Friday, July 13, 2012

[I'm sorry]

"Sorry seems to be the hardest word" – a line from one of the songs that played on the radio when I was growing up – is true of churches as well as individuals. But there are exceptions....

Here's an exciting story about Christians in Winnipeg stepping forward to say sorry to those they have hurt:

"On Sunday, June 3, a group of Christians from Little Flowers Community and Hope Mennonite Church said sorry to the lgbt people who have been hurt by the hatred and discrimination they've experienced from Christians and churches over the years. They went to Winnipeg's Pride Parade to "offer an unqualified, sincere apology."
The response was humbling. Hundreds of people marching in the parade stopped to thank us, hug us, take pictures and ask questions. However, most moving for me was the people who shouted out, “We forgive you!”. We were a small group and did not try to bring too much attention to ourselves (as the day was not about us), but made an intentional effort to let these neighbours know that we know we have done poorly and seek their forgiveness. That message seemed to be well received."
Read more about this, including concerns that some Christian communities expressed about participating and why saying sorry isn't enough, in the full post Why We're Sorry and Why It's Not Enough by Jamie Arpin-Ricci, "an urban missionary, pastor, church planter and writer living in Winnipeg’s inner city West End neighbourhood."

How often do we say sorry to one another?

How rarely do we see institutions such as churches and governments admitting wrong and saying sorry? Can you remember a time? The one that comes to my mind is when in 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a formal public apology to former students of the native residential schools. Perhaps you know of some?

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