Spirit Matters by Shirley Barr – Common Ground – February 16, 2013

Spirit Matters by Shirley Barr – Common Ground – February 16, 2013

Spirit matters logoCFN– A couple of Sundays ago (February 3), a magical meeting took place in Cornwall, organized by the Cornwall Interfaith Partnership (CIP). The meeting was a celebration of World Interfaith Harmony week with the theme of Common Word- Common Ground- Common Good. The CIP arranged an evening meal shared with diverse people of different religions, ages and interests. The central idea of the meeting which drew around 85 people like a magnet: finding some common ground in order to  increase compassion in the community.

The original idea came from a talk on the TED (Technology, Education and Design) channel where religious scholar and writer Karen Armstrong presented her idea of how to help make the world better. She outlined the Charter for Compassion which she describes in the following video:

http://www.ted.com/talks/karen_armstrong_makes_her_ted_prize_wish_the_charter_for_compassion.html

We watched the video and then organized into small groups to discuss the ideas that stood out for us during the talk. The fact that so many people would take the time to come together and share their passion for the betterment of their community was impressive. This is the heart of community development. At one point it was mentioned that our religious leaders should be the ones who take the role of championing compassion as a way forward out of the tensions between us. This was countered by the group realizing that, in fact, we are the leaders because we were the ones who had showed up with our hearts filled with the desire to make a change, to cause a shift in how we all work together! It was a joy-filled moment where we looked at each other with new eyes and immediately started to make plans to get together regularly to bring our own Charter for Compassion to reality in our region. You can see the pictures of the event at the following LINK

I am excited about this meeting because it was a coming together of a profound desire to manifest unity in the form of compassion. I was explaining the concept of compassion to a 15-year-old Inuk friend and describing how it is a quality that encompasses justice, equity, kindness and love; compassion brings them all together in  a unique configuration of spiritual muscular strength. My friend’s face became illumined as she realized that she had this capacity within herself; she could tap into this and gain a new sense of identity. We talked about the idea of compassion starting with ourselves – the concept of self-compassion as a starting point. My beautiful friend said these words:

“ We are taught to have self-esteem but I feel that is materialistic as compared to self-compassion which is spiritual. It’s a whole different experience”.

Shirley lives and works in Cornwall Ontario and is a member of the Baha’i Community.

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9 Comments on "Spirit Matters by Shirley Barr – Common Ground – February 16, 2013"

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tnpreacher555
Member
“finding some common ground in order to increase compassion in the community” – in the Holy Scriptures this principle prevails – truth brings unity. So you would naturally think falsehood would bring disunity. But what happens when falsehood is believed to be the truth? What is the end result? The Cornwall Interfaith Partnership! Back in the book of Genesis is the account of the building of the tower of Babel. All that worked on the tower could speak only one language. This unity of work was in total opposition to God’s revealed truth and will as revealed in the Bible.… Read more »
Ed
Member

@ Shirley. It sounds like a very positive event that can’t help but break down misconceptions and barriers between the many faith groups in your community. I am not permitted to comment about Mr. Newtons posts on this site, so I will only say this… Please, Shirley, don’t worry about burning in hell for communicating with, or getting to know people of different religious beliefs.

Ed
Member

That’s funny Admin. Mr Newton can declare on this site that Shirley and everyone else who attended the Common Ground get-together will burn in hell. Disputing Mr. Newton’s hateful BS is baiting? Yes I know. This comment will be blocked as well.

Ed
Member

Ban me. {MODERATED} yourself.

Shirley
Guest
Well, good morning Gentlemen! I see you are in fine fettle! It seems to me that for the world to become a better place for all to live (humans and all other beings in the natural world) leadership must include everyone. That is what religion is about at its root. It’s what religion has been about from the beginning, and, it will continue to be about connecting humans to the divine for eternity. People need to distinguish between the true and the false. Truth brings unity and includes endless diversity; the false causes separation and “otherness”, a sense of superiority,… Read more »
tnpreacher555
Member
Shirley writes – “Truth brings unity and includes endless diversity; the false causes separation and “otherness”, a sense of superiority, prejudice, and other nasty side effects”. Shirley, did you think of this or did you copy this from one of your spiritual advisers? I guess when the Lord Jesus declares – “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”, You would have to assign Him to – “the false causes separation and ‘otherness’, a sense of superiority, prejudice, and other nasty side effects” group? How could such a One declare… Read more »
bella-b
Guest

Tom, you are the falsest of prophets, and therefore hold no authority over anyone and have no place in judging anyones beliefs. Please stop with your wickedness and bloviating. Please put the stones down fellow sinner, and leave the judgement to the One who truly loves and forgives.

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