The Fourfold Path of Forgiveness Begins

Date: Wednesdays, April 6–May 4
Time: 6:30–7:45 pm
Location: Fireside Room
Register: Email Emily at elinderman@epiphanyseattle.org

“There is nothing that cannot be forgiven, and there is no one undeserving of forgiveness.” Do you believe it? Desmond Tutu does. His daughter and fellow priest, Mpho Tutu does too. I believe it or I at least want to believe it, most of the time. Sometimes I struggle to surrender to the “nothing and no one” in this declaration.

Tutu goes on to say, “There have been times when each and every one of us has needed to forgive. There have also been times when each and every one of us has needed to be forgiven. And there will be many times again. In our own ways, we are all broken. Out of that brokenness, we hurt others. Forgiveness is the journey we take toward healing the broken parts. It is how we become whole again.”

This is the part that gets me, that keeps me in the struggle to surrender. I deeply believe in and desire healing for myself, my loved ones, and the world. I have experienced the repair of some of my broken parts by both offering and receiving forgiveness. And still, I have more broken parts and I see brokenness in our society that needs healing. How else do we heal and not repeat cycles of violence without forgiveness? I don’t know. I think the path of forgiveness might be the only way.

The Tutus suggest a fourfold path that you might remember Kate included in her March 6 sermon:

  1. Telling the story
  2. Naming the hurt
  3. Granting forgiveness
  4. Renewing or releasing the relationship

Like Tutu, I don’t believe the work of forgiveness is ever finished, but I do believe that as we mature in life and faith, we can get more sensitive to knowing when forgiveness is required and be willing to take the first step on the path more quickly depending on the hurt.

This Easter season I will be leading a five-evening series through this path. I’m inviting anyone willing to walk the path of forgiveness with a hurt in mind. This series is also open to anyone who is willing to pray for the willingness to be willing.

The series will be based on Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Rev. Mpho Tutu’s, The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World as well as Dr. Fred Luskin’s work (director and founder of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project), and others.

If you would like to walk the fourfold path of forgiving yourself or another person(s) in a prayerful, community environment, please join me as we walk this path together. Sharing the details of your story with others may happen, but is not a requirement, nor is reading a book.

We will meeting five Wednesdays, April 6–May 4 from 6:30–7:45 pm in the Fireside Room. To sign up for the class or if you have questions, please email me.

God’s peace,
Emily

Forgiveness Resources in the Library

  • The Book of Forgiving (5 copies)
  • Forgive for Good (1 copy)
  • The Forgiveness Project (1 copy)
  • The Power of Forgiveness film (1 copy)