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Saturday, May 23, 2015 Interfaith Center at the Presidio

May- Memorial Day

Interfaith Center at the Presidio

Remembering the Dead. Memorial Day began originally as Decoration Day, an observance that began after the American Civil War as people would commemorate those who had died in that war on both the Union and Confederate sides. May 9 this year will mark the 100th anniversary of the declaration ending that war, but sadly, not the end of wars. After 1882, Decoration Day became increasingly known as Memorial Day, as the dead of other wars were included in the remembrance. In 1967 the Federal government officially declared "Memorial Day" and in 1968 moved the observance from May 30 to the last Monday of May.

As an historical building in a former military installation, the Presidio Chapel played a major role in serving the spiritual needs of soldiers and their families from 1931 until the post closed in 1994. Again this year, the Interfaith Center will hold an interfaith memorial service on Monday, May 25 at 1:00 pm to remember all those who died in war.

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YezidisYEZIDIS AND ASSYRIANS. Even as we remember the dead in previous wars, we are reminded that people, innocent civilians as well as combatants, are still suffering and dying in war zones. Last month, a coalition of local interfaith organizations held two events to call attention to the situation of the Yezidis and Assyrians in the war zones of Iraq. The Yezidis are a Kurdish people who share an ancient religious tradition, while the Assyrian Church is one of the oldest Christian traditions. A press conference in Berkeley on April 15th, was hosted by the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, Marin Interfaith Council, Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, and the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council. Speakers from the varied religious communities of the Bay Area, along with representatives of the Yezidis and Assyrians described how people have been forced from their homes, women and girls have been kidnapped and raped, and thousands now live in refugee camps. Thousands have been killed.

A further update session was held at the ICP Chapel on April 27 to share progress on legislation and support for the Yezidis and Assyrians. To show your support, please read and sign the statement "Raising our voices for the Yezidis and Assyrians," and a petition to President Obama, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to Save the Yezidis from Genocide. You can learn more about the Yezidis at www.yezidis.org and www.childrenofezidi.org. You can also read reports of the press conference at URI and Examiner.com.

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WELCOME PACIFICA INSTITUTE! Pacifica Institute has opened its first branch in San. Francisco, located in the Presidio Interfaith Chapel along with the Interfaith Center and San Francisco Interfaith Council. Pacifica is a branch of the worldwide Hizmet movement, a religious and social movement inspired by the teachings of Fethullah Gülen. Other Bay Area branches are located in Sunnyvale, San Mateo and Albany. On May 21 at 6:30 pm, ICP will help welcome Pacifica Institute as we all celebrate the expansion of their work in the Bay Area.

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Parliament of the World's Religions PRE-PARLIAMENT EVENT AT ICP. The Interfaith Center invites all those who are planning to attend the Parliament of the World's Religions in October, or even those who just want to learn more about the Parliament to join us for a Pre-Parliament gathering at the Interfaith Chapel on Sunday, June 14, 2:00 - 5:00 pm. This will be a great opportunity to meet each other before we head to Utah. We will share experiences of previous Parliament events, get an insider's guide to Salt Lake City, and share the workshops, presentations, and panels, from those of us who have had proposals approved. Download a flyer.

Are You In? The World's Premier Interfaith Event

Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity

Parliament of the World's Religions
October 15-19, 2015
Salt Lake City, Utah

For information and registration,go to the Parliament website.

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Technology ConferenceRETHINKING TECHNOLOGY. What has the Digital Revolution done to us and our fields of study and work? A distinguished panel at the Interfaith Chapel on Sunday afternoon, April 26, offered their observations on the past ten years. Panelists included Tom Foremski, Editor, Silicon Valley Watcher; Nina Horne, Public Policy; Tapan Parikh, Professor, UC-Berkeley School of Information; Richard Whittaker, Editor, Conversations.org; Rahul Brown, ServiceSpace.org, and Karl Dobrinich, General Manager at AB-Services. The organizers hope that this event will be just the first in a series of reflections on value, meaning, and virtue in conjunction with digital culture. For a taste of the conversation, see Tom Mahon's Four Steps to a Healthier Relationship with Technology, that invites us to Pause, Perceive, Pray, and Practice.

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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. TIO is free. Recent issues have focused on The Evolution of Interfaith Collaboration, Indigenous Traditions in the Modern World, Interfaith and the Arts, and Interfaith in South Asia. Take a look at some recent articles:

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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!

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NOTES & QUOTES: Congratulations to Dr. Rita Sherma, who was recently appointed Associate Professor of Dharma Studies and Director of the new Hindu Studies Initiative at the Graduate Theological Union..."If you don’t know much about, or are slightly afraid of, Muslims or Baha’is or Mormons or non-theists or Deists or Sufis, the best way to figure them out is to talk to them. This is not rocket science, people."- Tim Brauhn..."Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, while different in origins and sometimes sources, are both forms of intolerance that can benefit from shared strategies in combating them."- Maha ElGenaidi..."Thus the community of the tolerant-minded is reinforced by the very existence of the intolerant. They need each other in order to be who they are, in order to articulate their defining characteristics. Form is emptiness; emptiness is form. Intolerant and tolerant define each other; they need each other in order to be distinct." - Jenn Lindsay..."We must be careful not to assume such sweeping statements as, “Well every religion has some form of the Golden Rule.” In fact, mine does not. And I hope that we will let go forever the notion that we are trying to have one world religion. I participate precisely because of the diversity that I discover." - Rachel Watcher.


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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.

Thursday, May 21, 12:15 – 12:19 pm
Welcoming Pacifica Institute
A time to welcome the Pacifica Institute, newest tenants of the Interfaith Chapel, and to celebrate the expansion of their work to San Francisco.

Monday, May 25, 1:00 pm
Interfaith Memorial Day Service
A time to remember those who have died in war.



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 NOVATO

Love and Wisdom through the Qur’an, the Hadiths and the Bible
WHEN: Sundays May 3, 17 & 31, 2015, 1:00, 2:15, and 3:30 pm
WHERE: Institute for Sufi Studies, 14 Commercial Blvd., Suite 101, Novato. $30 for one class or $85 for all three.
Taught by Ali Kianfar. The three sessions of the Qur’an class will meet from 1 to 2 pm with refreshments served at the end of the session. The Hadiths classes will meet from 2:15 to 3:15, and the Bible classes will meet from 3:30 to 4:30. The classes will provide a resource for people of all religious backgrounds who are seeking to deepen their own spiritual practice. Advance registration before April 25 is requested.

Scholarships are available. For information, (415) 382-7834, or (707) 537-1275.

     ...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.


Interfaith Memorial Day Service
WHEN: Monday, May 25, 2015, 1:00 pm
WHERE: Interfaith Chapel, 130 Fisher Loop, Presidio, San Francisco. Free event.
An interfaith service remembering those who have died in war.


Bike to Worship Week 2015
WHEN: Sunday, May 24- Sunday, May 31
WHERE: Your Congregation, Your Congregation Address, San Francisco. Free event!
Do you bike to church, mosque, temple, satsang, synagogue, or any other place of worship? As part of Bike Month in May, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition members are working in partnership with the San Francisco Interfaith Council to create a Bike to Worship Week from Sunday, May 24 to Sunday, May 31, 2015. Sign up today at: Bike to Worship Week 2015.

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.


New Item! Mobilizing Youth Locally and Globally to Build a Peaceful Universal Family
WHEN: Saturday, May 23, 2015, 8:30 am - 10:30 am
WHERE: Bay Area Family Church, 2305 Washington Ave., San Leandro. $5 suggested donation.
Jantsankhorol Damdinsuren (Jantsan) is a staff liaison for the Human Rights and Human Relations Commission of the city of Richmond and Youth Service Initiative Officer of the city’s impact volunteering program, Richmond ESC – Excellence Serving our Community. For more information call (510) 483-4712 or email bafcoffice@gmail.com

Most of Jantsan's work involves mentoring youth from local schools in Richmond on project implementation, leadership development, and professional and personal growth. Jantsan currently serves on the Board of Directors at the United Nations Association – USA East Bay Chapter, an organization dedicated to educating, inspiring people to support the principles and vital work of the United Nations and promoting constructive United States leadership in international cooperation. Jantsan received his BA in Political Science: Comparative Politics and International Affairs from the University of California, Berkeley.


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.

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).

EXHIBITION OF SACRED DRESS. Under Cover: Liturgical Garb as Investment in Mystery, a "multi-disciplinary exhibition featuring vesture and related objects from Tibetan and Zen Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism on loan from Bay Area individuals and religious organizations" will be on display at the Manresa Gallery in San Francisco from March 8- June 28, 2015. Co-curated by Gallery Director, James Blaettler, S.J. and guest curator Maureen Bourbin, the exhibit demonstrates the similarities of concepts and practices that are expressed in ritual clothing. Manresa Gallery is located inside St. Ignatius Church, at 650 Parker Avenue (at Fulton) in San Francisco. Gallery Hours are Thursday & Friday: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm and Sundays between Masses and 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm. For more information, see www.manresagallery.org.

DEILY. A new website went online in December, "dedicated to sharing and explaining the world’s religious content - including sacred texts, prayers, sermons, lectures & teachings." The creative group behind the site sees it as a kind of Wikipedia for religion, and hope that shared exploration of religious traditions will "connect us to our faith, our understanding, and ultimately to one another in a manner that benefits the common good." You can find an interview with the site creators at the Washington Post. Or just take a look and see how they're doing, and maybe even join in the conversation at www.deily.org/.




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