Mr. Lyndon Harris

Mr. Lyndon Harris
Presentation Title
“9/12” – From Victim to Victor: Healing the Past, Creating the Future through the Power of Forgiveness
Content Focus Area
Organisational Level
Employee Engagement
Biographical information
Lyndon Harris is the Co-director of Tigg’s Pond Retreat Center in Zirconia, NC, where he is developing a Journey to Forgiveness Institute. Harris is also a forgiveness coach, and an inspirational and motivational speaker, having spoken at numerous conferences across the United States and around the world. He served more than 20 years as a pastor and his work at Ground Zero as priest-in-charge of Saint Paul’s Chapel (located directly across from the World Trade Center in New York City) has been written about widely, including the NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Christian Science Monitor. His work in forgiveness is featured in the award winning documentary, “The Power of Forgiveness” (Journey Films 2006).  Harris is also the Executive Director of the Gardens of Forgiveness, an educational non-profit dedicated to teaching the way of forgiveness as tool for conflict transformation and peace making.

“There is no future without forgiveness.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu

My journey to forgiveness began while standing at the foot of the South Tower of the former World Trade Center as it exploded into an apocalyptic fireball on September 11, 2001. Little did I know the extent to which my life would soon change. As the former priest in charge of Saint Paul’s Chapel, directly across the street from the WTC site, and with great help I developed and oversaw an outreach to the workers in GZ, a service that offered massage therapy and chiropractic care, grief counseling and a food service, ultimately serving over 500,000 meals to rescue workers. This, with the assistance of over 15,000 volunteers. But like many traumatized first responders, my life was about to get worse. This is the story of my journey, from the peak experience of serving at GZ, the despair of the post 9/11 fallout, to the healing and new beginnings in my life through the therapeutic intervention based on forgiveness. My journey will serve to shine light on the effectiveness of a therapeutic forgiveness intervention. This astonishing journey to forgiveness started at GZ in NYC, but continued to the war-torn city of Beirut, Lebanon, to post-genocide Rwanda, and to Jerusalem and back. Parts of this journey have been documented in the award-winning film, “The Power of Forgiveness”, sponsored by the Fetzer Institute. The presentation will include original photos that I took, many of which have never been published, and will elucidate the journey to forgiveness as moving from a “victim’s narrative” to a “hero’s journey.”

Session Description
Come hear the harrowing tale of what it was like to be at the foot of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11/01, and lessons learned through the surprising ministry of St. Paul’s Chapel that followed.
Learning Objective 1
1 – Recognize and identify the impact of trauma on a community through first person narrative description
Learning Objective 2
2 – Examine the effectiveness of a forgiveness oriented therapeutic intervention for treating trauma, PTSD and depression
Learning Objective 3
3 – Distinguish between what forgiveness is and is not, and why that’s important in our communities and in the work place.