At the Compassion Conference I was at this week there were many stirring stories and inspiring videos. The highlight for me, though, was the sharing time. Of the hundreds of people attending the conference less than a dozen came to this session and most were conference organizers. Yet as every person there shared the joys and challenges of compassion work, we all felt encouraged and supported. Heads nodded as realizations received and lessons learned were spoken. A universal experience within the group was how compassion work brought the often insular life of the church out into the community. Clients, volunteers and supporters who would never darken the door of a church were genuinely interested in what the church was doing and why. As one person said, compassion work reverses the usual path of entry where people first must believe, then participate for a while and then, finally, “belong'. With compassion work people first have to feel that they belong, then they start to participate and after some time they may believe. The sharing time was the best part of the conference, by far.