Having trouble reading this in e-mail? Read it online in your browser.

Bay Area Interfaith Connect
The Interfaith Center | About ICP | Update & Calendar | Interfaith Resources | Media | Store | Support ICP | Contact Us
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Interfaith Center at the Presidio

April- InterFaithTour pays a visit

IN THIS ISSUE: InterFaith Tour | Girl Scout Sunday | URI North America | Near Death Experiences | NAIN Youth Scholarship | Be Blue | CROP Walk | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News | At the Presidio Chapel | Bay Area Interreligious Calendar | Special Opportunities | Unsubscribe

"Is interfaith cooperation a means or an end?" "Is there a difference between tolerance, Interfaith Center at the Presidiocoexistence, cooperation, and appreciation?" and "What message would you give to young people about getting involved in interfaith work?" Those were just a few of the questions local interfaith leaders were asked recently by three French students who have been traveling around the world to explore and document interfaith cooperation.

Victor Grezes, Josselin Rieth, and Ismaël Medjdoub are part of a five-person world tour sponsored by Coexister, the Youth Interfaith Movement in France and SparkNews, an organization encouraging the sharing of inspiring stories. All students in their 20's, an Atheist, an Agnostic, and a Muslim, they have been traveling with two others, a Christian and a Jew, on the InterFaith Tour. Since July of 2013 they have met more than 470 activists in more than 45 countries. They had a private audience with Pope Francis, met the Great Imam of Al-Azhar in Egypt, the Maronite Patriarch in Lebanon, and many local activists.

InterFaith Tour teamThe Interfaith Center at the Presidio was instrumental in setting up interviews and connecting them with events in our area, and many of the people they met were closely connected with ICP. The three (the other two were elsewhere for this stretch) spent a week in the Bay Area, their first stop on the U.S. leg of their visit, and then will be on their way to Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Washington.

Their goal is not merely to meet and talk, but to share what they have learned as they travel and to end their journey with a “Tour de France” that will take them throughout their own country to communicate the importance of interfaith cooperation and how it’s being done around the world. You can find out about them and their travels at their website (www.interfaithtour.com/en/), on Facebook , YouTube, Twitter (@InterFaithTour), and Instagram.

Read more about their visit to ICP and the Bay Area...

logo return to top

Girl Scouts gather in Presidio ChapelGIRL SCOUT SUNDAY INTERFAITH SERVICE. On Sunday, March 9, the Presidio Chapel was host to the San Francisco Service Unit of the Girl Scouts for an interfaith ceremony honoring those girls who had earned awards in religion. Awards were won by Buddhists, Jews, Presbyterians, and Baptists. Former ICP Board member Ron Kobata attended, as the girls who won the Buddhist rewards were from the troop that meets at his church. There were about 40 people there, and the organizers thought it went very well. They were most grateful to ICP for welcoming them, and appreciated the chance to hold the ceremony in a place that had been dedicated to respect for different religious traditions from its beginning. The service included readings from various religious traditions, a Dharma Talk/ Sermon/ Homily by Elaine Donlin, and music and poems celebrating peacemaking. A reception followed in the Mural Room at the Chapel.

Read more and see some pictures...

logo return to top

URI NORTH AMERICA. Members of the Leadership Council of the North American Region of URI, the United Religions Initiative, held an unusual gathering with local interfaith leaders at Mercy Center in Burlingame Sunday, March 23. The Council members were in town for the URI Annual Gala celebration and their usual Council meetings. As part of an effort to develop closer ties between the leadership and local member organizations, known as Cooperating Circles (CC), they invited a number of leaders from around the Bay Area to meet with them. The Council members come from all across North America, not only from the Bay Area, where URI has its international headquarters, but from Los Angeles, Vancouver and Surrey in British Columbia, Charlotte NC and Syracuse NY. Local Cooperating Circles included representatives from the ICP, the SF Interfaith Council, URI San Francisco Peninsula, the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council and the Women's Interfaith Circle of Service. Also in attendance were leaders from the Multi-Region division of URI, including the Circle of Healers CC, the Golden Rule CC, the Interfaith Observer, and the URI Initiative at the United Nations. One brainstorming session was led by Fred Fielding, ICP Board Chair and a member of the Leadership Council. He invited the participants to imagine an "app" that would reflect the URI and its work. Networking and connections were high on the list of suggested features.

logo return to top

AHIMSA BERKELEY invites you to join them for an investigation into "Near Death Experience and Awakening Compassion." The special afternoon will include stories by three persons who have experienced Near Death Experiences (NDEs) in which they became aware of their mortality, and unsure if they were still alive or already dead. How has it affected their lives and how would it affect yours? Do NDEs awaken mindfulness, serenity and faith or atheism? Speakers will include Tom Mahon – Although raised with the Christian view of afterlife, Tom’s near-death experience was like that recounted in The Tibetan Book of the Dead: A journey through the Bardo, and encountering a ‘demon fierce and mild.’ Roger Steinbronn – Drowned, came back different (and new skills to show for it). Rev. Richard Mapplebeckpalmer – appointed to the chaplaincy of the Grace Institute for Religious Learning. Co-Pastor of Grace North Church. For over 10 years unofficially ‘chaplained’ the Young Atheists at UC Berkeley. Sunday, April 27, 2014, 1:30-4:00 pm at the Institute for World Religions / Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, 2304 McKinley Ave, (at corner of Bancroft, one block west of Berkeley High School) Berkeley.

logo return to top

DEADLINE SOON FOR NAIN YOUTH SCHOLARSHIP. The North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) offers a unique opportunity to include younger representatives (ages 16-35) in a valuable interfaith encounter during the 2014 NAINConnect in Detroit, Michigan.  This scholarship recognizes young adults across the continent who are actively engaged in important work at the high school, college, graduate, and professional level. If you are passionate about interfaith work, we welcome your energy and enthusiasm and encourage you to apply!  You do not need to be part of a NAIN member organization to apply.  Recipients are selected by the NAIN Young Adult Committee, according to the directives of the NAIN Board of Directors, and receive a $500 stipend to assist with costs of attending; reduced registration fee; option to room with another youth scholarship recipient. See full details and application. Application Deadline: April 15, 2014.

logo return to top

BE BLUE ON 4/10/14. The Interfaith Youth Core is inviting young people to #BeBlue on April 10th. The BeBlue project involves taking the pledge to stand up to religious intolerance, to wear blue on April 10th to show support and raise awareness for interreligious cooperation, and to share the effort through social media. When you pledge to #BeBlue on April 10th, you’re standing up for your friends, family, and neighbors of other beliefs by helping to change the narrative that different religious and non-religious traditions are doomed to fight. Being blue is a small action that makes a big statement: we’re all better when people from different traditions and backgrounds work together. Find out more at the IFYC website..

logo return to top

CROP Hunger WalkIT'S CROP WALK TIME! CROP Hunger Walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by religious groups, businesses, schools and others to raise funds to end hunger in the U.S. and around the world. There are nine CROP Walks planned for March, April, and May in communities around the Bay Area: Marin, Oakland, Berkeley, Pittsburgh, Sonoma, South Bay, Vallejo, Alameda, Pleasanton. For full details about dates, locations, walking routes, and registration, go to www.bayareahungerwalk.org/. Not in the Bay Area? Go to hunger.cwsglobal.org/site/PageServer?pagename=crop_main and find a walk near you!

logo return to top

NOTES & QUOTES: ICP Board member Don Frew and long-time friend Rachel Watcher were featured on a recent broadcast of Indigenous Voices, a project of the URI. Listen to Don and Rachel in conversation with host Audri Scott Williams on blogtalkradio...Congratulations to the Rev. Sally Bingham, Founder & President of Interfaith Power and Light, who was named one of the “50 Powerful Women Religious Leaders” by The Huffington Post in celebration of International Women’s Day..."Religious people compromise their own freedom when they pin their hopes for the vibrancy and strength of their faith communities on support from the government. Opponents of religion threaten that freedom when they misread the founding documents of our democracy and insist on freedom from religion, rather than freedom for it" -Frederick Schmidt... "The First Amendment does not guarantee freedom OF religion. It is a guarantee FROM religion" - Lydia MN Crabtree (the last two from the discussion "Is Religious Freedom Threatened?" on Patheos).

logo return to top

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.


interfaith symbols


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..

* * *

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.



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.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

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 ALAMEDA

Alameda CROP Hunger Walk
Sunday, May 4, 2014, Register 12:30 pm; Walk 1:00 pm
WHERE: Washington Park in Alameda Sponsored walk.
Join more than 145,000 hunger fighters making an impact in their CROP Hunger Walks around the U.S. this year! For details, go to www.bayareahungerwalk.org/


Academic Event
Saturday, April 19, 2014, 2:00 - 5:00 pm
WHERE: Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley. Free event.
A concluding event for the year of celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Swami Vivekananda, featuring academic presentations on spirituality and life. Watch for more details. Info: info@celebratevivekananda.org; website: www.celebratevivekananda.org.

New Event! Near Death Experience: Does it awaken Compassion, Mindfulness, Serenity and Faith or Atheism?
WHEN: Sunday, April 27, 2014, 1:30 - 4:00 pm
WHERE: Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, 2304 McKinley Ave., Berkeley. Free. Donations accepted. The program will begin with an introduction to the Significance and Characteristics of NDE's by Ruth Richards, M.D.,PH.D. Speakers include Tom Mahon, Roger Steinbronn, and Rev. Richard Mapplebeckpalmer. They have all experienced an event where they became aware of their mortality, unsure if they were still alive or already dead. We will explore how has it affected their lives and how it would affect you.

For more information go to ahimsaberkeley.org.


New Event! Good Friday Witness
WHEN: Friday, April 18, 2014, 7:00 am
WHERE: Vasco Road and Patterson Pass Road, Livermore. Free event.
People concerned about the continuing development of nuclear weapons are invited for an interfaith prayer service with speaker Kathy Kelly, noted peacemaker and coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. From the corner we will walk to the gates of the Lab recognizing along the way the many crosses on which our world suffers. Some of will block the gates, risking arrest. Organized by Ecumenical Peace Institute and Livermore Conversion Project.

For more information visit www.epicalc.org or call 510-990-0374.


New Event! Cosmology and Spirituality: Universe and Human Being
WHEN: Friday, May 30, 2014, 7:00 pm; Saturday, May 31, 9:30 am
WHERE: Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. Tickets $20- $65.
An offering to celebrate the harmonious spirit that connects us, where the inward journey of the heart finds a forum to express itself and interact beyond space and time. The International Association of Sufism‘s production of the Songs of the Soul Festival is quickly establishing itself as one of the premier gatherings in the world for artists, religious scholars, and enthusiasts from many faith traditions, cultures and generations to come together in celebration and exploration of our humanity.

Tickets and more information here. Friday: Taneen Sufi Music Ensemble and Eliyahu & Qadim Ensemble; Saturday: Cosmology and Spirituality: A Conversation: Brian Swimme and Richard Tarnas; Universe and Human Being: Nahid Angha and Rev. Heng Sure; Sufi Poetry and the Echoes of the Unseen: Daniel Abdal Hayy Moore; and Avay-i-Jannan:Echoes of the Unseen, poetry slam collective. For more info: 415-472-6959; or visit: http://ias.org/festival/


Tri-Valley CROP Hunger Walk
WHEN: Saturday, May 10, 2014, Register 9:00 am; Walk 9:30 am
WHERE: Amador Valley High School, 1155 Santa Rita Road, Pleasanton, CA Sponsored walk.
Join more than 145,000 hunger fighters making an impact in their CROP Hunger Walks around the U.S. this year! For details, go to www.bayareahungerwalk.org/


Thresholds of Faith: Four Entries into the Beyond
WHEN: December 15, 2013- May 18, 2014, Fridays and Sundays, hours below
WHERE: Manresa Gallery, 650 Parker Ave, San Francisco (inside St. Ignatius Church).
Featured Artists: Taraneh Hemami, Lynn Marie Kirby, Cara Levine, and Ali Naschke-Messing. Thresholds of Faith: Four Entries into the Beyond provides the space for four visual artists of differing faith backgrounds (Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim) to investigate the meaning of their spiritual practices and religious backgrounds through art making. This exhibition provides independent studio-like spaces in which focused explorations create unique vantage points from which broader platforms for ene

Gallery Hours: Fridays 1:00-5:00 pm, Sundays between Masses and from 2:00-5:00 pm, or by appointment. manresagallery.org/

New Event! "Congregations Responding to Everyday Disasters"
WHEN: Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 8:00 am - 12:00 Noon
WHERE: The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, 1111 Gough Street, San Francisco. Free event.
The San Francisco Interfaith Council Presents the 5th Biennial Disaster Preparedness Workshop for Congregations. To register for this workshop please visit: http://goo.gl/zXW0IY.

New Event! WinterFaith Shelter Walk 2014
WHEN: Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm
WHERE: Walk around beautiful Lake Merced in San Francisco. Sponsored walk.
(Meet at the Lake Merced Parking Circle at the intersection of Lake Merced and Sunset Blvds.)
Funds raised from the walk will benefit the San Francisco Interfaith Winter Shelter. To register, donate and/or obtain information please visit: winterfaithshelterwalk.dojiggy.com.

New Event! Bike to Worship Day
WHEN: Sunday, May 25 through Sunday June 1, 2014
WHERE: Throughout San Francisco. Free event.
Congregation Leaders: Please visit sfbike.org/worship and help spread the news of this event through your social media, bulletins, newsletters, and pulpit announcements. Since worship days vary, we're celebrating all week and offering groups the opportunity to select their own worship day to emphasize. All worship and spiritual communities are welcome to participate. If you're interested in getting your congregation involved, sign up receive a free Bike to Worship Toolkit to help with your event.

For additional information please click here..


Marin Crop Walk
WHEN: Sunday, March 23, 2014, Register 1:30 pm; Walk 2:00 pm
WHERE: First Presbyterian Church San Rafael, 1510 Fifth Ave. Sponsored walk
Join more than 145,000 hunger fighters making an impact in their CROP Hunger Walks around the U.S. this year! For details, go to www.bayareahungerwalk.org/

Update! Marin Interfaith Prayer Breakfast
WHEN: Thursday, May 1, 2014, 8:00 - 10:00 am
WHERE: Congregation Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Dr, Belvedere Tiburon. A sliding scale of $35 - $50
Please join us for an interfaith celebration of the National Day of Prayer from three religious traditions: Mr. Darrell Metcalf - Bahá'í; Lama Palden Drolma - Tibetan Buddhism; Rev. Bill Englehart - Unity. Reservations include a catered buffet breakfast. Info and registration.


Rescheduled Spiritual Paths to an Ethical & Ecological Global Civilization
WHEN: Saturday, April 26, 2014, 6:30 - 9:00 pm
WHERE: Pacifica Institute, Silicon Valley, 1257 Tasman Avenue, Sunnyvale. Free event.
Gerald Grudzen is the co-author of Spiritual Paths to an Ethical and Ecological Global Civilization, which features an extensive discussion of two key figures from the Christian and Muslim faith traditions: the Jesuit mystic scientist Teilhard de Chardin and the Turkish Imam Fethulla Gulen. Dinner will be served; this is a free event, co-sponsored by Pacifica Institute, Silicon Valley, SiVIC, and Interfaith Space. Please RSVP at pacificasv.org/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 YOUTH LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE. Do you know a high school student who is interested in expanding their leadership skills and knowledge of other faiths so that they are better equipped to interact respectfully with people from different backgrounds? This upcoming June, New Vision Partners will be holding its third year of programming of the Interfaith Youth Leadership Initiative (IYLI). During the 3-day program, students will build relationships with people of other faiths, take ownership of their own faith perspective, visit different houses of worship and act out their faith through service of the larger community. Programs will take place in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Orange County, and Simi Valley. Details are available at the New Vision website.

RELIGIOUS LITERACY FOR DISASTER RELIEF. The National Disaster Interfaith Network and the University of Southern California Center for Religion and Civic Culture (CRCC) are pleased to announce the launch of two new national tools, a Field Guide and a Religious Literacy Primer for Crises, Disasters and Public Health Emergencies. The Field Guide is a how-to resource for engagement and partnerships, while its companion Religious Literacy Primer is an at-a-glance quick reference on twenty-four of the largest faith traditions in the United States. Both documents are available for free download from www.n-din.org. Using these tools, NDIN and USC CRCC offer trainings to government and non-profit organizations seeking to enhance their religious literacy, competency and ability to engage faith communities as partners.


INTERFAITH BOOK CLUB. SiVIC, the Silicon Valley Interreligous Council has created the Silicon Valley Interfaith Book Club to provide a venue for the common reading and discussions of books focused on faith journeys taken by individuals of different religions/spiritual communities. They welcome all interested people from Silicon Valley and beyond to participate with us. Our first book will be In Search of Grace: A Religious Outsider's Journey Across America's Landscape of Faith by Kristin Hahn. Find out more at the SiVIC website.

PLURALISM SUNDAY:  On the first Sunday in May- May 4, 2014 (or other times during the year) – churches dedicate their worship to a celebration of our interfaith world. Progressive Christians thank God for religious diversity! We don’t claim that our religion is superior to all others.  We recognize that other religions can be as good for others as ours is for us.  We can grow closer to God and deeper in compassion—and we can understand our own traditions better—through a more intimate awareness of the world’s religions.  On Pluralism Sunday, churches celebrate elements of other world faiths in their sermons, litanies, and music; many feature speakers and singers from other faith traditions.  Some congregations have exchanges with other faith communities, going to each other’s houses of worship.  It's a celebration sponsored by ProgressiveChristianity.org.

GOLDEN RULE RESOURCES. In one of Scarboro Missions’ Golden Rule curricula, they have included a resources section that contains a large list of free Golden Rule resources as well as a listing of useful Golden Rule websites. You can find the list, which includes discussion questions, video, interactive resources, and much more, at www.scarboromissions.ca/Golden_rule/made_of_gold.php#11

INTERSPIRIT ALLIANCE. The Interspirit network system has been supporting interfaith movements (including the ICP and Bay Area Interfaith Connect) since 2002. In today’s rapidly-growing global environment, they have been building new approaches to collaboration, intercultural cooperation and shared understanding. You are invited to become part of the Interspirit Alliance, an alliance drawing on the shared core values of diverse religious and philosophical traditions, the shared ethical implications of those traditions, and a shared commitment to social and economic justice. Find out how at www.interspirit.net.





Mill Valley
San Francisco
San Jose
San Rafael
Special Opportunities


Home | About | Newsletter | Links | Media | Store | Support | Contact

©2014 Interfaith Center at the Presidio, 130 Fisher Loop, Presidio, San Francisco, California

1880 subscribers