Potomac Conference

Potomac Conference, We CARE, Compassion Actively Realized Everywhere, Charles Tapp, Andrea Oakes

Story by Tiffany Doss

In an effort to go “beyond the walls”—the conference’s new initiative—administrators recently met with Staunton, Va., city officials. “[Our] office has been in the community over the past 50 years, but many people don’t know who we are or what we do,” explains Charles A. Tapp, president. “We wanted to meet with city officials to ... let them know we are here to build relationships, help our neighbors and reach out to those in need.”

Story by Tiffany Doss

The Potomac Conference recently created a director of media position to further opportunities for spreading the gospel. “We operate in a high-tech, digital-media environment. We must use every tool available to reach today's generation, providing them with opportunities to use their talents Beyond the Walls and expand the kingdom of God," says Charles Tapp, conference president.

Richard Castillo will lead this new department. He recently served as the vice president of Integrated Marketing and Communications at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md. He previously served as media pastor for the Sligo church, also in Takoma Park, and communication director for the Oklahoma Conference.

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“My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me” (Ps. 63:8, NASB).

An item on my bucket list is to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia. Adventurers who cross the structure for a 360-degree view of the waterfront city must wear a special suit that straps them to a railing. Gale winds at the summit can reach 55 miles per hour, enough force to rip a roof off a building.

Securing people to a structure for safety harkens back to ancient Greek literature. In Homer’s epic Odyssey, the hero Odysseus’ ship passes by Sirens, monsters disguised as beautiful women who sing enchanting melodies and lure sailors to their deaths. Odysseus demands to be strapped to the mast so he can hear the music but not be enticed by the Sirens.

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“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6, NKJV).

Growing up in a loving Muslim home—led by my generous, strong, industrious mother—was a tremendous blessing to me. A commitment to the five pillars of Islam provided a foundation upon which I developed a reverence for an omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent God.

However, that foundation also left me seeking more. In spite of my questions and misgivings, I persisted in my desire to walk with God unreservedly. I wanted to know truth—even if it made me uncomfortable. One day, while at my university campus job, I lowered my head onto the desk and prayed, “God, please show me truth. No matter how you direct me, I just want to know truth.”

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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5–6, NKJV).

The book was How People Grow, by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend. I had been courageously absorbing its wisdom for several weeks. Eventually, though, I had to stop and address a painful realization: I’m nowhere near the emotionally healthy adult I should be.