Urie Bender

This is a Mennonite church worker who has been publicly accused of sexual abuse. They are listed here as part of the Mennonite Abuse Prevention (MAP) list. Anyone with additional information or documentation on this person, please contact mennonite[at]snapnetwork.org or mail to MAP List, P.O. Box 442632, Lawrence, KS, 66044. All sources will be kept confidential.

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Name: Urie Bender

Date of birth: 1925

Description: Allegations of sexual abuse of girls and women. Four women brought official complaints against Bender before the Mennonite Conference of Eastern Canada in 1992.

Church-related positions held: Prominent Mennonite playwright and author. Held ministerial credentials until giving them up rather than face a church-led accountability process over sexual abuse allegations, 

Current employment/location (as of 2016): Retired. Lives in Waterloo, Ontario. Attends Rockway Mennonite Church in Kitchener, Ontario.  

Documentation : Correspondence of Jeanette Gascho. (Used with permission from Gascho.) Please scroll through document to access the following:

       * Letter from Clarence Diefenbacher and Waldemar Regier to Jeanette Gascho, February 4, 1992, containing recommendations from MCEC Leadership Commission in relation to Urie Bender.

       * Letter from Jeanette Gascho to Mennonite editors, February 5, 1992, containing survivor statement from four women.

       * Letter from Clarence Diefenbacher and Waldemar Regier to Jeanette Gascho, December 1, 1992.

       * Letter from Clarence Diefenbacher to Jeanette Gascho, December 21, 1992.

       * Letter from Mary E. Burkholder and Clarence Diefenbacher to Jeanette Gascho, January 7, 1993.

       * Letter from Herbert Schultz to Jeanette Gascho, January 15, 1993.

Draft Statement for MCEC Executive Board, December 18, 1992. (Used with permission from Gascho.)

"Ministerial Credentials Suspended; Women Issue Warning." Mennonite Reporter, February 10, 1992.

Note in Christian Leader, February 25, 1992.

"Minister Given Suspension Due to Sexual Misconduct." Mennonite Weekly Review, February 27, 1992.

"Bender resigns as minister, review will not proceed." Mennonite Reporter, February 8, 1993.

"Women charge Mennonite leader with sexual misconduct," and "Statement of MCEC Leadership Commission Regarding Urie Bender." The Mennonite, February 25, 1992.

"Eastern Canada minister resigns over sexual abuse." The Mennonite, Feb. 9, 1993.

"Credentials suspended for sexual misconduct." Gospel Herald, February 18, 1992.

"Conference accepts Bender resignation." Gospel Herald, February 9, 1993.

"Abuse has crippling effect, victim says," Kitchener-Waterloo Record, May 15, 1993. Used with permission from Jeanette Gascho, who confirms that Bender is the perpetrator in her story.

"A church confronts its sins: Sexual abuse has become an issue among the Mennonites," The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 4, 1993. Used with permission from Jeanette Gascho, who confirms that Bender is the perpetrator in her story.