Apr 24 2017

In Our Own Voices: Forgiveness

Published by at 4:30 pm under Minister's Musings

“In Our Own Voices” shares congregants’ free-flowing responses to the theme of the month. We draw these responses from on-line surveys and other meetings. We use them in creating worship, small-group ministry content, and other opportunities for spiritual growth.

The Worship Associates summed up requests for such themes as “Good Enough,” “Imperfection,” and “Mistakes” in May’s theme of “Forgiveness.” How do we forgive ourselves for our mistakes and imperfections? Can we accept ourselves as “good enough,” though far from perfect? What is a “good-enough life”? When and how can we forgive those who hurt us or who harm whole groups of people and creatures?

May these responses stir your own thoughts and actions.

With gratitude for how we grow together,

Rev. Nancy


  • Forgiving myself for the things I’ve done wrong (of which there are many!). Forgiving others who have hurt me. Asking forgiveness from the others whom I have hurt.
  • Forgiveness: easy to say, hard to do. Must forgiveness be earned?
  • Forgiving = For + Giving. What does forgiving give to us?
  • Shame. Seeking peace with myself. Is there anything that can’t be forgiven?
  • Non-religious confession is a powerful spiritual practice!
  • Forgiveness means I made a judgment: someone didn’t meet my standards. How do I live with people who may not share my standards? How do I change my standards?
  • A great resource: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
  • With this theme, I want to hear about Restorative Justice and about Truth and Reconciliation.
  • I have learned there are steps I can take in order to forgive those who have harmed me: self-differentiation (what am I responsible for, and what is theirs to own?); a truth-telling encounter (if that’s possible, and if approached with both broken-openhearted vulnerability and groundedness); “giving the issue or problem back to them” (sometimes I imagine myself handing them back a package—“this is yours; it’s no longer mine”); letting go; and mining what I can learn from the whole experience.

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