In July of 1976 my best friend called me unexpectedly on a Sabbath morning. Her good friend John was in town. Why not come with us to church and join us for lunch and the afternoon. It would be fun! So I decided to come to Sligo. It was just this once, I told myself. I mean, Seventh Day Adventist are nice people and all, but this is just a visit—not something I’d ever take seriously.
But that Sabbath Jim Londis preached. I wish that I could tell you what he preached about—I cannot. I wish that I could tell you that by the end of that summer I was baptized— I cannot. But I will tell you that by the end of the summer I was taking the bus every Saturday morning from downtown Silver Spring over to Sligo. I would sit in the balcony sometimes taking notes, hanging on to every word. A Methodist by upbringing, I knew the Bible—but now it began to have new meaning. It would be a couple of years before I would begin in a small study group—with Pastor Londis. My conversion would be slow, thoughtful and deliberate. I was baptized in 1982—and on the day he baptized me, Jim said he’d never had someone ask so many questions!
That was over thirty years ago. So much has changed in my life—as well as Sligo’s that it would be difficult to recount all of the changes. My career been very fulfilling albeit demanding! I met, fell in love with, and married Ed—who I cannot imagine life without! And I think I’ve grown spiritually —learning from those in my Sabbath school class, Believers and Doubters.
And Sligo has changed too! Several Pastors have come and gone, each leaving their own unique mark on our congregation. Our physical plant has changed from a somewhat drab auditorium into a splendid place of worship with light and color! But the ethos of Sligo remains the same. We are a congregation deeply committed to diversity—melding several different ethnic communities into a single cohesive congregation. And we are stronger than we know: we were able to pull together and pay off a hefty debt in record time! Finally, we play a unique role in both the Washington area as well as the broader Christian community as we seek to be Christ’s hands and feet in a broken world.
Why do I stay at Sligo? I could give a thousand answers! I could talk about the richness of our fellowship. I could highlight the depth of the worship experiences that we offer. But the real reason I stay at Sligo is this: this is where I am nurtured, loved, and accepted. This is where I belong!