TENTATIVE WORSHIP SCHEDULE IS AS FOLLOWS:
9/13 – 9:30 Worship in the Picnic Grove weather permitting.
When weather prohibits our gathering in person we can meet online via Zoom.
September 10, 2020
Do you find it hard to forgive someone who has done something to you others might view as unforgivable?
Rais Bhuiyan was working as a convenience store clerk when he was fired upon by white supremacist Mark Anthony Stroman, a revenge-killer following the 9/11 attacks. Bhuiyan, a practicing Muslim, survived, and after religious reflection forgave his assailant.
Bhuiyan gained media attention after revealing that he would appeal to the court to save Stroman from the death penalty. He told MSNBC, “I’m trying to do my best not to allow the loss of another human life. I’ll knock on every door possible”. He said, “In Islam it says that saving one human life is the same as saving the entire mankind. Since I forgave him, all those principles encouraged me to go even further, and stop his execution and save another human life”.He started a movement named World Without Hate to prevent hate crimes through education and worked with Amnesty International.
Despite the hardships caused by the shooting (Bhuiyan lost sight in one eye and still has shotgun pellets in his face), Bhuiyan forgave Stroman and took up the cause of preventing his execution. Stroman would go on to repudiate his white supremacist beliefs. In an interview with the New York Times, he wrote: “I have The Islamic Community Joining in [my legal defence]…Spearheaded by one Very Remarkable man Named Rais Bhuiyan, Who is a Survivor of My Hate. His deep Islamic Beliefs Have gave him the strength to Forgive the Un-forgiveable … that is truly Inspiring to me, and should be an Example for us all. The Hate, has to stop, we are all in this world together.”
In Sunday’s Gospel lesson, Peter asks Jesus about forgiveness. Read Jesus’ reply in Matthew 18:21-35.
New England Synod Bishop James Hazelwood offers five considerations for reopening. Click to watch the video.