The older members looked at each other, shocked, as though he had just said he had murdered someone. The newer members just looked at Derek with wide eyes, not believing that one of their own would actually admit to this sin.
Pastor Jeffrey closed his eyes, gathering himself before speaking, then opened them again and said, “Having doubts is a weakness, cowardice. It is saying that you do not trust your brother and sister Roses. It is the greatest sin of our church, for doubt is what will keep you from performing the most holy acts and leading others to our church so they too can see the light of our worship. We are all greatly disappointed in you, Derek. For this, you must meet with your Rose Angel for at least two extra hours a day, pray for an extra four hours a day, and you must publicly apologize to this church—both now and at worship tomorrow.” He looked expectantly at Derek.
Derek now moved his gaze to his folded hands. “I’m sorry.”