August 19, 2008
We were privileged recently to host the Faith and Fidelity Conference from The Hope of Survivors ministry. The presenters were Steve and Samantha Nelson who, through personal testimony and Biblical reflection, made the issues in Clergy Sexual Abuse abundantly clear. The personal testimony of how their pastor preyed upon them was riveting and disturbing at the same time. The offending pastor’s process of selecting Samantha and then setting her up for his immoral advantage was both painful and predictable. Painful in the tremendous devastation his predation laid on their spiritual development. Predictable in that it followed a by now recognized as common modus operandi.
The Biblical reflection also clarified the power issues that make Clergy Sexual Abuse what it is—full blown abuse. It is not an affair and cannot be given the power differential between the perpetrator and the victim.
Resources were shared whereby pastors tempted in these areas can get help and support, hopefully before, they abuse.
Faith and Fidelity is the title of the conference, and both are stressed in the presentation. We were pleased with the instruction presented.
Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
(Click here to view actual letter.)
*Please note that Tom Lemon has since moved to the Mid-America Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists to serve as Vice President of Administration of the Conference. The email address provided here is his new one, not the one in Minnesota.