Kinds of Membership
Interfaith Center at the Presidio is a set of relationships that begins in the Bay Area in northern California and reaches around the world. Its constituency comes from the thousands who visit and use the Main Post Interfaith Chapel, the Center’s home. And thousands more, near and far, drawn to interfaith activity and the promotion of peace in and between religious, spiritual, and cosmological traditions. Most members are nearby, but a number of members stay connected from far away.
Interfaith groups are qualified to apply to be Sponsoring Organizations, the ‘voting members’ that elect the Center’s Board of Directors. Non-voting membership for individuals – as Associates - provide ways to become engaged in this work at your own level of comfort and interest. An annual donation of $20+ for individuals and $100+ for groups helps keep the system running and connected.
What does Interfaith Center Membership mean?
Interfaith Center at the Presidio is dedicated to nurturing peace and friendship among religious, spiritual, and indigenous traditions who are neighbors today. The Center’s stakeholders, called Sponsors and Associates, are individuals and organizations who support the Center’s mission and activities.
SPIRITUAL DIVERSITY & SHARED VALUES – The Center is a network of relationships, not a new religion or a congregation. We delight in our diversity while seeking the shared ethical wisdom that grounds us all, championing the Golden Rule, the dignity of every human being, and peace & justice for all.
LOCAL & GLOBAL – At home in the San Francisco Bay Area, our relationships reach globally to millions who share the vision of a peaceful, vibrant interfaith culture. Hope fuels our collaborative efforts to heal the Earth and end the violence and grinding poverty so many suffer.
OUR GROUND-RULES – When we gather, we do so in mutual respect and good will, creating the safe space necessary for healthy, collaborative relationships.
AN INTERFAITH HOME – Unlike thousands of other interfaith groups, the Center is blessed to make its home in a beautiful interfaith sanctuary and a set of meeting rooms, the Main Post Chapel, also known today as the Interfaith Chapel. It is safe sacred space for all visitors, whatever one’s spiritual inclination. The Chapel is a home secured by the commitment and support of the Center’s Sponsors and Associates, each of whom has a voice in the Center’s activities.
- Staying informed about dozens of faith and interfaith activities around the Bay Area
- Connections to any part of the faith and interfaith communities in the Bay Area
- Easy access to major global grassroots interfaith networks, their leaders and their news
- A place to promote your own faith and interfaith activities
- Invitation-only events for Interfaith Center stakeholders
- The joy of helping engender a vital, healthy interfaith culture in our neighborhoods, nation, and the world
Interfaith Center Sponsoring Organizations are groups, largely from the Bay Area, that have an interfaith constituency and purpose. Sectarian groups are welcome participants at the Center, but an interfaith identity is what characterizes Sponsoring Organizations. Sponsoring Organizations gather once a year or more to elect the Center’s trustees and to hear about its programs and the programs of the various Sponsors.
Current Sponsors include:
- Expressing URI in Music & the Arts
- Graduate Theological Union
- Ik Onkar Peace Fellowship
- Immortal Chaplains Foundation
- Institute for World Religions
- Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County
- Japanese-American Religious Federation
- Marin Interfaith Council
- Pacifica Institute
- Rossmoor Interfaith Council
- San Francisco Interfaith Council
- URI San Francisco Peninsula Circle
- Women’s Interfaith Circle of Service
Bay Area interfaith groups interested in a sponsoring relationship with the Interfaith Center are invited to contact the Executive Director.
Interfaith Center Associates are individuals who support the Interfaith Center vision and wish to lay personal claim to the Center’s activities, local and global, its pioneering achievements, and its magnificent site.
Members commit themselves to honesty, mutual respect, the safety of all, and a willingness not to proselytize at Interfaith Center activities.
Members define their own level of engagement in the Center, getting involved according to their particular interests.
They are invited to fill out a short questionnaire indicating their particular interests.
Associate Membership dues, on a sliding scale of $20-100+, go to sustaining the Center’s operations. Besides becoming partners in this work, Associates receive the monthly e-newsletter Bay Area Interfaith Connect and periodic updates sent to supporters. They are invited to invitation-only events for Interfaith Center stakeholders.
Please fill out an Associates membership form if you wish to join. Members are invited to fill out a short questionnaire indicating their particular interests.
The Interfaith Center at the Presidio is a member of the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN), an organization of grassroots interfaith agencies in Canada and the United States. Staff and board members from these organizations meet for an annual summer conference. The Interfaith Center led in planning the NAIN’s 20th anniversary annual conference in San Francisco in 2008. NAIN can be contacted at www.nain.org.
The Interfaith Center is also affiliated with the United Religions Initiative (URI) as a "cooperation circle." This networks the Center with over 400 similar circles in over seventy countries, a figure that grows each month. The purpose of URI is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. URI can be contacted at www.uri.org.
At the 1993 Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago, dozens of leaders from different religious, spiritual, and indigenous traditions joined hands and signed a statement called Toward a Global Ethic - An Initial Declaration. The Center has participated with the Parliament’s Partnership City since its inception and will be sending a ten or more representatives to the Parliament in Melbourne, December 3-9, 2009.
The Center stands firmly within the shared commitment of the Global Ethic, which states in part...
We are interdependent. Each of us depends on the well-being of the whole, and so we have respect for the community of living beings ... We must treat others as we wish others to treat us. We make a commitment to respect life and dignity, individuality and diversity, so that every person is treated humanely, without exception...
In the broadest sense, the Interfaith Center is connected to all faith and interfaith communities who share these convictions.