churches, institutions, agencies, organizations, or other bodies that operate under its name. The EMCC National Board has been horrified to hear about these historical evils and have directed the National Team to address these matters.
As President of the EMCC, I sincerely apologize to all victims for not communicating sooner on the work that EMCC has been undertaking since the charges and arrest of Ray & Sandra Swash. Our silence over these past five months has contributed to further harm and for that we are deeply sorry. With our full acknowledgement that victims have been disbelieved, silenced and invalidated by church leaders in the past, we offer our support toward healing and justice.
This communication is to inform and update on EMCC’s actions and plans.
The EMCC deeply grieves for those who have suffered harassment, misconduct or abuse from a Christian leader. As an organization, we take these matters and allegations seriously. We are committed to measures that prevent acts of sexual misconduct. We would invite victims to contact us through our web portal to connect with our Victim Advocate Facilitator to take next steps.
August 8, 2022
FROM THE EMCC PRESIDENT
I am deeply grieved by allegations of historical misconduct which have recently emerged against former EMCC ministry leaders, Raymond and Sandra Swash. Their misconduct is alleged to have occurred between 1987 and 1994 while they were serving directly or indirectly at Banfield Memorial Church in North York, Ontario. Mr. Swash’s credentials with EMCC ceased in 2003.
The EMCC does not condone any conduct that is contrary to how Jesus commands us to live and that causes harm to others. Our hearts are heavy as we pray for all those impacted. The York Regional Police are investigating and EMCC is committed to cooperating with authorities.
We have spent much time in prayer, earnestly seeking God’s guidance as we navigate through these challenging waters. We serve a God of grace, mercy, love, healing and forgiveness and we diligently strive to follow His ways. The EMCC is putting together a plan to support the victims of any misconduct, along with family members who may be journeying through their own challenges as they become aware of experiences their loved ones have endured. Further, EMCC is committed to developing resources for churches and proactively equipping our credential holders.
We are grateful for your prayers and ask that you continue to pray for wisdom, clarity and courage. Most of all, we ask that you pray for God’s incredible gift of healing and forgiveness to all those involved.
A confidential reporting portal has been set up on our website for any individual who may have a concern they want to share with us, in relation to this or other matters. It can be found at: Reporting Sexual Misconduct - Evangelical Missionary Church (emcc.ca).
John Cressman, President of EMCC