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Sunday, July 5, 2015 Interfaith Center at the Presidio

July- Pope Francis & Dialogue

Interfaith Center at the PresidioPope Francis has been busy recently! His recently-published encyclical Laudato si ("Praise Be to You") has the subtitle "On the care of our common home," and has fired up reactions around the world , both pro and con, with his critiques of consumerism, income disparity, environmental damage and global warming. Less well-known is his message to interreligious representatives that gathered in early June in Sarajevo.

Interreligious dialogue, Francis said, is a "conversation about human existence," touching on all dimensions of daily life, and developing a spirit "which unites and favors the promotion of moral values, justice, freedom and peace." Thus, "interreligious dialogue cannot be limited merely to the few, to leaders of religious communities, but must also extend as far as possible to all believers, engaging the different sectors of civil society. Particular attention must be paid to young men and women who are called to build the future of this country. It is always worth remembering, however, that for dialogue to be authentic and effective, it presupposes a solid identity: without an established identity, dialogue is of no use or even harmful. I say this with the young in mind, but it applies to everyone."

You can find the full text of his comments on the Vatican Radio website.

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Rabbi Elisheva Salamo, Mark Denni and Theodore Timpson

PRE-PARLIAMENT PARTY. About 35 people gathered on a Sunday afternoon to learn more about the Parliament of the World's Religions, the host city Salt Lake, Utah, and environs, and some of the people and programs to be presented October 15-19. There were greetings from ICP President Fred Fielding and URI Executive Director Victor Kazanjian, tales of past Parliaments from ICP Board member Don Frew (who has attended all the Parliaments since 1993), and Q&A with Parliament Ambassador Karen Hernandez. Presentations on the intra-faith conversation, the experience of a Parliament Partner City, Interfaith Education, and "Democracy and Religious Diversity" were described by Linda Crawford (on behalf of Susan Strouse), Andrew Kille (ICP Board member and Chair of SiVIC), Theodore Timpson, head of the Children's School of Art and Science in Palo Alto, and Sally Mahé of the URI. Following the formal meeting, there was opportunity for food and conversation. Many of those who attended were new to ICP, and it was a great opportunity to make connections with people who will heading to Salt Lake City in October.

Parliament of the World's Religions

October 15- 19, 2015
Salt Lake City, UT
Information & Registration

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UN / URI AnniversaryUN/ URI ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS. The United Nations celebrated its 70th Anniversary and the United Religions Initiative its 15th the last weekend of June. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon joined dignitaries at the San Francisco City Hall, including Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman and Democratic Leader of the United States House of Representatives; Jerry Brown, Governor of California; Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco; and Malala Yousafzai, the young Nobel Peace Prize laureate. “For two months," Ban observed of the UN founders, "they turned San Francisco’s War Memorial into a peace palace.”

At a URI breakfast the next morning, many of the founding members were present, including Paul Andrews and Rita Semel of ICP. Elder Don Frew and URI Executive Director Victor Kazanjian led in a ritual of the Waters of the World. Don has gathered sacred waters from 154 sources in 47 countries on all 7 continents and from the Seven Seas. Participants were invited to pour brightly-colored marbles representing all 8 URI Regions into the bowl of sacred waters in a moving affirmation of how we are all connected.

Then followed a celebration at Grace Cathedral, with a welcome from Bishop William Swing and addresses by Nancy Pelosi; filmmaker and international human rights scholar Grazyna Petra Kolondra; and Marco Tavanti, Ph. D., of the University of San Francisco Non Profit Administration Program. Victor Kazanjian shared former UN General Secretary Dag Hammarskjöld's reflection: "You wake from dreams of doom and--for a moment--you know: beyond all the noise and the gestures, the only real thing, love's calm unwavering flame in the half-light of an early dawn." Sally Mahé led those assembled in an Appreciative Inquiry, followed by the premier performance of "The Way Chose You," a musical adaptation of Hammarskjöld's writings, by Kloster Vocalis, Coelis Ensemble, Sycamore Chamber Orchestra, and Pacific Choir. An interfaith circle and blessing closed the day.

You can find video of several of the presentations online: Bishop Swing's speeches; Victor Kazanjian's presentation; Sally Mahe's introduction to Appreciative Inquiry; there's also a collection of celebratory messages for the URI.

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RamadanRAMADAN. Ramadan, the month of the Muslim year devoted to fasting, prayer, and acts of compassion, has been a particular opportunity for Muslim communities to welcome their friends and neighbors to the traditional iftar meal that breaks each days fasting at sundown. This year, Ramadan began on June 18 and will last until July 17. A number of local mosques and groups are hosting iftar meals during this season; ICP is co-sponsoring an interfaith Ramadan service at Grace Cathedral on Thursday, July 9 at 7:15 pm. Be sure to check the additional listings on our interfaith calendar. Online, Sara Ager, who blogs as "A Hotchpotch Hijabi in Italy" has created the "Interfaith Ramadan" site. When Interfaith Ramadan started in 2013, Ager wrote most of the posts, but 2015 includes contributions from Wiccan, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, and ex-Muslim communities.

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Peace in the ParkPEACE IN THE PARK. For the third year Peace in the Park will take place in Golden Gate Park. This year's celebration will be on September 19th, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, and will once again feature music and dancing from a variety of cultures, speakers and inspirational workshops, vegetarian food, and opportunities for sharing in meditation, yoga, Tai Chi and other spiritual practices. ICP and URI are among the sponsoring organizations. It promises to be "a rejuvenating day of peaceful activites for all ages and backgrounds." Save the date, and go to www.peaceintheparksf.org/ for more information and pictures from past events. Please contact Linda Crawford at linda@interfaith-presidio.org if you might be interested in staffing the ICP tent for part of the time.

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PLURALISM SUMMER. First United Lutheran Church of San Francisco will be having their 3rd Pluralism Summer every Sunday at 5:00 pm from June 14 through August 30. They have again invited a member of a different religious tradition to join the our worship service each week. Last year they asked guests to share how their traditions informed how they thought about caring for the earth. This year’s theme is gender. Some of the questions asked of each speaker are:

  • Is there a feminine aspect of the Divine in your tradition?
  • How does your tradition reflect that aspect?
  • Do women appear in sacred texts?
  • Does your tradition inform how women should act and be?
  • Are there any ways in which women been left out?
  • What’s missing, lost or undervalued?

First UMC believes that wisdom can be enhanced only by continued conversation with all of our neighbors. They welcome people of all faith traditions or no faith tradition–no matter your beliefs, non-beliefs, sexual orientation or gender identity. Together we work for peace, justice, and the good of all people and all creation. First United is a Christian congregation in the Lutheran tradition that meets at St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church 2097 Turk St. (at Lyon) San Francisco. Susan Strouse, former Interim Director of ICP is the pastor.

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NAIN Connect 2015NAINConnect 2015 will bring interfaith leaders from across North America to Luther College at the University of Regina in Saskatchawan, Canada from July 19-21. Choosing the theme “Restoring Spirit Through Sacred Listening,” the conference brings together people of faith and non-faith, members of religious communities, academics, teachers, students, people who work in social development, health care professionals, people from the volunteer sector, and other members of the local community and from across Canada, the United States, and Mexico who are interested in social justice issues and cultural awareness. For information on the program, how to sign up for tours, where to stay, and what to do while you are in Regina, visit us online at www.luthercollege.edu/nain2015 or email nainconnect2015@luthercollege.edu

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The Interfaith ObserverTHE INTERFAITH OBSERVER (TIO) is an independent internet journal about all things interfaith. Each month it goes to more than 12,000 faith and interfaith leaders, including about 2,300 outside the U.S., and more than 300 who’ve contributed articles. Download back issues. TIO is free. Recent articles include…

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NOTES & QUOTES: "The majority of people living on our planet profess to be believers. This should spur religions to dialogue among themselves for the sake of protecting nature, defending the poor, and building networks of respect and fraternity." - Pope Francis I in the Encyclical Laudato Si..."Violence spreads like a virus. Contagious by nature, it follows a spiritual law that says that violence plus violence only equals more violence." - David Cook..."You see, in these 10 years I have learned that pluralism is a verb. It doesn’t stop with one National Day of Prayer event, with one person, one group." Padma Kuppa

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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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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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At the Presidio Chapel
Map and directions to the Presidio’s Main Post Chapel

Presidio Chapel Website: www.presidiochapel.org

Contact the ICP office for information on when the chapel is open for tours.



On the Interfaith Center website at www.interfaith-presidio.org, find resources and information about the ongoing work of ICP. Take a look at our major projects, including the Interfaith Design Competition, the Lost and Endangered Religions Project, the McDonald Windows, and Spiritual Resources interviews.

You can also find a wealth of interfaith links, including books, calendars, Podcasts and more on the Interfaith Resources Page.


Interfaith Center at the PresidioBay Area Interfaith Connect is a monthly newsletter and calendar of interfaith events published by the Interfaith Center at the Presidio. The Center is a regional interfaith hub organization, linking interreligious groups around the Bay, across the nation, and around the world. ICP was incorporated in September 1995 "to welcome, serve, and celebrate the diverse spiritual wisdom and faith traditions of the Bay Area." The Center is a Cooperation Circle of the United Religions Initiative, networked with hundreds of interfaith communities around the world who share a common commitment: ...to promote daily, enduring interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence, and to create cultures of peace, justice, and healing for the Earth and all living beings.

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Bay Area Interreligious Calendar

We invite you to share programs and exhibits sponsored by Bay Area faith and interfaith groups for the public, provided only that they show respect for traditions other than their own and are not primarily aimed at converting people. 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. Send items to calendar@interfaith-presidio.org. National and international interfaith events that might be of interest to local individuals will be posted under "Special Opportunities," along with useful interfaith resources.

Through the month events are added to this calendar; the current version can be found www.interfaith-presidio.org. Look for the marker New Item! Events disappear within a day or two after they happen. To add or cancel your subscription to Bay Area Interfaith Connect, contact info@interfaith-presidio.org.

The new graphic to the right is inspired by the ICP linked ring logo. Each ring remains whole and maintains its integrity; only the white ribbon holds them together. Each of our religious traditions remains unique; it is the commitment to working together that creates the bond.


Save the Date! 1st Annual Interfaith Peace Walk
WHEN: Saturday, September 19, 2015, beginning at 9:00 - 10:00 am
WHERE: TBA. Pledge walk.
Walk (5K, 3K, 1K) for International Day of Peace. Show your support for Peace, Diversity, Interfaith unity, and an end to Homelessness at the end of the Week of Peace. If you want to join the planning team, please contact Elected Council member Carolyn MacKenzie.


Save the Date! International Day of Peace Concert
WHEN: Sunday, September 20, 2015, 4:00 - 5:30 pm
WHERE: Peace Lutheran Church, 3201 Camino Tassajara, Danville. Free; donations welcome.
Join us for a concert with multiple choirs and ensembles as we come together on the International Day of Peace. Co-sponsored by Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, Mt. Diablo Peace Center, Interfaith Center at the Presidio, and the Interfaith Peace Project of Antioch.

     ...IN FREMONT

New Item! World Interfaith Harmony Picnic
WHEN: Saturday, August 29, 2015, 2:00 - 4:00 pm
WHERE: Meyer Park , 38225 Glenmoor Drive, Fremont. Free event (bring food).
Tri-Cities Interfaith Council invites you to our second World Interfaith Harmony Picnic Come join us to eat, play and talk about all the things that make our diverse community such an amazing place to live. Meet people from our diverse communities, including: Atheist, Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Unitarian Universalist, and more. Bring yourself, your family, chairs, an umbrella, toys for kids, and finger food to share! Drinks and paper products will be provided.

Sponsored by Interfaith Women of Peace and Alameda County Human Relations Commission More information: call Mona Shaiq 510-938-0536, or Email moinashaiq@gmail.com.


Save the Date Visionary Marin 2015
WHEN: Thursday, November 12, 2015, 6:00 - 8:30 pm
WHERE: Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. Fundraiser.
Honoring Rev. Jane Spahr and Ms. Laura Talmus. Visionary Marin is a fundraiser for the Marin Interfaith Council, and features a reception, culinary delights, raffle, silent auction and the award program. MIC celebrates faith traditions, advocates justice and builds community by bringing together faith congregations, civic groups, local nonprofits, religious leaders and individuals.

     ...IN NEWARK

New Item! Ramadan Open House
WHEN: Tuesday, July 17, 2015, 5:00- 7:00 pm
WHERE: Newark Library, 6300 Civic Terrace Avenue, Newark. Free event.
Know your Muslim neighbors! Join us for an evening of snacking, sharing, and learning. For all ages. Sponsored by Tri-City Muslims; Co-sponsored by Interfaith Women of Peace. Please RSVP @ Shamsa.R.Masood@gmail.com

     ...IN OAKLAND

Monthly Interfaith Taize' Circle
Every 3rd Saturday, 6:00- 7:15 pm
WHERE: Anasa, 4232 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94619. $10-$25 love donation.
Facilitator: Rev. Ouida Joi; Sacred Music: Monica Williams, Native American, Bamboo & Alto Flutist Please join us for this sacred time for meditation, chanting, silence, music, interfaith readings, sharing, and contemplation as we tap into the stillness and commune with the Divine called by so many names. All are welcome to bring a short reading, poem or prayer from any sacred/spiritual tradition or text. Light refreshments also welcome. Tea will be provided. Namaste'

February 21, March 21, April 18, May 16, June 20, July 18. For more information: revouida.wix.com/revouidajoi.

     ...IN PALO ALTO

Faith Leaders Luncheon
WHEN: Tuesday, September 1, 2015, 11:45 am - 1:30 pm
WHERE: Covenant Presbyterian Church, 670 E Meadow Dr., Palo Alto. Free event.
Mark your calendar now for our next luncheon gathering, set for Tuesday, September 1 at Covenant Presbyterian Church. Our community Thanksgiving service will be on Tuesday, November 24 at 7:30 p.m


New Item! Summer in the City
WHEN: Sundays, July 5, 12, 19; August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 9:00 am
WHERE: St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church, 2325 Union St. San Francisco. Free event.
A series of forums on issues of interest and concern ranging from what Episcopalians believe to Martin Luther to Mary Magdalene, California's Water Future, Pilgrimage, the Transformative Power of Money, and more. For a full listing of sessions, see smvsf.org/adult-formation/.

New Item! The Ramadan Experience
WHEN: Thursday, July 9, 2015, 7:15 pm
WHERE: Grace Cathedral, 1100 California Street, San Francisco. Free event; please RSVP.
"Building Hospitality as a Way of Life." Speaker Dr. Ozgur Koca, Assistant Professor of Muslim Studies, Claremont School of Theology. RSVP at Pacifica Institute website. Co-sponsored by Bay Area Cultural Connections, Calvary Presbyterian Church, FAITHS Program of San Francisco Foundation, Interfaith Center at the Presidio, JCRC, SF Interfaith Council, and URI.

WinterFaith Shelter Walk
WHEN: Sunday, September 20, 2015, 1:30 pm
WHERE: Lake Merced, (Meet at Parking Circle at intersection of Lake Merced and Sunset Blvds.), San Francisco.
Funds raised will benefit the San Francisco Interfaith Winter Shelter. To register, donate and/or obtain information, please visit: http://winterfaithshelterwalk.dojiggy.com.

     ...IN SAN JOSE

New Item! SBIA Open House
WHEN: Sunday, July 12, 2015, 7:30 pm
WHERE: South Bay Islamic Association , 2345 Harris Way, San Jose. Free event.
SBIA (the South Bay Islamic Association), the oldest Muslim Organization in the South Bay area, traditionally hosts an Open House during Ramadan. You are cordially invited to our Ramadan Iftar (fast-breaking dinner) Program, as our guest. Please RSVP by email (rsvp@sbia.info


New Item! Ramadan Open House
WHEN: Friday, July 10, 2015, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Saratoga Prospect Center, 19848 Prospect Road, Saratoga, CA. Free event; RSVP required.
The open house is typically centered around sunset when the fast is broken. At an open house, guests join their fellow Muslim citizens to get a brief overview of Ramadan and its importance to Muslims, followed by a breaking of the fast. The fast is typically broken by eating a date and drinking some water or juice. Guests can observe the Muslims offering their sunset prayer in congregation, followed by a sumptuous dinner and conversation with their hosts.

For information or RSVP, write to OpenHouse@wvmuslim.org.


New Item! Ramadan Meal
Tuesdays, July 7 or 14, 2015, 8:30 pm
WHERE: Pacifica Institute, Pacifica Institute, 1257 Tasman Dr, Unit B, Sunnyvale, CA 94089. Free; Please RSVP.
The Holy month of Ramadan, which is starting on June 18th this year, is a very special time for Muslims. During this 29 – 30 day period, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk after which time the fast is broken with a feast called ‘Iftar’. We have set aside a few nights that month to share Ramadan with our special friends and were hoping you and your family, colleagues and their families from your office could join us for Iftar at Pacifica Institute.

Please RSVP at Pacifica Institute for your preferred date.


World Diversity Day – What can we create together?
WHEN: Sunday, July 5, 2015, 3:00 - 6:00 pm
WHERE: Larkey Park, 1st Ave. & Buena Vista Ave., Walnut Creek.
We are starting a new Holy-Day – a time we consciously come together from multiple parts of the County to share our cultures, food, ideas, but most of all – we come together for genuine, in-depth, Inter-religious conversations around our hopes and dreams as the human race. Do you want to help plan this event? Contact Rev. Hubert Ivery at 925.240.3235 or hivery@spiritquest1.net or Rev. Will McGarvey at 925.597.9797 or InterfaithCCCC@gmail.com

Workshops and showing the film “In Plain Sight”
WHEN: Sunday, August 2, 2015, 3:00 - 6:00 pm
WHERE: Walnut Creek United Methodist Church, 1543 Sunnyvale Ave., Walnut Creek. Free event.
Meet East Bay ministries addressing Human Trafficking. Tabling begins at 3:00 pm with speakers beginning at 4:00 pm and the showing of “In Plain Sight at 5:00 pm.


BAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT ARCHIVE. Some of the items we share each month are not time-limited, but listing them all in each issue becomes too much. We have now created an links page with material from back issues, especially books, web links, and long-term opportunities. Items from past issues are now available on the ICP website in our Interfaith Links Library.

GLOBAL COMPASSION SUMMIT. The Compassion Games is excited to be partnering with the Shift Network in the first online Global Compassion Summit, and we warmly welcome you to join us! The Shift Network’s free online Global Compassion Summit, will take place July 7-9, 2015. This special event features leaders in the growing compassion field – including Karen Armstrong, Congressman Tim Ryan, Matthieu Ricard, Roshi Joan Halifax, Dr. James Doty, Kristin Neff, Dacher Keltner, and others – all respected experts who illustrate that through compassion, you can be with suffering – your own and others’ – with kindness, grace and a little playfulness. You can sign up for free here!

INSIDE THE MOSQUE. Have you ever wondered what kinds of “scary” activities are happening inside American mosques? Do you get goosebumps when you hear the words Islam, Muslim, or Mosque? If you answered, “yes” or even “maybe” to these questions, or know someone who would, then you need to visit InsideAmericanMosques.com. The website provides viewers with an intimate glimpse inside mosques by documentation through a series of pictures. It is one American Muslim's attempt to counter the negative images of Muslims that dominate the media.

GOLDEN RULE POSTER. The Scarboro Missions Golden Rule poster which features the golden rule in 13 religions is now available in the Turkish language, free of charge. The Turkish poster is published jointly by the Intercultural Dialogue Institute. For other versions of the poster in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portugese, Hebrew, Urdu, and Japanese, see the Scarboro Missions website. There are lots of other resources available there as well.

BETTER TOGETHER! April 14th was "Better Together Day," when people were invited to take time to meet someone of a different religion or background, talk about something that inspired them and then share what happened. Take a look at the stories at Interfaith Youth Core, including student conversations at Hood College in Maryland, in Uganda and more!

COMMON KNOWLEDGE PODCAST. Common Knowledge is a podcast about interfaith literacy sponsored by Interfaith Youth Core. At their website, you can listen to conversations about "Islam and Interfaith Engagement," Medicine and Interfaith Literacy," "Interfaith Cooperation in Judaism," and more with noted leaders like Valerie Kaur (Sikh), Joanna Brooks (Mormon), Chris Steadman (Humanist), and Eboo Patel (Muslim).




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