Who are we?
A community organizer.
Sympara repurposes closed religious properties, activates underutilized congregational spaces, and mobilizes members and neighbors for the common good. Through education, we form leaders who evoke the gifts of people and place. Through consulting, we map assets, discern opportunities, and develop partnerships. Through placemaking, we create sacred/civic spaces that catalyze more just, equitable, and sustainable communities.
A community of practice.
Founded in 2003 as a community of practice, Sympara connects "traveling companions," people who choose to be friends for the journey. We come from different faith and spiritual traditions, and we pursue a variety of vocations in education, business, politics, social services, and the healing arts. Through a common "rule of life," which includes prayer and contemplative reading, we discern our part in the "tikkun olam," the healing of the world.
“It is love and friendship, the sanctity and celebration of our relationships, that not only support a good life, but create one. Through friendships, we spark and inspire one another’s ambitions.”
— Wallace Stegner,
Crossing to Safety
Sympara builds on models that maximize religious assets. We draw inspiration from the long histories of groups who leverage resources of people and property for the common good, including monastic enterprise, community development corporations, and faith-rooted housing and health care ventures.
Sympara is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity. Donations to Sympara are tax-deductible. A board of directors governs the organization.
The meaning of "Sympara."
Sympara (or sumpara) is Greek for “in association.” It is part of the verb sumparameno, which means “to abide together with,” and symparalambano, which means “to take along with,” as the Apostle Paul took along friends on his journeys. Sympara suggests compatibility, as in simpatico; a thoughtful meeting, as in symposium; and the spirit that comes alongside to aid and encourage, as in paraclete. Sympara is our shorthand for traveling companions.