We are called to a spiritual, faith response to all we see and experience of division, disrespect, and violence in our world. Jesus clearly saw that lack of forgiveness was a blatant characteristic of his time, and he seems to appreciate how hard it is to forgive absolutely and forever. We have heard his “seventy times seven” answer to how often we must forgive. We heard his prayer on the cross, “Father forgive them…” Jesus makes forgiveness (reconciliation) central to his teaching and action.
It seems worthwhile to go more deeply into this aspect of our faith. This day will deal with an understanding of what forgiveness is , and just as critically, what forgiveness is not. We will consider blocks to forgiveness, the dynamics of forgiveness, and examples of those who have found a way to move into it with courage and grace. All of this is integrated at the conclusion of the day with the “Prayer of Forgiveness”, a special meditation that leads us into an interior personal experience of giving and seeking forgiveness.
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Talk 1. Why is forgiveness needed?
Talk 2. What is forgiveness?
Talk 3. Why is forgiving so difficult?
Lunch (provided at no fee for all participants)
Talk 4. What is compassion and what are my choices for healing?
Closing Meditation: Prayer of Forgiveness
Through the generosity of the Taylor family, CEC is able to present educational programs to the community at no cost to the participants. This is a blessing for us to be able to do this and we thank the Taylor family for their care and concern for this parish and our community. (Read more about the Taylor Fund below.)
Our retreat leader will be Sr. Betty Leon, a teacher, social worker, spiritual leader, pastoral minister, and chaplain. She serves on the staff of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Grosse Ile, MI.
Forgiveness is the fourth CEC Taylor Fund Retreat. Previous events were a book talk and signing of The Other Side of Suffering, by John Ramsey, friend of the parish in the spring of 2012. In the fall of 2012 a Jesus Seminar-on-the-Road about the Parables of Jesus was presented. Last fall the Rev. Christine Humphrey facilitated a retreat Imagination & Faith, a day of looking at literature through the lens of the Bible.
All Taylor Fund retreats are open to the public at no cost thanks to the generous gift of the Taylor family.
In 1997, a fund was established with the Charlevoix County Community Foundation in memory of Charles M. and Joan R. Taylor by their daughter, Ms. Julie Joan Taylor of Little Rock, AK (a former member of the Belvedere Club).
The Taylors had a cottage at the Belvedere Club for many years and enjoyed their summers here in Charlevoix. They were active in the community and our church. Both died in 1996. They had two children: Julia, who established this fund and Charles who was killed in Vietnam at the age of 19.
The earnings from this fund are available to the church for community programs, but not for management or fundraising. We thank the Taylor Family for again providing CEC with the means to present this retreat.
The 2014 Taylor Fund Retreat Series will include a retreat ,”What the World Needs Now . .” led by the Rev. Dr. Kathleen Kircher on Saturday, June 21, 2014.