The pews of Toronto’s Metropolitan Community Church brimmed with silent support Sunday for its embattled pastor, currently on trial for the alleged sexual assault of a teenage boy in the 1970s.
More than a hundred people attended the morning masses at the Riverdale church, during which there was only a fleeting direct mention of Rev. Brent Hawkes’ trial, reminding congregants of the church’s listening groups if anyone felt the need to talk.
But after the service, those in attendance emphasized that their longtime pastor is in their prayers.
Rev. Deana Dudley said the church is handling the matter “the same way we deal with anything.
“We offer support, we offer prayer, we offer love, we offer acceptance,” she said.
“I know some people have been upset by what’s going on, so then we just do more of the same — we offer more love, more acceptance, more support, more prayer.” (more...)