Thursday, July 8, 2010
From our friend, Rev. Randy Smit and Compassionate Connection:
Are you the kind of person who's resistant to jumping on bandwagon's? Me too. However, through several affiliations and friendships, this one keeps coming up and I've grown a little tired of avoiding it. I've signed on, in fact, and encourage you to do the same.
It all started with the 2008 TED prize winner Karen Armstrong. Her wish was to "create, launch and propagate a Charter for Compassion" that could stand as something of a universal declaration of compassion throughout the world. Pooling together some of the finest "thinkers and doers" from around the globe, TED (short for Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a U.S. private non-profit foundation that is best known for its conferences, now held in Europe, Asia the U.S., devoted to what it calls "ideas worth spreading."
Armstrong, and the growing charter community, commit themselves fervently to an interfaith movement of global compassion based upon the practical and timeless Golden Rule, "a principle embraced by every faith and every moral code."
I have thoroughly enjoyed and invite you to explore the Charter for Compassion website, to familiarize yourself with its bold, clear and infectious aspirations for a more peaceful and humane world.
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 centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.
To learn more and to check out the Charter for Compassion video go to www.charterforcompassion.org
June 29, 2010
Celebrating with purpose and pageantry and energized by a buoyant UCC presence, hundreds of LGBT communities across the nation have marched, sung and reflected their way through the June commemoration of Gay Pride.
Tradition held strong in Boston, where the Pride theme of "Riots to Rights - Celebrating 40 Years of Progress" took to various venues. Among the estimated crowd of 35,000 at the Pride parade on June 19, was Sen. Richard Tisei, a gay Republican who is the minority leader of the Massachusetts Senate and a candidate for lieutenant governor of the state. "A lot of people have done a lot of work over the years to get to where we're at as a state, and I'm proud to say I'm from Massachusetts," said Tisei.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick marched in the parade as a candidate for re-election – and as the parent of a lesbian daughter. "We have been working very, very hard to assure true equality for all residents of the commonwealth," said Patrick, whose daughter Katherine is a member of Old South Congregational UCC in Boston.
"I give thanks to God every day for living in a Commonwealth in which queer people are, and are becoming ever more, integrated into its fabric," said the Rev. Quinn G. Caldwell, associate minister of Old South and the church's first openly gay pastor. "I also give thanks for the UCC, with our 350-year commitments to education and dialogue, and our more recent commitments to tolerance and diversity, all in God's name."
Read about the rest of the country at: http://www.ucc.org/news/ucc-messages-of-equality.html?autologin=true
Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival....
...Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery. "The arm of the Lord is not shortened," and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from "the Declaration of Independence," the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age.