According to various news outlets, Jeffrey Bondi, former Young Life Area Director in VA beach, was found guilty of sexually assaulting an 18 year old babysitter in 2001.

During the trial, it was brought out that Bondi had been investigated as far back as 1997 for being accused of fondling a 15 year old student on a bus coming back from a Young Life camp in North Carolina.

You can read the local reporting on the conclusion of Bondi’s trial below:

Former Virginia Beach youth pastor found guilty in 15-year-old sexual assault

Former Va. Beach youth pastor found guilty of object penetration

https://pilotonline.com/news/local/crime/former-virginia-beach-youth-ministry-leader-found-guilty-of-sexually/article_c8dad024-423c-5faa-ae2c-df39da2b9f49.html

 

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The continuing saga, of what appears to be YL’s, attempt to sweep the firing of a gay YL leader under the rug.

A Gay Christian's Journey

If you have read my blogs, you will know that five weeks after I was terminated from my volunteer position in Young Life based on my sexual orientation, I asked for a written record of my termination.  I did so because I had heard from students that the local staff were telling them I had been terminated for reasons that I was not terminated for.

At first, they refused to provide written documentation and insisted I had to call Human Resources if I had any questions.  When I persisted, the Regional Director said we had to meet in person to discuss “new information.”  When I asked if I could bring an attorney to that meeting, he cancelled the meeting and never rescheduled.  When I said I would bring the media to a club event to discuss the termination, they finally relented and sent me a document entitled “[My Name] Termination…

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Yet again, another Young Life (former) Area Director has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a student.  Jeffrey Bondi, former Virginia Beach Young Life are director, was arrested and denied bond, for alleged sex crimes with a then 18 year old student who attended Mr. Bondi’s youth group.

You can read some of the local press concerning this latest sex scandal involving a Young Life leader at the links below:

http://pilotonline.com/news/local/crime/ex-employee-of-galilee-episcopal-church-and-young-life-virginia/article_f326c895-f84f-5cdd-804f-1790c1dc6f1d.html

http://pilotonline.com/news/local/crime/judge-denies-bond-for-former-virginia-beach-youth-leader-charged/article_af5cdb46-4d4c-56e6-bbae-cecf510d903f.html

http://pilotonline.com/news/local/crime/bond-denied-again-for-former-virginia-beach-youth-ministry-leader/article_88e606da-9eca-5a65-bfe2-6fe49104dc95.html

Bond denied second time for former ministry leader accused of sex crime in Virginia Beach

Former Virginia Beach Young Life employee indicted for sex crime

Young Life’s handling and non-answers, to this ex-leaders direct question to his being “terminated” from YL ministry, is ridiculous and enlightening at the same time.

A Gay Christian's Journey

Excerpt from a recorded phone call with Ann Shackelton, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Young Life.

Me: Yeah, I’m just wondering what the process was, what was communicated to you regarding any actions that I took that may or may not have contributed to my termination on August 31st 2015.

Ann Shackleton: Yeah. [Long pause] Ummm. Yeah, I don’t know, I know that we have our internal process, and we have our kind of documentation of all of that. We don’t really talk about the process. Did you have questions about your situation in particular?

Me: Yeah, I was just wondering when and how you, I think was it your- ultimately, it was your decision- to terminate me, is that correct?

Ann Shackleton: Umm, I was definitely a part of that decision, and we don’t use that language, terminate, umm, probably, as it comes, as it comes…

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Image result for Gays need not apply

(Photo source: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/indiana-gov-mike-pence-signs-gay-discrimination-bill)

 

For a long time I’ve wanted to highlight the fact that Young Life is strictly anti-gay.  It is YL’s position that being gay is a sin and in direct opposition to God’s will and word.  It’s not an uncommon belief for Christians who believe the Bible is the literal word of God.

A couple times in the history of this site, I’ve had YL folks comment that YL is for everyone and that gays are welcome just like anyone else.  What I think they really mean, is that you’re welcome to attend club or camp in the hopes that you will see the light, confess Christ and renounce your sinful sexual orientation.

A recent comment at Young Life Watch had this to say:

 

I was in YL in highschool and decided to quit my senior year because they would not allow a gay man on the trip to camp. I witnessed a lot of favoritism, homophobia and emotional abuse (and was a victim).

Another blogger, posted this concerning his being ousted as a Young Life leader:

I have shared my experience regarding being terminated for being gay, and then the great lengths they went to to deny and lie about their policies and actions when I started telling students and parents and also said I would go to the media with the story. You can read about my experience here: https://gaychristianblog.com/2015/11/27/the-tides-are-turning/

Another Young Life leader felt compelled to quit after she was asked to take down a facebook post supporting gay rights.  It was only afterwards that she learned Young Life banned gays from being leaders.  You can read her story below.

http://heraldnet.com/article/20150611/NEWS01/150619829

Lastly, a piece that Salon posted about a college football player.  He came out as bisexual and was forced to step down as a Young Life leader:

http://www.salon.com/2014/02/01/football_players_coming_out_story_disproves_every_dumb_theory_about_gay_athletes/

Agree or not, the facts are that Young Life does not welcome gays as leaders. Their have been reports of them being unwelcoming to gay students as well.

 

 

The body of a teen who went off a cliff and drowned at Young Life’s Malibu camp has been recovered.  It’s reported that the teen was playing volleyball near the cliff when he went for a ball and fell over the cliff, into the waters below.

You can read news reports here  and here.

 

A 19 year old student attending Young Life’s Malibu summer property is presumed drowned after going missing in the water.

You can read a news account here and a statement from Young Life concerning the tragedy here.

Our thoughts go out to all involved.