In my faith tradition, this reflection comes from Philippians 2:1:
“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from HIS love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate?”
The definition of EMPATHY is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person.
The Biblical definition of COMPASSION is to emphasize with someone who is suffering and to feel COMPELLED to reduce their suffering.
However, for Together Colorado, more than empathy and compassion is needed; we MUST be an anti-racist organization. What does anti-racist mean? Here’s one definition I believe encompasses Together Colorado: “A belief or practice that recognizes pervasive racism in society, and actively combats racial prejudice and discrimination in order to promote racial justice and equality.”
We have been moving toward becoming an anti-racist organization for over seven years and have been looking at our work through a racial lens. When we look at the “craziness” going on in this country, are we really seeing beyond the smoke and mirrors, do we see what’s happening? Do we understand that all systems in this country are set up to prevent a portion of this country from living their lives safely and thriving like they should? My prayer is that we do see it!
As people of faith, no matter what our tradition, all of us believe in empathy, compassion, and justice. So, with that said, if you aren’t already involved in some local or federated work in Together Colorado, now’s the time. Check with your organizer to see what opportunities are available. We welcome you! There is plenty of work to do as communities are suffering and there is no time to waste. There’s always room for more!
WE ARE FIGHTING TO CREATE THE BELOVED COMMUNITY, JOIN US NOW!
– Sharon R. Bridgeforth
Former Together Colorado Organizer
Former President of the Together Colorado Board
President of Faith in Colorado