Friday, June 1, 2012 — Interfaith Center at the Presidio
This seems to be the time of year for suggesting books for summer reading. People may find they have a little more time than usual to dig into a good book. Although the classic recommendation is the “beach book” – a sprawling and engrossing volume, full of sound and fury and often not signifying very much, we’d like to call two recent books to your attention. Both are collections of short pieces written from a broad spectrum of perspectives, so you can read one or two in just a few minutes, and yet find yourself reflecting on them long after.
My Neighbor’s Faith: Stories of Interreligious Encounter, Growth, and Transformation (Orbis Books, 2012) is just what the title suggests: a collection of stories about the many dimensions of interreligious meeting. The authors include many prominent religious leaders nationwide– Joan Chittister, Paul Knitter, Brian McLaren, Richard Mouw, Eboo Patel, Burton Visotzky, Jim Wallace – and not a few luminaries from the Bay Area- Judith Berling, Rita Nakashima Brock, Charles Gibbs, Michael Lerner, and Rebecca Ann Parker. Two of the editors, Jennifer Howe Peace and Rabbi Or N. Rose are directors of CIRCLE, the Center for Interreligious and Community Leadership, a joint action and study initiative of Andover Newton Theological Seminary and Hebrew College, both in Newton, Massachusetts. The third editor, Gregory Mobley, is a co-founder of CIRCLE.
The idea for the book emerged from a conference sponsored by CIRCLE at which participants declared that one of the most important aspects of the gathering had been the opportunity to hear one another’s stories. Imagining the interreligious encounter as a kind of journey, the editors grouped the fifty-three essays under the headings “Encountering the Neighbor,” “Viewing Home Anew,” “Redrawing Our Maps,” “Unpacking Our Belongings,” “Stepping Across the Line,” “Finding Fellow Travelers,” and “Repairing Our Shared World.” Each story comes from the heart, and illuminates some facet of the person-to-person encounters that are the heart and soul of interreligious learning and appreciation.
Tapping Into God: Experiencing the Spiritual Spectrum (Balboa Press, 2011) is a collection of a different kind. San Jose author Debbie Belmessieri set out to “offer a smorgasbord of religious and spiritual thought by exploring a single topic from many perspectives, namely what connection to God means from that practitioner’s point of view, and how that faith is revealed in daily life.” She began by contacting religious leaders of traditions with which she was familiar, but soon found that the circle was widening more and more as one person would refer her to others. So it is that you will find represented in this collection not only familiar world religious traditions – Islam, Baha’i, Judaism, Buddhism, and several forms of Christianity – but also lesser-known traditions like Wicca, Taoism, or Sikhism. And there are some that you may not know much about at all – Druidry, Unity, Divine Science, Huna Shamanism, Goddess Spirituality, Gnosticism, or A Course in Miracles.
Most of the writers are local to the Bay Area, and thus the book offers a glimpse of the religious diversity that exists around us but of which most of us are unaware. Belmessieri does not attempt to interpret or explain any of the traditions, but does include a brief biography of each writer and additional resources for exploring further. She declares that her goal was twofold: to lift up common threads that run through diverse religious traditions, and to call for respect and understanding for all religious traditions. All together, it makes for a fascinating journey through the varieties of religious experience.
MEMORIAL DAY AT THE INTERFAITH CENTER. On Memorial Day, May 28, the Interfaith Center offered refreshments to those who had attended the military program at the San Francisco National Cemetery, and then followed with an interfaith prayer service to remember those who had given their lives. Prayers were offered by representatives of Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions. Outside, several organizations offered information to the public about resources for veterans and opportunities to volunteer: Swords to Plowshares, San Francisco County Veteran Service Office, San Francisco Veterans Center, and Iraq Veterans Against War.
See more pictures. . .
INTERFAITH BLOOD DRIVE. Several congregations in Northern California from Ukiah to Santa Cruz will taking part in an interfaith blood drive during the month of July. The effort, coordinated with the American Red Cross, hopes to gather 7,000 units of blood. This is the second year of the interfaith project, which began with a collaboration of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland and Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon) groups in Alameda County last year. That effort gained 1,700 units of blood and was the most successful interfaith drive ever undertaken. This year’s collaboration includes not only Catholic and Mormon congregations, but other Christian groups and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. To take part and donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS [1(800)733-2767] and mention the Interfaith Community Blood Drive, or visit www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation-sponsor, and type in the sponsor code “InterfaithCommunity” (one word) to find the blood drive location nearest to you.
NAINConnect 2012. Only a month to go before the annual gathering of the North American Interfaith Alliance (NAIN)! The theme “Establishing Interfaith Friendly Cities” captures realistic and attainable aspirations for the interfaith community and for many in the civic arena. The conference runs from July 15-18, 2012, in Atlanta, hosted by Interfaith Community Institute. Registration is now open; the cost is $350 for Adults and $175 for Youth/Students. You can register, if you have not already, on the NAIN website. Vanessa Gomez Brake, a member of the ICP Board who reported on last year’s conference, will be attending as a NAIN Young Adult Scholar.
VETERANS WORKSHOP. Making Peace with the Past: A Workshop for Combat Veterans from All Wars To Heal From Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In response to the critical need to help combat veterans overcome the damaging effects of post-traumatic stress, two organizations dedicated to healing have joined forces – Swords to Plowshares and The Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance – to create a special seminar that is free to combat veterans. The free workshop will take place at The War Memorial Building, 401 Van Ness St., San Francisco, California, June 3, 2012, from 2:00-6:00pm. Dr. Fred Luskin, Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project, will be the presenter/facilitator at this healing workshop, the second this year. Dr. Luskin’s work combines lecture with a hands-on approach to making peace with the past. Transformative results were experienced by all the participants in the first workshop. To attend the workshop, or for more information, please contact: Swords to Plowshares email@example.com, (916) 897-7559 or Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance, firstname.lastname@example.org (415) 342-2650.
WORKPLACE RELIGOUS FREEDOM ACT PASSES. AB 1964, a bill that would protect the rights of individuals to wear religious clothing and/or hairstyles on the job, was approved by the California State Assembly on May 29 by a vote of 59-3. The bill clarifies the existing federal Fair Employment and Housing Act. The bill was sponsored by the Sikh Coalition, which argued that Sikh Californians suffer high levels of employment discrimination because of their Sikh identity, which includes a turban, beard, and unshorn hair. According to a research report issued by the Sikh Coalition in 2010, over one in ten Sikhs in the San Francisco Bay Area reported suffering discrimination in employment. They were joined by the Council on American-Muslim Relations, the California Church Council, and the American Jewish Committee. The bill was presented by Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, said she was upset to learn that Sikh and Muslim workers continue to face discrimination at work despite laws prohibiting it. The bill now goes to the State Senate.
NOTES & QUOTES: After twelve years as Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, the Rev. Brian Stein-Webber has announced that he will be moving on to serve as Director of Seminary Relations at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley (part of the Graduate Theological Union). There will be a farewell celebration for Brian on Sunday, June 3, 5:30 pm, at St. John Vianney Church, 1650 Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek… In April, Vanessa Gomez Brake, ICP Board Member and Director of Operations & Outreach for the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley, was invited to attend a Young Leaders Retreat, held by the Women of Spirit & Faith in Atlanta, Georgia… Dr. Amer Araim, ICP Board Member, president of Islamic Community Outreach of California and a member of the Executive Committee of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, spoke recently about Islam and American Muslims at the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek. Dr. Araim is available to speak to your community; contact him at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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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 email@example.com. 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
Map and directions to the Presidio’s Main Post Chapel
Presidio Chapel Website: www.presidiochapel.org
Sundays, 10:00- 1:00 pm
The Presidio Chapel is open for visitors; also available by appointment
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 living beings.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.
MenuAMERICAN MUSLIM FOUNDATION
New Item! From Fear to Friendship: Islamophobia and the American Muslim Voice Foundation
WHEN: Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 7:30 pm
WHERE: Northbrae Community Church, 941 The Alameda, Berkeley. $5.00 suggested donation.
Speaker: Samina Sundas. In the aftermath of 9/11, one charismatic American Muslim woman dared to envision a culture of peace, acceptance, and mutual respect. In the face of fear, anger, and retaliation, Ms. Samina Sundas founded the American Muslim Voice, a grassroots, nonviolent and inclusive organization dedicated to preserving and protecting civil liberties and constitutional rights for all. Info: 510 526-3805. Wheelchair accessible.LEARN ABOUT SPIRITUAL DIRECTION
New Item! Informational Gathering
WHEN: Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 7:00 pm
WHERE: Chaplaincy Institute, 2138 Cedar Street, Berkeley. Free Event.
Introduction to the Interfaith Spiritual Direction program with John Mabry, Director. We’ll have refreshments, present a “taste” of what a typical class session is like, and answer any questions you might have about Interfaith Spiritual Direction. RSVP to 510-843-1422.
SOUL AND THERAPY
Replenishing the Soul of the Therapist
WHEN: Friday, June 15th, 2012, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
WHERE: Starr King School for the Ministry, Fireside Room,2441 LeConte Ave. Berkeley. $105 per person until 6/1; then $130.
Facilitated by Karen L. Erlichman, MSS, LCSW. In a relaxing retreat setting, we’ll cover the legal, ethical and practical issues for therapists, as well as an opportunity to learn, grow and connect with colleagues. Drawing on didactic, contemplative and interactive resources, topics will include countertransference, self-care and updates for legal and ethical issues in clinical practice. To register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415.566.2183This course meets the BBS Law and Ethics requirements for 6 CEUs for LCSWs and MFTs.
For more information, go to karenerlichman.com/continuing-education/
Interfaith Ministry & Chaplaincy: An Introduction
WHEN: Saturday, June 30, 2012, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
WHERE: The Chaplaincy Institute for Arts & Interfaith Ministries, 2138 Cedar Street. Berkeley. Fee: By Donation.
At this daylong introductory course, you will learn more about Interfaith theology, the Interfaith movement, and vocational opportunities calling you to serve and grow as a spiritual leader, chaplain or interfaith minister. $25 donation suggested, no one turned away for lack of funds. All are welcome. No pre-registration necessary. More info: call 510-843-1422
MenuHEALTH CARE REFORM
New Item! The Heart in Health Care Reform
WHEN: Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
WHERE: Redwoods Presbyterian Church library, 110 Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur. Free event.
We will examine how health reform fits our values as well as what is in reform, how to access programs tailored to specific conditions, how congregations can outreach to link communities with health care programs, and how current budget deliberations in both Washington and Sacramento may or may not impact the future of our entire health care system. RSVP to Marijke Fakasiieiki, California Council of Churches Health Care Reform Trainer, (510) 529-5011, email@example.com
Constitution and the Quran
WHEN: Monday, June 4, 2012, 7:30 pm
WHERE: New Vision Church 450 Chadbourne Avenue, Millbrae. Free event.
Iftekhar Hai will speak on Constitution and the Quran. The purpose of the United Religions initiative is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. Info: Margaret Jones firstname.lastname@example.org or Oscar Koechlin – email@example.com.PENINSULA URI
New Item! Overview of Sikhism
WHEN: Monday, July 7, 2012
WHERE: New Vision Church 450 Chadbourne Avenue, Millbrae. Free event.
Chintan Singh will speak on Sikhism. The purpose of the United Religions initiative is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. Info: Margaret Jones firstname.lastname@example.org or Oscar Koechlin – email@example.com.
Khilafat: Leadership in Islam, Political and Spiritual
WHEN: Sunday, June 10, 2012, 5:00 – 8:00 pm
WHERE: Milpitas Community Center, 457 East Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas. Free event.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a dynamic, reformist organization within Islam which offers Khilafat as the functional leadership concept to achieve lasting peace in the world. Keynote Speaker: Naseem Mahdi, National Vice President, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA. Info: SV.firstname.lastname@example.org; P: 408-Islam01; Event Registration: http://www.BaitulBaseer.org
Spring Classes by Sufi Master Dr. Ali Kianfar
WHEN: Sunday Afternoons, May 6- June 10, 2012, 2:30 – 3:45; 4:00 – 5:15
WHERE: Institute for Sufi Studies, 14 Commercial Blvd., Suite 101, Novato. $80 per class.
Sufi Master Dr. Ali Kianfar, Co-Director of the International Association of Sufism, will present “Understanding the Quran” from 2:30 – 3:45 and “The Hadiths” take place from 4:00 – 5:15. Tea will be served between classes. The programs are open to the public and advance registration is required by April 30. The fee is $80 for four sessions of one class or $160 for four sessions of both classes. For information, (415) 472-6959, (415) 382-7834, or www.ias.org .SUFISM AND THE HEART
Introduction to Sufism: the Heart
WHEN: Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
WHERE: Institute for Sufi Studies, 14 Commercial Blvd., Suite 101, Novato. $10.
Taught by Dr. Amineh Amelia Pryor. Open to the public; advance registration required. For information, (415) 382-7834, or www.ias.org.
SUFISM AND THE HEART
The Heart of Devotion
WHEN: Sunday, June 24, 2012, 11:00 am – 12:00 noon
WHERE: Institute for Sufi Studies, 14 Commercial Blvd., Suite 101, Novato. $10.
Taught by Dr. Arife Ellen Hammerle. Open to the public; advance registration required. For information, (415) 382-7834, or www.ias.org.
Two Among the Righteous Few: A Story of Courage in the Holocaust
WHEN: Saturday, June 9, 2012, 2:00 pm
WHERE: Orinda Books, 276 Village Square, Orinda. Free event.
Author Marty Brounstein will give an engaging presentation on his recently published book, a true story of interfaith compassion, courage and rescue. The event is open to the public. For more information, contact 925-254-7606.
MenuJUDAISM AND BUDDHISM
A Community for a Moment in Time through Jewish and Buddhist Healing Practices
WHEN: Sunday, June 10, 2012, 10:00 am-2:00 pm
WHERE: Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Avenue, Piedmont. $50 – $70.
Judaism and Buddhism have beautiful complementary spiritual practices of song, prayer, intention setting, and ritual. This sets the stage for a true healing for emotional wounding, relationship, self-doubt, low selfesteem, and loss. Rabbi Chaya Gusfield and Eve Decker have worked extensively with the modalities of their traditions to facilitate healing in their own hearts and the hearts of others. Please join us for this beautiful day where we create a community for a moment in time as we sing, pray, write, meditThis day of community is for anyone interested in Jewish life, Buddhist practices, and/or healing. More information and registration on the Kehilla Community Website.
…IN PLEASANT HILL
Chamber Music at St. Andrew’s
WHEN: Sunday, June 3, 2012, 3:00 pm
WHERE: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 1601 Mary Dr., Pleasant Hill.
This concert to benefit the Contra Costa Interfaith Housing will feature Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F Minor, Schumann’s Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Hindemith’s Kammermusik with the Aeolus Wind Quintet, and Mozart’s Serenade in C Minor. For more information, contact Decky at 925-228-7731 or email@example.com.
…IN SAN JOSE
Update! Carry the Vision Conference
WHEN: Saturday, September 29, 2012, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
WHERE: Santa Clara University, Santa Clara. Cost TBD.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Lawrence Carter, Sr., Dean of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Chapel at Morehouse College. This year promise to be another wonderful event that will inspire and support you in carrying on the vision of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Cesar Chavez in overcoming violence with the power of nonviolence. Info at www.carrythevision.org. Organizations are invited to become participating organizations and be listed in the official program.
…IN SAN LEANDRO
MenuCOMMUNITY OF FAITH DINNER AND DISCUSSION
Transforming Your Life Through Gratitude
WHEN: Saturday, June 9, 2012, 6:00 pm
WHERE: Bay Area Family Church, 2305 Washington Ave., San Leandro. Potluck Dinner
Let’s get deeper into the discussion of how gratitude can make a difference in our own lives, the lives of our loved ones, and our community. Please bring a dish to share, and a heart to share. For more information call (415) 250-4122
…IN SAN RAFAEL
MenuMARIN INTERFAITH FORUM & ANNUAL MEETING
The Faith Community’s Role In Ending the Death Penalty in California
WHEN: Wednesday, June 20, 2012, 6:00 -8:30 pm
WHERE: First Presbyterian Church, 1510 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael. Suggested donation $10- $20.
Participate and learn in a discussion presented by SAFE California Campaign & Death Penalty Focus on the November ballot initiative to replace the death penalty in California with a sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole as the maximum punishment for murder. Speakers include Ana Zamora, Campaign Manager for the SAFE California Campaign and Deldelp Media, California Crime Victims for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.RSVP by Monday, June 18: 415-456-6957; www.marinifc.org; firstname.lastname@example.org Click here to register now.
MenuBUDDHIST MEDITATION WITH SYLVIA BOORSTEIN
New Item! Awake with Each Step: Meditation and Mingling Traditions on the Modern Spiritual Path
WHEN: Friday, June 1, 2012, 3:30 – 5:30 pm
WHERE: Sanctuary, The Circle, Old Union 3rd Floor, Stanford University.
Sylvia Boorstein will give a talk reflecting on the idea of “borrowing our neighbor’s tools” across religious traditions. Drawing from her experiences as a Buddhist Jew, Boorstein will discuss how we can maintain integrity and authenticity as we walk our own spiritual path. Sponsored by Buddhist Community at Stanford. Co-sponsored by Ho Center for Buddhist Studies, Hillel at Stanford, Office for Religious Life. For more information, visit http://hcbss.stanford.edu
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. CALIFORNIA INTERFAITH CONFERENCE. The Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento invites faith leaders and congregations to join them in an open discussion about important issues facing our communities and to create understanding between faiths. On Tuesday, October 16th and Wednesday, October 17th, diverse religious leaders will meet in Sacramento, the heart of California government. This conference has been created to provide an opportunity to develop solutions to the problems shared in common by all of our religious communities throughout California. Conference schedule and registration are available at www.californiainterfaithconference.org, or download a flyer. Exhibit tables may be purchased by faith groups to share their beliefs, culture and materials. Contact Jon Fish for all exhibitor inquiries; 916.801.8883.
ING INTERFAITH SPEAKERS. Imagine hearing world religions by speakers who live the faith they present. ING can provide your congregation with that experience with educational presentations by speakers trained to avoid proselytizing or preaching, whose sole aim is to build mutual understanding and respect. ING speakers represent five major religious traditions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam. The Interfaith Speakers Bureau provides panels of up to five speakers, each giving an overview of his or her faith and then discussing together an issue you select. Visit the ING website, www.ing.org, to learn more about what we offer and to schedule a presentation. Or contact Programs Coordinator Henry Millstein, 408.296.7312, email@example.com.
PROJECT INTERFAITH VIDEO BLOG. Project Interfaith, based in Omaha, Nebraska, has begun a series of video blogs featuring members of the staff and others talking about what’s happening and what’s important in interfaith work. You can view the videos on their YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/user/ProjectInterfaithusa. You can also link to them through their Facebook page.
INTERFAITH INFRASTRUCTURE STUDY. The Harvard Pluralism Project has released a pilot study of emerging interfaith efforts across the US. America’s Interfaith Infrastructure: An Emerging Landscape is the web-based result of this study, incorporating quantitative and qualitative analysis of interfaith initiatives in twenty American cities. The promising practices, leadership profiles, case studies, stories, and maps from these cities reveal a kaleidoscope of individuals and communities who engage with one another to tackle issues of social import, invite each other to share in acts of hospitality, and learn from one another about the traditions and inspirations that bring them to a common table.
©2011 Interfaith Center at the Presidio, 130 Fisher Loop, Presidio, San Francisco
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