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Trinity Church leader put on administrative leave after admitting he misused church funds

Original post made on Apr 21, 2020

Rev. Matthew Dutton-Gillett, rector at Trinity Church, has been put on administrative leave after admitting that he misused church funds for personal use.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 9:58 AM

Comments (13)

27 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 21, 2020 at 11:00 am

Not sure how long he'll be suspended or if he'll return.
Really, the questions should be how much time he will serve in prison, will he be repaying the church, will he be barred from the ministry.


20 people like this
Posted by Dave Ross
a resident of Portola Valley: Brookside Park
on Apr 21, 2020 at 2:03 pm

@whatever (too shy to share your identity?): without knowing any of the facts, I can imagine a scenario where he could return in some capacity, probably without check signature authority ;>).

Many people are quick to judge, even more so when they don't know much. While this appears to be a serious crime and a moral/ethical downfall, faith communities are characterized by their ability and willingness to forgive.

After all, aren't 85% of Evangelical Christians able to forgive (or at least overlook) a serial adulterer con man who can't even rub 2 Corinthians together?


18 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 21, 2020 at 2:31 pm

Ross
Episcopalians are not evangelicals.
And in reply to the rest of your response - do the crime do the time. Hope you're not as forgiving to clerics who abuse.


34 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2020 at 3:58 pm

Dave Ross:

"Increased financial scrutiny, including a financial review by parish leaders, determined that Dutton-Gillett had misused at least $125,000 in church funds for personal spending...".

No one is "JUDGING". The FACT is that Dutton-Gillett STOLE this money. He should be fired, charged, and be made to pay for his crime.


10 people like this
Posted by Manlo Punk
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 21, 2020 at 5:21 pm

Alas he will be forgiven!

He will claim some demonic power overtook and misguided him. He'll find God again, ask for forgiveness and get it

Only the names ever change.


27 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2020 at 6:11 pm

Manlo Punk:

It's amazing how often wrongdoers "find God". A great percentage of people behind bars "find God". An interesting phenomenon.


12 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2020 at 2:07 pm

As a parish member, I believe in forgiveness! So, Father Matthew made a mistake, but there are ways and there are other ways of handling it. Please do not be so quick to judge. There may be many things we still do not know about, and I think all should restrain themselves until the full story is known. What would Jesus do?


24 people like this
Posted by pearl
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2020 at 2:19 pm

Anonymous:

"Rev. Matthew Dutton-Gillett, rector at Trinity Church, has been put on administrative leave after ADMITTING that he misused church funds for personal use."

There's nothing to judge or ponder or anything else. He ADMITTED he did it!


7 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of another community
on Apr 22, 2020 at 6:22 pm

Actually, it is because he admitted it immediately, that your comments are cruel. Maybe if he did not do so, one might be suspicious. Now that he has come forth, it is time to forgive him. Please do...and you just might feel better about this!


12 people like this
Posted by Come on
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 24, 2020 at 2:21 pm

The Trinity Rector admitted taking $125,000 of the parishioners money and spending it for his personal use. This is criminal activity. The amount may also continue to increase as the investigation is continuing. Forgiving him as as person is a separate matter from seeing justice served. The investigation also only focused on the last five years. The Rector's embezzlement could have started even earlier. The Rector betrayed the trust of the Trinity parishioners and his remorseful hopes for forgiveness should include his plans to repay the money and also just what he was thinking as he helped himself to the money.


8 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Apr 24, 2020 at 3:39 pm

"Forgiving him as as person is a separate matter from seeing justice served."

I agree and I forgive him as a person and I defer any other judgements to the judicial system.


13 people like this
Posted by kbehroozi
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Apr 25, 2020 at 10:16 am

This is a deeply painful and confusing time for our community. Matthew was–and is–beloved. And whatever the degree of his transgressions, his path forward looks desperately bleak.

Those who didn't know Matthew and were not part of Trinity (including many anonymous posters on the Almanac) may idly speculate, gossip, revel, even, in the temporary downfall of our church. This is what people do when they are bored, or lonely, or spiteful, or hurting. Trolls are gonna troll. And the criminal justice system will have its turn.

Meanwhile, for many of us in the parish, the cognitive dissonance is profound. I have found it helpful to remember that all of us contain elements of both light and dark, and the potential for good and evil. None of us wholly conquers our worst demons and the struggle is eternal.

Whatever Father Matthew's demons were (and we may never learn enough to truly understand), the private shame he endured must have been intense. And yet despite his personal torment, he managed, week after week, year after year, to create a sacred, spiritual space for contemplation and regeneration–and provide inspiration and wise counsel for hundreds. Yes, he did wrong, and it was probably criminal in nature. But he also did enormous good. We can remember the good and hold onto it. It is no less real than it was.

At this time above all we should be turning toward the light.


4 people like this
Posted by Not a fan
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 26, 2020 at 9:58 am

Just to clarify, not everyone attending Trinity was a fan of Father Matthew. He had his vocal supporters and the rest of us kept quiet about our concerns. Of course, we never dreamed they would include criminal activity. So please do not speak for the entire church, by saying he was "beloved" in a blanket statement.


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