Former worker from Ground Zero to speak Nov. 4

Published 8:00 am Thursday, October 18, 2018

On Sunday, Nov. 4, international inspirational speaker, Lyndon Harris, will address Tryon’s Unitarian Universalist fellowship 10:30am service about how his work at Ground Zero as the former priest-in-charge of Saint Paul’s Chapel, directly across the street from the World Trade Center, inspired him to become a forgiveness coach and peace activist. He will cover his journey to forgiveness and its powerful benefits for individuals and communities in his talk “9/12 — From Victim to Victor: Healing the past and creating the future through the power of forgiveness.” 

Lyndon Harris

Harris says, “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. With help, we developed and oversaw outreach to the workers at Ground Zero, providing massage therapy and chiropractic care; grief counseling; and over 500,000 meals to rescue workers.”

But like many traumatized first responders, Harris had to deal with post 9/11 despair and began to search for healing. Clinging to Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s wise quote, “There is no future without forgiveness,” he found new beginnings through therapeutic intervention based on forgiveness, on a journey to the war-torn city of Beirut, Lebanon; the post-genocide Rwanda; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Jerusalem; and to Los Angeles.

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Now living in Zirconia, N.C., with his wife, Maria Lund, Harris is the co-director of the Tigg’s Pond Retreat Center in Zirconia and the executive director of Gardens of Forgiveness. His work at Ground Zero is written about widely, including: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor, and Die Zeit (Hamburg) and is also featured in the award-winning documentary, “The Power of Forgiveness” (Journey Films 2006).

The meeting on November 4 at 10:30 a.m. at 835 N. Trade St., is free and open to the public. Coffee and refreshments will be served afterwards.

The Thermal Belt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (TBUUF) currently holds services on the first and third Sundays of each month.

For information, call 828 513-0570 or visit

– Submitted by Robin Edgar