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Bay Area Interfaith Connect
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014 Interfaith Center at the Presidio

August- Taking Sides?

Interfaith Center at the Presidio

MAKING STATEMENTS, TAKING SIDES. As the bombings and shellings continue in Israel and the Gaza Strip and the human toll rises every day, those of us who devote ourselves to building peace and relationships of respect and appreciation between religious communities find ourselves faced with a profound crisis. In situations where opposing viewpoints threaten to divide people and communities profoundly, leading even to physical violence far from “ground zero,” what is our role? Where do we stand? What can we say?

In the contemporary world of instant “communication,” the ease of posting one’s opinion, stripped of subtlety by limits of time, text, or twitter, coupled with the anonymity that the net often provides, makes it easy to “weaponize” our words, as Rabbi Joshua Stanton warns at the Huffington Post. He writes, "...to weaponize our words only reinforces the conflicts themselves and increases the harm that they do. Our opinions might rightly be deeply held, but our choice of words can be one of our most important deeds."

Perhaps more than at any time we are called upon to exercise the skills and attitudes that (one hopes) we have been able to develop in our encounters with one another in less fraught circumstances. We can encounter one another with the intention to learn, not simply make declarations, and work towards trust, not suspicion of one another’s intentions. We measure another’s actions by a self-critical awareness of our own actions, rather than holding them to ideal standards that we ourselves do not observe. We do not assume we know where conflicts or differences exist before listening carefully to one another. And we always make the effort to understand the others’ perspective, never losing sight of our shared humanity.

Read more and see some statements from Interfaith organizations and leaders...

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POSTPONED: VETERANS EVENT: The veterans' event planned for September, "After the Parades," focusing on the issues of re-entry and family life has been postponed. Watch for updates and information in future issues of BAIC.

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Peace in the ParkPEACE IN THE PARK FESTIVAL OF SPIRIT. Saturday, August 23 is the date, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm is the time for the second annual Peace in the Park celebration in Golden Gate Park. ICP is a partner with the Brahma Kumaris (BK) Meditation Center of San Francisco and several other organizations for this unique event.

Peace in the Park was first hosted in 2013 as one-time event by the Brahma Kumaris and their friends from over 30 years in the Bay Area. After the astounding success, people want to see it become an annual festival. The Brahma Kumaris teach meditation techniques to enter into a natural state of calm on a daily basis enhancing our ability to think more deeply, and feel greater empathy and live out our values in more authentic ways.

The Peace in the Park festival brings together the diverse San Francisco and surrounding communities to unplug and explore activities of peace and happiness in a fun, inspiring and healthy atmosphere. The festival was created in response to the growing concern - we are an overly stimulated, ADD-afflicted and tech-saturated culture.

Featured performers include Zimbabwean music and dance, Yaocuauhtli Cultural Dance, Kathak traditional Indian dance, Lily Cai Chinese Dancers, Ballet Folklorico, Chris Bryden and friends, Freddy Clarke and Wobbly Work. There will be seminars on dance, movement, improvisation, Philippine calligraphy, and more, and speakers throughout the day. At the majestic Bandshell of Golden Gate Park, this event will demonstrate how to nurture peace and happiness even while living in a fast-paced urban environment. You'll be among some of the best artists, scientists, peace makers and policy makers in the Bay Area at this event. 

Look for the ICP table and displays from many Bay Area organizations. More information and registration at www.PeaceInTheParkSF.org.

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NAIN Connect 2014NAIN CONNECT 2014. This year's NAINConnect (North American Interfaith Network) will be in Detroit, MI, Sunday, August 10 through Wednesday, August 13. "Bridging Borders and Boundaries" is the theme of the conference, hosted by the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit. Plenary presentations include “Global Peacemaking: The Interfaith Front," "From Hate to Hope," "City on Edge: Leading the Fight Against Enmity," and “Sacred Storytelling: A Play Created from Diversity Dialogues.” Workshops covering health care, politics and community, and interfaith communications, tours of religious and cultural sites around Detroit, and the chance to meet with interfaith activists from across the country are all highlights. Metro-Detroit has over 25 active interfaith organizations each with their own unique focus. We can be so much more effective in interfaith work if we all work together and learn from one-another! For more information, go to the NAINConnect website.

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Carry the VisionCARRY THE VISION. For many years now, the Carry the Vision Community Nonviolence Conference has brought together people from religious, governmental, educational, and nonprofit sectors across the South Bay and beyond to discover ways to overcome violence in our communities. This year's conference will feature Rev. Greg Boyle, SJ, founder of Homeboy Industries, a gang-intervention program in Los Angeles, as keynote speaker. Workshops, music, and a Youth Leadership Summit round out the offerings. The conference will take place on Sunday, October 19, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center, Levy Family Campus, 14855 Oka Rd in Los Gatos. For details and registration, see www.carrythevision.org/

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NOTES & QUOTES: “Mrs. Stanford has sat at the feet of…Unitarians, Trinitarians, infidels, Brahmins, Buddhists, Mohammedans, materialists, atheists, all have been heard, all were welcomed.”- Rabbi Jacob Voorsanger, who spoke at the dedication of Stanford's Memorial Church in 1903...The Bay Area lost a notable interfaith presence with the death of Swami Prabuddhananda of the Vedanta Society in San Francisco on July 2..."Hospitality matters, to be sure. It is the necessary social space in which friendships most often take root, but in and of itself, hospitality cannot mend the world - that requires a deeper, more reliable quality of relationship." -Susan Kennel Harrison at State of Formation..."In a world that has been blinded by lust for power, material gain, and prestige, people of faith need to stand together to defend and promote what all religious traditions hold as the highest human – and divine – values." Maha ElGenaidi at Patheos.

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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.



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.

     ...IN LOS GATOS

Carry the Vision
WHEN: Sunday, October 19, 2014, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
WHERE: Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center, Levy Family Campus, 14855 Oka Road, Los Gatos. $30 adults; $15 students
An exciting and dynamic gathering that will inspire, educate and offer a vision of the compassionate world that we all want to live in. Featured Speaker: Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J., founder of Homeboy Industries, a gang-intervention program in Los Angeles. More information and registration at www.carrythevision.org/.


Visionary Marin
WHEN: Thursday, November 6 - 6:00 - 9:00 pm
WHERE: Mill Valley Community Center, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley. Fundraiser
Please save the date for the 2014 Visionary Marin honoring Ms. Sylvia Boorstein, Ph.D. and Rev. Norman Fischer. Sponsored by Marin Interfaith Council.


Youth Gleaning Day
WHEN: Sunday, September 21, 2014, 2:00 - 4:30 pm
WHERE: Green Gulch Zen Center, 1601 Shoreline Hwy., Muir Beach. Free event.
See what a broccoli plant looks like. Learn about our food system. Hear about how the fields are connected to Buddhism and other faith traditions and get your hands dirty in the sun. This is a youth event (primarily grades 6-12), but family members are welcome. Long pants, socks, and close-toed shoes are encouraged. RSVP to programs@marinifc.org or (415) 456-6957 by Wed, Sept. 17th

     ...IN PALO ALTO

Palo Alto Faith Leaders
WHEN: Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 12:00 noon
WHERE: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 600 Colorado Avenue, Palo Alto.
Mark your calendars and watch for more information.


Peace in the Park
WHEN: Saturday, August 23, 2014, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
WHERE: Music Concourse Band Shell, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Free event.
Learn to nurture peace and happiness while living in a fast-paced urban environment. On the festival’s main stage will world music and dance performances from Native American, Zimbabwe, India and Latin America. Also: tai chi; hatha yoga; life-changer seminars; arts; crafts; improv; conscious dance; an art-music peace wall; exhibits by local non-profits specializing in peace initiatives, along with local, organic vegetarian food and beverage concessions (alcohol-free).

More information at www.peaceintheparksf.org/ or info@peaceintheparksf.org or 415.860.7879.

Together We Can Do More: Celebrating 25 Years of Faith-Based Collaboration
WHEN: Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 7:00 - 9:00 am
WHERE: Hotel Kabuki, 1625 Post Street (at Laguna), San Francisco. $50 per person.
Save the date! Tickets will be available for purchase in early September. For additional information, please contact Cynthia Zamboukos at (415) 474-1321 or czamboukos.sfic@gmail.com


Interfaith Retreat Day
WHEN: Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
WHERE: Santa Sabina Center, 25 Magnolia Ave., San Rafael. Sliding scale $80 - $60.
Interfaith Retreat Day - Join us for an Interfaith Retreat with Rabbi Henry Shreibman, Ph.D., Dominican University Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy and Arthur Kane Scott, ABD, Assistant Professor of History/Social Cultural Studies at Dominican University and student of Sufism. Sponsored by Marin Interfaith Council. Info: 415.456.6957, programs@marinifc.org

     ...IN TIBURON

From Shelter to Housing to Home: Sukkot & Hospitality
WHEN: Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm
WHERE: St. Hilary Catholic Parish , 761 Hilary Drive, Tiburon. $10 - $20 donation. Sack Lunch.
The Marin Interfaith Council and Marin Organizing Committee are partnering for a Housing Sabbath during the Jewish Feast of Sukkot, October 8th -12th. Join us Wednesday, August 27th from 12 to 2pm for a gathering of religious & nonprofit leaders in which panelists will address the topic of shelter & housing using the lens of Sukkot & Hospitality. Rabbi Michael Lezak will offer a reflection on Sukkot. Info and registration.


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.

COMPASSION RELAYS. Join the global Compassion Relays today! Anytime, anywhere, anyone can accept, carry, and pass on the Relays torch. Highlight, share, and honor your daily thoughts and acts of compassion for 1 week. Pass on the torch to friends, family, colleagues. The Relays herald and build momentum for the Compassion Games Gift-Giving Festival from September 11 through September 21. Find out more at the Compassion Games website.

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

CAMPAIGN NONVIOLENCE. Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice (MVPJ) is excited to join Campaign Nonviolence (CNV), inviting people of faith, conscience and good will to build a movement for peace, justice, and environmental healing. CNV is endorsed by Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire, and the late Vincent Harding.  Beginning on September 21, the International Day of Peace, CNV will launch a nationwide week of study, action, and peaceful public witness, calling for concrete changes toward reversing the climate crisis, ending poverty and abolishing war. MVPJ is encouraging and coordinating local groups to participate in CNV, each in their own way. During the week of September 21-28, many Peninsula congregations will spotlight concerns about peace, justice or environmental healing through worship, education, or advocacy.  Topics chosen already range from climate change to gun control.  MVPJ will help communities with ideas and resources (films, speakers, material), publicity and media coverage, and we will host a peaceful public witness event at the end of the week. Contact Diana Gibson at diana.multifaithpeace@gmail.com or Eileen Altman (eileen@fccpa.org) me for more details or to let us know how your faith community will be participating.




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