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Monday, November 24, 2014 Interfaith Center at the Presidio

November- Honoring Veterans

Interfaith Center at the Presidio

On Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11, 2014, at 11:00 am, the Interfaith Center at the Presidio will hold an interfaith service of unity and peace at the Presidio Chapel, home to the Interfaith Center. The service has been adapted from the 1974 Book of Worship for United States Forces, and will include leaders from Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim traditions, as well as a representative from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's office. Special music will include a bagpiper, hymns, chanting, and the ringing of the bell.

Fighting ceased at the end of World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars and became Veterans Day.

Post ChapelThe Presidio Chapel, home to the Interfaith Center, was built in 1931 to serve the diverse religious needs of the soldiers stationed at the Presidio. From its very beginning, it was a sacred place where people of different religious backgrounds could worship and pray. When the army decided to decommission the Presidio in 1995, the Interfaith Center held a Gathering of Blessings ceremony where representatives from numerous faith families commemorated the transition in Chapel stewardship from military to civilian hands. As part of the stewardship of the Chapel, the Interfaith Center marks Veterans Day and Memorial Day each year, and has sponsored several workshops in the Bay Area addressing the spiritual needs of returning Veterans in our communities.

Rev. Edgar Welty, Jr.

Rev. Edgar Welty, Jr. will be one of the leaders of the Veterans Day service

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Peace Forum 2014PEACE FORUM 2014. "Forging Peace and Human Security: From Aspiration to Action" is the theme for this year's Peace Forum, scheduled to take place Saturday, November 15, 2014, from 1:30 - 5:00 pm at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Avenue, Berkeley. This year's Forum will include Keynote Speaker Victor Kazanjian, the Executive Director of the United Religions Initiative, panels on “Public Policy, Civic Advocacy and Actions for Non-Violence and Security” and “How Can Love, Compassion & Empathy Transform Values & Behavior to Achieve Peace" with several well-known local peace and interfaith leaders. Workshops will address topics ranging from housing to immigration to conflict and violence. Special music and dance will be provided by the El Djazira Ensemble from Algiers, Enver Rahmanov, and Carla DeSola. Admission is free; for full details and registration, go to http://bayareapeaceforum.org/

If you'd like to see what happened at last year's Peace Forum, videos of the speakers and presentations can be found here.

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RESPONDING TO HATE AND ISIS. Last month, sadly, another series of inflammatory anti-Muslim ads sponsored by Pamela Geller appeared on MUNI buses in San Francisco. In response, Michael Pappas of the San Francisco Interfaith Council joined with Jewish Community Relations Council Associate Executive director Abby Porth wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Thursday, advertisements appeared on San Francisco Muni buses depicting Islam as evil and claiming that devout followers of the faith are bound to be violent. This proclamation is utterly false and an attempt to manipulate the public with Islamophobic vitriol to address the very serious threat posed by the Islamic State group. (read the full article)

Michael and Abby go on to point out the strong opposition to ISIS that has been expressed by Muslims themselves. If you're not familiar with those statements, some good places to start are with Ameena Jandali's essay at Patheos, "Hajj 2014 – How ISIS is the Antithesis of the Holy Pilgrimage," or the list of "Global Condemnations of ISIS/ISIL" compiled by ING. ING also has a Frequently Asked Questions about ISIS page on their website.

Beyond the Muslim community, Interfaith leaders have also spoken out against ISIS. The San Francisco Interfaith Council addressed especially the impact of ISIS on the ancient Christian communities of the region, while noting the need to remember "that the actions of ISIS and other terror groups do not reflect a true image of Islam."

Religions for Peace USA held a webinar with Dr. Omid Safi of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Jerusha Lamptey of Union Theological Seminary in New York City and Mr. Ron Kraybill, Senior Advisor on Peacebuilding and Development to the United Nations, to reframe the conversation about ISIS away from stoking stereotypes of all Muslims to understanding ISIS and how to respond to it. The webinar is online at www.rfpusa.org/.

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TALKING ABOUT ISRAEL: JEWS AND MUSLIMS. This, the first in a series of three conversations about Israel, will consider how relationships between Jews and Muslims around the world are inevitably colored by the events in the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Can Muslims and Jews achieve a fuller understanding of the histories, narratives and stakes involved for each side? Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartman and Imam Abdullah T. Antepli, co-founders of the Shalom Hartman Institute Muslim Leadership Initiative, discuss their efforts to help influencers on both sides transform their thinking. Presented by the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco in partnership with the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America and the United Religions Initiative. Tickets are $15; JCCSF Members get 10% off. Details are here. Tuesday, Nov 4, 2014, 7:00 pm at JCCSF, 3200 California Street San Francisco, CA 94118.

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Parliament of the World's ReligionsPARLIAMENT 2015 IN SALT LAKE CITY. "Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity" is the theme for the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions, taking place October 15 – 19, 2015 in Salt Lake City. Three Critical Issues for 2015 will be: Climate Change and Care for Creation; War, Violence, and Hate Speech; and The Widening Wealth Gap and Wasteful Consumption. Special focus will be made on Women, Indigenous Communities, and Youth.

The Parliament is the oldest, the largest, and the most inclusive gathering of people of all faith and traditions. In making the announcement of the 2015 Parliament, Imam Malik Mujahid, Chair of the Parliament Board of Trustees said, “at this juncture in human history when hate, fear and anger is rising in America and across the globe, It is important that faith communities, rise with a loving, caring relationships, even if we do not agree on some issues.” This is the first time the Parliament has met in the U.S. since the 1993 gathering in Chicago. Since then, gatherings have been held in Cape Town, Barcelona, and Melbourne.

The Parliament is now accepting proposals for presentations. Registration is already available, and Super Saver rates are available until November 30, 2014; lower rates are also available for groups of ten or more who register together. For an overview of the conference, registration, and links for proposing sessions, exhibition space, and sponsorship information (coming soon), go to the Parliament website.

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HEALTH CARE. The California Council of Churches, through its new Navigator grant with Covered CA is seeking congregations of all faiths to serve as enrollment sites for the next open and special enrollment periods to sign people up for health insurance from November 2014 to June 2015. Faith communities should recruit volunteers who will be trained, certified, fingerprinted and background checked, have accessible meeting spaces and parking, have password protected computer and internet access and be willing to accommodate education and enrollment store fronts during weeknights and on the weekends. Faith communities can, at their discretion, invite local providers to do health screenings and have a community health fair. For more information, contact: Marijke Fakasiieiki, California Council of Churches Certified Educator and Enroller Covered CA, (510) 529-5011 or marijke@calchurches.org.

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NOTES & QUOTES: Congratulations to Sari Heidenreich, the new URI Regional Coordinator for North America...and welcome to new ICP Board Members Gerry Caprio and Scott Quinn. More about them in the next issue..."When you take on service, always ask yourself why you are doing it. Work is wonderful, but creation is better. Know that you serve because of your faith and that you have faith because you serve" (Hussein Rashid at State of Formation)..."Kinship is what God presses us on to, always hopeful that its time has come" (Fr. Gregory Boyle, SJ)..."All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others. I cannot detach myself from the wickedest soul" (Mahatma Gandhi)..."Reverence is about awe, and from a spiritual perspective, everything is awesome" (Mary Ann Brussat, at The Interfaith Observer).

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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.

Tuesday, November 11, 11:00 am
A Service of Peace and Unity
An inclusive interfaith service based on the 1974 "Book of Worship for United States Forces."

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 7:00 pm
Christmas Eve Mass
7:00 PM Christmas Carols and Meditation; 7:30 PM Christmas Eve Mass; 8:15 PM - 9:30 PM Dessert Pot Luck for some festive fellowship and good cheer. RSVP to XmasEveMass@whiterobedmonks.org. Sponsored by White Robed Monks of St. Benedict.



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.


World Religion Day
WHEN: Sunday, January 18, 2015, 2:00 - 4:00 pm
WHERE: Campbell Community Center, 1 W. Campbell Avenue, Campbell. Free event.
Come and learn about the religious traditions of the South Bay to foster understanding and communication among various religious groups, discover the harmony of spiritual principles; and demonstrate religion as a motivating force for world unity. A service with scripture readings and prayers from various traditions and displays from local religious communities.

     ...IN PALO ALTO

Sharing the Land with Compassion and without Fear
WHEN: Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 7:30 pm
WHERE: St. Andrew's United Methodist Church, 4111 Alma Street, Palo Alto. Free event.
A community Thanksgiving service. Collection will be taken for Community Legal Services and Doctors Without Borders. Non-perishable items for local food closets are also welcome.

Palo Alto Faith Leaders
WHEN: Wednesday, February 4, 2015, noon
WHERE: Palo Alto V.A. Hospital, 3801 Miranda Avenue, Palo Alto.
The primary purpose of our gatherings is social, an opportunity to build our relationships and connections with each other so that we can better serve this great community. Feel free to bring news and fliers of events that your faith community is hosting or about community issues that we might wish to know about. Contact: Eileen Altman, eileen@fccpa.org


Interfaith Interconnect - Tri-Valley Thanksgiving Service
WHEN: Sunday, November 23, 2014, 4:30 pm
WHERE: St. Augustine's Catholic Church, 3999 Bernal Avenue, Pleasanton.
Mark your calendar! In this season of Thanksgiving, we will gather as an interfaith community to share music, sacred readings and reflections on the blessings that surround us. . A brief reception will follow. We hope to see you there!


Christmas Eve Mass
WHEN: Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Presidio Chapel, 130 Fisher Loop, Presidio, San Francisco. Free event.
7:00 PM Christmas Carols and Meditation; 7:30 PM Christmas Eve Mass; 8:15 PM - 9:30 PM Dessert Pot Luck for some festive fellowship and good cheer. (We'll have utensils, plates, napkins, coffee, tea, hot apple cider & cocoa. You bring ... ). RSVP to XmasEveMass@whiterobedmonks.org. Sponsored by White Robed Monks of St. Benedict.


Celebrating 25 Years of Faith-Based Collaboration: Together We Can Do More!
WHEN: Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 7:00 - 9:00 am
WHERE: Hotel Kabuki, 1625 Post Street (at Laguna), San Francisco. $50 per person.
Sponsored by San Francisco Interfaith Council. Ticket Information: $50 per person; Sustaining Sponsorship: $250 for 4 tickets; Table Sponsorship: $500 for 10 tickets. Tickets are available for purchase at: sfprayerbreakfast.2014.dojiggy.com/. For additional information, please contact Cynthia Zamboukos at (415) 474-1321 or czamboukos.sfic@gmail.com.

Service of Prayer and Thanksgiving
WHEN: Thursday, November 27, 2014, 10:00 - 11:00 am
WHERE: Congregation Sherith Israel, 2266 California Street, San Francisco. Free event.
Sponsored by the San Francisco Interfaith Council. For additional information please contact Cynthia Zamboukos at 415-474-1321.

From Darkness Into Light
WHEN: Sunday, November 30, 2014, 6:00 pm
WHERE: St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 1111 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco. Free event.
Organized by the San Francisco Interfaith Council, joined by St. Mark's Lutheran Church, First Unitarian Universalist Society and Trinity+ St. Peter's Episcopal Church. Location: http://www.stmarks-sf.org/ For additional information please contact Cynthia Zamboukos at 415-474-1321.

Annual Interfaith Memorial Service for our Homeless Dead
WHEN: Thursday, December 18, 2014, 5:00 pm
WHERE: Civic Center Plaza (Polk Street side), San Francisco. Free event.
Co-Sponsored by: The San Francisco Night Ministry and The San Francisco Interfaith Council. For additional information please contact Rebecca Swee at 415-474-1321.


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.

EMPATHY AND COMPASSION IN SOCIETY is an annual event that has met in London but will take place in San Francisco November 13-14, 2014 at Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Boulevard. Internationally renowned neuroscientists, psychologists and thinkers share their insights and present methods for developing compassion. Innovators are also invited to submit case studies demonstrating how compassion has been a force for change in their area of work. The conference is for professionals from all sectors, including those working in business, government, law, education, medicine, healthcare, and social services. Cost is $410 before August 15. For information and registration, see compassioninsociety.org/. A youth program will be held November 12, for information, contact info@tenzingyatsoinstitute.org

VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT. The Fig Tree Northern CA/NV will be launching soon as a seedling offshoot of The Fig Tree in Spokane, WA, which has covered stories of faith in action in the inland northwest for 30 years. The goal is to link people of faith in this region in an online newsmagazine format through Wordpress and Facebook with news stories of local people making a difference, interfaith and ecumenical stories from regional, national and international sources, a directory of faith communities and community agencies, regional calendar listings, classified and regular ads. Volunteers are needed to help them get started as a non-profit: to serve on the board, to write articles, to help with graphic design and advertising, to help with layout and editing, to compile calendar listings and classifieds for a bartering type network, to write grants, etc. . . If you have any of these skills and would like to contribute to wider interfaith networking for this region, please contact: Marijke Fakasiieiki, editor, The Fig Tree Northern CA/NV, (510) 529-5011, mfakasiieiki@gmail.com.

BIG I CONFERENCE. The 2015 "Big I Conference" (the "I" stands for Interfaith, Interspiritual, Integral, and Independent) will be held at the Mercy Center in Burlingame February 6-8, 2015. The theme is "Ministering for the Earth: tending the heart of the planet." The intent of the conference is to bring together scholars and spiritual people to explore through dialogue and practices and scholarly publication, the evolution of human spirituality through the inclusive theology and consciousness of interfaith, interspirituality and integral spirituality and meeting the emerging spiritually independent (spiritual-but-not-religious) community. You can learn more at bigiconference.org/




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