Sunday, February 17, 2013

Information on the embezzlement of ELCA synod funds in Minnesota

Minneapolis Area Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
122 W Franklin Ave, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55404 612-870-3610
Information on the embezzlement of synod funds

On February 14, former synod staff member Raenay Rock Hendrickson confessed to
embezzling from synod funds. It appears she took approximately $100,000. This occurred
from 2005 until June 2012, and was discovered during an audit of the synod’s finances,
part of strengthened financial procedures initiated when Bishop Ann Svennungsen began
her term last May. Ms. Hendrickson left the synod’s employ in July, 2012.
The synod has filed a claim  with its insurance carriers and anticipates being fully
reimbursed for the losses. This matter has been reported to law enforcement; the synod
staff is cooperating with them as they investigate. With the help of legal counsel, the synod
is pursuing every avenue of recourse that is available, trusting that God works through the
protective structures of society – including law enforcement and the courts. As the
investigation continues, as much information as the legal process allows will be
The staff is working diligently to recover the embezzled funds, to discern how they affected
synod ministries, and to continually improve financial oversight –  so when people make
gifts to the church, they can do so with confidence that the synod office is a trustworthy
and responsible steward of their generosity.
Please pray for all affected by this situation, including Ms. Hendrickson and her family.

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