Happy July!

A selfless deed, witnessed up close, is like a lamp blazing up from darkness before your pupils can adjust.
– Marc Ian Barasch

Activities around the Charter continue to inspire us. We thank you all for your commitment to a more compassionate life, individually and in community. With recent support from the Fetzer Institute, the Charter team is focused on increasing the awareness of the Charter and specific initiatives around 1) congregational life and interfaith dialogue; 2) youth initiatives; and 3) developing compassionate communities, cities, organizations. More on this work will be shared in the coming months.

The Presbyterian Church PC(USA) Becomes First Denomination to Adopt the Charter
Pastor Mark Greiner of Takoma Park Presbyterian Church in MD was the driving force behind the Presbyterian Church’s decision to affirm the Charter this month. He brought the Charter before the church’s General Assembly, which sets policy for the PC(USA) and consists of more than 700 delegates from across the country (plus scores of international, ecumenical, interfaith and youth advisors).  The PC(USA) will send the Charter to every congregation, where it will be used to help embody compassion in education, worship, and community events. Congregations are already using the Charter as a focus for adult education classes and plan to invite a diverse array of religious leaders to share with the PC(USA)’s congregations how compassion is lived in their own traditions. Karen Armstrong was thrilled to hear the news. “My wish was for people to hear the compassionate voic e of religion. I wanted to change the conversation and bring compassion to the forefront of people’s attention,” she said. “The PC(USA) is taking the first major step in helping to spread the message of the Charter across all faith traditions. This is just the beginning. From here, the possibilities are endless.”

More News from Australia
Following the Charter’s great success last month in Parliament, Waverly Council, home to world famous Bondi Beach adopted the Charter this month. Danielle Lauren, who drove the Charter initiative in Sydney will be working with the Council to implement the Charter throughout the region.

A Compassionate Life in 12 Steps
Following the successful launch of Karen Armstrong’s new VOOK, fans of the Charter have been sharing their own take on living a compassionate life.

Here are a few:

Pam: “I think it’s important to remember that we affect things with each person we encounter during the day, not just the ones we KNOW we’re influencing, but each person. Are we patient with someone else who is NOT having such a good day?”

Lillie: “Compassion begins with forgiving and accepting and loving oneself; then we can let that forgiveness, love and acceptance radiate from us to others.”

Bryan: “Compassion is not the same as pity, nor should it be reduced to simple courtesy. Compassion and self-promotion cannot fit in the same vessel. Compassion starts with the realization that I need way more than I could ever give. It involves recognizing and publicizing the examples I receive more than those I offer.”

Read more and share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

Karen Armstrong lectures at the Chautauqua Institution
Keynoted by Professor Diana Eck, founder and director of Harvard’s Pluralism Project, and concluded by Karen Armstrong, the world’s most prolific author on the world’s religions, the 2pm Interfaith Lecture Series at the Chautauqua Institution will explore the relevance to our shared future of the world’s great religions.