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Our Inspiration

OUR PERSONAL JOURNEYS

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AUBURN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY: FACE TO FACE/FAITH TO FAITH

Since 2001, Face to Face | Faith to Faith has brought together hundreds of Christian, Jewish and Muslim teenagers from Northern Ireland, the Middle East, South Africa, and the U.S. to develop a new generation of leaders able to negotiate a multifaith global society.

Face to Face | Faith to Faith strives to meet these goals:
1. To challenge participants to safely engage conflict and explore identity in an ongoing process of building mutual understanding, trust and empathy; and
2. To nurture faith-informed leaders with tools to build a more just and peaceful world

Face to Face | Faith to Faith participants commit to an exciting year-long international program. Face to Face / Faith to Faith operates in four different regions of the world:

 

The program is composed of three phases:

Phase I – Pre-Intensive: five months in the home country. Participants meet in their regions on a regular basis. Activities include dialogue, educational programs, and local service projects.

Phase II – Summer Intensive (early July): participants from the four regions around the world come together in a camp-like setting for two weeks in Holmes, New York.

Phase III – Follow-up: for six months, participants meet regularly in their home regions to integrate their new skills and experiences into their lives back home, and engage in personal and group leadership projects.

http://www.auburnseminary.org/facetoface?par=20

GOAL: Giving Opportunity to Aspiring Leaders

The GOAL Trust seeks to unlock the leadership potential in young South Africans through programmes and partnerships that equips them to successfully engage their current and future environments.

Mission

Instilling a sense of integrity
Building dignity of self
Creating a community through partnerships
Unlocking potential
Developing dynamic, innovative visionaries

Aim

The GOAL Trust is a youth empowerment trust which aims to increase responsible citizenship and develop the leadership capacity in young South Africans.

Ethos and methodology

To prepare young people in their communities to mobilise other young people around positive and empowering activities and practices that will assist them to develop skills in their social realm and the environment, and become active within their communities. This is achieved through intensive personal development, participation in a range of developmental practices and networking and interaction with other positive role models.

http://www.goaltrust.org/

THE CHARTER FOR COMPASSION

Unveiled by Karen Armstrong in 2009, the Charter of 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.

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.

The Charter reads as follows:

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.

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 centre 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 a 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 peaceful global community.

http://charterforcompassion.org/

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