How Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz and Wife Laura Are Spending Thanksgiving amid Scandal: 'It's New'
Carl Lentz and his family are continuing to show a united front as they celebrate a low-key Thanksgiving together.
The former Hillsong pastor, who was fired from the megachurch in early November after 20 years, will stick close to his wife Laura and their three children this Turkey Day, a friend of the couple tells PEOPLE.
“They will be staying close to home for the holiday,” the friend says. “They had always planned to make it just the immediate family due to COVID.”
Lentz and his family were thrust into the spotlight following his firing, which was in part due to “moral failures,” the church said in a statement. He later admitted to being unfaithful to Laura, whom he married in 2003.
The friend says that the couple has been “laying low” in the wake of scandal, and that their brood — which includes daughters Ava, 16, and Charlie, 14, and son Roman, 11 — have spent quality time together riding bikes and going to the beach.
“They are taking it day by day,” the source says. “The family as a whole is always together. They love reading, nature and game nights.”
"They have been seen out and about, safely, at the beach and heading to their favorite trail nearby," the friend adds.
In addition to the time with their kids, the couple is in therapy to address the recent challenges, the friend says.
“This will be their first holiday together as ex members of Hillsong, so it is new," the insider tells PEOPLE. "On the day they will all cook together — they love to cook as a couple — and then have a movie night. They love watching the parade every year as well."
RELATED VIDEO: Hillsong Pastor and Justin Bieber's One-Time Spiritual Confidant Carl Lentz Fired for 'Moral Failures'
Lentz, 42, and Laura are “working very hard” to make their marriage work, and that she “has stood by his side” amid the turmoil," according to the friend.
The couple met in Australia, when Lentz, a Virginia native, enrolled in the Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney at age 20. Together, they helped launch Hillsong Church N.Y.C. in 2010, which was the church’s first branch based in the United States.
Lentz admitted to being unfaithful to Laura in an Instagram post the day after his firing, in which he took “full responsibility” for his actions, and said, “This failure is on me, and me alone.”
Though Lentz has not identified the woman with whom he had an affair, a 34-year-old woman named Ranin Karim came forward two weeks later to allege that she and Lentz had had a months-long affair that ended in October.
Laura was spotted at a tanning salon with Carl on Friday without her wedding ring, though a source said she took it off specifically to go to the salon so as not to lose it, and wore her ring for the rest of the weekend. Laura, who was wearing several other rings on her fingers, did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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