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Rev. CTC's Corner
April 2017

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

–Dalai Lama XIV, from The Art of Happiness

Discovering Our Compassion

In her book, Twelve Steps to a More Compassionate Life, author Karen Armstrong explains that before we can provide compassion to others, we must learn and understand exactly what it is. So what does compassion mean? The word means To Suffer With; to have an emotional response of sympathy.

But, it's not just a feeling. When we are compassionate our feelings are combined with an overwhelming desire to help. When we have compassion, we are mindful. We are genuinely moved… we want to take action and help the person who is suffering.

I want you to pay attention to one word in the definition above; the word With. Compassion calls upon us to suffer With someone, to Share their pain and to Suffer together. We don’t just feel the person’s pain from afar, we ache alongside them. Even if we aren’t physically near them, part of us hurts too. This pain is what differentiates between compassion and empathy

Compassion contains a deep desire to help someone else. Compassion is also primarily focused on the individual who is suffering, and not just directed towards an overall or general problem.

Poverty, and the connection between poverty and hunger, hurts my heart. I am specifically concerned about families that cannot afford to feed their children. My concern is not abstract. I think about those children sitting in a classroom having had no breakfast.  But, if I tap into my well of compassion – I don’t just think about these children.  I am motivated to try and make a difference.

Last December I started donating both $$$ and food to the Harford Community Action Agency, Food Pantry and Food Bank. This is an emergency program where families can receive enough wholesome fruits, vegetables, meats, milk products, and breads/pastries to feed their household for 2 – 3 days.

Giving to this group has been a wake-up call for me. While I knew that families were struggling with poverty, until recently I did not connect poverty directly to hungry children. That connection has moved me to try and make an impact on childhood hunger.

This month I urge you to find a place to be still, be intentional and let your desire to help someone rise to the surface. Let compassion guide your words and shift your actions so that they are Grace Full and Grace Filled.

See you in church, Rev. CTC

The Reverend Carol Thomas Cissel, Our Interim Minister

Rev. Carol Thomas Cissel

Welcome Dear Ones,

Welcome to this warm, caring, multigenerational faith community!

UUFHC is a terrific place that thrives on the meaningful participation of members and friends who represent many different walks of life, spiritual pathways, and life experiences.

Whether you have been a part of Unitarian Universalism for many years or you are a new UU, you can find your place in this Welcoming Congregation. In this loving, liberal place there are members, friends, and staff who were raised within our tradition, those who come from other faith backgrounds, and those who have never belonged to a religious community before. Join us… All Are Welcome Here!

Please join us for Sunday Morning Services and Religious Education at 10:30am. If you are not ready to attend a service, stop by after worship at 11:30am for coffee and conversation.

If you are interested, curious or seeking and want to learn more about UUFHC or the Unitarian Universalist faith—I would be more than happy to set up a time during the week to speak with you about this community and the myriad of ways that you might find a spiritual home here.

I hope that I have the chance to get to know you, and if possible your loved ones, much better… very, very soon!

Love & Blessings,


Rev. Carol Thomas Cissel

Office Hours
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10:30 AM to
1:30 PM
10:30 AM to
3:30 PM
12:00 PM to
8:00 PM
Please do not hesitate to call 301-787-7124 | minister@uufhc.net