UPCOMING MONTHLY SERVICE DATES ARE 2/26, 3/26, 4/23> REGISTER HERE
Interfaith. Interspiritual. Interspecies.
AT OUR NEXT SUNDAY SERVICE...
Candace Laughinghouse joins us
Sunday, February 26 at 4pm Eastern
Each service includes immersive spiritual practices—such as musical reflection, meditation, prayer, and loving-kindness—as well as a spiritual conversation with a special guest.
On February 26, 2023, at 4:00 pm ET, the Compassion Consortium will present our special spiritual guest Candace Laughinghouse. a PhD Candidate at the Chicago Theological Seminary in theology and ethics, a professor of theology, and in the forefront of eco-womanism theology, and changing the conversation about animal rights in theological and religious circles.
Candace Laughinghouse is a PhD Candidate at the Chicago Theological Seminary in theology and ethics, a professor of theology, and in the forefront of eco-womanism theology, and changing the conversation about animal rights in theological and religious circles. And she's the mother of three young girls. Growing up in Oakland California, Laughinghouse was raised in the folds of the Pentecostal tradition, in a church started by her great-grandfather. Her grandfather and father were both pastors, her stepfather a preacher, and one of her passions is challenging patriarchy within the church. In her first theology class at Emory University, she began to study women in black Pentecostal churches and womanism. Soon after, an advisor suggested she look at the religious concept of the “breath of life” in animals, and she realized that a womanist theology could be used to challenge all forms of oppression, including of animals.
She decided to switch her focus. Finding that the majority of scholars writing about animal rights from a theological perspective were white men, Laughinghouse decided to chart her own path, bringing her unique voice as an African American woman to the subject of animals in religious theory. “Womanism is about using your own experience to bring a voice to the voiceless,” she explains.
Drawing on her own ancestry, Laughinghouse looks at animal rights from a framework of African and indigenous worldviews, incorporating principles of ecology founded in the interconnection of humanity, nature, and spirit. Her unique approach sees caring for the earth and for animals as both a religious and feminist action. By fighting against oppression of animals, she says, we are fighting all forms of oppression; and by caring for animals we are caring for all of creation, including ourselves. For Laughinghouse, that includes having a vegan diet: “If I’m going to be connected with nature, that involves the food that I eat.”
Standing at the intersection of so many schools of thought, Laughinghouse often finds herself an outlying voice in her communities: a womanist and vegan in theology circles, a woman of colour in animal circles, and an animal advocate in Pentecostal and African American circles.
ABOUT ECO-WOMANISM THEOLOGY:
From: Ecowomanism: African American Women and Earth-Honoring Faiths. By Melanie L. Harris
Ecowomanism is a manifesto, an ‘overt naming of earth justice as a primary component of womanist concern and analysis [which] is something new’ Ecology has sometimes been dismissed as a white issue and ecofeminism as a white feminist concern. Author Melanie Harris disagrees. While social justice issues are at the forefront in communities of color that have suffered historical and ongoing racism enforced by violence, black people live in a world sustained by nature: if nature is destroyed, there will be no world in which to create justice. Communities of color are more likely to suffer the effects of ecological degradation, living and working near toxic dumps and toxic chemical plants, drinking poisoned water, and breathing poisoned air. Black people have an agriculturally based relationship to the land that dates back to slavery and continues up to the present day. Africans and the African diaspora have inherited worldviews that celebrate the interconnection and interdependence of Spirit, nature, and people. Finally, black women have felt and theorized the connection between the degradation of black women’s bodies and the degradation of the earth by dominant white men and their cultures.
ABOUT SUNDAY SERVICES
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
Reverend William Melton
Reverend Sarah Bowen
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
Spiritual Fellowship & Open Discussion
The Compassion Consortium is organized pursuant to the New York Not-for Profit Corporation Law and Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and operates as a not-for-profit spiritual, educational, and charitable organization. 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.