How do we show mercy when tragedy strikes? How do we speak grace when unspeakable things happen to us or to those we love? How do we train our hearts in a Christ-like manner, to lean toward compassion rather than judgment, when faced with the “others” in our community or neighborhood? Each week, we’ll explore the surprising wideness of mercy…

September 14: …in the Midst of Forgiveness
A young woman’s life is traumatized by a terrible crime. A young man’s life is ruined by false accusation and conviction. After DNA evidence proves the man innocent, a face-to-face meeting leads to an unexpected mercy: reconciliation and friendship between the two. Together they wrote the award-winning book, Picking Cotton. Jennifer Thompson will join us to share her story and her path through the wideness of mercy.

September 21: …Beyond Bars
A local advocate will help us to understand the lives of prisoners, the same prisoners about whom Jesus called his followers to visit and befriend. We will hear from college students who have committed themselves to walking alongside the incarcerated in our community.

September 28: …in Deep Sadness and Great Joy
We will highlight the vast ways God extends mercy at all points of life. One area we will consider is nearing the point of death, when floods of sorrow and other emotions offer opportunities to extend mercy or to receive mercy. We welcome guest speaker, Heidi Gessner, Palliative Care Chaplain at UNC Hospital.

October 5: …in Everyday Life
Every encounter with another person offers us a unique opportunity to extend mercy. In many ways we are each the “other” that longs to be understood, loved, and accepted as we are… shown mercy. Spiritual director and retreat leader Cathy Church Norman will join us this morning as we explore the mercies available to us in everyday life.

October 12: …in God’s Word
Finally, we will engage in a Bible study focused on stories of God’s wide mercy led by Chris Tuttle.

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Look for the most recent postings in Latest News for more details on each session.