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Tuesday, May 31, 2016 Interfaith Center at the Presidio

May- Remembering


Memorial Day has been observed as a day for honoring those Americans who have died in war since shortly after the Civil War. Originally known as "Decoration Day," it was a time for families and communities to remember and honor those who gave their lives. It takes place at the end of May because it did not commemorate a specific battle and was a time that flowers were in bloom. In 1968, it was moved to the last Monday in May from its traditional date of May 30. This year, May 30 is a Monday.

Following a parade and program at the San Francisco National Cemetery, the Interfaith Center at the Presidio invites all who wish to join at 1:00 pm at the Presidio Chapel for an interfaith service of prayer and remembrance. The service will include music from the organ and prayers from several traditions: Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and Baha’ i. The parade will take place at 10:30 am; the program at 11:00 at the San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio.

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book and candleMUSLIM/ CHRISTIAN BOOK STUDY. It’s the Perfect Time to Join the Discussion! On Wednesday, May 4, 2015, 7:00 pm at the Presidio Chapel we begin our second book: A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Karen Armstrong. Armstrong, a British former Roman Catholic nun, is an author and commentator known for her books on comparative religion and founder of the Charter for Compassion. Armstrong has written at least 25 books, including Buddha and Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time. To read for the next meeting: chapters 1-3. Although the group is focused on Christians and Muslims, people of any faith (or none) are welcome to join us. Sponsored by First United Lutheran Church, Pacifica Institute and the Interfaith Center at the Presidio.

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ICP, AHIMSA AND PACIFICA ENCOUNTER EXTREMISM. In a wide-ranging conversation, several Bay Area interreligious leaders addressed the manifestations of extremism in the religious world today at "Religious and Political Extremism - Creating an Effective Response," a gathering at the Presidio Chapel on April 10th. Rod Cardoza of Abrahamic Alliance International led off with a clear and thoughtful presentation on the roots of violence. The perpetrators of violence have some admirable qualities– a passion for change and an unwillingness to accept the status quo– but sadly, these are joined with a spiritual immaturity that seeks to impose a simplistic dogmatism on the world around them. Cardoza described the work of the Abrahamic Alliance, which brings together Jewish, Christian, and Muslim congregations to join in service projects, often feeding the needy. The encounters include opportunities to learn about each other's traditions and to develop relationships in the context of the shared values of the three communities. Read more...

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GHOST ARMY FILM. Save the date of June 20 for a unique opportunity- a three-course dinner with a screening of the award-winning documentary The Ghost Army and a presentation of Remembered Light: The McDonald Peace Project. Post-film discussion with Rick Beyer, Ghost Army filmmaker and author. Monday, June 20, 6:00 - 9:00 pm at Foreign Cinema, 2534 Mission Street, San Francisco. Proceeds will benefit The Ghost Army Legacy Project and the McDonald Windows Project More information and tickets are available at Eventbrite.

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The INTRAfaith ConversationTHE INTRAFAITH CONVERSATION. "I'm worried that I'm betraying Jesus." Elsie L. Many who have been involved in cooperative engagements with people of other faith traditions discover that it is often easier to talk with people of a different religion than it is with the person sitting next to you in your own congregation. In her new book, The INTRAfaith Conversation: How Do Christians Talk Among Ourselves about INTERfaith Matters?, the Rev. Dr. Susan Strouse addresses the challenges that the increasingly interfaith realities of our day present for Christians, and invites reflection on how Christian theology and identity might be shaped by the interfaith encounter. Susan is a long-time associate of ICP, served as the Interim Director in 2011 and is currently Pastor of the First United Lutheran Church in San Francisco. For more about the book and an interview with Susan Strouse, click here.

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TIOThe Interfaith Observer (TIO) is an independent internet journal about all things interfaith. Each month it goes to more than 16,000 faith and interfaith leaders, including about 2,300 outside the U.S. More than 300 writers have contributed articles. Download back issues. TIO is free.

Ruth Broyde SharoneLast month TIO began a five-month focus on writers from different religious traditions who have contributed a particularly rich stream of articles to this publication. This month TIO turns to Ruth Broyde Sharone, a Jewish filmmaker, author, and passionate interfaith activist from Los Angeles. As a TIO Correspondent since TIO launched nearly five years ago, Ruth has written 50 articles for the publication.

From Ruth Broyde Sharone …

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URI ELECTIONS. For those who are part of a Cooperating Circle, votes for Trustees for North America are due by May 13. You can find interviews with the candidates at YouTube. The call begins with candidate introductions before moving into a question and answer time. After that each (briefly) answers two questions:

  • What do you view as the role and purpose of the United Religions Initiative in North America?
  • What do you see as the role of URI and URI Global Council Trustees in supporting Cooperation Circles and in seeing more Cooperation Circles come into the URI network?

Please consider sharing this with your members. With the consensus of the group, your Cooperation Circle may vote for up to three candidates. You can access the ballot and written candidate information at: uri.org/about_uri/trustee_selection_process. Questions? Contact Sari Heidenreich (sari@uri.org) or Karen Hernandez (khernandez@uri.org).

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Presidio ChapelDOCENT TOURS OF PRESIDIO CHAPEL. Beginning this coming Sunday, April 3, we will be opening the Presidio Chapel for Open House/Docent Tours on Sundays from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm. Come visit one of the Mission Revival jewels of Presidio National Park which includes a 33' fresco painted by Victor Arnautoff, a protege of Diego Rivera. Also on view are the stained glass windows created by Willemina Ogterop, the first woman stained glass artist west of the Mississippi to be inducted into the Stained Glass Artists Guild. See the newly-refurbished sacred space with banners featuring local wildlife. Learn more about the Presidio Chapel here and then plan to visit us and take a tour.

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NOTES & QUOTES: The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County has been offering a series of "Love Your Muslim Neighbor" events throughout the East Bay. Anissa Abdel-Jelil interviewed Director Rev. Will McGarvey and wrote about it at the URI... As they bid farewell to long-time Executive Director Rev. Carol Hovis, the Marin Interfaith Council has announced two interim leaders. Rev. Scott Quinn, former Director of Community for The Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley and board member of both Marin Interfaith Council and Interfaith Center at the Presidio, will serve as Acting Executive Director. Acting Programs Associate will be Stephanie Humphrey, a congregant of Unity In Marin, a New Thought spiritual center. Stephanie has served on the MIC Board for two years. Congratulations and best wishes to Scott, Stephanie, and the Marin Interfaith Council... "The orthodox have nothing to learn about God from other human religions. Their own tradition, their own orthodoxy, is not merely sufficient but complete. While engaging in dialogue might send them back to their own religious tradition with interesting questions or viewpoints, and thus lead them to recognize truths about God they hadn’t previously recognized, it will not actually teach them anything they didn’t already in principle know." - Robert Hunt...“It took meeting a real Muslim, or a few of them, to understand that there’s an Islamophobia industry in our culture that perpetuates these lies about Muslims.” - Rev. Will McGarvey... "It’s good to know something about the world’s religions: at least enough to know just how much you don’t know!" - Rev. Jim Burklo.

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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

Open House and Docent Tours
Sundays, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Tour the Chapel building, see the murals, stained glass windows and other features of this historic building.

Christian/Muslim Book Group
Wednesday, May 4, 7:00 pm
Reading A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Karen Armstrong. All are welcome!

Interfaith Memorial Day Service
Monday, May 30, 1:00 pm
An interfaith service of prayer and remembrance.



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.


Love Your Muslim Neighbors- Panel Conversation
WHEN: Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 2:00 pm
WHERE: Club Room, Creekside Clubhouse, Rossmoor, Walnut Creek. Free event.
The ICCCC will be offering Panels of a variety of Muslims speaking about their own experiences to educate churches. We hope to help encourage every Masjid (house of prayer) to host Open Houses so neighbors and new friends can get to know their neighbors. What is it like to be a Muslim in America? Share your difficulties and causes for gratitude. Discuss the misconceptions of Islam and how to overcome them. What would you like your American neighbors to know about Islam?


New Item! The ClimateMusic Project
WHEN: Friday, June 3, 2016, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
WHERE: Grace Cathedral, 1100 California St, San Francisco. $25 open seats, $75 reserved seat
Join The ClimateMusic Project for its performance of “Climate”--a musical journey through the climate's past, present, and (perhaps) future designed to educate, awaken, and inspire. A discussion on the intersection of science, the arts, faith, and social justice follows. More information and tickets at www.theclimatemusicproject.org.

Panelists include: Moderator Francesca Vietor (SF Foundation and SF Public Utilities Commission), Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus (Episcopal Bishop of California), Erik Ian Walker (composer), and Dr. William Collins (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory).

Ghost Army
WHEN: Monday, June 20, 2016, 6:00 pm
WHERE: Foreign Cinema - 2534 Mission Street, San Francisco. $159.24 per person.
A three-course dinner in our beautiful Modernism West Gallery space featuring a screening of the award-winning documentary The Ghost Army and a presentation of Remembered Light: The McDonald Peace Project. Net proceeds will benefit The Ghost Army Legacy Project and the McDonald Peace Project.

See details at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ghost-army-screening-dinner-tickets-24855076202


Mental Health First Aid Training
WHEN: Saturday, May 21, 2016, 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
WHERE: First Congregational Church of San Rafael, 8 North San Pedro Road, San Rafael. Free event.
Anyone can take the 8-hour Mental Health First Aid course, including first responders, students and teachers, leaders of faith communities, service providers, and caring citizens. Mental Health First Aid teaches a 5-step action plan to offer initial help to people with signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in a crisis, and connect them with the appropriate professional, peer, social, or self-help care.

Registration is required. Download a form, or contact Edtiana Rockwell at ERockwell@marincounty.org.


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.

CHI SEEKING COMMUNITY MINISTER. The Interfaith Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley is seeking applicants for the position of Community Minister, supporting seminary students as they prepare for ordination, supporting ordained clergy, and providing worship, fellowship, and continuing education opportunities for the ChI Community. Please send resume and cover letter to: Vicki@chaplaincyinstitute.org (no phone calls please). Download a job description.

PLURALISM PROJECT. The Harvard University Pluralism Project just marked their 25th anniversary with an update to their website at pluralism.org/. If you are not familiar with this invaluable source for information about the diverse religious landscape of the US, the history of interreligious encounter, religious communities across the nation, and much, much more, be sure to take a look!

COMPASSION BOOK CLUB. The Charter for Compassion has a Compassion Book Club inspired by and built around Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. They are hoping to energize and broaden the Compassionate Book Club by inviting members to join in an All-Charter-Book-Read. You are invited to read the books individually or with a group, and then to join an online discussion with the author. The first three conversations will be June 18, 2016, 9:00 am PDT: The Compassionate Life: Walking the Path of Kindness by Marc Ian Barasch [register]; September 17, 2016, 9:00 am PDT: The Reunited States of America: How We Can Bridge the Partisan Divide by Mark Gerzon [register]; and October 22, 2016, 9:00 am PDT: Great Tide Rising by Kathleen Dean Moore [register].

IFYC PODCAST. Interfaith Youth Core has added a series of podcasts on interfaith issues at Soundcloud. In the most recent installment, "Interfaith on the Menu: The Shared Value of Food," the hosts take a lunch break to find out how food can bridge the interfaith gaps that words can't manage alone. Carr and Prerna talk turkey (but not bacon) about engaging diversity with the owners of a kosher BBQ restaurant, and find out what growing tomatoes has to do with learning about religious values.

HARVARD TEACHES RELIGIOUS LITERACY. Six religion professors from Harvard University, Harvard Divinity School and Wellesley College are kicking off a free, online series on world religions open to anyone. The courses online at edX, which Harvard University launched with M.I.T. "Through the lens of scriptures, this Religion XSeries will explore how religions are internally diverse, and how they evolve and change as living traditions that impact, and are impacted, by the cultural, historical, and political contexts of adherents." The series consists of six sessions in all, including classes on Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Islam. The cost is $50 per class. See details at the edX website.

PREVENTING EXTREMISM. The Tony Blair Foundation has published a volume of essays by academic and policy experts in the field of countering religious conflict and extremism. "How to Prevent: Extremism and Policy Options" offers analysis of the interaction of religion and conflict, education and supporting leaders. Download a free copy from the Tony Blair Foundation website. Also available are reports from the Global Extremism Monitor and a teaching guide for use with young people, Essentials of Dialogue.




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