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|Sunday, May 19, 2013
||Interfaith Center at the Presidio
May- Interfaith & Violence
IN THIS ISSUE: Interfaith & Violence | Embracing Our Veterans | Memorial Day Observances | World Labyrinth Day | Curing a Culture of Violence | Sacred Text Series Online | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News | At the Presidio Chapel | Bay Area Interreligious Calendar | Special Opportunities | Unsubscribe
The attacks in Boston last month again raised questions about the importance of interfaith relationships for strengthening connections between Americans of diverse religious backgrounds. Writing at Huffington Post, Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, suggests that “interfaith efforts matter more than ever.” He notes three important reasons why he believes this is so: “1. Interfaith helps harmonize people’s various identities… 2. Interfaith efforts help us to separate the worst elements of communities from the rest… and 3. Interfaith efforts remind us America is about welcoming the contributions of all communities and nurturing cooperation between them.”
Not so fast, counters Lucia Hulsether, a student at Harvard Divinity School, in an article at Religion Dispatches. She advises against understanding the Boston attacks as a failure of “interfaith cooperation,” and suggests that framing the issue that way may obscure other important dimensions. Suggesting that violence arises from differences of religion, for example, may obscure other very real factors—race, history, and struggles for resources, territory and power. Does the language of interfaith set up yet another opposition, an implicit “we” versus “they” in which the pluralist “we” are fighting the “they” that are “extremists” or “fundamentalists”? And does this perception then encourage us to marginalize, devalue, and even dehumanize those who resist?
Patel warns us, “These times require all of us to be interfaith leaders, to signal clearly that the worst elements of every tradition represent nobody. The murderers of all communities belong only to one community: the community of murderers.”
Hulsether’s warning is a bit different: “Clearly, we cannot draw one “conclusion” about what “interfaith” discourses “do.”What we can do, however, is think critically about how they resonate contextually…if we do critically engage contemporary interfaith rhetoric, we will have accessed—and maybe even begun to influence and redirect—a powerful rhetorical tool for animating transformative social and political action.”
What do you think? How much does interfaith dialogue contribute to preventing or countering religious violence? We invite your responses on the ICP Facebook page or on our blog.
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"EMBRACING OUR VETERANS" CONFERENCE A SUCCESS!
ICP Interim President
Over 40 leaders from religious and spiritual communities from Contra Costa County came to this half day conference focused on developing a better understanding of how to serve the veterans in their midst. The Interfaith Center at the Presidio, in partnership the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa, presented this conference to assist congregations and spiritual communities in becoming healing, welcoming, and empowering places for veterans on a long term basis.
The underlying focus for the day was on understanding how the differences between military and civilian cultures can make it difficult for people and communities to reach out to each other. On the societal level, how the military functions and differing perspectives and experiences of war can create separation between people and their communities. On a more personal level, the conference dealt with spiritual issues that arise with veterans
Rev. Charlotte Bear set the tone during her keynote. Her overriding message was "listen, listen, listen!" Putting aside presuppositions about the experiences veterans may have had is key to engaging veterans more fully. The presenters and panelists came to share their experiences as veterans, chaplains, and people honoring their fallen family members. Their overriding message was that building personal relationships with veterans is crucial to any effort. Read more ...
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MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCES. The Memorial Day ceremony at the Presidio cemetery will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. The parade begins at 10:30, and the service is from 11:00 am -12:00 noon. As part of the program, the French Consul General will be presenting the highest French award to several WWII vets.
The Interfaith Center at the Presidio invites everyone to the newly-renovated Presidio Chapel for quiet time for meditation, reflection, and prayers. The Chapel will be open from 11:00 to 2:00.
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MAY 4 IS WORLD LABYRINTH DAY. The Labyrinth Society has declared May 4, the first Saturday in May, as World Labyrinth Day. It is a day designated to bring people from all over the world together to walk labyrinths. As part of the “Walk as One at 1” project, people are encouraged to have the main labyrinth walk of the day at 1 pm in every time zone to create a wave of labyrinth walking around our planet as it turns in space. To learn more about World Labyrinth Day and find out where it is being observed, see the Labyrinth Society website.
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CURING A CULTURE OF VIOLENCE. AHIMSA in Berkeley, one of ICP's Supporting Organizations, held a conference in March in commemoration of Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birthday. “Unity in Diversity: To Cure a Culture of Violence” was held at the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery and Institute for World Religions, and included talks on the origins of violence and ways to address it, informed by the teachings of Vivekananda. Audio recordings of the sessions are available on the AHIMSA website.
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SACRED TEXT SERIES ONLINE. Presentations on sacred texts from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim traditions, as well at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are now available as online videos. The talks were part of a series on “Sacred Dialogue: Sacred Texts in the Public Sphere,” sponsored by the Bannan Institute at Santa Clara University. You can find the videos at the Bannan Institute website.
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NOTES & QUOTES: The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County held their first ever Interfaith Youth Game Night with 27 teens and 11 adult leaders from five communities participating in games, song, and art projects. “…our crisis is not that we humans are too individualistic or too selfish. It’s that we’ve lost touch with how deeply social we really are… We are creatures who, in order to thrive individually, depend on inclusive communities in which all can thrive.” Frances Moore Lappé (YES Magazine)...
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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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com and letting us know. Thank you.
About the Editor: D. Andrew Kille is director
Space in San Jose, working to develop and strengthen interfaith
relations throughout the Bay Area. Send your calendar items, comments
and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.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.
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
and directions to the Presidio’s Main Post Chapel
Presidio Chapel Website: www.presidiochapel.org
The Presidio Chapel is currently closed for repairs.
With the revision of the Interfaith Center website, it is easier to find resources and information about the ongoing work of the Center. Take a look at the major projects sponsored by ICP, including the Interfaith Design Competition, the Lost and Endangered Religions Project, the McDonald Windows, and Spiritual Resources interviews.
Find a wealth of interfaith links, including books, calendars, Podcasts and more on the Interfaith Resources Page.
ABOUT THE INTERFAITH CENTER AT THE PRESIDIO
Bay Area Interfaith Connect is sponsored by the Interfaith
Center at the Presidio. The Center is a regional interfaith umbrella
organization of 22 interfaith groups that serve as Sponsoring Organizations.
The 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
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Bay Area Interreligious Calendar
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The beautiful graphic to the right is by Melissa Penn and was used
by the Parliament of the World's Religion in 1999 in Cape Town.
AHIMSA EVENING DISCUSSION PROGRAM
New Item! Violence In Our Schools - One School Psychologist’s Perspective: Lalita Paranatantiri
WHEN: Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
WHERE: Berkeley Buddhist Monastery 2304 McKinley Ave, Berkeley. Free and open to the public.
Lalita Paranatantiri is a School Psychologist residing in the Bay Area and working in the Oakland Unified School District. She has extensive experience working with youth in schools, intervention programs, and across the globe. Her work in mental health, behavior and learning differences contribute to an understanding of violence and how to alleviate it in schools and in the community.
Please join us for an evening of free discussion on how violence in all its forms is impacting our youth. All educators, administrators, parents, and interested participants are welcome. Sponsored by Ahimsa.
KABBALAH AND SUFISM
Ancient Wisdom of Kabbalah and Sufism: Poetry, Prayer, Peace
WHEN: Saturday, May 18, 2013, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
WHERE: Christ Lutheran Church, 2626 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Fairfax. $40 per person.
A day of worship, discussion, poetry and music. Pre-registration of $40 before May 10 will include a vegetarian lunch; at the door registration is $40 without lunch. For information call (415) 488-4524. Sponsored by Gan HaLev, the Jewish Congregation of San Geronimo Valley, and the International Association of Sufism, headquartered in Novato.
A NEW LOOK AT JESUS
New Item! Reza Aslan: Zealot
WHEN: Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 6:30 pm
WHERE: Lafayette Library, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. Tickets (see below)
Think you know about the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth? Think again. Internationally acclaimed author and scholar Reza Aslan, armed with 20 years of fastidious research, presents a bold and fresh perspective on Jesus as both a man and historical figure, a radical political revolutionary invested in the nationalist struggle for freedom from Roman occupation. Join Aslan as he balances the Jesus of the Gospels against historical sources, creating a vivid picture of one of the most enigmatic and influential
Sponsored by the Commonwealth Club of Northern California. Details and registration. Cost: General: $22 non-members, $12 members, $7 students (with valid ID). Premium (includes book and priority seating in the first few rows): $45 non-members, $35 members.
*non-members can use promotion code specialforaslan to get $10 off the non-member ticket price. Simply select a non-member ticket, click “enter promotion code” and type in specialforaslan
...IN MARIN COUNTY
INTRA-FAITH EDUCATION SERIES
Unitarian/Universalist, Mormon, Christian Science, Disciples of Christ
WHEN: Monday, April 15, 2013, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
WHERE: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 220 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael . Free event.
Presenters: Rev. Chip Wright/Unitarian/Universalist, Pastor at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin; Mr. Robert A. Rees, Ph.D./Mormon, Former bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/Graduate Theological Union; Ms. Ann Kneeland/Christian Science,
Christian Science Practitioner, San Rafael; Rev. Paul Gaffney/Disciples of Christ, Chaplain with the Marin Interfaith Street Chaplaincy. Sponsored by Marin Interfaith Council.
INTRA-FAITH EDUCATION SERIES
Update! United Church of Christ, Pentecostal, Religious Science, Unity
WHEN: Monday, May 13, 2013, 7:00 - 9:00 pm
WHERE: TBD. $15.
This year's series will delve into the many branches of Christianity. With 37% of Christians in the world living in the US, we hear about "Christianity" all the time, but what does that really mean? Difference between denominations are dramatic, and the more we know, the better we understand the worldview of ourselves, our friends, neighbors, and our community. Sponsored by Marin Interfaith Council.
...IN OLEMA (MARIN COUNTY)
MEMORIAL DAY PROGRAM
New Item! Spiritual Oneness: A Special Interfaith Program
WHEN: Saturday, May 27, 2013, 10:00 am - 4:14 pm
WHERE: Vedanta Retreat, 9799 State Highway One, Olema, West Marin County. Free event.
Talks, Panel Discussion, Questions and Answers, and Music. Speakers include: Rev. Charles P. Gibbs – Christianity; Dr. Nahid Angha – Sufism; Rev. Heng Sure – Buddhism; Ms. Sherna Deamer – Baha’i; Swami Atmajnanananda – Vedanta. Complimentary Lunch and Dinner. Child care provided. No Pets, please. Please register online.
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.
COMPASSIONATE CITIES. The International Campaign for Compassionate Cities is a global campaign inspired by the Golden Rule (treat all others as you wish to be treated yourself) to raise awareness of the benefits of compassionate action. Its purpose is to encourage city leadership from around the world to create and bring together efforts towards increasing compassion through local initiatives, policy, and projects. To learn more about the campaign criteria and how to become an organizer or connect your city to the movement, see the Compassionate Action Network.
2013 FESTIVAL OF FAITHS. The 2013 Festival of Faiths will take place in Louisville, Kentucky, May 14-19. The Festival of Faiths is one of the finest and largest annual interreligious gatherings in the United States of religious leaders, scholars and lay persons. This year the Festival will engage outstanding religious leaders and renowned experts on meditation and compassion in a series of discussions, under the theme of Sacred Silence: Pathway to Compassion. This year’s Festival will culminate in a public talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Additional information on the Festival can be found here.
PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES FOR INTERFAITH DIALOGUE. For the past few years and from various sources, Scarboro Missions has been compiling principles and guidelines for interfaith dialogue. These principles and guidelines are useful both for those new to the interfaith movement as well for interfaith veterans. You can find 19 of these documents, many in succinct form, on their website.
URI YOUTH SPEAKERS PROGRAM. The United Religions Initiative is developing a Youth Speakers Program to bring young people to high schools and community organizations to share their personal stories and open peer-to-peer conversations about important topics such as bullying, religious discrimination, and identity issues. Speakers will be trained in leadership skills and public speaking and will be compensated for speaking engagements. If you are interested in being a part of this project, or know someone who would be a good candidate, contact Krithika Harish, the Young Leaders Program Coordinator for URI, email@example.com; or phone: 415-561-2300 ext 23.
WEB-RADIO PROGRAM. Rev. Stacy Lee Goforth, an interfaith minister who lives in Connecticut, just launched her new Interfaith Radio Show, GoForth on Faith. Her first interviewee was Ruth Broyde-Sharone, an interfaith activist in Southern California and author of Minefields and Miracles: Why God and Allah Need to Talk.
IS RELIGION GOOD FOR WOMEN? During the Month of March, the Tony Blair Foundation sponsored a blog in collaboration with the Washington Post On Faith with a series entitled Is religion good for women?
Contributors include Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett (Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom), Isobel Coleman (Senior Fellow and Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations), and Joan Halifax Roshi (Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and author) - among many more.
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