For Your Consideration
The Touchstones Project
An Intriguing Way
of Doing Church
A Unitarian Universalist congregation can transform the people it serves, inspiring them to help transform the world. This requires an intentional, sustained, integrated, holistic process of deepening that informs, nurtures, and challenges.
Please note that the materials can easily be adapted for use by all liberal, progressive congregations.
Developed over eight years, the Touchstones Project has been dramatically expanded to make a meaningful difference in people's lives: those within your congregation and those who live in the community that your congregation serves.
We invite you:
1. To browse our website to learn how
what we offer can transform
2. To request our materials for the
theme of beauty to facilitate a
comprehensive review by your staff and key volunteers.
3. To schedule a conference call with
us so that we can answer any
questions that you and others
4. To order a trial subscription for
three months to implement and
evaluate our program.
5. To become a member of the
Touchstones community by
extending your subscription for the
balance of the program year, which
ends in August of each year.
Click here for information about subscriptions.
Compassion is a significant part of our second principle. Compassion comes from two Latin roots: com meaning “together” and pati meaning “to suffer.” It is part of a continuum that begins with sympathy—feeling pity for—and moves to empathy—feeling with. We are born with a disposition toward compassion, but it is a disposition that must be cultivated and deepened.
Where Does Compassion Really Come From?
“Can compassion be learned? The answer is yes! Sometimes, all it takes is truly paying attention to the people around us. Visit happify.com for guided meditations and fun activities to help you build compassion for yourself and others.” (length 2:33)
The Nature of Compassion
by Aura Glaser
Compassion is the basis of connection, intimacy, openness, kindness, hospitality, and joy. It is an expression of human freedom, flowing from a sound intuition of the unity of life and all living things. [Stephen Batchelor says,] “Even when we are physically alone and experiencing loneliness we are still essentially with others; indeed, the very fact that we can feel lonely indicates that participation is a basic structural element in our being.”
…Compassion is at once both deeply personal and thoroughly social. It is the finest expression of our relationship to self and others. It begins with a willingness to open to ourselves and to life as it is. …Compassion is, in part, a practice of unconditional presence. Being unconditionally present means not only seeing ourselves and others, but feeling ourselves and others.
...Compassion dissolves barriers and distance. Unlike pity, [Rimpoche Nawang Gehlek says] “compassion has the quality of respect.” The Dalai Lama …[reminds] us of the profound similarity we have to others, and the respect we need to cultivate toward those who are downtrodden, impoverished, or beleaguered. “Try not to think of yourself as better than even the humblest beggar,” he entreats. “You will look the same in your grave.”
Compassion is the foundation, process, and goal of psychological health and wholeness. It grounds and guides us, and is the fruit of psychological work. Joseph Campbell refers to it as “the purpose of the journey.”
Like our Facebook Page where we post something inspirational each day related to the theme.
Our theme-year began in
September 2019. Please see the
attached flyer for information about
the themes for the coming year.
Annual theme for 2019-2020
Building Beloved Community