The Compassionate Outreach Group initially started as the Religious Understanding Group where fellow inmates came together to share their differing faiths and to find ways to work together instead of tearing each other down.
With this deep sharing dialogue, a common thread was discovered running through all the faith traditions that were present (Buddhist, Christian and Muslim); unconditional love and compassion. Building upon this shared theme the group started working on ways to show and share compassion, in prison, where compassion and love are not usually the common response and emotion, and renamed the group Compassionate Outreach Group or C.O.G. for short. We wanted to be important “cogs” in our personal faiths and in doing so, in other people’s lives.
We now work to bring compassion and unconditional love to everyone, in any way possible. We do this by leading by example and showing everyone that they are valued, respected and loved, no matter their race, sexual orientation, religion or crime they’ve committed. It is our hope that in doing this we give everyone the opportunity to mentally, emotionally and spiritually grow along with us in kinship so they too can spread compassion and unconditional love to others. By taking advantage of the time given to us we are able to strive to make this prison and in turn the world a better place to live. C.O.G. continues to evolve and grow year by year in offering many different activities, programs and events to help facilitate this mission.
Religions and Denominations represented in COG
- Dutch Reformed
- Theravadan Buddhists
- Vajrayana Buddhists
- Zen Buddhists