September 7, 2013 (Church at Worship)
Pastor Charles Tapp…I was brought up in the SDA system (K-College) and went to Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church. I never felt welcomed in the community but I appreciate the fact now that my parents forced me to go to church with them. Growing up, there was not much Sabbath School for my age group and it seems often my age group was sent down the street to Sligo Adventist School or Takoma Academy. It reinforced the feeling of being ostracized and since I had to go to church, I often listened with my parents in Adult Bible Class. Anyway, your sermon has reminded me that my suffering became a powerful mode to be different and not be what I observed among the community I lived. In many ways I felt that others that acknowledged their suffering were more accepting and I gravitated to them. I worked in places…Child Protective Services Investigator, Mental Health in Psychiatric settings, Mental Health in Correctional Center, etc…that most people would never set foot in. I see how God has allowed suffering in my life to make me a better person and even stronger person because the child I once was could never have handle the situations I have seen as a Social Worker. With all this said, I have had some deep suffering that has engulfed my life on so many levels in the last few years and see where I have had set backs. Been struggling, but must admit that I am alive due to many friends that I have met alone my journey in life. I see we all struggle and am thankful for those who have shown their “Scarlet Letter” and are not ashamed. Your sermon has reminded me to stop asking why and personalizing so much of my suffering. Instead, I need to continue to use my suffering to better me and in fact my suffering has made me an amazing tool in helping others. I just some how forgot about me & I am an important child of God. Your sermon has been very helpful and see now how little things of late have been a stepping stone to being directed to hearing your words. Thank You for inspirational guidance and look forward to hearing more of your sermons!