The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California Partners with the Charter for Compassion International!
A resolution asking the members of the Diocese to partner with the Charter was presented and passed at last year's annual convention. This resolution called for a partnership with the Charter and a recommendation for all Diocesean churches to explore and affirm the Charter for themselves.
At May's Board of Trustees meeting the resolution was brought to life when members officially began the process of becoming a partner.
Are you interested in becoming a Compassionate Community? Check out this website to learn the steps you may want to take.
What is the Charter for Compassion?
The Charter for Compassion is a cooperative effort to restore not only compassionate thinking but, more importantly, compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life. Compassion is the principled determination to put ourselves in the shoes of the other, and lies at the heart of all religious and ethical systems. One of the most urgent tasks of our generation is to build a global community where men and women of all races, nations and ideologies can live together in peace. In our globalized world, everybody has become our neighbor, and the Golden Rule has become an urgent necessity.
Who Initiated the Charter for Compassion?
History: The Charter for Compassion is the result of Karen Armstrong's 2008 TED Prize wish (Technology, Entertainment, Design). Karen Armstrong is a scholar, writer, and advocate for unity and peace. The TED prize was made possible by the generous support of the Fetzer Institute.
The Charter was unveiled to the world on November 12, 2009. The Charter, crafted by people all over the world and drafted by a multi-faith, multi-national council of thinkers and leaders, seeks to change the conversation so that compassion becomes a key word in public and private discourse, making it clear that any ideology that breeds hatred or contempt ~ be it religious or secular ~ has failed the test of our time. It is not simply a statement of principle; it is above all a summons to creative, practical and sustained action to meet the political, moral, religious, social and cultural problems of our time.
What is Compassion?
Compassion means to “suffer with.” More involved than simple empathy, compassion gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another’s suffering. In ethical terms, it embodies the Golden Rule: “Do to others what you would have them do to you.” Compassion is often regarded as having an emotional aspect to it, but this is not always true. When based on notions such as fairness, justice and interdependence, it is a rational decision to respect the dignity of human beings by treating them with compassion.
Does the Charter for Compassion ask me to alter my own religious beliefs?
No. At the center of all the major religions is the principle of compassion. The Charter for Compassion is a document that transcends religious, ideological, and national differences. Supported by leading thinkers from many traditions, the Charter calls on us to activate the Golden Rule around the world.
How can I find more information on the Charter?
For more information on the Charter, go to: www.charterforcompassion.org
Why is Trinity Church launching the Charter for Compassion in Amador County?
The people of Trinity Church desire to become a more active and visible force in the Amador community and support the building up of our county. Knowing that our county is theologically and politically diverse, Trinity believes that the principle of compassion is a uniting force that strengthens the relationships and health of the various organizations within our county. The purpose of the Charter for Compassion is to encourage civil discourse, tolerance, and compassion within the many organizations, political groups, churches, schools, businesses, and individuals.
What is the actual wording of the Charter for Compassion?
“The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and put another there, and to honor the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.
It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.
We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the center of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.
We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.”
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What does it mean to sign onto the Charter for Compassion?
To sign onto the Charter for Compassion means that you are committing to treat other people with compassion as expressed in the Charter itself. If you are ready to sign on, go to the website and make a commitment:www.charterforcompassion.org.
Who else has signed onto the Charter?
Over 98,000 people, organizations, and cities worldwide have signed onto the Charter. In addition to Peter Gabriel, you might recognize the following names: Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, Sister Joan Chittister, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Kenneth Cole, Swami Dayananda, Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark, H.M. Queen Noor of Jordan, Paul Simon, Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, Professor Robert Thurman, Trinity Episcopal Church, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, Danbury, Connecticut, USA, Gaziantep, Turkey, Groningen, Netherlands, Houston, Texas, USA, Lake County, California, USA, London, Ontario, Canada, Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Millbrae, California, USA, St. Augustine, Florida, USA, Seattle, Washington, USA, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA.
Timeline for Amador County
After launching the Charter for Compassion in 2014, there will be a public ceremony in 2015, honoring those people and organizations who have committed to the Charter.