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Wednesday, June 29, 2016 Interfaith Center at the Presidio

June- The Ghost Army & Remembered Light

McDonald Window- Metz, Cathedral of St. StephenOne of the little known stories of World War II is that of the "Ghost Army," a top-secret WWII unit that was commissioned to create the illusion of military operations in order to confuse the German commanders and divert their attention from actual Allied forces. Using inflatable tanks, sound effects, theatrical tricks, and fake radio transmissions, the Ghost Army succeeded in deceiving the German forces again and again.

The chaplain for the 12th US Army Group Special Troops of which the Ghost Army was a part was Father Frederick Alexander McDonald. Fr. McDonald spent 12 months close to enemy lines, driving hundreds of miles across the war-torn countryside to offer worship and pastoral care to the small army of military professionals marching the Allies into Germany. Some of the deception soldiers attended his services, and he wrote vividly about the unit in his unpublished memoir.

Father McDonald also stopped at sanctuaries that had been damaged in the war. He picked up broken fragments of stained glass from the rubble, labeling them carefully. These shards formed the basis of the McDonald Windows, as the pieces were included in new windows that would, as he hoped, “serve as a memorial to the places they were found and offer hope for lasting peace.” The windows have been exhibited in several places, most recently at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City. The Interfaith Center at the Presidio has been the steward of the McDonald Windows since 2007, and hopes eventually to include them in a renovation of the Presidio Chapel.

On Monday, June 20, there will be a unique opportunity to enjoy 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. Rick Beyer, Producer of Ghost Army and author of the related book will be present for a post-film discussion. 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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book and candleMUSLIM/ CHRISTIAN BOOK STUDY. Due to Ramadan observances, the book club will not meet in June. Together, we are reading 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. 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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RamadanRAMADAN IFTAR. 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 begins on June 6. During the month, local Muslim groups will hold dinners and open houses around the Bay Area. Check the calendar below for dates.

The Pacifica Institute and partners invite you to the annual San Francisco Ramadan Iftar Dinner on Wednesday, June 8th at 7:00 pm at Calvary Presbyterian Church. The theme for the evening is "The Art of Living Together: Building Relationships," with special keynote speaker Dr. Scott Alexander, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the Catholic Theological Union at Chicago. Calvary church is located at 2515 Fillmore St. in San Francisco. The dinner is co-sponsored by Calvary Presbyterian, the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, URI, San Francisco Interfaith Council, University of San Francisco, First United Lutheran Church, Congregation Emanu-El, the San Francisco Foundation, St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Jewish Community Relations Council, Japanese American Religious Foundation of SF, St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal. RSVP is required by June 5th at ramadandinnersf.eventbrite.com

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Memorial DayMEMORIAL DAY SERVICE. Following ceremonies in the Presidio cemetery, an interfaith prayer service was held in the Presidio Chapel. The service opened with a greeting from ICP Director Linda Crawford, and continued with prayers, poems, meditations and a homily presented by Baha'i, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Sufi leaders. Over the years, ICP has been honored to offer this sacred space to people of all religious backgrounds as a safe space for prayer, reflection, and renewal.

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NAINConnect 2016NAIN CONNECT 2016.The theme for the July 2016 North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) Connect is “Sacred Space” which is right in ICP’s wheelhouse. The first North American Interfaith Network NAINConnect to be held in Mexico runs from Sunday, July 10- Wednesday, July 13 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Our own Executive Director, Linda Crawford, will be serving on the Environment and World Peace panel presenting the Interfaith Center and Remembered Light: The McDonald Peace Windows. On another panel, ICP’s founding Executive Director, Paul Chaffee, will speak about “Interfaith Realities in the U.S.”

In recent years NAIN has highlighted local indigenous people; last year in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, we met with and learned from Canada’s First Nations. This year we will hear from the Maya and Huichole. We are looking forward to hearing about interfaith work in Mexico. Fred Fielding, ICP’s Board President, is also attending. Registration is now open. You don’t have to speak Spanish to participate or to speak; simultaneous interpretation will be provided. For more information and registration, go to the NAIN website.

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URI ELECTIONS. Congratulations to ICP Board President Fred Fielding, who was elected to represent the North America region on the URI Global Council Trustees along with Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell (Ohio) and Jaya Priya Reinhalter (Florida). New Trustees begin their terms of office on July 1, 2016. You can find out more about them and the other new Trustees at the URI website.

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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.

Last 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. From the current issue

Featuring Vicki Garlock and Bud Heckman by Paul Chaffee

     For Our Children, from Vicki Garlock…

      For the World, from Bud Heckman…

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ING HALAQA-SEDER CELEBRATION. A group of Muslims and Jews gathered in Los Gatos in April for the second annual Muslim-Jewish Halaqa-Seder: A Celebration of the Exodus Story. After dramatic reenactments of scenes from the Exodus story, members of each faith discussed the different narratives at their tables as well as their sacred text’s commonalities and differences. The discussions were so engrossing that people had a hard time ending their conversations, which continued through the halal/kosher dinner. The event concluded with an open mic session where participants voiced their appreciation for the event and their desire to learn more about each other’s tradition. Watch video highlights from the April 3 event and see the full program at the ING website.

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Presidio ChapelDOCENT TOURS OF PRESIDIO CHAPEL. We have opened 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: Rita Semel is a founding member of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio and of the San Francisco Interfaith Council and a beloved presence at interfaith activity in San Francisco and beyond. She and her daughter Elisabeth Semel, Director of the Death Penalty Clinic at the U.C. Berkeley Law School were interviewed in a special Mothers Day episode of the Grace Cathedral Forum. Enjoy their conversation about being on the frontlines of social justice for two generations here...“I believe that the moment has arrived for the representatives of the Divine Religions to participate strongly and in a concrete way to give humanity a new direction, towards mercy and peace, so that humanity can avoid the great crisis we are suffering now” - Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Cairo’s al-Azhar Mosque, after an historic meeting with Pope Francis... “If a Muslim woman wishes to wear a veil, she must be able to do so. Similarly, if a Catholic wishes to wear a cross. People must be free to profess their faith at the heart of their own culture, not merely at its margins” - Pope Francis..."A multifaith setting gives us an opportunity to see beyond the boundaries we often set for ourselves” - Rabbi Meir Goldstein.

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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.



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.

     ...IN HAYWARD

Bridging Abrahamic Faith with Eastern Beliefs- Eid Dinner
WHEN: Sunday, July 10, 2016, 6:30 pm
WHERE: Mughal Restaurant, 24989 Santa Clara Street, Hayward. Free event (RSVP)
Panel presentation : Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Confucians. Audience interactive Questions and Answers and Closing comments Eid (end of Ramadan) Dinner MUST RSVP by June 30, 2016 by email: drhkoya@hotmail.com. Sponsored by Islamic Interfaith Circle.


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?


The Art of Living Together: Building Relationships
WHEN: Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 7:15 pm
WHERE: Pacifica Institute, 1257 Tasman Dr, Unit A-B, Sunnyvale. Free event (RSVP)
Please join us for an iftar dinner experience as we observe the holy month of Ramadan and help create a peaceful society by building new relationships. RSVP to pacificasv.eventbrite.com.


Lunch and Learn at Sufism Reoriented
WHEN: Friday, August 5, 2016, 12:00 noon
WHERE: Sufism Reoriented, 1300 Boulevard Way, Walnut Creek. Brown bag lunch.
Pack a brown bag lunch and meet us at Sufism Reoriented. We will get a tour and then hear about their beliefs and traditions. Their new worship space will be dedicated some time this fall. Beverages and homemade cookies will be provided and that members of Sufism Reoriented are looking forward to welcoming our Interfaith neighbors!


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.

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.

CHI SEEKING STAFF. The Interfaith Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley is seeking applicants for two positions: 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 [job description]; and Student & Alumni Administrative Services Manager, to effectively coordinate all administrative and support functions and interactions with students and alumni, program managers and directors [job description]. Application process is described in the job descriptions..

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.




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