"You've given me something to think about."
This was just one of the many comments M.J., Laverne and I heard while exhibiting at the North America Christian Convention on behalf of The Hope of Survivors in Cincinnati a few weeks ago. This comment came from a pastor after a 20-minute discussion regarding clergy sexual abuse.
First and foremost, The Hope of Survivors provides help and support for victims. I know firsthand the importance of this support, having been a victim myself of an unscrupulous pastor. The Hope of Survivors was very instrumental in my own healing.
But this exchange with this pastor allowed us to fulfill another goal of The Hope of Survivors--to raise awareness and educate on the dynamics of clergy sexual abuse.
The concept that clergy misconduct is not consensual and it is not about two people having an "affair," was one we discussed at length and it was new to him. So when we finished, and he left me with the words, "You have given me something to think about," it was then I felt a great sense of satisfaction. Sometimes it is about planting the seed.
As always, I am grateful for opportunity The Hope of Survivors has given to me to help in this vital work.
Thank you for supporting The Hope of Survivors so the work of healing, education and awareness will continue.
Yours in Christ,
Member Advisory Panel; Victim Support Services