This is what was said by Nomdo Schuitema, on Sunday evening October 4, in response to the newspaper articles in the Reformatorisch Dagblad, this has been forwarded to us.
The whole situation of the newspaper articles about Evert Valk. To be immediately clear, we had to remove Evert Valk from the church on Saturday a week ago. It is also important because of the newspaper articles that we make a statement on that tonight. I would like to tell the story completely and for that we have to begin two years earlier. In April 2018, people had come to the church council to report that Evert Valk had asked several people to help make videos for a teen bootcamp. Evert Valk wanted to make videos in the theme of Proverbs 7.
Proverbs 7:22-27 (ESV) All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life. And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths, for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.
He wanted to portray this and he had asked a number of ladies to slaughter a fish. He also had a Bible verse read with it, some people read Bible verses, some people were asked to kill fish. This became known to the church board in April 2018. It was known that Evert Valk sometimes used video illustrations as visual material for preaching, we have also seen this in teenage camps, but the church board thought this was a very strange story. The church board said at the time, “This is inappropriate, stop it, delete the videos, and apologize.” He has promised that and he has, we have often inquired about this, and he says he has. Then in June 2018 a couple came to the church board and told that there had been sexual acts between Evert Valk and this lady. The church board confronted Evert with his mistake on Sunday afternoon, and he was immediately removed that afternoon as pastor of our church.
Also about the people who have been asked to read Bible texts or slaughter a fish; we have heard the stories of these women, was a very different story, very bizarre, with these women there was no sexual connection, and we left that story for what it was. Bizarre story, we couldn’t do anything with that, it was a clear offense with this one woman, and the sexual acts that had taken place there. And now Evert Valk has been removed from the church. Later I informed the Dutch pastors of the reason during a pastors meeting, it was said that there had been sexual acts between Evert Valk and a lady in the Zwolle church. Later also when people asked me, I said what was the reason that Evert Valk was relieved from his position.
Well, over a week ago I heard on Thursday evening in a telephone conversation from a woman we have never heard of, and never had contact with, that years ago something happened between Evert Valk and her. It concerned an act that was unacceptable, not as bad as in the first incident, but unacceptable. We spoke to Evert Valk about this, he partially confessed, but for us that was enough to remove him from the church again, and that happened a week ago on Saturday. And this time he cannot come back.
Fortunately, regarding the incident of those Bible texts and slaughtering fish, there are no more incidents with physical contact, these are things that happened in those years, very sad that that comes up and that that has happened to these women. Sometimes a man was there, usually a woman alone. Every pastor in our Fellowship is taught that the pastor should never be alone with a woman, except of course his own wife, and there must always be a third person. That is taught to all our pastors, our pioneer pastors know that, Evert Valk has not adhered to that throughout all those years in the Zwolle church, and that is just a very serious violation of our Fellowship policy in the Zwolle church. In the coming weeks, we just want to make it very clear to you what the codes of ethics are for pastors so that you can approach us if you see a violation. You can always address the pastor about it, that is very clear to everyone who is in the film, but Evert Valk did not use that in his own church. Here in Zwolle are several people who were involved in this, they thought nothing of it, but also groups that felt very uncomfortable, cheated, lied to and misled. And that it is very understandable. If you feel violated in any way, we advise you to file a police report. For moral violations that may be illegal and you feel it that way, report this to our church board.
Well, now we have to move on, and in the coming days we want to work with everything that comes up through these questions. Now we are all going to look at the past in a completely different way, at incidents, things that we used to say, like “whatever”, we are now going to look at that very differently. If you find something strange, or at least if you have questions about it, you can talk with us. Over the past few days, we’ve done our best to make time, talk to people, and explain. We will continue to do so in the coming days and weeks. If you have questions about what happened to Evert Valk, and want to talk about it, or about other matters in the church that you have any doubts about, it should be the case that this is the policy that we are accessible and that a pastor can be addressed everywhere. You can ask him about many things, and if it is too personal about someone else, we will stop you ourselves. But you can ask a lot of questions yourself, and we want to help you with every question that comes up to you. So come to us, or stay after the service for a while, make an appointment with us and we want to make all the time for you.
All right, then those articles that are different in the newspaper, that’s just clickbait and the lowest form of journalism.
This is all I wanted to say, with this being said the meeting is closed. We continue to say: “Come to us, or call and we will meet.” Thank you for your attention.