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Saturday, October 22, 2016 Interfaith Center at the Presidio

October- Remembering Religious Liberty

Your Vote CountsIt's an old bit of advice: "Don't talk about politics or religion!" That caution most likely arose out of some unfortunate experience, but in these days leading up to an election, we find ourselves talking about little else. How should our religious commitments influence our voting? What role should congregations or religious communities play in addressing the issues of our day?

During this past week, Americans United for Separation of Church and State shared a series of messages that included quotes from the founders of the United States and from contemporary voices highlighting the importance of religious liberty. One of these came from an address that Pope Francis gave in Independence Hall in Philadelphia last year:

The Declaration of Independence stated that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and that governments exist to protect and defend those rights….When individuals and communities are guaranteed the effective exercise of their rights, they are not only free to realize their potential, they also, through their talents and their hard work, contribute to the welfare and enrichment of society as a whole….[religious freedom] is a fundamental right which shapes the way we interact socially and personally with our neighbors whose religious views differ from our own.

Interfaith Power and Light, together with Faith in Public Life and other partners, has developed a guide for religious congregations getting involved in the voting process: Faith, Values and the 2016 Election: Toward A Politics of the Golden Rule: Reflection Guide and Resources.

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OBSERVING VETERANS DAY November 11, 2016 at 11:00 am, at the Main Post Chapel of the The Interfaith Center at the Presidio, 130 Fisher Loop, San Francisco, CA. Come honor American veterans of all wars in prayer, meditation and music. Watch for details in next month's BAIC.

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Alameda InterfaithWELCOME ALAMEDA COUNTY INTERFAITH COUNCIL! On Sept. 29, the newly-formed Interfaith Council of Alameda County held a kick-off celebration at the East Bay Community Foundation to introduce the newly-formed council to 100 attendees, including the CEOs of the East Bay Community and San Francisco Foundations. The Council began last June, as over 40 religious leaders from Alameda County met for the first time at the West Side Missionary Baptists Church in Oakland to begin the process of creating an interfaith council. Meeting with them were Directors and representatives from the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, Marin Interfaith Council, San Francisco Interfaith Council, Silicon Valley Interreligious Council, Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, and United Religious Initiative. Each shared their organizations’ mission, activities, and organizational structure. With the close assistance of ICP's Executive, Linda Crawford, a task force worked through the Summer to create a mission statement, form a Working Group and an Interim Executive Committee, and draft an organizational structure. They now have a Facebook page (Interfaith Council of Alameda County). The ICP is proud to be an integral part of this initiative and will continue to participate in all aspects of the group.

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YezidisYEZIDI PROJECT. Since last year, a coalition of interfaith groups in the Bay Area has been supporting efforts to call attention to the plight of Yezidis, Assyrians, and other religious minorities who continue to be forced from their homes in Iraq and Syria, their women and girls kidnapped and raped. Thousands have been murdered and more thousands now live in refugee camps. The Yezidis are a Kurdish people who share an ancient religious tradition, while the Assyrian Church is one of the oldest Christian traditions. The Interfaith Center at the Presidio, along with the Marin Interfaith Council, the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, and the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council, has been working with Rabbi Pamela Frydman to bring the situation to the attention of governmental leaders, elected officials, and United Nations representatives. All four groups are Cooperating Circles of the United Religions Initiative, and you can find out more at the URI website.

In recognition of this work, the United Nations Association East Bay Chapter plans to confer their Global Citizen Award on the "Save Us from Genocide" Campaign at a dinner on October 23 at the International Center at UC Berkeley.. More information and tickets is available at Eventbrite. To learn more about the Save Us from Genocide project, go to yezidis-assyrians.org/ or go to www.norcalrabbis.org/yezidi-fundraiser/ to contribute to the Beyond Genocide project to assist Yezidi resettlement.

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MULTIFAITH PEACE MARCH AND PICNIC. On September 11, the 15th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, over 750 people gathered in Palo Alto to demonstrate the kind of country and world they envision. Convening at Congregation Etz Hayim (Tree of Life), people then set out on a trek through the streets of Palo Alto calling the nation to move "from fear to friendship." Their route took them past the the Unitarian Church, University African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and Our Lady of the Rosary to end at Mitchell Park with a Multifaith Picnic and program. Sponsored by Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice, American Muslim Voice and several other community groups, the Peace Walk and Picnic was a visible reminder of people's vision of peace and diversity. Stories and photos of the day can be found at SiVIC, The San Jose Mercury, and Palo Alto Online.

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NAIN CONNECT IN SAN DIEGO. The next NainConnect, the annual convening of the North American Interfaith Network, will take place on the University of California, San Diego campus in La Jolla, CA, August 6-10, 2017. With the theme HARMONY: Journey to One Heart, the program will include workshops and keynote speakers every morning and bus trips to faith locations every afternoon. The goal is to highlight programs which are working to bring harmony in your community for replication by others throughout North America. From the Sunday night opening to the closing event there will be numerous celebrations and opportunities for you to connect with interfaith people of all ages. The Poway Interfaith Team are sponsoring; see more information at their website: powayinterfaithteam.com/.

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Presidio ChapelDOCENT TOURS OF PRESIDIO CHAPEL. The weekly Open House/Docent Tours at the Presidio Chapel on Sundays from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm have proven quite popular. An average of 10 people come each week to view the 33' fresco painted by Victor Arnautoff, a protege of Diego Rivera, and 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. Comments have praised the Chapel and the docent, Daniel Johnson. The open house is listed on the Presidio Trust's website with other guided tours. Learn more about the Presidio Chapel here and then plan to visit us and take a tour.

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NOTES & QUOTES: Congratulations to Rita Semel, longtime interfaith figure in San Francisco, who celebrated a long-delayed Bat Mitzvah at Congregation Emanu-El on September 10. Listen to the sermon from that service here...The Interfaith Council of Sonoma County led a successful effort to have the County Board of Supervisors declare Sonoma County an "Islamophobia-Free Zone."... The Hindu American Foundation honored Rev. D. Andrew Kille, Chair of the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council with the 2016 HAF Mahatma Gandhi Award for the Advancement of Religious Pluralism..."we need to move beyond interfaith “dialogue,” which tends to remain verbal and cerebral, and move toward the physical activities of religious practices, including pilgrimage. We don’t merely need to talk together, we also need interfaith activities, interfaith eating, interfaith art exhibitions, and interfaith walking" S. Brent Plate.

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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.


New Item! Hope and Prayer in a time of Polarized Politics
Tuesday evenings through November 8, 2016, 6:30-7:15 pm
WHERE: St. Jude’s Church, 20920 McClellan Road, Cupertino. Free event.
We invite you to gather with us in a safe, multi-sensory space for processing our responses during this election season, sharing interfaith prayers/meditations for peace, contemplative music and chant, meditative silence, and opportunities for creative expression through art and journaling. All are welcome! Come for all or part of the time, if traffic or work makes you late. For more information or questions, contact the Rev. Wilma Jakobsen: Wilma@saintjudes.org


New Item! Visionary Marin
Thursday, November 3, 2016, 6:00 - 8:30 pm
WHERE: Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley, CA 94941. One $90; Two $160; Group of ten $750
The Marin Interfaith Council's 11th Annual Visionary Marin will honor Abbess Fu Schroeder of the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center & Bishop Johnathan Logan Sr. , Pastor of Cornerstone Community Church of God in Christ, Marin City. The fundraiser will feature culinary delights, a drawing, a silent auction, program, music, and reflections from our honorees.

Info and registration.

     ...IN OAKLAND

New Item! The Art of Building Legacy
WHEN: Saturday, November 5, 2016, 6:00 - 11:00 pm
WHERE: Scott's Seafood Pavilion, 2 Broadway, Oakland. $250+.
AHC's The Art of Building Legacy Gala will celebrate a 27 years of life-enriching work in Oakland communities, transforming the lives of families, children and youth. The evening will commence with a cocktail hour and silent auction, followed by a sit down dinner with youth speakers and a key note address by Antwan Wilson, Superintendent of Oakland Unified School District, and will end in dancing with The King Cosby Band.

More info and tickets: www.ahc-oakland.org/gala.


WinterFaith Shelter Walk 2016
WHEN: Sunday, October 30, 2016, 1:30 pm
WHERE: Lake Merced in San Francisco (meet at Parking Circle at intersection of Lake Merced and Sunset Blvds). Fundraiser walk.
Walk proceeds benefit the Interfaith Winter Shelter - Register and/or Donate Today! To register and/or donate please visit: winterfaithshelterwalk.dojiggy.com.

New Item! The Soul of the City: Faith and Social Justice in San Francisco
WHEN: Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 7:00 - 9:00 am
WHERE: Hotel Kabuki, 1625 Post Street (at Laguna) in San Francisco. $50 individual.
Honoring Kat Taylor and Tom Steyer for their faith-based leadership in social justice and San Francisco Congregations for their tireless efforts in realizing a more just society. PLEASE BRING: Non-perishable food items to fill the SF Food Bank barrels.

Info and tickets.

     ...IN SAN JOSE

New Item! A Conversation about Israeli-Palestinian Peace Prospects
WHEN: Friday, October 21, 2016, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
WHERE: First Unitarian Church, 160 North Third Street, San Jose. Free event.
A conversation about Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects, with Maen Rashid Areikat, Ambassador to the Palestinian Delegation to the United States, and Jeremy Ben-Ami, Founder & President of J Street. Nearly seventy years after the foundation of Israel and fifty years since the beginning of the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank territories, the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians seems to be as far as ever from a resolution.

Information and registration.


New Item! What is at Stake for Gender Justice in 2016?
WHEN: Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 4:00 - 5:15 pm
WHERE: St. Clare Room, Library and Learning Commons, Santa Clara University. Free event.
Professor Sharmila Lodhia will offer an analysis of a series of anticipated and unanticipated ways in which ideas about gender have entered contemporary law and politics, asking what a “common good” enshrined in concepts like equality, justice and rights even looks like within a transnational landscape characterized by distinct histories, contexts and societal norms.

More info and RSVP.


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.

INTERFAITH EDUCATION RESOURCES. The Scarboro Missions Interfaith Department continues to build its remarkable online resource center for interfaith relationships. Among the items available are Reflective Structured Dialogue: A Dialogical Guide to Peace-building and Multifaith Education Resources for Theological Schools. There's much more; take a look at their collection of interfaith curriculum resources.

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. Upcoming discussion will be October 22, 2016, 9:00 am PDT: Great Tide Rising by Kathleen Dean Moore [register].

ONLINE COURSE IN PEACEMAKING. "Finding Peace in Turbulent Times" is an e-course led by Rabbi Ted Falcon and Imam Jamal Rahman of the Interfaith Amigos. Based on the Interfaith Amigos' new book, Finding Peace Through Spiritual Practice, written with their colleague, Pastor Don Mackenzie, this e-course will explore why peace has been so elusive and how we might better achieve that peace in our lives and in our world. October 3- 28; details at Spirituality & Practice.




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