The Very Reverend Todd Donatelli

Letter Bombs, Reconciliation, and Liberation

Posted By Todd Donatelli on September 04, 2015

Guest Preacher The Rev. Michael Lapsley, Sunday, September 13

I have had numerous responses to the blog about Bishop Paul Jones in which the question was asked, what does it take to speak convictions and remain in relationship? The difficulty of this was a theme throughout the responses. It is a question with which our guest preacher on Sunday, September 13, The Rev. Michael Lapsley is not only familiar, but one he has sought to live out for the past four decades from South Africa to North Carolina.

In the early 1970’s Michael served as the Anglican chaplain to students at both black and white universities in Durban, South Africa.  From his experience he began to speak out about the reality of students and schoolchildren who were being shot, detained and tortured. For his stand taking he was expelled from the country. He continued his work of speaking against apartheid through the 1980’s and in 1990’s.

Months after Nelson Mandela was freed in 1990, Father Lapsley opened a letter sent in the mail which blew off both hands and took the sight from one eye. It had been sent from remnants of South Africa’s apartheid forces.  In his book, Redeeming the Past: My Journey from Freedom Fighter to Healer, he states he “has never made a distinction between human liberation and my Christian witness.”

Three years after the letter bomb he created The Trauma Centre for Victims of Violence and Torture in Cape Town, and began an international Healing of Memories program. Its vision is, as St. Teresa of Avila put it, to be Christ’s hands in the world.
Please join us on Sunday, September 13 as Father Lapsley preaches at 9:00 and 11:15 a.m. and speaks in the Adult Forum at 10:10 a.m.

All Souls is grateful to be teaming with The Fellowship of Reconciliation in bringing Michael Lapsley to Asheville and other cities in North Carolina.

How do we speak our convictions and remain in relationship? Michael Lapsley has some ideas.