The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world. — Marianne Williamson

IN TODAY'S SESSION...

We affirmed the value of forgiving people who break the rules of a community. We explored the idea of expressing righteous anger when we have been hurt by someone, seeking that person's sincere apology, and then letting go of the anger by offering sincere forgiveness. The practices we used in this session can be used in daily life.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about...

Ask your child what they found most meaningful about their religious education session today—having this conversation directly afterward tends to yield the most information. You might ask, "What do you think about forgiveness?" Ask them whether and how they have been hurt by someone whose apology they seek. Ask them what it would take for them to forgive that person. Ask them what practices they learned today that might help them. Share about a time you have sought forgiveness when you knew you had hurt or wronged someone. Share about at time you forgave someone else. Be honest about how forgiving and seeking forgiveness have been challenging or rewarding for you.

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try...

Have each member of the family write a forgiveness letter to someone else. Invite everyone to prepare by writing their feelings of hurt or betrayal first, then writing an imaginary apology from the person who hurt them. These writings should stay private; it may be a good idea to rip them up.

Then, each person writes a sincere letter of forgiveness, or a letter that says they want to forgive the person (but are not yet ready). If there are young members of the family who haven't learned to write yet, ask them to talk about forgiving someone who hurt their feelings. Share the forgiveness letters with each other. Affirm that forgiveness is important for a healthy family.

FAMILY DISCOVERY

Find out online what a group called the Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance does to promote forgiveness, including a day in August for local celebrations of forgiveness and a web page of " forgiveness heroes ."

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.