St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Ridgefield, CT 203.438.3789

April 9, 2019

Belonging with Purpose- Forgiveness*

One of the most significant teachings of Jesus centers on forgiveness.  In what we call The Lord’s Prayer, he instructs his disciples to pray “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.”  This is no easy task.

The Rev. Petero Sabune knows of its difficulty.  Forgiveness has been an active part of his daily life for several decades.  His work with inmates in Sing Sing, from which he recently retired, continuously provided him the opportunity to live forgiveness.  His own experience of the torture and murder of several of his family members brought the evil of hate always close.  The Rev. Sabune writes about this in his blog for The Huffington Post in 2015. 

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/forgive-why-not_b_6565856

This Sunday, April 14, The Rev. Sabune will speak about living forgiveness in a forum following 10am worship.  Please plan to join us in Rector’s Hall at approximately 11:30am to hear and dialogue about forgiveness.  The Rev. Sabune will speak from his experience of traveling to Rwanda in 2007-2009 with Catholic and Muslim chaplains from Sing Sing.  Over the years they visited 10 prisons where priests and ministers were incarcerated for having taken part in the 1994 Genocide.  These trips were made possible from a grant from Trinity, Wall Street.  Within the last couple of years, Sabune has served as adjunct faculty at The General Theological Seminary, leading a pilgrimage with students to visit Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as incorporating them into his ministry at Sing Sing.  Recently, February 25-March 2 of this year, he continued his work on forgiveness at Bishop Okullu Theological Seminary in Kisumu, Kenya and Rebirth Ministry in Harare, Zimbabwe. 

As you prepare for the conversation that he will make possible on April 14, I invite you to read the article on Forgiveness above, as well as his reflection on Prayer (below).

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sing-sing-prison-and-the_b_604610

The Rev. Sabune will also preach at both services.

Bonus: on April 9, WNYC Morning Edition had the following news story:

http://www.wnyc.org/story/after-the-genocide-author-witnessed-how-rwandans-defined-forgiveness/

*Belonging with Purpose is a weekly news update of how our purpose is being reflected through the collective and individual lives of St. Stephen’s.  If you have a story or experience that you believe illustrates our Vision and Mission, please send it to Ginny Fitzpatrick, gfitzpatrick@ststephens-ridgefield.org  The staff works together to create a schedule for highlighting our ministry as St. Stephen’s Church.

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