NICO (Northwest Interfaith Community Outreach) is committed to Celebrating Spirit Through Interfaith Collaboration and Compassionate Action for Justice in the World. Together with CAN (Compassionate Action Network), we are committed to cultivating an InterSpiritual, community-wide movement grounded in practical, compassionate action for the Common Good. The reality is there is much work to be done to realize these goals and we need more models of how to transcend the church documents, canons, scriptures and customs that so often represent hurdles to authentic dialogue.
One experiment that holds promise is that of the Global Peace Initiative of Women (www.gpiw.org
). Their recent summit (Gathering the Spiritual Voice of America To Deepen Our Knowing of Oneness and Our Compassion as a Nation) convened leaders and practitioners from all the world's great contemplative traditions to consider what it means to move from "Contemplative Wisdom to Compassionate Action." Sr. Joan Chittister offers her perspectives on the summit in the attached article and full details are available on the summit website: http://gpiw.org/aspen.html
Could it be that by focusing on the healing functions of contemplation and compassion, the nutrients of all our religious and spiritual traditions, we can help scale ecumenical/interfaith/InterSpiritual collaboration to a level of significant practical influence in our communities and the world?
What are your thoughts? What possibilities can you imagine? If this is a priority for you, how would you suggest we frame an authentic local initiative?