Given By Rev. Madison Shockley May 28, 2017

Today’s topic is sensitive.  The statistics are alarming. Today we are encouraged to break our silence. No longer should this topic be taboo to talk about. People need to know the facts. Speaking up helps save many others from going through such trauma.  There are enough stories to do ten sermons. No longer should people be embarrassed to speak out and allow the offender to continue abusing more victims. This issue is important to those in the faith communities. Close to 93% of sex offenders say they are religious. Due to the trusting nature of faith communities, this makes this environment more dangerous than in the secular community for victims. Our churches are filled with abuse survivors. The story of Esther demonstrates the necessity of speaking up despite the peril. She risks death to save her people. Our silence is complicity thus our complicity is our sin. Ten years ago, Pilgrim church wrestled with this issue. We did not sweep it under the rug. We spoke up. Our Safe Church policies now helps other churches across America deal with this issue. Churches are now catching up. We must continue to lead the way. Speak up!