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2012
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December- Crossing the Road

IN THIS ISSUE: Crossing the Road | I4C Benefit Concert | Religion and the Election | Ritualizing Return | Holiday Donations | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News | Unsubscribe

Interfaith Center at the Presidio

Our varied histories have brought us to a crossroads. We can stand our ground here on our opposite corners and defend the frigid distance between us. Or we can cross the road. With outstretched hands, smiling faces, and open hearts, we can move toward one another, meet in the middle, and walk side by side beyond the limits of our old suspicious, segregated spaces. We can can reject the mutual hostility by which we have defined ourselves, respect the different gifts we bring one another, and inject fresh hope into the global human equation through the unexpected factor of human-kindness. Walking together, we can face our common threats and seek the common good, forging a future that would have been impossible any other way. In so doing, as Farid Esack said, we will all feel like beginners, for we will all have to acknowledge how little we know [p.272].

So writes the well-known Christian theologian and pastor Brian McLaren in his recent book on the encounter between religious traditions, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World (Jericho Books, 2012). Here you'll find thoughtful reflections on dealing with "intra-faith" relationships, religion and violence, "Conflicted Religious Identity Syndrome," meaningful ritual, and sharing one's faith with others. Although he speaks specifically from a Christian perspective, McLaren is a clear and engaging writer who considers what challenges the contemporary multi-religious landscape presents to people of faith. In fact, the book was featured last month in the Patheos Book Club. There you can read an excerpt from the book, as well as responses from Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Evangelical Christian perspectives, and a video of an interview with McLaren.

Here's how he sums up his vision:

So imagine, then, Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed crossing the road to encounter one another. Imagine us following them. What will we discover together in that crossing?

Surely, it will be holy and humbling in that sacred space. Surely there will be joy, grace, and peace. Surely justice, truth, and love. We will find hospitality there, not hostility, and friendship, not fear, and it will be good— good for our own well-being, good for the poor and forgotten, good for our grandchildren’s grandchildren, and good even for the birds of the air and the flowers in the meadow and the fish out at sea. “This is very good,” God will say. And we will say, “Amen.” [p. 273].

The book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Indiebound, and wherever books are sold.

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BENEFIT CONCERT DECEMBER 2. The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County will present a concert entitled “The Embrace of Compassion: A Musical Interfaith Offering” on Sunday, December 2, beginning at 3:00 pm in the sanctuary at Mount Diablo UU Church Sanctuary, 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek. The program will feature the Dances of Universal Peace and
the Choirs of Temple Hill (LDS), Sufism Reoriented and Mount Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church. A freewill offering at the door will go for the support of the Interfaith Council. A reception will follow in Bortin Hall.

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RELIGION AND THE ELECTION. In October, the Graduate Theological Union hosted "God in the White House: Religion & the Upcoming Election," a panel discussion featuring James Donahue, GTU President and Professor of Ethics; Daniel Itzkovitz, Professor of American Literature and Culture, Stonehill College; Zahra Billoo, Executive Director of the local Council on American-Islamic Relations; and Robert Rees, GTU Visiting Professor of Mormon Studies. Their discussion, moderated by Marianne Farina, C.S.C., GTU Professor of Philosophy and Theology, can be viewed online on the GTU website.

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RITUALIZING RETURN. At last Spring's workshop "Beyond Memorial Day: Dealing with the Hidden Wounds of War," several people mentioned that they had particularly appreciated a presentation on creating ritual for returning soliders by M. Macha Nightmare of the local Pagan community. That ritual is now on our website, and we hope to add further resources for veterans and their families in the future.

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AS THE HOLIDAY SEASON APPROACHES, we invite you to consider a gift to support the ongoing work of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio. We appreciate your fully tax-deductible donation, supporting its mission to welcome, serve, and celebrate the diverse spiritual wisdom and faith traditions of the San Francisco Bay Area. For information on how to contribute online or by mail, see our website.

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NOTES & QUOTES: Congratulations to the Marin Interfaith Council, which just celebrated their 30th anniversary in the community at their annual Visionary Marin conference. You can read more about the event, see some photos of the program honoring Dr. Nahid Angha of the International Association of Sufism, and learn about the founding of the Council in a video featuring early members Rev. Betty Pagett, Rabbi Michael Barenbaum, Rev. Jim Current, and Rev. Doug Hueneke on the MIC website. . .

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SEND US YOUR NEWS! We at Bay Area Interfaith Connect make every effort to include upcoming interfaith events in our monthly calendar (which is always available on our website). Please be sure to send information about your upcoming events to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We'd also like to share what happened at your events or celebrations with the wider interfaith community. Got a story you'd like to share? Pictures from that latest gathering? Send them along and let everyone know what's happening!


 

BAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT is sent each month to nearly 2,000 subscribers, and is available online at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.

To Subscribe: If you do not receive the monthly updates and would like to do so, simply write to info@interfaith-presidio.org. Please include your name, and, if you are willing, your street address and phone will help us to keep you up to date on interfaith activities.

To Unsubscribe: If you wish to unsubscribe you can do so by writing info@interfaith-presidio.org and letting us know. Thank you.

About the Editor: D. Andrew Kille is director of Interfaith Space in San Jose, working to develop and strengthen interfaith relations throughout the Bay Area. Send your calendar items, comments and suggestions to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We try to keep the ICP Update and Calendar as current as we can, but if you want your item included in the monthly newsletter, it needs to be in our hands a week before the end of the month.

 

interfaith symbols

BAIC ARCHIVES

In the Bay Area Interfaith Connect Archives you will find editorials from BAIC beginning with January of 2007, as well as longer articles on issues of interest for interfaith work..

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November- Elections and Storms

IN THIS ISSUE: Religion and the Election | Hurricane Sandy and Disaster Relief | Successful Interfaith Cooperation | Changes at Presidio Chapel | Notes & Quotes |

Interfaith Center at the Presidio RELIGION AND THE ELECTION

"If your religion matters to your life at all, surely it has to inform your decisions about what laws and which individuals will work for the things that matter to you." - Lynn Ungar at Patheos.

One oft-repeated word of advice about conversation at a family gathering is "don't talk about politics or religion." People are often deeply committed to religious or political perspectives, will argue their point of view passionately, and often have difficulty hearing another's point of view. This is why we work on the skills for interreligious dialogue, and those skills apply equally to political debate. During the past months, religion and religious freedom have been a recurring topic, especially in the race for President.

At Patheos, the website devoted to global dialogue about religion and spirituality, the past few weeks have featured Election Month at Patheos, a collection of responses from bloggers of various religious persuasions to significant questions posed by the election: "What's wrong—and what's right—with the role of faith in American politics today?"; "Does a candidate's faith really matter?"; "What are the key issues at stake in this election for people of your tradition?"; and "For whom will you vote? Make a brief case for your preferred candidate, in light of your tradition."

Whether or not you take the time to read the articles, these are important questions to consider. What do you think? How will your faith (and your commitment to peaceful interreligious encounter) affect your vote?

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HURRICANE SANDY AND DISASTER RELIEF. As we have watched Superstorm Sandy wreaking devastation across the Eastern states of the U.S. and up into Canada, knocking out power and flooding cities, our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been displaced, those who have lost loved ones, and those who must now begin the task of recovery and rebuilding. At this point, financial contributions to established relief organizations are most effective. These include the Red Cross: www.redcross.org; Church World Service: www.churchworldservice.org; Jewish Federations of North America: www.jewishfederations.org/page.aspx?id=258452; Islamic Relief USA: www.irusa.org/.

Religious communities play an important role in disaster situations. They can provide emergency housing, cooking facilities, and gathering places for those affected. They can be channels of information and training for their members and neighbors. Being prepared before a disaster is an immeasurable advantage, and that is why the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN) created its Be a Ready Congregation campaign. They offer informative "Disaster Tip Sheets for U.S. Religious Leaders." These offer practical information and resource links for disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery – specifically of relevance to religious leaders, faith communities and faith-based organizations.

Tip Sheets are available on topics ranging from "The Role of Faith Communities in Disasters" to "Disaster Spiritual Care," and specific needs regarding mental health issues, distress helplines, evacuating planning, cold and hot weather hazards, donation management, and needs of children. They are downloadble from the NDIN website. Now is the time to prepare, not after a disaster has struck.

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SUCCESSFUL INTERFAITH COOPERATION. by Dr. Amer Araim, President of the Islamic Community Outreach of California, Member of the Executive Boards of the Interfaith Councils in Contra Costa County, and the Presidio:

A question is raised from time to time about the impact of interfaith cooperation on the members of our communities, and on the society as a whole. I believe that our cooperation is of great value to our communities as well as the society, and humanity at large. While we are disturbed and saddened by the attacks on the symbols of our faith, even by some people claiming that they are doing so in the name of religion, we should not be be divided but act in a cooperative fashion. Contrary to the attempts of those who try to provoke tension and mistrust through their campaigns, we should use wisdom and good words to convince our members and the society as a whole about the importance of our cooperation. The freedom to practice our faith and the ability to help the poor and the needy in our society are more important than those voices that try to create division and conflict. In the meantime, we should highlight our successes. Read more . . .

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CHANGES AT THE PRESIDIO CHAPEL. Since 1996, the Interfaith Center at the Presidio has been the steward of the historic Post Chapel. Built in 1931, the Presidio Chapel needs significant maintenance to fix existing problems and address earthquake codes and accessibility. In the long term, a major facelift and expansion would be needed to better serve as the interfaith center of tomorrow. ICP has been responsible for daily activities at the chapel. A good portion of that activity has been devoted to hosting weddings and other events not directly related to the work interfaith.

Post ChapelFor some time, the Board has been in negotiation with the Presidio Trust, which administers all the facilities at the Presidio, and at long last has outlined an agreement in which the Presidio Trust will make much-needed repairs on the roof and the heater and add some improvements in accessibility. They will also take over responsibilities for wedding hosting and other events at the Chapel.

ICP will continue its use of the basement office area, and will become a Program Partner with the Presidio Trust, with access to the Chapel for interfaith gatherings and programs. The Trust has also indicated its support for plans to expand the Chapel facilities (see the current proposal). We are grateful for this new partnership which frees up both staff and funds to focus on serving the work of interfaith..

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NOTES & QUOTES: "We need more of a different kind of religion, not a religion that encourages political and economic apocalypse because of abstract principles but one that is based on humility, recognition of the partiality of our viewpoints, and our proneness to see the world in black and white and good and evil, assuming we are good and our opponents are evil." Rev. Bruce Epperly on Patheos. . . "You cannot have what you are not willing to be . . . your means and your ends must be a unity. You must live from the inside out." Dr. Lawrence Carter, Jr., Dean of the Martin Luther King Memorial Chapel at Morehouse College, at the recent Carry the Vision conference in Santa Clara. . . The November issue of the American Library Association’s Booklist Magazine will include Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership among its list of the top ten religion and spirituality books for 2012. The book explores the creative connections between women, spirituality and transformative leadership in a variety of traditions. Learn more at womenofspiritandfaith.org/

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SEND US YOUR NEWS! We at Bay Area Interfaith Connect make every effort to include upcoming interfaith events in our monthly calendar (which is always available on our website). Please be sure to send information about your upcoming events to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We'd also like to share what happened at your events or celebrations with the wider interfaith community. Got a story you'd like to share? Pictures from that latest gathering? Send them along and let everyone know what's happening!


 

BAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT is sent each month to nearly 2,000 subscribers, and is available online at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.

To Subscribe: If you do not receive the monthly updates and would like to do so, simply write to info@interfaith-presidio.org. Please include your name, and, if you are willing, your street address and phone will help us to keep you up to date on interfaith activities.

To Unsubscribe: If you wish to unsubscribe you can do so by writing info@interfaith-presidio.org and letting us know. Thank you.

About the Editor: D. Andrew Kille is director of Interfaith Space in San Jose, working to develop and strengthen interfaith relations throughout the Bay Area. Send your calendar items, comments and suggestions to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We try to keep the ICP Update and Calendar as current as we can, but if you want your item included in the monthly newsletter, it needs to be in our hands a week before the end of the month.

 

interfaith symbols

BAIC ARCHIVES

In the Bay Area Interfaith Connect Archives you will find editorials from BAIC beginning with January of 2007, as well as longer articles on issues of interest for interfaith work..

 

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OCTOBER- Hope Can Win

IN THIS ISSUE: Hope Can Win | Three Testaments | California Interfaith Conference | Pathways to Peace | Religious Rights | Notes & Quotes |

Interfaith Center at the Presidio HOPE CAN WIN OVER HATE SPEECH. And you can help. (From Paul Andrews) It’s pretty easy these days for one intolerant person to grab a “media megaphone” and stir up a storm of anger and hatred.  A third-rate movie insults one of the world’s great religions, and innocent people die halfway around the world. Sensational advertisements spread a message of intolerance across America, implying that people are savages just because they have a different faith. And these are just a few recent examples.

We can’t silence these voices by force – the right to free speech is too important. And we can’t shout them down – that just leads to more violence. But most important of all…we can’t stay silent and do nothing, and let those voices gradually divide us from one another.

So what CAN we do?  We can start learning about people just like us who have taken positive and effective action to respond to hate speech, intolerance and bigotry. We can learn from stories where, in communities around the world, hope has actually won over intolerance.

Paul AndrewsHere’s just one small such story. Years ago, an aggressive bigot hijacked a community meeting about civil rights in America, refusing to release the microphone. What to do, as he ranted on and on? After a minute or so, someone in the audience began quietly humming "We Shall Overcome" -- and within 30 seconds, the whole room was filled with this gentle, forceful sound. No one pulled him from the stage by force, or tried to shout him down -- but he soon realized that no one was with him, and he left the podium. What a great story! And how wonderful and powerful for the audience to discover that hope can find a way to win! 

Stories like that can inspire us to respond with new hope, and new action. And there are lots of other such stories and inspiring action ideas out there…if we can find them.

So here’s where you come in! Do you know, or have you heard a story like that you can share in a paragraph or two? Or in a video?

Let’s find those stories and ideas and post them so we can all learn from them, draw inspiration from them, share them with others, and build on their success. We invite you to post your stories to the ICP blog or Facebook page.

And spread the word! Ask your friends (and their friends) to help! Facebook! Twitter! E-mail! Go big time viral!. Hope CAN win… and you can help make it happen.

Paul Andrews is Treasurer of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio.

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Three TestamentsTHREE TESTAMENTS. (From Rev. Susan Strouse). I was privileged to be invited to be part of a panel at the University of San Francisco last week. The occasion was a stop on the book launch tour of Three Testaments: Torah, Gospel and Quran by Brian Arthur Brown. There were three panelists, each of us assigned to make a presentation on one of the three sections. I was asked to read and comment on the chapters about the Quran. It seems that the panelist originally scheduled was unable to participate, so USF professor (and member of my congregation) Dr. Kim Connor suggested me as a substitute. It was a humbling experience, to say the least. I was the last speaker –the other two being scholars in their respective fields of Torah and New Testament. I am neither Muslim nor a Quranic scholar, so everything I read and said was filtered through my own Christian tradition. It would have been interesting to me (and probably others) to hear a Muslim’s perspective on the scholarship, but it was a wonderful opportunity and I’m grateful for the invitation.

Rev. Susan StrouseI found the real value in reading the book and being part of the panel was to be immersed in both a scholarly and practical treatment of the sacred texts of the Abrahamic faiths. In light of the news that we so often hear about the misunder-standings, and even conflicts, about these religious ‘cousins,’ it was refreshing to learn about work being done - together. At our Interfaith Center board meeting this month, we were discussing how we could best support the work of the local interfaith councils as they respond to the challenges of their communities, particularly religiously motivated hate crimes. The furor over the anti-Muslim video also raised for us the issue of religious respect and sensitivity vs. the First Amendment. These are not always simple issues, and even among people of good will there are differing opinions. The important thing is that we have places where these discussions can take place – openly, honestly and respectfully. It’s encouraging to see more and more of such places and opportunities becoming available. Here at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, we are committed to being both a place and a conduit for carrying out that endeavor. And we are grateful to all of you for being partners in this vitally important work.

The Rev. Susan Strouse is Chair of the Board of the Interfaith Center.

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California Interfaith ConferenceCALIFORNIA INTERFAITH CONFERENCE. Faith leaders and congregations are invited to join together in an open discussion about important issues facing our communities and to create understanding between faiths. On Tuesday, October 16th and Wednesday, October 17th, diverse religious leaders will meet in Sacramento, the heart of California government. This conference has been created to provide an opportunity to develop solutions to the problems shared in common by all of our religious communities throughout California. The faith community is in a unique position to learn from and share with each other. Keynote Speaker will be Leroy David "Lee" Baca, Sheriff of Los Angeles County. Issues to be addressed at this conference include: Homelessness, Hate Crimes, Drug Addiction, Environment, Emergencies, Human Trafficking, Youth and Gang Violence, and Finding Common Ground. There will be exhibits. Conference fee: $100. Exhibit tables may be purchased by faith groups to share their beliefs, culture and materials. Contact Jon Fish for all exhibitor inquiries; 916.801.8883. Conference schedule and registration are available at www.californiainterfaithconference.org, or download a flyer.

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PATHWAYS TO PEACE. The program dedicated to the UN International Day of Peace originally scheduled for September will take place Saturday, October 20, 8:30 am—1:30pm at Bay Area Family Church, 2305 Washington Ave, San Leandro. Celebrating, connecting and transforming to support human security, justice and peacemaking. Keynote speakers include: Charles Gibbs, United Religions Initiative; Herb Behrstock UNA-USA East Bay; Kevin Thompson, Universal Peace Federation. Workshops on several dimensions of peacemaking by noted local experts. Suggested Donation: $10 for General, $5 for Students. Organized by Universal Peace Federation, United Nations Assoc.—USA East Bay, United Religions Initiative, Women’s Federation for World Peace, Women’s Interfaith Circle of Service. Co-Sponsors: AHIMSA of Berkeley, American Clergy Leadership Conference, Carry the Vision, Centers of Light, Geeta Society, Healthy Communities, Interfaith Center at the Presidio, Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue, Pathways to Peace, Principled Academy, Service for Peace, Suscol Inter-Tribal Council. More information: www.bayareapeaceforum.org/ Bay Area Family Church (510) 483-4712 ·BAFCoffice@gmail.com

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RELIGIOUS RIGHTS LAWS SIGNED. On September 8, California governor Jerry Brown signed two bills that protect the religious rights of Sikhs, Muslims, and others regarding employment and call for including teaching the history of Sikh contributions to California history. AB 1964 requires employers to accomodate workers who wear beards, turbans, and other religious clothing. SB 1540 directs the State Board of Education to consider a new curriculum that will include Sikhs. You can read more here.

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NOTES & QUOTES: Over 30 local religious leaders attended a Religious Leaders Summit in Santa Clara on Saturday, September 29, sponsored by SiVIC (Silicon Valley Interreligious Council) in conjunction with the Carry the Vision Community Nonviolence Conference. Led by the Rev. Bill Lesher, former Chair of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, and Helen Spector, a former Parliament board member, the leaders reflected on how religious communities could work together to overcome violence in Silicon Valley. . . The Rev. Michael Pappas of the San Francisco Interfaith Council, was recently reappointed to the SF Human Rights Commission . . . ICP Board member Loel Miller was elected as Secretary of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, serving with new President Rev. Leslie Takahashi-Morris, co-pastor at Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek. . . The Rev. Dirk Ficca has resigned as Executive Director of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions; Mary Nelson will be the Interim Director. . . on the Intenational Day of Peace, September 21, the city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, became a Partner City of the Parliament, joining previous Partner Cities including San Jose, CA. The Edmonton Interfaith Council is a member of NAIN.

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SEND US YOUR NEWS! We at Bay Area Interfaith Connect make every effort to include upcoming interfaith events in our monthly calendar (which is always available on our website). Please be sure to send information about your upcoming events to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We'd also like to share what happened at your events or celebrations with the wider interfaith community. Got a story you'd like to share? Pictures from that latest gathering? Send them along and let everyone know what's happening!


 

BAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT is sent each month to nearly 2,000 subscribers, and is available online at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.

To Subscribe: If you do not receive the monthly updates and would like to do so, simply write to info@interfaith-presidio.org. Please include your name, and, if you are willing, your street address and phone will help us to keep you up to date on interfaith activities.

To Unsubscribe: If you wish to unsubscribe you can do so by writing info@interfaith-presidio.org and letting us know. Thank you.

About the Editor: D. Andrew Kille is director of Interfaith Space in San Jose, working to develop and strengthen interfaith relations throughout the Bay Area. Send your calendar items, comments and suggestions to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We try to keep the ICP Update and Calendar as current as we can, but if you want your item included in the monthly newsletter, it needs to be in our hands a week before the end of the month.

 

interfaith symbols

BAIC ARCHIVES

In the Bay Area Interfaith Connect Archives you will find editorials from BAIC beginning with January of 2007, as well as longer articles on issues of interest for interfaith work..

return to top

September- Remembering / Carrying Forward

IN THIS ISSUE: Remembering | Pathways to Peace | Carry the Vision Nonviolence Conference | California Interfaith Conference | Supporting Sikhs | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News | At the Presidio Chapel | Bay Area Interreligious Calendar | Special Opportunities | Subscription information

Memorial Day Service

Remembering is a sacred act. It is through remembering that we keep traditions alive. It is through remembering that we honor our ancestors. It is though remembering that we seek not to repeat the diastrous mistakes of the past. It is through remembering that we come together as a people.

Remembering is different from "dwelling on the past." Some people become so overwhelmed with remembering an event or situation that they take up residence in the past and every new occasion is colored by the memory.

Remembering can also be a way of nursing a grudge, of refusing to let go of anger or animosity. "Remember the Alamo!" "or Remember the Maine!" or "Remember Pearl Harbor!" echo deep in our national unconcious, evoking a rightous sense of responding to outrages committed by others and neatly overlooking our own.

Remembering is important, and there is a time when we need to move on, to carry our remembrances forward into the future.

What will we as a nation remember on September 11th? Some will recall the courage and self-sacrifice of first responders and others in the community who rallied in the face of disaster. Some will remember those who were lost and grieve for a world that was profoundly changed. And some will carry forward the dark side of remembering, opposing the growing role of Muslims in American society, spreading misinformation and hateful speech. What will you remember, and what will you carry forward?

What will we as dwellers on this globe remember on September 21st, International Peace Day? Will we remember those who have shown the ways of peace? Will we commit together to practicing peace in our own lives, in our families, our communities, our world? What will you remember, and what will you carry forward?

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PATHWAYS TO PEACE. [Note change of date from earlier announcements.] A local program dedicated to the UN International Day of Peace will take place Saturday, October 20, 8:30 am—1:30 pm at Bay Area Family Church, 2305 Washington Ave, San Leandro. Celebrating, connecting and transforming to support human security, justice and peacemaking. Keynote speakers include: Charles Gibbs, United Religions Initiative; Herb Behrstock UNA-USA East Bay; Kevin Thompson, Universal Peace Federation. Workshops on several dimensions of peacemaking by noted local experts. Suggested Donation: $10 for General, $5 for Students. Organized by Universal Peace Federation, United Nations Assoc.—USA East Bay, United Religions Initiative, Women’s Federation for World Peace, Women’s Interfaith Circle of Service. Co-Sponsors: AHIMSA of Berkeley, American Clergy Leadership Conference, Carry the Vision, Centers of Light, Geeta Society, Healthy Communities, Interfaith Center at the Presidio, Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue, Pathways to Peace, Principled Academy, Service for Peace, Suscol Inter-Tribal Council. More information: www.bayareapeaceforum.org/ Bay Area Family Church (510) 483-4712 ·BAFCoffice@gmail.com. Download a flyer.

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CARRY THE VISION COMMUNITY NONVIOLENCE CONFERENCE. Since 1998, the Carry the Vision conference in Santa Clara County, has gathered hundreds of people from diverse sectors of the community who share a common goal: to carry on the vision of Mahatma Gandhi, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Cesar Chavez to overcome violence by the power of nonviolence and to realize the potential of our human family to build a world that supports the well - being of all. This year's conference will be held on September 29, 2012 at Santa Clara University. Keynote speakers include Dr. Lawrence Edward Carter, Sr. Chapel Dean of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Chapel at Morehouse College and Dolores Huerta, co-founder, with Cesar Chavez, of the United Farm Workers and 2012 Presidential Medal of Honor Awardee. There will be workshops on nononviolence in our personal lives, in the family, the community, and the world. A Religious Leaders Summit and Youth Leadership Summit will meet concurrently. For details and registration, see www.CarryTheVision.org

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California Interfaith ConferenceCALIFORNIA INTERFAITH CONFERENCE. Faith leaders and congregations are invited to join together in an open discussion about important issues facing our communities and to create understanding between faiths. On Tuesday, October 16th and Wednesday, October 17th, diverse religious leaders will meet in Sacramento, the heart of California government. This conference has been created to provide an opportunity to develop solutions to the problems shared in common by all of our religious communities throughout California. The faith community is in a unique position to learn from and share with each other. Keynote Speaker will be Leroy David "Lee" Baca, Sheriff of Los Angeles County. Issues to be addressed at this conference include: Homelessness, Hate Crimes, Drug Addiction, Environment, Emergencies, Human Trafficking, Youth and Gang Violence, and Finding Common Ground. There will be exhibits. Conference fee: $100. Exhibit tables may be purchased by faith groups to share their beliefs, culture and materials. Contact Jon Fish for all exhibitor inquiries; 916.801.8883. Conference schedule and registration are available at www.californiainterfaithconference.org, or download a flyer.

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SUPPORT FOR SIKHS. Communities throughout the Bay Area rose in support of local Sikh communities following the tragic shooting at the Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, on August 5. Rallies and candlelight gatherings took place in El Sobrante, Berkeley, Fremont, Hayward, and San Francisco, among others. A film crew documented the candlelight vigil at the San Jose Gurdwara, the largest Sikh temple in the United States, which included representatives from local government, the police, and religious communities- Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Jain, and Interfaith. The video is available online here.

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NOTES & QUOTES: Congratulations to the Peninsula Clergy Network on receiving the 2012 California Governor’s Volunteering and Service Award, being recognized as Faith-Based Organization of the Year. Based in San Mateo, PCN engages 440 clergy and 310 congregations a unique way, building constructive relationships with education, business, government and social services in the communities of the Peninsula. Rabbi Jay Miller is the PCN Executive Director. . . The Peninsula URI Circle recognized Margaret Jones for 14 years of service in organizing speakers for their monthly gatherings. The Circle now plans to attend the monthly meetings of the Interfaith Education Series of the Peninsula Clergy Network. . . The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County has just named the Rev. Will McGarvey as Interim Executive Director. Rev. McGarvey is Pastor of the Community Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh and has served on the Executive Committee of ICCC.

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SEND US YOUR NEWS! We at Bay Area Interfaith Connect make every effort to include upcoming interfaith events in our monthly calendar (which is always available on our website). Please be sure to send information about your upcoming events to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We'd also like to share what happened at your events or celebrations with the wider interfaith community. Got a story you'd like to share? Pictures from that latest gathering? Send them along and let everyone know what's happening!


 

BAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT is sent each month to nearly 2,000 subscribers, and is available online at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.

To Subscribe: If you do not receive the monthly updates and would like to do so, simply write to info@interfaith-presidio.org. Please include your name, and, if you are willing, your street address and phone will help us to keep you up to date on interfaith activities.

To Unsubscribe: If you wish to unsubscribe you can do so by writing info@interfaith-presidio.org and letting us know. Thank you.

About the Editor: D. Andrew Kille is director of Interfaith Space in San Jose, working to develop and strengthen interfaith relations throughout the Bay Area. Send your calendar items, comments and suggestions to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We try to keep the ICP Update and Calendar as current as we can, but if you want your item included in the monthly newsletter, it needs to be in our hands a week before the end of the month.

 

interfaith symbols

BAIC ARCHIVES

In the Bay Area Interfaith Connect Archives you will find editorials from BAIC beginning with January of 2007, as well as longer articles on issues of interest for interfaith work..

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August- Fasting & Feasting

IN THIS ISSUE: Ramadan | California Interfaith Conference | NAINConnect 2012 | Interfaith Blood Drive | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News | At the Presidio Chapel | Bay Area Interreligious Calendar | Special Opportunities | Subscription information

Memorial Day Service

During this month of Ramadan, holy to Muslims, we bring you this reflection by ICP Board member Amer Araim:

Muslims All Over the World Observe the Month of Ramadan

Friday, July 19 was the beginning of the month of Ramadan, which is the first day of the ninth month in the Islamic (Hijri) calendar(lunar calendar). The month represents the most important month for Muslim. It is the month of fasting, which is one of the five pillars of Islam (the other four are the confession of the faith, prayers, alms giving, and pilgrimage to Mecca.) During Ramadan,  Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset, as well as follow other rites in accordance with the tradition of Islam.

Fasting was commanded to Muslims in accordance with  the Quran as well as the tradition of Prophet Muhammad. The Quran states: "O you who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn (taquoa) self-restraint." As a matter of fact the meaning of the word taquoa includes self-restraint, self- protection, and also being constantly conscious of the commands of Allah (God). The words " those before you" refer to the Jews and the Christians, because they were also commanded by God to fast although in a different manner.

RamadanThe philosophy of fasting represents the abstention of doing things essential for human beings for a certain time (eating and drinking) and devoting oneself to fulling the commands of Allah (God). There are exemptions from fasting for the sick and the traveler. They should compensate the days later on. If a Muslim is suffering from a chronic disease which prevents them from fasting and he or she is financially capable to feed a poor person, he or she should provide a full meal for every day of Ramadan for the poor. Muslims in general do good deeds during Ramadan, including providing meals to the poor and the needy. Fasting is for adults, therefore children are also exempted, though at times in the Muslim world teenagers will fast voluntarily.

Ramadan is also important because the Quran (the Holy Scripture for Muslims) was revealed in that month. Muslims perform extra night prayers during Ramadan. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the fast. Muslims have two religious feasts each year and both are connected with the fulfillment of worship. The first is after Ramadan, to thank Allah (God) for enabling Muslims to fast and to perform other rites in Ramadan, and the second after pilgrimage to Mecca, which will take place seventy days after Ramadan. The pilgrimage rites revive the traditions of the Prophets Muhammad and Ibrahim (Abraham).

Amer AraimOn behalf of the Muslim community in the Bay area, I wish to thank our friends the members of the faith community for their good wishes in the month of Ramadan.    

Amer Araim is President of the Islamic Commuinty Outreach of California, a member of the Board of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, and a member of the ICP Board. 

 

During Ramadan, many local Muslim communities invite the community to share in the iftar dinner that breaks the daily fast. See the calendar listings below for opportunities to share with your Muslim neighbors.

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California Interfaith ConferenceCALIFORNIA INTERFAITH CONFERENCE. Faith leaders and congregations are invited to join together in an open discussion about important issues facing our communities and to create understanding between faiths. On Tuesday, October 16th and Wednesday, October 17th, diverse religious leaders will meet in Sacramento, the heart of California government. This conference has been created to provide an opportunity to develop solutions to the problems shared in common by all of our religious communities throughout California. The faith community is in a unique position to learn from and share with each other. Keynote Speaker will be Leroy David "Lee" Baca, Sheriff of Los Angeles County. Issues to be addressed at this conference include: Homelessness, Hate Crimes, Drug Addiction, Environment, Emergencies, Human Trafficking, Youth and Gang Violence, and Finding Common Ground. There will be exhibits. Conference fee: $100. Exhibit tables may be purchased by faith groups to share their beliefs, culture and materials. Contact Jon Fish for all exhibitor inquiries; 916.801.8883. Conference schedule and registration are available at www.californiainterfaithconference.org, or download a flyer.

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NAINNAINConnect 2012 was a feast for the soul, as ICP Board member Vanessa Gomez Brake describes:

From July 15 – 18, hundreds of people ventured to Atlanta, Georgia for the 2012 North American Interfaith Network – Connect.  Hosted by Interfaith Community Initiatives and Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta, the theme of this year’s gathering was "Creating Interfaith-Friendly Cities and the Beloved World Community."

Vanessa Gomez Brake. . . Someone once told me about the benefits of a broken heart. At the time of hearing this, I was skeptical. However, my interfaith and peacemaking work has helped me understand what this person was trying to explain to my naïve ears. When I think about Dr. Martin Luther King, I imagine what a broken heart he must have carried upon witnessing the inhumanity expressed during his time. In seeing, how the color of one’s skin could be used as an excuse for treating a person an ‘other’ and unequal. Yet despite this experience, his heart embodied a great love for all people, a sense of hope, and a dream for a better future. From this, he found the courage to transform his environment and the world. It was through darkness that he sought light.

Sometimes my own heart is broken, especially when brought face-to-face with the myriad of excuses humans continue to create to justify their cruel mistreatment of others. From this sadness, I have found myself in the field of interfaith peacemaking. While I can admit, interfaith work does not always engage my heart fully, there was however, one particular moment at the Atlanta gathering that had me close to tears. Read more . . .

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You can read highlights of NAINConnect 2012 on the NAIN blog, and hear some interviews of participants on the online radio show "Open Minds Open Hearts." The theme of NAINConnect 2012, to be held in Toronto August 11-14, 2013, will be "Diversity: Our Strength." Take a look at the call for proposals for next year's program.

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Give BloodINTERFAITH BLOOD DRIVE. ICP participated in the 2nd Annual Interfaith Community Blood Drive on behalf of the Red Cross, an effort that included over 100 donation sites at religious communities across Northern California. On Friday, July 20, 36 people made their way to the Bloodmobile parked next to the Presidio Chapel, and 10 people were actually able to donate. Thanks to ICP Board members: Camilla Smith for bringing this opportunity to us and for recruiting her congregation; Fred Fielding, who set up the ICP video on a continuous loop for donors to see; John Young, who tramped around the Presidio recruiting businesses and who showed up early today to help set up coffee, tea, etc.; Loel Miller who coordinated everything with the Red Cross and the Interfaith Community people, went around the Presidio recruiting businesses, brought cookies & juice & CD's to play upstairs, and stayed nearly all day giving tours and giving blood!

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NOTES & QUOTES: "There will always be a core of people drawn to interfaith work for its more abstract ideals – people who need no convincing of interfaith’s inherent value.  But our goal ought to include preaching beyond the choir.  There is no shame in rebranding interfaith as savvy and strategic, substantive and smart." Rabbi Sarah Bassin at The Parliament Blog. "We know the reasons why people decline to involve themselves in interfaith activities. The three Cs, I call them – the fear of Contamination, Conversion, and Concession. They fear somehow their religious beliefs will become tainted and contaminated; they are apprehensive someone will cajole them into converting to another religion and they are also hesitant fearing that interfaith involvement will necessitate spiritual and religious compromise. . . . many of us in this room are also familiar with another three Cs, these are elements that truly develop as a result of interfaith at its best – Consciousness, everyone experiences an increased consciousness of their own faith, an increased consciousness of the faith of others and an increase consciousness of the Creator. We move from consciousness into a space of Collaboration, working together for a world full of peace and healing, a place where all human beings can live with dignity. I believe the accumulation of those two components result in one other – Compassion – love and concern for others." Tayyibah Taylor at NAINConnect 2012.

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SEND US YOUR NEWS! We at Bay Area Interfaith Connect make every effort to include upcoming interfaith events in our monthly calendar (which is always available on our website). Please be sure to send information about your upcoming events to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We'd also like to share what happened at your events or celebrations with the wider interfaith community. Got a story you'd like to share? Pictures from that latest gathering? Send them along and let everyone know what's happening!


 

BAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT is sent each month to nearly 2,000 subscribers, and is available online at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.

To Subscribe: If you do not receive the monthly updates and would like to do so, simply write to info@interfaith-presidio.org. Please include your name, and, if you are willing, your street address and phone will help us to keep you up to date on interfaith activities.

To Unsubscribe: If you wish to unsubscribe you can do so by writing info@interfaith-presidio.org and letting us know. Thank you.

About the Editor: D. Andrew Kille is director of Interfaith Space in San Jose, working to develop and strengthen interfaith relations throughout the Bay Area. Send your calendar items, comments and suggestions to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We try to keep the ICP Update and Calendar as current as we can, but if you want your item included in the monthly newsletter, it needs to be in our hands a week before the end of the month.

 

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BAIC ARCHIVES

In the Bay Area Interfaith Connect Archives you will find editorials from BAIC beginning with January of 2007, as well as longer articles on issues of interest for interfaith work..

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July- Give Blood!

IN THIS ISSUE: Interfaith Blood Drive | NAINConnect | Annual Meeting | First Aid App | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News

Memorial Day Service

INTERFAITH BLOOD DRIVE. The American Red Cross blood recently announced the urgent need for blood donations, as the supply of available blood products has reached a critical level– half as much as last year at this time. July is the time for all eligible blood donors to roll up a sleeve and give as soon as possible. All blood types are needed, but especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative in order to meet patient demand this summer.

It is most timely, then, that religious communities from Ukiah to Santa Cruz have been planning for an interfaith blood drive during the month of July. So far, there are 80 individual blood drives scheduled (including one at ICP, see details below), the largest ever in the history of the Northern California Blood Services Region and most likely the largest religiously-based effort in the history of the national Red Cross.

Jeff Meyer, CEO of the Northern California Region, said, "The commitment made by these faith groups could not have come at a better time, and we are excited they have readily taken on this challenge. With our blood supply at emergency levels, we need donors to make appointments in the coming days and weeks to help us ensure that all patient blood needs can be met."

Give BloodCooperating in the interfaith effort are five Roman Catholic Dioceses (Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Monterey), 30 stakes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Interfaith Councils throughout Northern California, and other religious communities, including the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The American Red Cross has dedicated 100% of its resources/mobile units/fixed sites/staff to facilitating this effort.

It is not only an opportunity to replenish blood supplies, but to educate community members about the importance of giving blood. According to the Red Cross, 39% of people in the community are eligible to give blood, but only 5% actually do. The Red Cross doesn’t need blood, patients in need do. Donating blood takes only a few minutes, and your gift of blood is a gift of life to patients in hospitals throughout the area. Approximately 350 units of blood are needed daily, and in the event of a disaster with many traumatic injuries, the need would multiply.

The Interfaith Center at the Presidio is proud to be  participating in the 2nd Annual Interfaith Community Red Cross Blood Drive

WHEN: Friday, July 20, 10:00 to 3:00
WHERE: At the Presidio Chapel, 130 Fisher Loop, The Presidio

HOW: To schedule your appointment at the Interfaith Center, or to find the blood drive location nearest to you, visit www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation-sponsor, and type in the sponsor code “InterfaithCommunity” (one word), or call 1-800-RED CROSS [1(800)733-2767] and mention the Interfaith Community Blood Drive, or contact Sarah Dahms at 510-390-1154.

If your community would like to participate, contact Marilyn S. Wright, (Marilyn_Simpson@msn.com; cell: (925) 482-5695) or Justin Mueller, (muellerjm@usa.redcross.org; cell: (510) 773-2402).

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NAINNAINConnect 2012. "Creative Ways to Engage Communities in Interfaith Collaboration,", "The Sacred Art of Listening," "Howard Thurman: Spiritual Mentor to the Civil Rights Movement," and "Faith and Ecology: A Moral Obligation to Our Planet." Those are just a few of the topics that will be addressed at the annual Connect gathering of the North American Interfaith Alliance (NAIN) in Atlanta, July 15-18, 2012. The overall theme is "Establishing Interfaith Friendly Cities," and will include an address by Ambassador Andrew Young. See the full schedule here. The event will be hosted by Interfaith Community Institute. Registration is still open on the NAIN website. Speakers and workshop leaders include Bay Area interfaith leaders Paul Chaffee, Bettina Gray, and Rachel Watcher. Vanessa Gomez Brake, a member of the ICP Board who reported on last year's conference, will be attending as a NAIN Young Adult Scholar.

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ICP ANNUAL MEETING. "Begin your prayer with four solemn claps, to represent our interdependent relationship with each other and the universe." So began the Blessing brought by Rev. Masato Kawahatsu of the Konko Church of San Francisco to the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio on June 19th. He then led the group in praying a prayer of gratitude- "Arigato Gozimasu," Japanese for "Thank you very much."

There was much to be grateful for, as nearly 25 people, including members of the Board, representatives of Supporting Organizations, and other interreligious groups around the Bay gathered for an update on the past year of the Interfaith Center's activities and some dreaming together for the future. Groups represented included Interfaith Councils from Marin, Contra Costa County, Rossmoor, and Silicon Valley, as well as AHIMSA, the Graduate Theological Union, the Japanese American Religious Federation, Sufism Reoriented, the URI SF Peninsula CC, the Institute of World Religions, and the Women's Interfaith Circle of Service.

It has been a year of transformation for the Center, as was documented in a brief video review produced by Fred Fielding highlighting many of the past year's events. Reports and discussion centered on how to carry forward the Board's recent commitment to strengthen ICP as a resource network for interfaith activities in the Bay Area. The Board has committed $10,000 toward developing effective Bay Area interfaith planning, and invites the support and participation of sponsoring organizations and individuals in fulfilling this objective.

After small group discussions of what ICP and its Supporting Organizations could be doing together in the future, the Rev. Heng Sure of the Institute of World Religions in Berkeley led the group in singing a benediction to the day's efforts.

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FIRST AID? THERE'S AN APP FOR THAT! The American Red Cross has recently released a free set of apps for Droid and Apple smart phones that will help walk us through common emergency first aid events. It features step-by-step instructions for everyday first aid scenarios; steps to take during an emergency, with 9-1-1 call button; interactive quizzes; videos and animations; safety and preparedness tips and checklists for a range of conditions including severe winter weather, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes; and content that gives instant access to all safety information at any time. The app is free and available for iPhone and Android users. Find the app in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

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NOTES & QUOTES: The Society of Biblical Literature has been awarded a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to explore the formation of a Society for Qur'anic Studies, an independent network of Qur'anic scholars. . . The USC School of Religion will establish the first chair of Hindu studies in the United States funded by the Indian-American community. . .A new and exciting project launched by the Australian Intercultural Society Women's Network, in partnership with Dharma Drum Mountain and Tzu Chi Foundation, commenced on March 10. Cooking classes in the traditional Chinese and Turkish cuisines, titled "Taste of Harmony" will continue throughout 2012 and include women of all cultures. . . "In a strange way, it seems that the faiths that don't have a history of religious violence are being marginalized once again, as if not being violent made us somehow irrelevant. I would argue the opposite; that perhaps such faith traditions might have insights that could help." ICP Board member Don Frew, in The Interfaith Observer.

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SEND US YOUR NEWS! We at Bay Area Interfaith Connect make every effort to include upcoming interfaith events in our monthly calendar (which is always available on our website). Please be sure to send information about your upcoming events to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We'd also like to share what happened at your events or celebrations with the wider interfaith community. Got a story you'd like to share? Pictures from that latest gathering? Send them along and let everyone know what's happening!


 

BAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT is sent each month to nearly 2,000 subscribers, and is available online at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.

To Subscribe: If you do not receive the monthly updates and would like to do so, simply write to info@interfaith-presidio.org. Please include your name, and, if you are willing, your street address and phone will help us to keep you up to date on interfaith activities.

To Unsubscribe: If you wish to unsubscribe you can do so by writing info@interfaith-presidio.org and letting us know. Thank you.

About the Editor: D. Andrew Kille is director of Interfaith Space in San Jose, working to develop and strengthen interfaith relations throughout the Bay Area. Send your calendar items, comments and suggestions to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We try to keep the ICP Update and Calendar as current as we can, but if you want your item included in the monthly newsletter, it needs to be in our hands a week before the end of the month.

 

interfaith symbols

BAIC ARCHIVES

In the Bay Area Interfaith Connect Archives you will find editorials from BAIC beginning with January of 2007, as well as longer articles on issues of interest for interfaith work..

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June- Summer Reading

IN THIS ISSUE: Summer Reading | Memorial Day at ICP | Blood Drive | NAINConnect | Vets Workshop | Workplace Religious Freedom Act | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News | Subscription information

Memorial Day ServiceThis seems to be the time of year for suggesting books for summer reading. People may find they have a little more time than usual to dig into a good book. Although the classic recommendation is the "beach book" – a sprawling and engrossing volume, full of sound and fury and often not signifying very much, we'd like to call two recent books to your attention. Both are collections of short pieces written from a broad spectrum of perspectives, so you can read one or two in just a few minutes, and yet find yourself reflecting on them long after.

My Neighbor's FaithMy Neighbor's Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation (Orbis Books, 2012) is just what the title suggests: a collection of stories about the many dimensions of interreligious meeting. The authors include many prominent religious leaders nationwide– Joan Chittister, Paul Knitter, Brian McLaren, Richard Mouw, Eboo Patel, Burton Visotzky, Jim Wallace – and not a few luminaries from the Bay Area- Judith Berling, Rita Nakashima Brock, Charles Gibbs, Michael Lerner, and Rebecca Ann Parker. Two of the editors, Jennifer Howe Peace and Rabbi Or N. Rose are directors of CIRCLE, the Center for Interreligious and Community Leadership, a joint action and study initiative of Andover Newton Theological Seminary and Hebrew College, both in Newton, Massachusetts. The third editor, Gregory Mobley, is a co-founder of CIRCLE.

The idea for the book emerged from a conference sponsored by CIRCLE at which participants declared that one of the most important aspects of the gathering had been the opportunity to hear one another's stories. Imagining the interreligious encounter as a kind of journey, the editors grouped the fifty-three essays under the headings "Encountering the Neighbor," "Viewing Home Anew," "Redrawing Our Maps," "Unpacking Our Belongings," "Stepping Across the Line," "Finding Fellow Travelers," and "Repairing Our Shared World." Each story comes from the heart, and illuminates some facet of the person-to-person encounters that are the heart and soul of interreligious learning and appreciation.

Tapping into GodTapping Into God: Experiencing the Spiritual Spectrum (Balboa Press, 2011) is a collection of a different kind. San Jose author Debbie Belmessieri set out to "offer a smorgasbord of religious and spiritual thought by exploring a single topic from many perspectives, namely what connection to God means from that practitioner's point of view, and how that faith is revealed in daily life." She began by contacting religious leaders of traditions with which she was familiar, but soon found that the circle was widening more and more as one person would refer her to others. So it is that you will find represented in this collection not only familiar world religious traditions – Islam, Baha'i, Judaism, Buddhism, and several forms of Christianity – but also lesser-known traditions like Wicca, Taoism, or Sikhism. And there are some that you may not know much about at all – Druidry, Unity, Divine Science, Huna Shamanism, Goddess Spirituality, Gnosticism, or A Course in Miracles.

Most of the writers are local to the Bay Area, and thus the book offers a glimpse of the religious diversity that exists around us but of which most of us are unaware. Belmessieri does not attempt to interpret or explain any of the traditions, but does include a brief biography of each writer and additional resources for exploring further. She declares that her goal was twofold: to lift up common threads that run through diverse religious traditions, and to call for respect and understanding for all religious traditions. All together, it makes for a fascinating journey through the varieties of religious experience.

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Vietnam MemorialMEMORIAL DAY AT THE INTERFAITH CENTER. On Memorial Day, May 28, the Interfaith Center offered refreshments to those who had attended the military program at the San Francisco National Cemetery, and then followed with an interfaith prayer service to remember those who had given their lives. Prayers were offered by representatives of Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions. Outside, several organizations offered information to the public about resources for veterans and opportunities to volunteer: Swords to Plowshares, San Francisco County Veteran Service Office, San Francisco Veterans Center, and Iraq Veterans Against War. See more pictures. . .

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INTERFAITH BLOOD DRIVE. Several congregations in Northern California from Ukiah to Santa Cruz will taking part in an interfaith blood drive during the month of July. The effort, coordinated with the American Red Cross, hopes to gather 7,000 units of blood. This is the second year of the interfaith project, which began with a collaboration of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland and Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon) groups in Alameda County last year. That effort gained 1,700 units of blood and was the most successful interfaith drive ever undertaken. This year's collaboration includes not only Catholic and Mormon congregations, but other Christian groups and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. To take part and donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS [1(800)733-2767] and mention the Interfaith Community Blood Drive, or visit www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation-sponsor, and type in the sponsor code “InterfaithCommunity” (one word) to find the blood drive location nearest to you.

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NAINNAINConnect 2012. Only a month to go before the annual gathering of the North American Interfaith Alliance (NAIN)! The theme "Establishing Interfaith Friendly Cities" captures realistic and attainable aspirations for the interfaith community and for many in the civic arena. The conference runs from July 15-18, 2012, in Atlanta, hosted by Interfaith Community Institute. Registration is now open; the cost is $350 for Adults and $175 for Youth/Students. You can register, if you have not already, on the NAIN website. Vanessa Gomez Brake, a member of the ICP Board who reported on last year's conference, will be attending as a NAIN Young Adult Scholar.

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VETERANS WORKSHOP. Making Peace with the Past: A Workshop for Combat Veterans from All Wars To Heal From Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In response to the critical need to help combat veterans overcome the damaging effects of post-traumatic stress, two organizations dedicated to healing have joined forces – Swords to Plowshares and The Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance – to create a special seminar that is free to combat veterans. The free workshop will take place at The War Memorial Building, 401 Van Ness St., San Francisco, California, June 3, 2012, from 2:00-6:00pm. Dr. Fred Luskin, Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project, will be the presenter/facilitator at this healing workshop, the second this year. Dr. Luskin's work combines lecture with a hands-on approach to making peace with the past. Transformative results were experienced by all the participants in the first workshop. To attend the workshop, or for more information, please contact: Swords to Plowshares mail@jordantowers.com, (916) 897-7559 or Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance, forgivenessday@sbcglobal.net (415) 342-2650.

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WORKPLACE RELIGOUS FREEDOM ACT PASSES. AB 1964, a bill that would protect the rights of individuals to wear religious clothing and/or hairstyles on the job, was approved by the California State Assembly on May 29 by a vote of 59-3. The bill clarifies the existing federal Fair Employment and Housing Act. The bill was sponsored by the Sikh Coalition, which argued that Sikh Californians suffer high levels of employment discrimination because of their Sikh identity, which includes a turban, beard, and unshorn hair. According to a research report issued by the Sikh Coalition in 2010, over one in ten Sikhs in the San Francisco Bay Area reported suffering discrimination in employment. They were joined by the Council on American-Muslim Relations, the California Church Council, and the American Jewish Committee. The bill was presented by Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, said she was upset to learn that Sikh and Muslim workers continue to face discrimination at work despite laws prohibiting it. The bill now goes to the State Senate.

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NOTES & QUOTES: After twelve years as Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, the Rev. Brian Stein-Webber has announced that he will be moving on to serve as Director of Seminary Relations at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley (part of the Graduate Theological Union). There will be a farewell celebration for Brian on Sunday, June 3, 5:30 pm, at St. John Vianney Church, 1650 Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek... In April, Vanessa Gomez Brake, ICP Board Member and Director of Operations & Outreach for the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley, was invited to attend a Young Leaders Retreat, held by the Women of Spirit & Faith in Atlanta, Georgia... Dr. Amer Araim, ICP Board Member, president of Islamic Community Outreach of California and a member of the Executive Committee of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, spoke recently about Islam and American Muslims at the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek. Dr. Araim is available to speak to your community; contact him at islamicoutreach@hotmail.com.

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SEND US YOUR NEWS! We at Bay Area Interfaith Connect make every effort to include upcoming interfaith events in our monthly calendar (which is always available on our website). Please be sure to send information about your upcoming events to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We'd also like to share what happened at your events or celebrations with the wider interfaith community. Got a story you'd like to share? Pictures from that latest gathering? Send them along and let everyone know what's happening!


 

BAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT is sent each month to nearly 2,000 subscribers, and is available online at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.

To Subscribe: If you do not receive the monthly updates and would like to do so, simply write to info@interfaith-presidio.org. Please include your name, and, if you are willing, your street address and phone will help us to keep you up to date on interfaith activities.

To Unsubscribe: If you wish to unsubscribe you can do so by writing info@interfaith-presidio.org and letting us know. Thank you.

About the Editor: D. Andrew Kille is director of Interfaith Space in San Jose, working to develop and strengthen interfaith relations throughout the Bay Area. Send your calendar items, comments and suggestions to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We try to keep the ICP Update and Calendar as current as we can, but if you want your item included in the monthly newsletter, it needs to be in our hands a week before the end of the month.

 

interfaith symbols

BAIC ARCHIVES

In the Bay Area Interfaith Connect Archives you will find editorials from BAIC beginning with January of 2007, as well as longer articles on issues of interest for interfaith work..

return to top

May- Memorial Day and Beyond

IN THIS ISSUE: Memorial Day Service | Report from Beyond Memorial Day Conference | Mormon Helping Hands | All Faiths House | California Interfaith Conference | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News

Memorial Day ServiceTo Honor the Fallen, Heal and Celebrate the Living. That is the purpose of the interfaith Memorial Day service that will be sponsored by the Interfaith Center at the Presidio on Memorial Day, May 28.

Following a parade and program at the San Francsico National Cemetery, ICP invites all who wish to join at the Presidio Chapel for a service of prayer and remembrance. The service will include music from the organ, trumpet, and bagpipe, and prayers from several traditions: Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and Buddhist. A U.S. Army Color Guard from Camp Parks will present the colors, and the final blessing will be given by Chaplain Captain Alner Nambatac of Camp Parks.

It is hoped that California Senator Nancy Pelosi will be the main speaker. In the event she is not able to be present, Rev. Kirsten Hedlund, CPT, Chaplain, Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area will speak..

There will be light refreshments available free to the public following the ceremony in the cemetery. Four organizations will be present to provide information to the public about resources for veterans and opportunities to volunteer: Swords to Plowshares, San Francisco County Veteran Service Office, San Francisco Veterans Center, and Iraq Veterans Against War.

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80 leaders attend ICP Conference:
"Understanding the Hidden Wounds of War"

On April 26 at the Orinda Community Church, 80 veterans and spiritual leaders gathered to hear veterans’ stories, dilemmas and concerns, and to consider together how Bay Area spiritual communities can most effectively welcome and support 21st century veterans and their families. More than ¼ of those present were veterans themselves, and many more were already working with veterans.  The giving and receiving of knowledge and support among the people at this gathering was something to behold.  They shared their stories, their tears, and their hopes for peaceful lives.

Sergeant McKie and Rev. Caroline KnowlesA highlight of the day came when one of the panelists, Command Sergeant Major McKie, presented Rev. Dr. Caroline Knowles, ICP Board member and leader of the “Beyond Memorial Day” project, with a Challenge Coin.  Challenge Coins are a way to recognize an individual's outstanding achievement and dedication and she received this coin because of her unwavering focus to bring together the community to address healing Veterans’ spiritual injuries.
Read more . . .

If you are interested in working with returning veterans and their families within your spiritual community, please contact Dr. Caroline Knowles, knowleshance@yahoo.com, 510-452-0656. Under Caroline’s leadership, ICP will be working with spiritual communities throughout the Bay Area to establish groups within their communities to welcome returning veterans and their families and to support active duty service members. ICP will also be helping spiritual communities to reach across denominational lines to collaborate effectively, and to interface successfully with VA and other groups serving veterans. For ICP, these programs are not only a central spiritual mission for every spiritual community but an essential step in bridging the widening gap between the ½ of 1% of Americans who are serving in our military and the remaining 99 ½% of Americans who hand off our security to others. We cannot hope to establish a more secure world with enduring peace in the world if we cannot find common ground among ourselves here at home.

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Senator Lee and Volunteers
State Senator Leland Yee with volunteers and Linda Crawford, ICP manager

MORMON HELPING HANDS. They  seemed to be everywhere; bright yellow safety vests and t-shirts. 200 adults, children, and teenagers. They were volunteers with Mormon Helping Hands, and they came on Saturday, April 28 to clean, paint, polish, and plant at the Presidio Interfaith Chapel as well as clean the gravestones at the San Francisco National Cemetery next door. Every year on the same day, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in California and Hawaii choose a major project in their communities and spend a half-day on a Saturday doing whatever it takes to make the project a success.

This year, the San Francisco Stake (similar to a diocese) of the LDS church chose the Chapel and cemetery as their project, and what a difference they made. It was quite exciting to see all these great people pulling together; there were even plumbers and carpenters to overhaul the kitchen and bathrooms.

Read more and see a slide show about the day . . .

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ALL FAITHS HOUSE. (From the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County) Habitat for Humanity (East Bay Chapter, along with the Silicon Valley Chapter) is organizing a build of several homes in Walnut Creek soon, just west of 680 and near Walnut Creek BART. The combined chapters would like to organize an All Faiths House, which would be supported solely by congregations and other faith groups and persons of faith. This will be totally interfaith project. We are hoping to involve Christians, Muslims, Jews, Baha'is, Sikhs, Sufis, Buddhists, everybody! What a great opportunity to show both our respect for one another and our commitment to help those in need. The All Faiths House project will be kicked off with an orientation on the evening of Monday, May 7, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Hope Center Covenant Church in Pleasant Hill (2275 Morello Ave.). There will be some exciting information to share: the tremendous mission of H4H to provide housing to pre-screened, energetic clients; how our county's faith folks can actually build one whole home; stories from present H4H homeowners; help in getting involved; and free conversation. You don't have to commit to be part of the project before you come. Simply attend, learn, take the information back to your congregation or group, and make a decision there. Respond by contacting Emily Howard at 510-251-6304 x383 or EHoward@HabitatEB.org. The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County is a co-sponsor of this project!

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California Interfaith ConferenceCALIFORNIA INTERFAITH CONFERENCE. The Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento invites faith leaders and congregations to join them in an open discussion about important issues facing our communities and to create understanding between faiths. On Tuesday, October 16th and Wednesday, October 17th, diverse religious leaders will meet in Sacramento, the heart of California government. This conference has been created to provide an opportunity to develop solutions to the problems shared in common by all of our religious communities throughout California. Conference schedule and registration are available at www.californiainterfaithconference.org, or download a flyer. Exhibit tables may be purchased by faith groups to share their beliefs, culture and materials. Contact Jon Fish for all exhibitor inquiries; 916.801.8883.

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Interfaith Council LeadersNOTES & QUOTES: The Presidio Chapel was the scene of a recent gathering of leaders of six Bay Area interfaith and interreligious organizations. The group convened to share about the work they are doing in their own organizations, and to strengthen awareness and support for bridgebuilding work throughout our region. The group (shown right) included (from left) Brian Stein-Webber (Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County); Susan Strouse (Interfaith Center at the Presidio); Jay Miller (Peninsula Clergy Network); Michael Pappas (San Francisco Interfaith Council); Andrew Kille (Silicon Valley Interreligious Council and ICP Board member); and Carol Hovis (Marin Interfaith Council)... George Sliter of Redwood City reports that the First Annual Interfaith Songfest held at St. Peter's Episcopal Church on April 15 was "a big success. We were treated to really great music -- two big choirs, solos, chanting, jazz piano, gospel singing, and a primo latino band -- conga drums, maracas, etc." Participants included the Insight Meditation Center, Reino de Dios Foursquare Church, Second Baptist Church, St. Charles Catholic Church, Congregation Beth Am, Buen Pastor Episcopal Church, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and ended with all together singing "let there be peace on earth." $900 was raised for Peninsula Interfaith Action and the RWC Education Fund's Children's Music Program and they've already begun to plan the Second Annual Songfest for May of next year... The Presidio Chapel appeared recently in a photo historical "tour" of the Presidio by Peter Hartlaub, the popular culture critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. He notes the church "looks remarkably similar" to a photo from 1940.

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SEND US YOUR NEWS! We at Bay Area Interfaith Connect make every effort to include upcoming interfaith events in our monthly calendar (which is always available on our website). Please be sure to send information about your upcoming events to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We'd also like to share what happened at your events or celebrations with the wider interfaith community. Got a story you'd like to share? Pictures from that latest gathering? Send them along and let everyone know what's happening!


 

BAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT is sent each month to nearly 2,000 subscribers, and is available online at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.

To Subscribe: If you do not receive the monthly updates and would like to do so, simply write to info@interfaith-presidio.org. Please include your name, and, if you are willing, your street address and phone will help us to keep you up to date on interfaith activities.

To Unsubscribe: If you wish to unsubscribe you can do so by writing info@interfaith-presidio.org and letting us know. Thank you.

About the Editor: D. Andrew Kille is director of Interfaith Space in San Jose, working to develop and strengthen interfaith relations throughout the Bay Area. Send your calendar items, comments and suggestions to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We try to keep the ICP Update and Calendar as current as we can, but if you want your item included in the monthly newsletter, it needs to be in our hands a week before the end of the month.

 

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April- Spiritual Needs of Veterans

IN THIS ISSUE: Beyond Memorial Day Conference | Sacred Snapshots | Religious Neighbor Next Door | National Day of Prayer | Gandhi and Nonviolence | CROP Walks | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News | Subscription information

Happy 2012!

The Presidio in San Francisco served as an army post for 218 years for Spain, Mexico, and the United States. When the Interfaith Center at the Presidio took on the stewardship of the Main Post Chapel in 1995, it inherited a long tradition of religious service to the soldiers who passed through the Presidio over the years. The stained glass windows in the chapel remind the viewer of the essential values of Courage, Mercy, Martyrdom, Loyalty, Justice, Truth, Reverence, Honor, Sacrifice, Motherhood, and Daring. Generations of servicemen, their families and friends have found support, inspiration, solace, and compassion here.

Veterans returning today from Afghanistan and Iraq face many difficult challenges in adjusting to everyday life. According to some, nearly 20 percent of these veterans will develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can lead to panic attacks, depression, and even suicide. It is in response to the needs of these veterans and their loved ones that the Interfaith Center at the Presidio has developed Beyond Memorial Day: Understanding the Hidden Wounds of War, a one-day conference to be held on Thursday, April 26th, 2012, at the Orinda Community Church. 

Beyond Memorial DayBeyond Memorial Day is focused on helping clergy, spiritual leaders and members of all faith communities to understand the spiritual needs of veterans as thousands of warriors return from the zones of war. Wounds to the spirit, difficult to express, are experienced side by side with the strengths and competencies honed in military service.  The conference will bring together veterans, professionals serving veterans and military, and community and religious leaders.  There will be special topic panels, small group discussion, networking opportunities, and resource information.  The goal is to assist congregations and spiritual communities to become healing, welcoming places for veterans as they seek spiritual wholeness in their lives.

For details and registration information, go to the Interfaith Center website, or download a flyer and registration form.

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SACRED SNAPSHOTS: A SAMPLER FOR THE SPIRIT. According to Rumi, "there are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground." The Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley is offering folks an opportunity to experience a variety of religious and spiritual rituals in a day long event celebrating spiritual practices from a range of religions and traditions. Each hour you can choose from an array of experiential sessions and brain-bending lectures on divinity in its many forms, taught by progressive leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of various faiths. In one day, you can try anything from drumming, to meditation, to Taize, to sacred dance. Try poetry as a spiritual practice, sing gospel or chant mantras, walk a labyrinth. Write an inventory. Learn about 12-step spirituality, experience yoga. It all happens on April 21, 2012, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (Registration begins at 8:30) at Pacific School of Religion 1798 Scenic Ave Berkeley. You can find full information and register online at www.sacredsnapshots.org/

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OUR RELIGIOUS NEIGHBORS NEXT DOOR. If you're interested in a snapshot of a different sort, and are located in Santa Clara County, you're invited to contribute to Our Religious Neighbor Next Door, a project of SiVIC, the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council. SiVIC is looking for photographs that capture distinctive features of your community— worship, events, people, or facilities. They'll collect these photographs and prepare them for display as a "snapshot" of religious diversity in the South Bay. The deadline is April 20th; you can find details on the SiVIC website.

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NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER. Are you or your community planning any gatherings for the National Day of Prayer, which will be observed on May 3 this year? Throughout its history, since being declared in 1952, the day has had a mixed history. For the most part, it has been observed by conservative Christians, and the National Day of Prayer Task Force makes it clear that "non-Judaeo-Christian groups" are not a part of their prayer effort. At the very least, any observance of the National Day of Prayer needs to include a recognition of the diverse religious (and non-religious) groups that make up our communities. Advocates of separation of church and state have argued that such a designated day, especially when dominated by one tradition, amounts to an establishment of religion and is unnecessary and unconstitutional. If you will be involved, how are you working to make the observance more inclusive? Let us know what you plan and we'll share it here.

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GANDHI AND NONVIOLENCE. ICP Sponsoring Organization AHIMSA is presenting a special gathering with Narayan Desai, the Chancellor of Gujrat Vidyapeeth University in Ahmedabad, which was founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1920. Mr. Desai spent the first 23 years of his life in Gandhi Ashram where he received his early education under Gandhi's direct guidance. Using nonviolent mass movements, he had the opportunity to work with many prominent leaders of India's struggle to win independence from the powerful British Empire. He also has had personal interactions with Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Cesar Chavez, and the Dalai Lama who wrote the preface to Desai's four-volume biography of Gandhi. Arguably the most respected torch bearer of Gandhian philosophy, today Narayan Desai is well known as an educator and a promoter of appropriate and sustainable technologies. He will speak on Gandhi and I: Personal Recollections: Under what conditions is the use of violence justified? April 12, 2012, 7:30-9:00 pm at the Berkeley Friends Meeting House, 2151 Vine St. Berkeley. (510) 843-9725. The event is sponsored by AHIMSA, Metta Center for Nonviolence, Institute for World Religions & Berkeley Buddhist Monastery and Indians for Collective Action.

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CROP WALKS. For over 30 years, communities have participated in CROP Walks, local walks to raise funds for hunger relief sponsored by Church World Service. In recent years, the walks have expanded to include other faith groups as well. Funds raised go to local hunger relief and to CWS or other faith-based international relief groups. This year, CROP Walks will take place in 11 Bay Area communities on Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29. If you are in or near Alameda, Antioch, Berkeley, Fremont, Oakland, Pleasanton, San Francisco, San Jose, San Rafael, Sonoma, or Vallejo, go to www.BayAreaHungerWalk.org for information about your local event, or call 510-848-7024. See individual listings below.

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NOTES & QUOTES: Two members of the Board of ICP report on recent events in our area:

Loel Bartlett Miller, representative for the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County and member of the Sufism Reoriented community in Walnut Creek:

Sufism EmblemSufism Reoriented is a spiritual organization, chartered in 1952 in America, which honors the central core of truth in all religious streams and seeks to work in harmony with all religions.  On February 29, 2012, the County Board of Supervisors granted our long-awaited Land Use Permit to build our new sanctuary. We are very grateful to the large number of neighbors who wrote to the County on our behalf and to all those who attended the Supervisors' hearings to show their support. To all of you, we offer heartfelt thanks.

Murshida Carol Conner is the spiritual director of the community, and she shared some comments on "Sacred Design" with the members of the Board of Supervisors. You can read them here.

Board Member Vanessa Gomez Brake attended the Abrahamic Family Reunion:

On March 25th, the Sixth Annual Conference of the Abrahamic Family Reunion (AFR) began at the Esalen Institute, hosted by the Center for Theory & Research (CTR), and Track II: An Institute for Citizen Diplomacy. Over four days, participants representing and working with Muslims, Christians & Jews discussed the potential for healing historical traumas, memory and peacemaking amongst the Abrahamic faiths. Specifically, the workshops revolved around the topics of Poland, Iran and Jerusalem projects. To learn about the theory guiding the Abrahamic Family Reunion project, read the latest text by Project Director, Joseph Montville, titled "History as Prelude: Muslims & Jews in the Medieval Mediterranean."

Vanessa has supported the coordination of these annual gatherings in Big Sur, CA for the last four years. In 2011, in association with AFR, the International Abrahamic Network (IAN) was launched, which brought together media professionals. As a group, participants explored media as an effective tool for social change, and how their work, as filmmakers, film festival coordinators, editors, etc. could heal the divides between communities. Current projects of participants span the Middle East, Europe and the United States. 

You can read the proceedings of past conferences on the CTR website

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SEND US YOUR NEWS! We at Bay Area Interfaith Connect make every effort to include upcoming interfaith events in our monthly calendar (which is always available on our website). Please be sure to send information about your upcoming events to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We'd also like to share what happened at your events or celebrations with the wider interfaith community. Got a story you'd like to share? Pictures from that latest gathering? Send them along and let everyone know what's happening!


 

BAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT is sent each month to nearly 2,000 subscribers, and is available online at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.

To Subscribe: If you do not receive the monthly updates and would like to do so, simply write to info@interfaith-presidio.org. Please include your name, and, if you are willing, your street address and phone will help us to keep you up to date on interfaith activities.

To Unsubscribe: If you wish to unsubscribe you can do so by writing info@interfaith-presidio.org and letting us know. Thank you.

About the Editor: D. Andrew Kille is director of Interfaith Space in San Jose, working to develop and strengthen interfaith relations throughout the Bay Area. Send your calendar items, comments and suggestions to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We try to keep the ICP Update and Calendar as current as we can, but if you want your item included in the monthly newsletter, it needs to be in our hands a week before the end of the month.

 

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BAIC ARCHIVES

In the Bay Area Interfaith Connect Archives you will find editorials from BAIC beginning with January of 2007, as well as longer articles on issues of interest for interfaith work..

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March- Learning from the Jains

IN THIS ISSUE: Unity in Diversity | Veterans | Youth | FAITHS Grants | CROP Walks | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News | Subscription information

Happy 2012!

The Rev. Thomas Goodhue, Director of the Long Island Council of Churches, wrote recently in his newsletter about his impressions on a visit to a local Jain Center in Queens:

. . . the most striking thing about this Center is that it has five distinct worship areas, one for each of the major traditions in Jainism. The core beliefs and teaching of the five traditions are the same but their forms of devotion are quite different. One sanctuary is packed with ornate, decorated statues of Jain leaders who are believed to have achieved moksha or liberation from suffering, which seems to be something like what Christians call union with God. Another has only undecorated statues; two honor great teachers of their particular traditions; another has no imagery whatsoever.

. . . Not only do the devotees of various sects co-exist easily here, we were told, it is not unusual for visitors to spend time praying in several sanctuaries, or even all five of them. Individuals usually prefer a particular form of prayer and devotion, but it is not uncommon for a husband to prefer one form and a wife another. Nor is it unusual for someone’s preferred style of prayer to change over the years.

Can you imagine a cathedral in which Christians moved gracefully from the silent prayer of a Quaker meeting to Greek Orthodox liturgy, then go to a Coptic Orthodox sanctuary, and end up with the exuberant praise of Pentecostal prayer, and finally to a Catholic mass? Can you imagine a church in which people are welcome to participate fully in all these gatherings of the faithful under one roof?

. . . Christians sometimes think that Christian unity requires us to all do things the same way and that ecumenism requires us to leave behind our distinctive traditions, and people of good will often think that interfaith tolerance means pretending that we all believe the same thing. The visit to the Jain Center reinforced my belief that interfaith encounters not only help us understand our own faith more clearly, they also give us opportunities to learn something profoundly new from those whose beliefs are radically different from our own. The Jain Center may be showing us an altogether different vision of how diverse Christians might live together. Perhaps we are called and make room for and maintain practices that feed someone else’s spiritual journey but are not the way we ourselves draw near to God. Could we honor and learn from traditions radically from different from the way we pray?

Although Rev. Goodhue suggests that the example of the Jains might apply specifically to Christian unity, his reflections say something essential about the nature and the value of a broader interfaith encounter. Experiencing different forms of worship, prayer, action, and hospitality offer us models for new ways of living out our own religious commitments. We return to our own communities a little richer than before.

Jain Center of Northern CaliforniaDid you know that we are blessed here in the Bay Area with a similar temple, the Jain Center of Northern California, located in Milpitas? That's a picture of it on the right. Built in 2000, it also serves the different devotional needs within the Jain community in a shared sacred space. The Jains in the South Bay have brought their commitment to nonviolence and to unity in diversity to the work of interfaith. They have sponsored several public interfaith dialogues at the Center itself, and were founding Affiliates of SiVIC, the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council. You can learn more about the Center at www.jcnc.org/, and if you're in the Milpitas area, a visit to the Center is a memorable experience.

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SPIRITUAL NEEDS OF VETERANS. The Interfaith Center at the Presidio will present Beyond Memorial Day: Understanding the Hidden Wounds of War, a one-day conference on Thursday, April 26th, 2012, at the Orinda Community Church.  This special event is focused on helping clergy, spiritual leaders and members of all faith communities to understand the spiritual needs of veterans as thousands of warriors return from the zones of war. Wounds to the spirit, difficult to express, are experienced side by side with the strengths and competencies honed in military service.  The conference brings together veterans, professionals serving veterans and military, and community and religious leaders.  Presentations include special topic panels, small group discussion, networking opportunities, and resource information.  The goal is to assist congregations and spiritual communities to become healing, welcoming places for veterans as they seek spiritual wholeness in their lives. For details and registration information, go to the Interfaith Center website.

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INTERFAITH OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH. URI is offering their Young Leaders Program (YLP) training March 31 - April 1 in San Francisco. It empowers young people with the skills, resources and networks to make positive change in their communities. Workshops include lively dialogue sessions on multiculturalism, different faith traditions, and creative ways to address local community issues. The training is facilitated by a team of experienced international peacebuilders and community organizers. $25 registration fee covers workshops and meals. Mail your name, age, school/college (if applicable), contact information and a short statement (150 words or less) telling us why you are interested in participating, to Krithika at kharish@uri.org or call (415) 561- 2300 x 23 by March 9th.

There are still some spots available for the Teen Interfaith Leadership Council of Santa Clara County. The Council will involve Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors from Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Catholic/Christian backgrounds in meaningful service, interfaith dialogue and advocacy activities that address issues of poverty and social injustice while promoting the common good in Santa Clara County. The emphasis will be on mutual respect and understanding and interfaith dialogue will be emphasized, not conversion. The council’s 10-member Core Team will participate in an annual retreat and immersive experience July 26-30 in New Mexico in partnership with the Shinnyo-en Buddhist Temple, Shinnyo-en Foundation, Working Partnerships USA and the Interfaith Council.  Interested students can download a project description and application form.

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FAITHS PROGRAM GRANTS. Every year The San Francisco Foundation's FAITHS Program offers congregations and faith-based organizations an opportunity to apply for mini-grant support for community service, civic engagement, or cultural and artistic programs. Faith-based organizations in the five Bay Area counties we serve (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo) are eligible to apply for a mini-grant of up to $5,000. Please visit their website for complete application guidelines, and more information about the program, before beginning your application in Grantee Center. The deadline to apply online is Monday, March 12, 2012 by 11:59 p.m. (please note support will be available until 2:00 p.m.). If you have any questions about the FAITHS Community Partners Mini-Grants, contact Tessa Rouverol Callejo at 415.733.8541 or trc@sff.org, or Michelle Myles Chambers at 415.733.8539 or mmc@sff.org.

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CROP WALKS. For over 30 years, communities have participated in CROP Walks, local walks to raise funds for hunger relief sponsored by Church World Service. In recent years, the walks have expanded to include other faith groups as well. Funds raised go to local hunger relief and to CWS or other faith-based international relief groups. This year, CROP Walks will take place in 11 Bay Area communities on Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29. If you are in or near Alameda, Antioch, Berkeley, Fremont, Oakland, Pleasanton, San Francisco, San Jose, San Rafael, Sonoma, or Vallejo, go to www.BayAreaHungerWalk.org for information about your local event, or call 510-848-7024. See individual listings below.

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NOTES & QUOTES: "The term `public faith' seems to me problematic. Religious and ethical life are matters of practice and entail engaged public action. I follow Thich Nhat Hanh's view that contemplative and spiritual practice is not a movement away from the world, but calls out a response to act on what is most needful. Hanh says: "All things arise because of their interdependence, and that is why nothing has a separate, independent identity. It is because of our ignorance and hatred, that we accuse, reprimand or slander one another." Prof. Jack Wikse, at Reclaiming the Public Good: Occupy Your Congregation? at the Marin Interfaith Council's Religious Leaders Lunch in February.

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SEND US YOUR NEWS! We at Bay Area Interfaith Connect make every effort to include upcoming interfaith events in our monthly calendar (which is always available on our website). Please be sure to send information about your upcoming events to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We'd also like to share what happened at your events or celebrations with the wider interfaith community. Got a story you'd like to share? Pictures from that latest gathering? Send them along and let everyone know what's happening!


 

BAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT is sent each month to nearly 2,000 subscribers, and is available online at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.

To Subscribe: If you do not receive the monthly updates and would like to do so, simply write to info@interfaith-presidio.org. Please include your name, and, if you are willing, your street address and phone will help us to keep you up to date on interfaith activities.

To Unsubscribe: If you wish to unsubscribe you can do so by writing info@interfaith-presidio.org and letting us know. Thank you.

About the Editor: D. Andrew Kille is director of Interfaith Space in San Jose, working to develop and strengthen interfaith relations throughout the Bay Area. Send your calendar items, comments and suggestions to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We try to keep the ICP Update and Calendar as current as we can, but if you want your item included in the monthly newsletter, it needs to be in our hands a week before the end of the month.

 

interfaith symbols

BAIC ARCHIVES

In the Bay Area Interfaith Connect Archives you will find editorials from BAIC beginning with January of 2007, as well as longer articles on issues of interest for interfaith work..

return to top

February-
World Interfaith Harmony Week

IN THIS ISSUE: World Interfaith Harmony Week | Around ICP | Religious Neighbors Next Door | Understanding Islam | Jewish-Muslim Relations | Contemplative Dialogue | Hindus and Pagans | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News

Happy 2012!

WORLD INTERFAITH HARMONY WEEK. The first week of February, 1-7, is observed worldwide as World Interfaith Harmony Week. The observance arose out of the work of the Common Word initiative, in which Muslim scholars, religious leaders and thinkers sought to recognize the common ground on which Islam and Christianity are built. Following a proposal by King Abdullah II of Jordan, the United Nations unanimously adopted the resolution to declare the first week of February will be observed as a World Interfaith Harmony Week.

One goal of the Week is to make the ongoing work of interfaith groups to be made more visible to the world around. The thousands of events organized by these groups often go unnoticed not only by the general public, but also by other interfaith groups themselves. This week allows for these groups to become aware of each other and strengthen the movement by building ties and avoiding duplicating each others' efforts. You can find a listing of events, background materials, photos and videos at the World Interfaith Harmony Week website.

Interfaith Harmony WeekURI (the United Religions Initiative) has created a page of resources, including a list of events sponsored by URI Cooperation Circles around the world, as well as a downloadable tool card with suggestions on how individuals and groups can observe the Week.

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AROUND ICP. Thanks to all of you who responded to the Annual Appeal for ICP at the end of the year. Over 80 people contributed nearly $20,000, more than meeting the challenge grant of $15,000, and thus providing some $35,000 to support ICP and its programs. Thank you all for your generosity!

The beginning of the year witnessed a few leadership changes around the Interfaith Center. Rev. Dr. Susan Strouse, who had committed to serve one year as the interim Executive Director stepped down from that role to take over as Chair of the Board. Linda Crawford, who has faithfully led the Restoration Campaign for several years, was named "Managing Director" of ICP, to handle relationships with the Presidio management and continue working on development. Sandi Pilon remains as the Chapel Manager. Two members of the Board regretfully had to resign due to other commitments: Abby Fuller and Rev. Dave Rickey. Dr. Amir Araim from the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County was added. You can find bios of the current Board members on the ICP website.

Many thanks to outgoing Board Chair Rita Semel for her long-time (and continuing) service to the Center!

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Religious Neighbor Next DoorRELIGIOUS NEIGHBORS NEXT DOOR. How do you take a "snapshot" of a diverse religious community? In the South Bay, the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council (SiVIC) has announced a project, "Our Religious Neighbor Next Door" in an attempt to do just that. Eacb year, Silicon Valley Reads, a community program sponsored by libraries and educational groups, chooses a book or two and invites everyone in Silicon Valley to read it, discuss it, and share it. This year, one of the books chosen is The Muslim Next Door by Sumbul Ali-Karamali, an American Muslim who grew up in Southern California and wrote her book to answer many of the questions she was being asked about what it was like to be Muslim in this country.

SiVIC took a cue from the title of the book and is hoping to highlight that our neighbors are not only Muslim, but come from virtually all of the world's religions. Indigenous peoples, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christians, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans, Jains, Baha'i, Jews, Mormons, Sikhs, and many others have put down roots in Silicon Valley, making the region a microcosm of the globe's diverse religious landscape.

From January 25 through March 15, SiVIC invites local congregations and organizations to submit photos that capture their distinctive identities. The resulting collective "snapshot" of religion in the Valley in 2012 – will be published online and exhibited in April. If you are located in the South Bay, or have connections to a community there, encourage your congregation to take part. Full details on the SiVIC website.

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UNDERSTANDING ISLAM. Another book that responds to questions about Islam is Understanding Islam: Fifty Questions. Written by new ICP Board Member Dr. Amer Araim, the book covers the basic principles and practices of Islam as well as questions on the mind of Americans who are interested to know more about Islam. Dr. Araim is President of the Islamic Community Outreach of California and a member of the Executive Committee of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County. He is available to speak to groups. For information or to arrange presentation, please contact islamicoutreach@hotmail.com or 925.934.1794 or PO Box 21, Walnut Creek, California 94597. The book is available through Amazon.com.

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JEWISH-MUSLIM RELATIONS. Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalities, Contentions, and Complexities is a compilation of essays co-edited by internationally acclaimed author, writer, and Abraham's Vision Board member Reza Aslan and AV Co- Executive Director Aaron Hahn Tapper. This one-of-a-kind book explores contemporary Jewish-Muslim relations in the United States and the distinct and often creative ways in which these two communities interact with one another in the American context. Each of the book's sixteen essays discusses a different episode from the recent twentieth and current twenty-first century American milieu that links these two groups together. It is available through Amazon.com. Aaron Tapper and Co-Executive Director Huda Abu Arquob were interviewed as part of the ICP Abraham's Vision project. You can see their interview on the ICP website.

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CONTEMPLATIVE DIALOGUE. A webinar sponsored by the Parliament of the World's Religions will feature founding ICP Board Member Nahid Angha, a Sufi, in conversation with Daniel Wolpert, a Presbyterian pastor and contemplative. Nahid Angha, Ph.D. is the co-director and co-founder of the International Association of Sufism (IAS), founder of the International Sufi Women Organization, and the executive editor of Sufism: An Inquiry. She is an internationally published scholar and one of the major Sufi teachers, scholars, and translators of Sufi literature today, with over fifteen published books. Daniel Wolpert serves as the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Crookston, MN and is the co-founder of the Minnesota Institute of Contemplation and Healing (MICAH). For the past twenty five years he has taught in the fields of psychology and spiritual formation and led retreats in such settings as the Art of Spiritual Direction Program at SFTS, the Youth Ministry and Spirituality Project, national ministry conferences, UCLA, UND medical school, Luther Seminary, and numerous churches. The Webinar will take place Wednesday, February 8, 2012 Time: 8:00 - 9:00 am PST. Register online.

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HINDUS AND PAGANS. Each year, the Pagan community gathers in San Jose over Presidents Day weekend for Pantheacon, an annual conference to celebrate pagan and ethnic religious traditions. Held at the Doubletree Hotel, Pantheacon offers workshops on a variety of issues of interest to people in those traditions. This year, Don Frew, ICP Board member, will be presenting a workshop related to the work of the Lost and Endangered Religions Project, a sponsored project of ICP. There has always been an interfaith component to the gathering, and for 2012, Mihir Meghani, MD, Co-Founder and Board Member of the Hindu American Foundation, and Northern CA Working Group Member, Raman Khanna, MD will be speaking on Hinduism. They will be featured on a panel entitled, Hindus and Pagans: One Billion Strong, and discuss a wide range of topics, including the Sacredness of Nature, the Divine Mother, Advancing Pluralism, and Shared Social Action. See details for Pantheacon 2011.

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NOTES & QUOTES: "Interfaith history can too easily seem to be a history of conferences and organisations: but primarily it is the history of an ever-increasing number of people of different faiths and from different countries across the world, catching the dream of a fellowship of faiths and of our shared humanity." Marcus Braybrooke, in The Interfaith Observer.

"The lighting of Chanukah candles can be seen as a ceremonial process through which we enact the destruction that necessarily precedes rededication. We place our candle in its holder, light its tiny flame and watch wick and wax melt to the ground. We repeat for eight nights, adding one more candle, each time increasing our capacity to watch it all burn away. We love to think about renewal, but it is often very challenging to sit with that clearing away that comes before. Perhaps each night of Chanukah is an opportunity to embrace the force in each of our lives that dismantles that which no longer serves us." Adina Allen, at State of Formation.

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SEND US YOUR NEWS! We at Bay Area Interfaith Connect make every effort to include upcoming interfaith events in our monthly calendar (which is always available on our website). Please be sure to send information about your upcoming events to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We'd also like to share what happened at your events or celebrations with the wider interfaith community. Got a story you'd like to share? Pictures from that latest gathering? Send them along and let everyone know what's happening!


 

BAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT is sent each month to nearly 2,000 subscribers, and is available online at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.

To Subscribe: If you do not receive the monthly updates and would like to do so, simply write to info@interfaith-presidio.org. Please include your name, and, if you are willing, your street address and phone will help us to keep you up to date on interfaith activities.

To Unsubscribe: If you wish to unsubscribe you can do so by writing info@interfaith-presidio.org and letting us know. Thank you.

About the Editor: D. Andrew Kille is director of Interfaith Space in San Jose, working to develop and strengthen interfaith relations throughout the Bay Area. Send your calendar items, comments and suggestions to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We try to keep the ICP Update and Calendar as current as we can, but if you want your item included in the monthly newsletter, it needs to be in our hands a week before the end of the month.

 

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BAIC ARCHIVES

In the Bay Area Interfaith Connect Archives you will find editorials from BAIC beginning with January of 2007, as well as longer articles on issues of interest for interfaith work..

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January- ICP & Veterans

IN THIS ISSUE: Happy New Year | ICP & Veterans | Interreligious Studies at GTU | Interfaith Amigos | Preach-In on Global Warming | Multifaith Calendar | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News | Subscription Information

Happy 2012!

A Happy and Blessed New Year to All!

As we mark the end of 2011, we at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio celebrate the accomplishments of the past year at ICP (you can find a list of them here) and look forward to the new opportunities and challenges that will come our way in the year ahead. May this coming year be full of life for you and yours, and bring even more opportunities for relationships built on compassion, hospitality, and mutual understanding among people of different religious traditions, and none, here in the Bay Area and around the World.

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National CemeteryICP AND VETERANS. The Interfaith Center at the Presidio is located in the beautiful and historic Main Post Chapel of the Presidio, adjacent to the National Cemetery, Golden Gate Club, and Main Post area of this military base turned into an urban National Park. Since its historic purpose was as an interfaith spiritual center for the military, it is appropriate that the Interfaith Center at the Presidio has renewed its commitment to returning military veterans and their families. Since its inception, it hosted an interfaith service after the well-attended Memorial Day event at the National Cemetery, but this year it added ICP participation in the ceremony at the Cemetery, hosted a reception presenting a half dozen groups that serve returning veterans, and an expanded interfaith service. An ICP board member also served as chaplain at the other annual event at the National Cemetery, the Wreaths across America project, December 10th.

These words from the ICP chaplain at the two Presidio Cemetery events in 2010, from his recent Invocation, convey our hopes for the interfaith community throughout the Bay area:

Memorial Service“The prophets of your spirit taught us that faith must be lived by making love real and practical to those who need it most. Our returning veterans need us, and we pledge ourselves to help them to be successes at home as they have been heroes at war. Dear God of us all, and friends here, I lost a nephew this November who was a returned veteran from the front in Afghanistan. He came home wounded in spirit because comrades had died, and he took his own life. Like too many, it is too late for us to help him to heal, but I hope by honoring his memory on this occasion, you, God, can help me to inspire the people here to reach out to the returning veterans they know or could know, and to help those veterans to find peace at home, to get the jobs and educations they deserve, and to help our country to flourish through many years of peace. This occasion, and its partner Wreaths across America are an important way to remember and to honor our fallen veterans, and we are grateful for all who have helped in this worthy effort, but we know that our patriotic duty and our sacred faiths demand more of us, to serve the living at least as well as we honor the dead. May we all grow in your service and together build a generation of peace. Amen and Blessed Be!”

ICP’s future plans in support of veterans include providing on its website helpful information to the spiritual communities of the greater Bay area as resources to help them to welcome, support, and integrate returning veterans and their families into their congregations. It is also ICP’s intention to establish an Interfaith House of Peace and Reconciliation since we realize that the wounds of war impact not only the 1% of Americans who serve in the military and their families, but the 99% who are civilians. It is ICP’s intention to co-sponsor future events throughout the Bay area in support of the success and effectiveness of this work.

See some additional photos from the Wreaths Across America observance on our website.

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GTU OFFERS NEW INTERRELIGIOUS PROGRAM. The Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley recently announced a new M.A. degree program in Interreligious Studies, to begin in Fall of 2012. Although the GTU has long been known for its unique mix of faith traditions, including seminaries of several Christian denominations as well as centers for Buddhist, Islamic, and Jewish studies, this is the first time a course of study has focused on the issues and importance of the emerging interreligious reality across the United States and around the world. The faculty group that developed the program describes it in this way: "Broadly speaking, the purpose of the M.A. area of concentration in Interreligious Studies is to foster the study of multiple religious traditions, their practitioners, and their expressions in different cultural contexts. This area is designed to be open to studies that are oriented to fields within both theological studies and religious studies. Topics of focus and methodologies might include historical and contemporary relations between religious traditions, comparative theology, comparative religion, interreligious dialogue, and interreligious pastoral practices." Applications are due February 15 for the first class of students. See www.gtu.edu for more intformation.

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INTERFAITH AMIGOS IN THE BAY AREA. The Interfaith Amigos — Pastor Don Mackenzie, Rabbi Ted Falcon and Imam Jamal Rahman—started working together after 9/11. Since then, they have brought their unique blend of spiritual wisdom and humor from Seattle to audiences in the US, Canada, Israel-Palestine and Japan. Their first book, Getting to the Heart of Interfaith (Skylight Paths, 2009), brought the Interfaith Amigos international attention with coverage from the New York Times, CBS News, the BBC and various NPR programs. They have recently published a new book, Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith (Skylight Paths, 2011). They will be appearing at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church Saturday and Sunday, February 4-5; and at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley the evening of the 5th. See listings in the events calendar below or interfaithamigos.org for details.

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PREACH-IN ON GLOBAL WARMING. Interfaith Power & Light, the San Francisco-based organization that works with congregations on energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy, wishes to invite clergy of all religions, lay leaders, and green team members from across the country to participate in the National Preach-In on Global Warming over Valentine's Day weekend, February 10-12, 2012. Those who register on the IPL website will receive support materials to aid in their preparations, including sample sermons, a Global warming fact sheet, and bulletin inserts. For more information or to register for the program, go to interfaithpowerandlight.org.

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MULTIFAITH CALENDAR 2012: HEART AND SOUL. The Multifaith Action Society is pleased to present the new 2012 MultifaithCalendar - Heart and Soul. Available in both printed and electronic versions, the MFC is the leading source of complete and accurate dates, times, and descriptions for 370 + observances and events (including over 180 religious and cultural occasions from 14 world religions). In the US, the calendar can be ordered from Interfaith Marketplace orders@interfaithmarketplace.com Toll free: 1.877.525-8883 www.interfaithmarketplace.com

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NOTES & QUOTES: ". . . I learned that the word "charity" is generally not used in foundation or government work any more. The word, it seems, has come to mean fuzzy, non-directive, perhaps irresponsible giving that does not have a feedback component. I get it. Good intentions do not always bring about good results, and the complexity of social situations requires good thinking and analysis before stepping forward in helping. On the other hand, charity, as conceived as a companion for love, is not always rational or pre-conceived. I have before me a compendium of thoughts from various religions on the meaning of compassion and charity. One of the recurring themes is that the giver of charity does not expect anything in return. It is unfettered generosity. Well, there you have a conundrum. As a matter of fact, more people today are demanding a personal component to their giving, a living connection with the receiver. That trend does not look like it will be changing any time soon. But there is still something to be said for charity that does not accrue any benefit to the giver, other than the innate feeling of having done a good thing." Rev. Brian Stein-Webber, Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County.

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SEND US YOUR NEWS! We at Bay Area Interfaith Connect make every effort to include upcoming interfaith events in our monthly calendar (which is always available on our website). Please be sure to send information about your upcoming events to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We'd also like to share what happened at your events or celebrations with the wider interfaith community. Got a story you'd like to share? Pictures from that latest gathering? Send them along and let everyone know what's happening!


 

BAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT is sent each month to nearly 2,000 subscribers, and is available online at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.

To Subscribe: If you do not receive the monthly updates and would like to do so, simply write to info@interfaith-presidio.org. Please include your name, and, if you are willing, your street address and phone will help us to keep you up to date on interfaith activities.

To Unsubscribe: If you wish to unsubscribe you can do so by writing info@interfaith-presidio.org and letting us know. Thank you.

About the Editor: D. Andrew Kille is director of Interfaith Space in San Jose, working to develop and strengthen interfaith relations throughout the Bay Area. Send your calendar items, comments and suggestions to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. We try to keep the ICP Update and Calendar as current as we can, but if you want your item included in the monthly newsletter, it needs to be in our hands a week before the end of the month.

 

interfaith symbols

BAIC ARCHIVES

In the Bay Area Interfaith Connect Archives you will find editorials from BAIC beginning with January of 2007, as well as longer articles on issues of interest for interfaith work..

return to top

 

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