Thursday, January 2, 2014

Local Priest visits the White House - Charter for Compassion to launch in Amador County on January 25

The Rev. Karen Siegfriedt, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Sutter Creek, was a recent guest at the White House’s annual Christmas gathering for the media.  Pastor Karen accompanied her niece (a long-time member of the White House Press Corp) to the festive gathering at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. “It was quite an honor to meet President Obama and his wife, in addition to those who determine what is publicized in the media.”

PHOTO left to right: First Lady Michelle Obama, Anita Siegfriedt, Pastor Karen Siegfriedt of Trinity Episcopal Church, Sutter Creek, and President Barack Obama.

While in D.C., Pastor Karen delivered a letter written by a local Amador High School Junior and Trinity member, Alexis Lewis.  The letter requested the President’s support of the Charter for Compassion.  The Charter for Compassion is a worldwide initiative to restore not only compassionate thinking, but more importantly, compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life. The Charter for Compassion is a dream of theologian Karen Armstrong, who was awarded $100,000 in 2008 to make her dream a reality. The time to move in the direction of this reality has now come! (
In the five years following her award, over 103,000 people from around the world have signed the Charter (written by great thinkers from many traditions).  In addition to individuals; businesses, faith communities, cities, and counties are committing themselves to this Charter, which embodies the Golden Rule. Sharing the vision that compassion must be restored to the center of morality, Trinity Episcopal Church has signed onto the Charter. The goal of Trinity Church for 2014 is to bring the Charter for Compassion to life in Amador County.
Alexis Lewis is an active member of the committee within Trinity. Their vision for the yearlong campaign is to seek audiences at various community, civic, government, and other organization in hopes of spreading the message of compassion.  Lewis says, “My personal hope is that eventually local cities and perhaps even the board of supervisors will sign on to support the Charter. I recently learned that several surrounding cities are in the midst of similar campaigns, including El Dorado Hills and Sacramento. As a life-long resident I have faith in the hearts of the people of Amador County and believe that we too can come together in this positive and important way.”
Pastor Karen mirrors this sentiment saying: “Given that our county is theologically and politically diverse, the principle of compassion can be the uniting force that strengthens the relationships and health of the various organizations within our county.   The purpose of the Charter for Compassion is to encourage ‘civil discourse, tolerance, and compassion,’ a great formula to enhance the vitality and growth of our community here in the foothills.”
Trinity Church will be actively seeking individuals and groups to join in the campaign throughout the year. Community members interested in the Charter are invited to learn more by visiting Compassionate Amador on Facebook (, by emailing (, or by attending Compassionate Amador’s   first public forum to be held on Saturday, January 25 at 10:00 am at the Jackson Civic Center. All community members are invited to attend.