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Charter for Compassion | Join the Global Book Club

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Charter for Compassion Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter. April 2, 2016 | As many of you are aware, the Charter for Compassion has an established Compassion Book Club inspired by and built around Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. Many of our members have formed book clubs and discussion groups surrounding this important work. Now, we are hoping to energize and broaden our Compassionate Book Club by inviting members to join in an All-Charter-Book-Read.

How will this work?

We have selected five books. Members can read these books individually, host book clubs, form discussion groups, etc. in our various and wide-spread places of residence. We will allocate several months for the reading of each book and then have the authors of the book lead an on-line discussion of their work generated by your questions.

Charter for Compassion International provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Our mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action in a myriad of sectors.

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This Is How Real Change Happens

  • With your help, we’re building a Summit for 2016 that will truly live up to its mission: world change through faith and justice. 
  • The Summit, June 22-24, 2016, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC

Jim Wallis, Sojourners with real independence and integrity is a rare thing. All reader supported Evergreene Digest relies - exclusively!- on reader donations. Click on the donation button above to make a contribution and support our work.!%22_1.jpg 03-31-2016 | Two years ago, we had an idea: What if we pulled together 300 leaders – from every justice movement and type of work you can think of – for a gathering focused on inspiration, collaboration, and relationships? I meet hundreds of passionate, hardworking leaders every year on the road, and Sojourners partners with even more in our day-to-day work.

We decided to bring them together to The Summit to find out what we could build together that we couldn’t build separately.

The results have been astounding.

Jim Wallis is president of Sojourners. His book, America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, is available now.

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Is Pope Francis’ Abuse Commission A Fail?

For abuse survivors, the move to silence Saunders (a sexual abuse survivor serving on the commission) confirms their fears that the commission was largely a PR tactic. “We never had high hopes for the commission,” David Clohessy of the survivor’s group SNAP told RD. He says church officials “know exactly what should be done in abuse cases” and have “unlimited resources” to do it. “They don’t need advice, they need courage and no commission will give them that,” he said.

Patricia Miller, Religion Dispatches At a time when corporations are buying up elections - not to mention the 24-hour news cycle - help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support all reader supported Evergreene Digest today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner. 

February 10, 2016 | Pope Francis’ formation of a committee to advise him on long-term policies to stem clerical sexual abuse was hailed as a major step forward in the Catholic Church’s bungled handling of the abuse crisis. But an internal crisis within the committee—along with the glacial pace of any reforms—is raising questions about the credibility and effectiveness of the committee going forward.

Over the weekend, Peter Saunders, one of two actual survivors of sexual abuse serving on the committee, was booted off by a nearly unanimous vote of the other members. They asserted that the committee’s role is specifically advisory and limited to developing long-term policies to prevent abuse and that Saunders was upsetting the apple cart by advocating for more immediate action and intervention in specific cases.

Patricia Miller is a Washington, DC–based journalist and the author of Good Catholics: The Battle Over Abortion in the Catholic Church. Her work the intersection of politics, sex and religion has appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, The Nation, Huffington Post, RH Reality Check and Ms. Magazine.

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Bryan Stevenson | The Church Is Complicit in Racial Injustice

The Rationalization of Racial Injustice

Bryan Stevenson, Sojourners Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter.


Sojourners Editor's note: The following is the foreword from Jim Wallis' new book America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America. 

01-20-2016 | Late one night several years ago, I was getting out of my car on an empty midtown Atlanta street when a man standing fifteen feet away pointed a gun at me and threatened to "blow my head off." I had just moved to the neighborhood, which I didn't consider to be a high-crime area. Panicked thoughts raced through my mind as the threat was repeated. I quickly realized that my first instinct to run was misguided and dangerous, so I fearfully raised my hands in helpless, terrifying submission to the barrel of a handgun. I tried to stay calm and begged the man not to shoot me, repeating over and over again, "It's alright, it's okay."

As a young attorney working on criminal cases, I knew that my survival required careful, strategic thinking. I had to stay calm. I'd just returned home from my office with a car filled with legal papers, but I knew the man holding the gun wasn't targeting me because he thought I was a young professional. A young, bearded black man dressed casually in jeans, I didn't look like a lawyer with a Harvard Law School degree to most people; I just looked like a black man in America. I had spent much of my life in the church. I graduated from a Christian college and was steeped in Dr. King's teachings of nonviolence, but none of that mattered to the Atlanta police officer threatening to kill me. To that officer, I looked like a criminal, dangerous and guilty.

Bryan Stevenson is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala., author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, and a professor of law at New York University School of Law. He has won relief for dozens of condemned prisoners, argued five times before the Supreme Court, and won national acclaim for his work challenging bias against the poor and people of color. He has received numerous awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant.

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Sex for “mere pleasure”? Shame on you! — 15 sexual hang-ups we can blame on the Catholic Church

  • I thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty. ~John Waters
  • The Catholic Church is obsessed with sex. Even if you're secular you're not immune from its noxious ideas.

Valerie Tarico, Salon Now you can follow Evergreene Digest on Twitter. Ollyy via Shutterstock)

Sunday, Jan 24, 2016 | The Catholic Church is obsessed with sex: who does it, when, how, with whom, and for what purpose. In fact, I might argue that one of the most fundamental ways the Church hooks people is by creating deep psychological hang-ups about sex, for which it then claims to offer a solution.

Sexual intimacy and sexual pleasure are two of humanity’s most cherished experiences. A recent study showed that sex makes people even happier than Jesus does. The Church knows that. It also knows that forbidding something we crave—making it taboo—can make the craving even stronger. It’s the perfect setup for an institution trafficking in guilt and redemption.

Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, WA. Her articles are popular at, and As a writer Valerie tackles the intersection between religious belief, psychology and politics, with a growing focus on women’s issues and contraceptive technologies that she thinks are upstream game changers for a broad range of challenges that humanity faces.

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Chris Hedges | The Suicide of the Liberal Church

The liberal denominations and their seminaries, by betraying the poor, especially people of color, in a desperate bid to stay financially solvent, are making themselves obsolete.

Chris Hedges, Truthdig Journalism with real independence and integrity is a rare thing. All reader supported Evergreene Digest relies - exclusively!- on reader donations. Click on the donation button above to make a contribution and support our work.  The chapel of The General Theological Seminary in New York City. The seminary, founded in 1817, sold much of its property to developers in recent years. (Julie Jacobson / AP)

 Jan 24, 2016 | Paul Tillich wrote that all institutions, including the church, are inherently demonic. Reinhold Niebuhr asserted that no institution could ever achieve the morality of the individual. Institutions, he warned, to extend their lives when confronted with collapse, will swiftly betray the stances that ostensibly define them. Only individual men and women have the strength to hold fast to virtue when faced with the threat of death. And decaying institutions, including the church, when consumed by fear, swiftly push those endowed with this moral courage and radicalism from their ranks, rendering themselves obsolete.

The wisdom of Tillich and Niebuhr has been borne out in the precipitous decline of the liberal church and the seminaries and divinity schools that train religious scholars and clergy. Faced with shrinking or nonexistent endowments, mounting debts, dwindling memberships, a lack of employment for their graduates and growing irrelevancy in a society that has little use for tepid church piety and the smug arrogance that comes with it, these institutions have fallen into physical and moral decay.

Chris Hedges, a weekly columnist for Truthdig, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has reported from more than 50 countries, specializing in American politics and society.

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An Open Letter to Black Clergy on the Disdain for Protest

The disdain for protest within our blessed community has troubled my spirit to the point that I cannot sleep. It is with great trepidation that I write you as your son—heavy-hearted and ashamed.

Osagyefo Sekou, Religion Dispatches To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest. of Ferguson vigil courtesy flickr user Gerry Lauzon

December 18, 2015 | Advent is upon us as we await the coming of the world’s most famous Palestinian—Jesus of Nazareth. In this time that’s dedicated to a poor child born to an unwed mother, my conscience has forced my hand to the page.

The disdain for protest within our blessed community has troubled my spirit to the point that I cannot sleep. It is with great trepidation that I write you as your son—heavy-hearted and ashamed.

Having been baptized into the faith at 15, my formative years were shaped by the best of the black preaching tradition. In pure awe, I watched you hold congregations in the palm of your hand with rhetorical flourishes, giving a beat-down-people strength to live another day. Your words helped to re-constitute an assaulted black self—with respectability, dignity and self-determination.

Osagyefo Sekou is the inaugural Bayard Fellow with the Fellowship of Reconciliation and a Scholar-in-Residence at Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute.

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