UPCOMING MONTHLY SERVICE DATES ARE   12/26/21, 01/23/22, 02/27/22, 3/27/22 > REGISTER HERE

Plants and flowers with white buds - Image by Annie Spratt

Interfaith. Interspiritual. Interspecies.



The next Compassion Consortium Spiritual Service will be held at 4:00 pm EDT on December 26. Each service includes immersive spiritual practices – such as musical reflection, meditation, prayer, and loving-kindness – as well as spiritual conversation with a special guest.
The special guest for our December spiritual conversation will be author Keith Akers. Please join us for a discussion of the historical Jesus, the roots of Christianity and the earliest Jewish followers of Jesus: the Essenes, Ebionites and Nazoreans. We also will explore with Keith the question of whether Jesus was a vegetarian, and why the answer to this question matters in today’s world. 

Keith Akers is a writer and vegan activist. He is the author of three books: Disciples: How Jewish Christianity Shaped Jesus and Shattered the Church; The Lost Religion of Jesus: Simple Living and Nonviolence in Early Christianity; and A Vegetarian Sourcebook. For his current writing project, he is working on a book on the environmental crisis, tentatively titled Embracing Limits. 

A book about the disciples of Jesus would typically start with Jesus himself: first there was Jesus, then he had disciples. In Disciples, Keith suggests a fundamentally different story: first there was a movement, then Jesus emerged as its leader. This movement was markedly different from both rabbinic Judaism and gentile Christianity. It became known to history as "Jewish Christianity" - Jews who followed both Jesus (as they understood him) and the Jewish law (as they understood it). Their interpretation of the teachings of Jesus was based on the principles of simple living, nonviolence, and vegetarianism, and the rejection of wealth, war, and animal sacrifices. Some two decades after Jesus was crucified, they split with their most famous missionary, Paul, in part over the issues of vegetarianism and eating meat from animal sacrifices. 

These earliest followers of Jesus, who personally knew and understood Jesus better than any of the early gentile Christian groups, are the unacknowledged spiritual ancestors of modern Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox churches. In The Lost Religion of Jesus, Keith discusses the history of Jewish Christianity from its origins in the Essenes and John the Baptist, through the Ebionites and Nazoreans and their relationship with Jesus, until its disappearance into Islamic mysticism sometime in the seventh or eighth century.

Akers argues that only by really understanding this mysterious and much misunderstood strand of early Christianity can we get to the heart of the radical message of Jesus of Nazareth.

Please visit Compassionate Spirit | Simple living and veganism in a world of limits to learn more about Keith, his books and his activism.


When: The Fourth Sunday of each month (see upcoming dates at top of this page)

  • Service from 4 pm - 5:30 pm U.S. Eastern Time

  • Fellowship is available after the service

How: Currently via Zoom. Register for link.

Why:  We recognize that many people do not see their deeply rooted compassion for all creatures reflected in some houses of worship and that some people have left their religion of birth or choice for this reason. The Compassion Consortium is here to supplement this "missing piece" for persons who are part of another religious or spiritual community, and those who are not. We welcome participants of all faiths or none. Learn more about us.


Creative programming: Each month's program is unique, and features either a solo presentation or panel discussion with experts from various religious and philosophical traditions who share the conviction that all living kind, and the planet itself, deserve respect, justice, and loving kindness. View replays of our past services here,


Spiritual practices: Each service also includes elements of traditional worship services—such as music, meditation, and movement. We hope these practices help each participant personally express faith, gratitude, and celebration to the degree that they wish to participate.


4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Eastern time

Guided by: 

William Melton

 Reverend Sarah Bowen

Victoria Moran

Reverend Erika Allison

 Welcome and Introduction


The Compassion Consortium Tenets of Agreement 

Song of Compassion

Interspecies Spiritual Practice


Conversation with Guest Speaker

Compassion in Action: A Short Story


Blessings & Prayers

Closing Song

Spiritual Fellowship & Open Discussion 



The Compassion Consortium is being organized pursuant to the New York Not-for Profit Corporation Law and Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (pending), and will operate as a not-for-profit spiritual and educational fellowship. Accordingly, we request that political, partisan and lobbying discussions and activities be avoided in the Consortium’s activities, forums and social media platforms. We also request that all discussions, input and contributions be conducted with decorum and in a positive spirit of respect, tolerance, civility and harmony.