International Day of Forgiveness
July 7, 2007
In His Shoes, International
Contact: Anita Issagholyan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
7/7/7: World Day of Forgiveness
Local Reconciliation: Global Peace
Glendale, CA -
The In His Shoes Ministries, under the direction of Fr. Vazken Movsesian will be hosting a two day event to recognize July 7, 2007 as the World Day of Forgiveness. The date, 07/07/07 is a symbolic reminder of Jesus’ command to “forgive not only seven times, but 7 x 77.”
This “Forum on Forgiveness” will feature speakers, display and produce art projects as well as screen the new documentary, “Sand and Sorrow,” narrated by George Clooney. All of which is intended to highlight the necessity of forgiveness in achieving world peace.
Benjamin Kayumba, a survivor of the Rwandan Genocide, will be speaking on forgiveness, with reflections and examples from his own life in the aftermath of genocide. Confronting the man who raped his mother and murdered his family, he explains the power of forgiveness in his life and in the process of claiming truth and healing.
On this occasion, the In His Shoes Ministries has named Benjamin Kayumba as “Person of the Year” for his exemplary act of forgiveness in promoting reconciliation.
It was during a trip to Rwanda last year that Fr. Vazken met Kayumba. There they shared many commonalities of faith and life in the face of trauma. It was in the capital city of Kigali that Fr. Vazken discovered the extraordinary museum exhibit dedicated to the Armenian Genocide. “We shared so much. The human stories of Rwanda and Armenia were the same, just the time and places differed. Whereas Armenian women jumped into the Euphrates to escape rape, the Rwandan women threw themselves into the Nile.” The many parallels were documented by Fr. Vazken in web-log called “Rwanda 2006: Armenia 1927” and is now waiting to be published as a book.
Another featured speaker is Leticia Aguirre, whose son Raul was murdered on the streets of Glendale as an innocent by-stander to gang violence. Mrs. Aguirre reflects on the moment she confronted her son’s killer in the courtroom and forgave him. The power of this story has moved many on the road to healing and ultimate reconciliation with life’s injustice.
There will be a hands-on dimension to forgiveness that day, as Linda Maxwell, of We Care for Youth helps develop a Mandala for Peace.
Gregory Beylerian, who produced the 7x77 artwork in 2005, will be at it again as his latest creation will take forgiveness to the outer limits of art. Everyone attending the Forum have an opportunity to be a part of this a memorial and tribute to the day. Beylerian is known in the art community for his expressions which transcend limits and boundaries.
Finally, Gor Mkhitarian, will be offering his unique brand of music and entertainment as a backdrop to forgiveness. Gor, whose music touches the soul of a new generation, is particularly impressed with the workings of the In His Shoes Ministries and will be lending his artistic talents to the project.
The Forum on Forgiveness takes place at the All Saints Church, 132 N. Euclid, Pasadena, California. Admission is $25, which includes t-shirt and lunch. Reservations and registration can be made on-line at www.7x77.org or by calling (818) 244-9711.
The movie, Sand and Sorrow will be screened the night before. There is no charge for the movie, but reservation is a must. Use the 7x77.org website for reservations.
To learn more about this project as well as the entire In His Shoes Ministries, visit www.InHisShoes.org
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