By Linda Sherry
In these stressful, isolated and changing times, what can/do we do with our sense of compassion? Maybe it’s compassion for our individual selves that is called for right now, or perhaps focusing on what’s happening within our own community?  Whether it comes in the form of sickness and job loss or loneliness, stress and worry, suffering has taken up residence in so many of our homes. Compassion is needed now more than ever.

The June 2020 theme for worship, RE, and small groups at WUUC is: What Does It Mean to be a People of COMPASSION?  Our monthly themes and resource materials come from Soul Matters Sharing Circle, a network of Unitarian Universalist congregations.  A small sample of thoughts to ponder about compassion from Soul Matters:

  • Compassion is different from empathy, which is the “mirroring or understanding of another’s emotion.”  Empathy is feeling; compassion is action.      Jeremy Smith
  • Were we to meet this figure socially… (sic) …  we might think that something terrible had happened to him. That he was living in the aftermath, in the fallout of some catastrophe. And we would be right.
    -Adam Phillips
  • I still believe that having compassion for others is not the same as saying that the harm they cause is ok. Empathy is not exoneration.      -Nadia Bolz-Webe
  • “Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others.”   
    -Andrew Boyd
  • The purpose of the journey is compassion.  When you have come past all the pairs of opposites you have reached compassion. 
    -Joseph Campbell
  • A friend pointed out to me that many of us are on a lower step of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need than we were a few months ago.  Take time to listen to one another.  Truly listening is an act of compassion.    -Linda Sherry

As we join in community, whether in our worship services or in our smaller conversations, let’s take time to consider how our compassion is acting out in our lives. 

For spiritual materials on our monthly theme, go to