The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Woodstock is launching a new discussion group based on the book 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life by British writer and former nun Karen Armstrong, author of such acclaimed books as A History of God, The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and The Bible: A Biography.
The year-long discussion group will get under way on Monday, October 24 at 7 P.M. in the UUCW parsonage building, at 115 South Street. Sessions will be held on the last Monday of each month through November 2012. Interested members of the public are invited to join the discussion.
According to Lisa Jacobsen who will coordinate the discussions, “Social Justice begins with the compassion in our own hearts — and can only grow as our capacity to be compassionate increases. In this era of increasingly violent polarization, we invite you to join with members of our local multi-faith community and a large international on-line community to spend the next year in developing your more deeply “compassionate self.’”
Using Armstrong’s book as a guide the group will start with “Learn about Compassion,” and close with “Love Your Enemies.” Each month there will be concrete suggestions for ways to enhance our compassion, develop better listening skills, and to put compassion into action in everyday lives.
Jacobsen says that, “A compassionate life is not a matter of only heart or mind, but a deliberate and life-altering commingling of the two.”
The members of the public can sign up for the discussion by e-mailing Jacobsen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Participation is free.
Copies of Armstrong’s book are available at a discounted price from Read Between the Lynes Bookstore, 129 Van Buren, Woodstock, when you tell them you are a member of the UUCW Reading Group.