Imagine: World Without Forgiveness…

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[New York News]

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, even after all the battles he’s engaged in, still has remarkable energy as he proved during a recent whirlwind of events while in New York City.

There was the opening and dedication of the Desmond Tutu Education Center, September 9, followed by three days of the “Reconciliation at the Roundtable.”

No less than 24 conferences were held for guests and members, including a session by Tutu.  “Can there ever be a future without forgiveness?” Tutu asked from the podium, dressed in a  green tunic. That was the theme of the entire evening and it was a question and thought the audience was meant to carry with it.

“Forgiveness is wanting to give another a chance—a new beginning,” Tutu said.

It’s something he has become famous for, as one of the prime architects of South Africa’s Truth And Reconciliation Commission, meant to heal the wounds of apartheid, by having the perpetrators of the worst crimes owning up publicly and asking forgiveness.

“How would we learn that we should sit down not with our friends, but with these insufferable creatures, our enemies?” Tutu asked of the silent and reflective audience.  “This is God’s world and God is in charge.”

“The only way we can survive is together. The only way we can be prosperous is together. There is no future without forgiveness,” Tutu’s word rang in the air.

Desmond Mpilo Tutu has traveled a long way from his humble beginning, October 2, 1931, in Klerksdorp, Transvaal. He was the first African elected as the Archbishop of Cape Town, and used that podium to become a powerful force against apartheid in South Africa.

Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and is today regarded as one of the most notable moral voices for global peace and reconciliation.

The Desmond Tutu Education Center will adopt his teachings and conduct various workshops intended to continue his message of hope through forgiveness.

After the ribbon cutting by Tutu, 60 doves were released.

Guests included Rev. Ward B. Ewing, Dean of the Seminary, Sam Waterston, who serves as the capital campaign chairman, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori and many others who provided a warm salutation to the center.

“My hope is that the center would be a loud speaker and magnet for Tutu’s ideas,” Waterston said.

The $27 million center includes 8,210 square feet of meeting spaces, seven conference rooms and a beautifully spaced courtyard called The Close that holds up to 400 people.

There are 80 beds and 60 rooms, fully equipped with amenities to make a guest’s stay comfortable as they enjoy workshops taught throughout the day. In total, the center is 60,000 square-feet.

“I think it is a wonderful opportunity, it is especially great to have the center held in New York,” noted a guest, Diane Pollard.  

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