Rochester, Rochester Hills
Local church airs secrets
Posted February 27, 2008
Photo by Andrew Potter
Epic Church offers
place of comfort
ROCHESTER HILLS — Members drive through their cities, past normal subdivisions and businesses, to gather at their place of worship. It could be like any other church, on any Sunday morning.
But Epic Church is a little different.
To get the community thinking about their secrets through a six-week series, Epic Church is offering Sunday services that address issues including anger, shame, depression, emotional baggage, marriage and addiction.
But that’s not all. Members are encouraged to share those secrets in an open-format Web site at www.mysecretstory.org.
“We have a responsibility to help people realize that these secrets can be devastating if kept bottled up for too long,” Pastor Tim Kade said. “Far too often the church tells us to confess our sins, but doesn’t provide any real life advice or help in dealing with them. We’re here to change that way of thinking.”
While services are held weekly at Hart Middle School in Rochester Hills, individuals can also go to the site to post their feelings or issues anonymously. They can also view the posting of others.
One poster admits to having an affair and can’t let go of the guilt. Another talks about dealing with deep depression and hopes to crawl out from under it. Someone else admits his or her addiction to prescription pain medication. The list ranges far and wide. Yet they all have one thing in common: They hope to rise above it. Admitting their feelings is the first step to overcome it, Kade said.
“We know there are people out there sitting there struggling and we just want to be there for them,” Kade added. “We want to create a place for people to come and be real and be honest, a safe place where people can say ‘this is what I’m struggling with and this is what I need help with.’”
Just take it from Rochester Hills resident Tom Page. Since the age of 14, Page battled feelings of anxiety before abusing medication, he said. Now 54, he’s successfully risen above his issues, living a better life, the likes of which he never dreamed.
“I live today for today and I can’t worry about tomorrow because it might not be here,” Page said. “I know that if I live a good and honest life and try to do my best, God will take care of me. I’ve seen that.”
Page said the one thing individuals have to admit is that they can’t solve all of their problems alone. They need help.
“People are hurting and they need help. I’ve seen a lot of people get better just by talking to other people with similar problems,” Page said. “The biggest message is you’re not alone. That’s why I don’t mind telling my story.”
While opening Epic Church was a risk, the results have been astounding, Marketing Department Chair Brandon Kennedy said.
“These are real life stories of real life people. There’s a lot of struggle out there,” Kennedy said. “That’s the reason we put it here, so people have this first step to solving their problems. … People have really responded.”
And that’s just what they wanted.
“We do church a little bit differently,” Kennedy said. “We accept you exactly where you are and how you are. It’s a group of accepting people, and that’s what people need. We’re trying to reach out there as much as possible with the resources we have. ”
Epic Church’s six-week series focusing on “My Secret” will continue March 2 with “My Emotional Baggage,” March 9 with “My Marriage Stinks,” and March 16 with “My Secret Addiction.”
Services are held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every Sunday at Hart Middle School, 6500 Sheldon Road in Rochester Hills. For more information, visit www.epicchurch.com or call (866) 601-3742.
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