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Bay Area Interfaith Connect
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Sunday, December 4, 2016 Interfaith Center at the Presidio

December- Now More Than Ever

with ICP logo

The Interfaith Center at the Presidio links the power of interreligious cooperation by welcoming, serving, and celebrating the diverse wisdom and faith traditions of the Bay Area.

Following months of ugly campaigning and the startling presidential election last month, many of us are concerned as never before about the future of those in our society who are marginalized. The FBI just released a report that hate crimes are markedly up from last year.  Elementary school teachers are noting an increase in bullying and harassment. We in the interfaith community are especially worried about all our sisters and brothers from those faith traditions that are under siege. Now, more than ever, the work of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio is needed to support, protect, and celebrate the diverse faith traditions of the Bay Area.


The Interfaith Center serves a unique role as a regional interfaith body, helping interfaith councils and allied groups of the greater San Francisco Bay Area to communicate, cooperate, and collaborate with each other. We further link these local groups with interfaith networks at the national and global level – the North American Interfaith Network, the United Religions Initiative, and the Parliament of the World's Religions. Locally, we assist interfaith councils and other groups in the production of programs of value to the community– programs relating to peace, veterans, the environment, interfaith education, etc.– and identify programs originating in one part of the Bay Area that could be replicated elsewhere.

Housed in the Main Post Chapel in San Francisco's Presidio, we host interfaith services, interfaith musical concerts, and more. Members and representatives of over 50 religious and spiritual traditions participate in the ICP programs. We generate original interfaith projects and programming, such as an Interfaith Songbook, an Interfaith Sacred Space Design Competition,and the McDonald Windows, stained glass windows incorporating glass from sites destroyed during WWII. The ICP supports the Lost & Endangered Religions Project, which works with marginalized religious communities around the world to help preserve religious traditions that are either in danger of being lost.

And, of course, we produce and distribute the Bay Area Interfaith Connect newsletter each month with a calendar of dozens of interfaith events around the greater Bay Area and additional resources and opportunities from across the country and around the world.

Support ICP

NOW, more than ever, if you find BAIC interesting and useful; if you support the need for a regional interfaith presence and connections in the days to come, please support the work of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio with a donation of $5, $18, $50, $501, or whatever you feel is appropriate for your situation. You can donate online via PayPal or send us a check. Full information is available on the ICP website.

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BAY AREA RELIGIOUS LEADERS AGAINST HATE. ICP Executive Linda Crawford, Board President Fred Fielding, and Board Member (and BAIC editor) Andrew Kille joined with religious leaders around the Bay to speak out against hatred directed at people because of their religion. The statement reads in part: "As religious leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area, we cherish the rich diversity of religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions that comprise the mosaic that is America. Our diversity is a resource rather than a barrier to the democratic nation that we seek to be. Incidents of hate, such as this, seek to dehumanize “the other” and contradict the most basic principles common to our age-old faith teachings and those religious liberties enshrined in the American Constitution... When any one religion comes under attack, all religions come under attack. Therefore, we unite in condemning such acts. We stand together to denounce this and all acts that seek to marginalize and target entire faith communities." Read the full statement here.

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Presidio ChapelVETERANS DAY SERVICE. On Friday, November 11, the Interfaith Center at the Presidio held a Veterans Day service in the Main Post Chapel at the Presidio that included veterans and those who work for and serve veterans. A message from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was shared by her aide Alex Lazar, Sensei Elaine Donlin of the Buddhist Church of San Francisco led the meditation. A dramatic note was offered by Brian Vouglas, a local actor, who proclaimed Lincoln's Gettysburg Address with a response. Erich Sylvester, Musician and Presidio Resident provided music, Chaplain Willard Bolden of the VA gave a benediction. ICP Executive Linda Crawford and board President Fred Fielding also spoke. Photos of the event are available on the ICP blog.

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candle and globeA PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN SERVICE OPEN TO ALL. Rev. Susan Strouse and First United Lutheran Church in San Francisco, a progressive Christian congregation, will hold "Peace, with a Jazzy Edge," an Advent service at 5:00 pm on Sunday, December 4, at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio. Peace is central to the three major Western religious traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. To express the sentiment “Peace be with you,” Jews often say “Shalom aleichem.” Muslims say “Salaam alaikum.” Christians might say “Pax vobiscum.” Come, light a candle of peace with us on this second Sunday of Advent. Those of any or of no religious/philosophical tradition are most welcome to this service.

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JOB OPENING AT MARIN INTERFAITH COUNCIL. Stephanie Humphrey, MIC's Acting Programs Associate, is returning to school in January. We are grateful to Stephanie for her faithful, professional, gracious service. Therefore, MIC has an opening for a part-time Administrative Assistant starting in the new year. Please click here for the job description. Applicants must submit a resume and cover letter to: Scott Quinn, Acting Director, at director@marinifc.org. Please, NO phone calls.

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pipeline blockadeURI AT DAKOTA PIPELINE. On Sunday, December 4th, a delegation from URI will join thousands of others at the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation for an observance of an Interfaith Day of Prayer. This is a truly remarkable and historical moment showcasing people from diverse religions, faith traditions, and cultures peacefully rallying together around a single cause—stopping the Dakota Access oil pipeline from threatening the reservation's water supply. The URI delegation will be led by Executive Director the Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian, Jr., who will be joined by URI North America Regional Coordinator Sari Heidenreich, URI Environmental Resource Coordinator Katherine Hreib, and Jaya Priya Reinhalter and Fred Fielding (Chair of the ICP Board), members of the URI Global Council You are invited to join, wherever you are, by sending words of prayer and solidarity, which will be brought to the gathering. Please send your prayers and statements of support by filling out this form or by sending them to standingrock@uri.org. They would like to have words from all parts of the URI global community.

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The Interfaith ObserverTHE INTERFAITH OBSERVER. In September, TIO was relaunched with a new website that makes the 1,500+ articles that have been published much more accessible to readers searching for particular authors or subjects. It is a library divided into ‘rooms’ devoted to (1) who we are, (2) interfaith formation, (3) interfaith relationships, and (4) important issues for interfaith communities globally.

In November – Post Election Tonic...

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NOTES & QUOTES: We are saddened to learn of the death of Rev. De. Paul Eppinger, director of the Arizona Interfaith Council and leader of the Arizona Interfaith Movement. An American Baptist, Dr. Eppinger directed the campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a national holiday. He was also a Trustee of the Parliament of the World's Religions. He was 83..."When you find yourself powerfully opposed, disappointment, despair, and fear are realities to be visited but not indulged for long. Mystics, wise ones, and Buddhists, in particular, all counsel us to attend to our inner peace, to nurture ourselves in the safety of Spirit, whatever one’s tradition. That equanimity, besides making us feel better, can help us better the world, each in our own particular context" -- Paul Chaffee...

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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

Peace, with a Jazzy Edge
A Progressive Christian Service Open to All
Sunday, December 4, 5:00 pm
Come, light a candle of peace with us. Those of any or of no religious/philosophical tradition are most welcome to this service.

Interfaith Book Study Group
First Wednesday of the Month, 7:00 pm
An interfaith dialogue group open to followers of any faith and religion. The main goal of the group is to deepen relationship among the members and increase respect for others, thereby increasing appreciation of religious and humanitarian values. We are currently reading A History of God by Karen Armstrong.



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! The Challenge and Promise of Human Rights and Technology
WHEN: Thursday, December 8, 2016, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
WHERE: St. Jude’s Church, 20920 McClellan Road, Cupertino. Free event.
Speaker Keith Hiatt is Benetech's new Vice President of Human Rights Programs. He leads Benetech's efforts to empower human rights defenders around the world by providing technology solutions and capacity-building. Sponsored by Silicon Valley United Nations Association and Pacifica Institute.

     ...IN PALO ALTO

New Item! Eid Festival: Celebration of Muslim Holidays
WHEN: Saturday, December 17, 2016, 11:00 am - 2:30 pm
WHERE: First Methodist Church of Palo Alto, 625 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto. Free event (RSVP)
Complimentary Gourmet Pakistani Lunch, Desserts from around the world, Interfaith panel sharing religious holidays, cultural performances, Mehndi Tattoos (Henna). Have fun dressing up with ethnic dresses, enactment of Eid visit to friend’s home and Bangles for girls.

RSVP at Eventbrite.


New Event! Speaking for Ourselves
WHEN: Saturday, December 10, 2016, 12:00 noon – 2:30 pm
WHERE: Muslim Community Center - East Bay, 5724 West Las Positas Boulevard, Pleasanton. Free event.
"Your Muslim Neighbors" is an insightful panel of five observant Muslims from the East Bay who will provide you with a varied and broad understanding of Islam and the Muslim-American experience. Each panelist weaves his or her own personal narrative to answer the most common questions and misconceptions about Islam and to explain how Islam has provided inner meaning to his/her own life.

Please Register at Eventbrite.


New Event! A History of God
WHEN: First Wednesday of the month, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Presidio Chapel, 130 Fisher Loop, Presidio, San Francisco. Free event.
Interfaith Discussion Group at Presidio Chapel is an interfaith dialogue group open to followers of any faith and religion. The main goal of the group is to deepen relationship among the members and increase respect for others, thereby increasing appreciation of religious and humanitarian values. The group meets once a month to discuss sections from pre-selected book in the form of table discussions.

For this month’s meeting, we will talk about the book A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Karen Armstrong.


Sufism and Heart-based Meditation
WHEN: Alternate Thursdays, 7:00 - 8:00 pm
WHERE: Community Healing Center, 2919 Sacramento Street, San Francisco. Free event.
An introductory group for meditation practice, Sufi teachings, and reflection. On-going and open to new attendees. Pre-registration required. No fee. For dates and information: Call Institute for Sufi Studies, Amineh Pryor, (415) 382-7834. ias.org/events/.

New Event! AIDS Day Interfaith Service
WHEN: Sunday, December 4, 2016, 4:00 pm
WHERE: Congregation Sha'ar Zahav, 290 Dolores Street, San Francisco. Free event.
Organized by Calvary Presbyterian Church, Old First Presbyterian Church, St. Mark's Lutheran Church, San Francisco Interfaith Council.

New Event! Immigration Strategy Briefing for Congregations
WHEN: Thursday, December 8, 2016, 8:00 - 9:30 am
WHERE: St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 1111 O'Farrell Street (Heritage Hall) in San Francisco. Free event.
Presentation: Immigration Strategy Briefing for Congregations by The Rev. Deborah Lee, Program Director, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity. All are welcome! Bring a friend! More information.

New Event! Interfaith Memorial for Homeless Dead
WHEN: Wednesday, December 21, 2016, 5:30 pm
WHERE: Civic Center Plaza (Polk Street Side), San Francisco. Free event.
Annual service to remember those who died homeless in the past year. Please bring your candles. Co-sponsored by San Francisco Interfaith Council and San Francisco Night Ministry.

     ...IN SAN JOSE

New Item! Show of Solidarity for Evergreen Mosque
WHEN: Friday, December 2, 2016, 1:00 - 2:15 pm
WHERE: Evergreen Islamic Center, 2486 Ruby Ave, San Jose. Free event.
Several community groups are planning a silent, peaceful show of solidarity outside the Evergreen Islamic Center. Participants are encouraged to bring signs showing support (eg. "You are welcome here", "You belong here," "Stronger in our diversity," "San Jose supports you" etc.). The Evergreen mosque was one of the communities across the country who received a hate letter last week.

New Event! Homeless Persons Interfaith Memorial
WHEN: Wednesday, December 21, 2016, 6:00 pm
WHERE: San Jose City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara Street, San Jose. Free event.
An interfaith memorial service, featuring leaders from the diverse religious traditions of the South Bay, honoring the lives of people who died homeless in our community in 2016. Prayers will include Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Wiccan and more. This will be our third annual community observance.


New Item! Christmas Concert & International Vegetarian Dinner
WHEN: Sunday, December 25, 2016, 3:00 pm
WHERE: Badarikashrama,15602 Maubert Avenue,San Leandro,CA 94578. Free event.
A splendid concert by Subhangi Sakhalkar one of the Bay Area's top Hindustani Vocalists, who will be accompanied by Vivek Datar on harmonium and Nikhil Pandya on tabla. Celebrate Christmas in the serene atmosphere of Badarikashrama with enchanting music and numerous vegetarian dishes from many of the world's delectable cuisines. Call for reservations at 510-278-2444, space is limited but no one will be turned away.


Monthly Interfaith Meditation
WHEN: Wednesday, December 14, 2016
WHERE: First Presbyterian Church Chapel, 1510 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael. Donation to MIC at door.
Every Second Wednesday of the month, a leader from a different spiritual community will offer a meditation or spiritual practice and explain how it flows from the basic tenets of his/her faith tradition. Each gathering will include time for questions and insights that emerge from our shared time of intentional spiritual practice. This first one will be led by Rev. Scott Quinn, Acting Director, MIC.

New Event! National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day
WHEN: Wednesday, December 21, 2016, 4:00 pm
WHERE: First Presbyterian Church, 1510 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael. Free event.
Please join us and take a few moments out of your day to remember those who have died homeless in Marin. Please bring a candle. Co-Sponsored by The Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Ritter Center, Homeward Bound of Marin, and the Marin Interfaith Council

New Event! Faithful Conversations
WHEN: Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 6:00 - 7:30 pm
WHERE: Dominican Sisters Gathering Space, 1520 Grand Ave., San Rafael. Free event.
The first in a series of facilitated conversations that foster understanding across the issues that divide us as we listen and respond from the centered Wisdom of our faith traditions. This first conversation focuses on how we will respond to the new political reality in 2017.


New Item! Mary/Maryam
WHEN: Sunday, December 11, 2016, 4:00 - 8:00 pm
WHERE: Peace United Church of Christ, 900 High St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. $10 at door; $8 advance.
Mary/Maryam is a Halaqa / Advent event that will bring together Christians and Muslims. A halaqa is a religious gathering or meeting for the study of Islam and the Quran; Advent is a season observed in many churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for Christmas. The event will be a benefit for The Islamic Center of Santa Cruz and Peace United Church of Santa Cruz in association with The Islamic Network Group (ING).

We will see the play Mary/Maryam based on the scriptures of the Christian Bible and the Qur’an, presented by a cast that is both Muslim and Christian. There will be an opportunity for people to discuss the differences and similarities in Mary/Maryam’s story in Christianity and Islam. At the end of the play and conversations, a dinner will be served that will bring together the delicious different cuisines of those attending. More information and tickets at www.peaceunited.org/mary.


New Event! Transforming Our Society: King’s “Tough Mind and Tender Heart”
WHEN: Monday, January 16, 2016, noon
WHERE: Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church, 1801 Lacassie Ave., Walnut Creek. Free event.
Keynote Speaker: Father Kwame Assenyoh of the Catholic Community of Pleasanton & Graduate Theological Union. With St. Benedict’s Gospel Choir (Oakland) & Dwight Stone’s piano music. Refreshments & Conversation following. Sponsored By: Social Justice Alliance of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County & the Mount Diablo Peace & Justice Center.


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 SPIRITUAL EDGE. The Spiritual Edge is a project at Radio KALW in San Francisco, reporting on the dynamic, growing edges of religion, faith and spirituality in the Bay Area. Recent stories have concerned the translation of the Jewish mystical text the Zohar, and pastor and social justice advocate Rev. Mike McBride of Oakland. You can find a link to the show at kalw.org, , or subscribe to their newsletter here.

SCRIPTURAL REASONING. Scriptural Reasoning (SR) is a tool for inter-faith dialogue whereby people of different faiths come together to read and reflect on their scriptures. Unlike many forms of inter-faith engagement, it is not about seeking agreement but rather exploring the texts and their possible interpretations across faith boundaries, and learning to ‘disagree better’. The result is often a deeper understanding of others' and one’s own scriptures, as well as the development of strong bonds across faith communities. SR is now practised globally, including in places affected by religion-related tensions and conflict. For more information, visit www.scripturalreasoning.org/

ReIGNITE AT PSR. The Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley offers a four-day intensive for late career adults & retirees with an opportunity to take personal inventory, strengthen spiritual practice, develop social analysis & connect with people & organizations to help define your future impact. Registration is open for January 19th- 22nd, 8:30 am—3:30 pm daily (Lunch included). For more information, see www.igniteatpsr.com/.

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.

DEFUSING HATE GUIDE The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has worked with fellow Rachel Brown to produce Defusing Hate: A Strategic Guide to Counteract Dangerous Speech. Informed by history and drawing from a range of disciplines—from political science to communications, from marketing to neuropsychology—the guide offers activists, religious and civil society leaders, and their supporters the strategies and tools they need to prevent hate speech that has the potential to influence people to accept, condone, or commit violence against targeted groups. It's available as a free download.




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