BAIC May 2017

Bay Area Interfaith ConnectThe Interfaith Center at the Presidio links the power of interreligious cooperation by welcoming, serving, and celebrating the diverse wisdom and faith traditions of the Bay Area.

IN THIS ISSUE: Farewell to Linda Crawford | Intrafaith Peacebuilding | Girl Scout Sunday | Meet Your Neighbor in SF | NAINConnect 2017 | Around the Bay| GTU Art Exhibit| Know Your Neighbor | The Interfaith Observer | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News | Bay Area Interreligious Calendar | Special Opportunities | Subscribe to BAIC

Interfaith Center at the PresidioFAREWELL AND THANK YOU TO LINDA CRAWFORD

Linda Crawford stepped down as the Executive Director of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio at the end of April. Over the past ten years Linda has helped ICP in supporting interfaith efforts in the Bay Area, and preserving the historic Presidio Chapel. She fostered strong relationships with the Presidio Trust, interfaith councils, and many community organizations to serve the ICP mission. She used her talents and shared her gifts in many ways to the benefit of our interfaith communities and beyond.

Linda Crawford at Peace in the Park

Linda Crawford (l) at Peace in the Park

A few of the highlights include organizing the “Sounds of Peace” concert in celebration of the International Day of Peace in 2013, coordinating the display of McDonald Windows at the Parliament of the World’s Religions 2015 gathering in Salt Lake City, and most recently, playing a pivotal role in the formation of the Interfaith Council of Alameda County.

On behalf of the ICP Board, we thank her for her many years of service, and wish her much success and personal fulfillment in her next endeavors.

Blessings,
Fred Fielding, ICP Board President

ICPInterfaith PeacebuildingINTRAFAITH PEACEBUILDING. How would a group of lawyers respond to an invitation to join the intrafaith conversation? We wondered if any of them actually show up for the session we had planned? How could this compete with workshops like “Ethical Problems That Arise In Arbitrations And Strategies For Dealing With Them” and Using Neuroscience to Adapt Community and Family Mediation Models”?

We needn’t have worried. About twenty people did show up and were thoroughly engaged in our presentations. I began my portion of the program on The INTRAfaith Conversation as I usually do by asking who was there, what religious traditions were represented. The group was diverse, including Roman Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Quaker, and Unitarian Universalist. After explaining what I meant by intrafaith and sharing a few stories, I invited the group to share stories of their own. Hands went up right away. A Muslim woman started by saying, “I completely agree with you; intrafaith relations are harder than interfaith ones” and shared the difficulties of family gatherings when religious subjects arose. A Sikh man talked about being accused of not being a real Sikh because he trims his beard. A Quaker shared the story of a conflict that had divided the local conference. We also got into the question of whether the intrafaith conversation could help us in our inter-political conflicts. Moderator Peter Phillips asked if religion could be a platform from which we do peacemaking. My answer was a qualified “yes.” Religion can certainly be the basis for our engagement in social action. However, there is not always agreement in religious bodies on issues. Unless a group does its own internal work, it will be difficult and potentially divisive. After the session, several people came up to talk and share more stories. Several asked about the possibility of creating a center for conflict resolution in the Bay Area. I’m happy to say that I made some new friends in the interfaith and intrafaith network. And that’s always good for furthering the work of peace building.

Susan Strouse (ICP Board Member)

Susan and Fatih Ates of the Pacifica Institute presented a workshop at the American Bar Association’s Section of Dispute Resolution. Linda Crawford created a PowerPoint presentation on “Interfaith Peacebuilding” that provided an overview of the work.

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GIRL SCOUT SUNDAY. More than 50 San Francisco families & friends attended the annual Girl Scout Sunday event at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio. This year, 4 girls received their religion awards – 2 Catholics, and 2 Buddhists. Our friend Rev. Ron Kobata’s Buddhist Church of San Francisco has one of the most active Girl Scout troops in the city. His congregant, Tara Mochizuki, leads the religion program, and we so enjoy working with her every year.

ICPMEET YOUR NEIGHBOR IN SAN FRANCISCO. ICP connected the Islamic Networks Group with the Richmond Branch of the S.F. Public Library to present 3 programs. The April program was an interfaith panel discussing “Shared Values.” Speakers from the three Abrahamic faiths plus a Hindu each presented a brief overview of her faith tradition and took questions from the floor. The next program is scheduled for May 6 at 2:00 pm, “Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith.” The final program is June 3 at 1:00 pm: “Know Your Neighbors: Multifaith Encounters.” All three programs as well as other programs and seminars are offered by ING as requested and can be scheduled online at ing.org or by calling 408-296-7312.

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2017 NAINCONNECT will take place August 6-10 in San Diego, California. This 4-day conference is filled with speakers, workshops, activities and celebrations to cause you to want to stay in San Diego longer. From the Sunday Experience filled with a Bridge for Peace Ceremony, City Proclamations for Interfaith Awareness Week, incredible food, an interfaith choir and being serenaded by Karl Anthony you will go to bed very happy. Keynote speakers include Author Azim Khamisa, Monsignor Dennis Mikulanis, Imam Taha Hassane and a surprise speaker. More than twelve workshops will complement tours of local religious sites and historic Old Town San Diego. The conference will be held at the Price Center at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Full details and registration can be found at powayinterfaithteam.com/nain/.

ICPAROUND THE BAY AREA:

SANTA CLARA COUNTY A “COMPASSIONATE COMMUNITY.” On April 25, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to sign the Charter for Compassion and declare the county a Compassionate Community. This action was part of the “Compassionate Silicon Valley” project developed by the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council (SiVIC).

ICCC STATEMENT ON SCIENCE. For Earth Day this year, the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County published a statement, “Science, Not Silence,” noting “…modern Science has moved the scientific inquiry from a mechanistic understanding of the world to a holistic appreciation. We do not live on the surface of a great machine. The World is alive and the Divine is sensed, celebrated and encountered in the matrix of it all. This invites us to a sense of wonder that expresses itself in gratitude.” See the full statement.

MARIN INTERFAITH COUNCIL DIRECTOR SEARCH. The Council received a good response to the call for resumes and have now concluded this phase of the search. Interviews will take place over the next few weeks and recommendations will go to the Board of Directors at the May meeting. If all goes well, they hope to have an Executive Director for MIC by July 1.

ICPGTU ART EXHIBIT. “Reverberating Echoes: Contemporary Art Inspired By Traditional Islamic Art” is a collection on display in the Doug Adams Gallery at 2465 Le Conte Avenue in Berkeley through May 26. It features works from seven contemporary American artists inspired by traditional Islamic art. A full catalogue of the exposition is available from Zaytuna College at http://bookstore.zaytuna.edu. The Gallery is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

ICPKNOW YOUR NEIGHBOR: MULTIFAITH ENCOUNTERS is a national grassroots campaign of the Know Your Neighbor Coalition, created and led by Islamic Networks Group (ING). Director Kate Chance has been conducting webinars on such topics as “Grounding, Re-Focusing, & Living the Best Expressions of Our Faiths: Interacting with the current political climate,” “‘Meet a Muslim’ and other ways to address Islamophobia in your community!,” and “Interfaith 101: First Steps in Building Interfaith Relations.” They have compiled a YouTube playlist of recorded webinars. For more information, see ING or contact .img@.img.

ICPTHE INTERFAITH OBSERVER. (TIO) is an independent internet journal about all things interfaith. TIO was relaunched from a new website this September. Each month TIO goes to more than 12,000 faith and interfaith leaders, including about 2,300 outside the U.S. More than 350 writers have contributed articles. Download back issues. Subscribe for free.

Current Issue: The Interfaith Journey

Interfaith is a journey that extends through all stages of life and intertwines with multiple different areas. Each of us has our own journey and it is important to honor them. Therefore this month of TIO is dedicated to the interfaith journey. Just a few of the articles:

ICPNOTES & QUOTES: “Tolerance, while important, is insufficient to guarantee peace and harmony, because it is merely a grudging acceptance that is devoid of respect, admiration and understanding.” –Syed Farid Alatas … “If you can at least begin to understand the different types of religion around the world, it helps us understand the people.” – Rosalyn R. LaPier… “A lot of the work that needs to happen in our country is soul work…. In terms of inspiring people and reminding them of their best selves, pricking the moral conscience of individuals and the nation, that’s religious work. That’s faith work.” – Rev. Katharine Henderson

ICPSEND 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 .img@.img. 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!

ICPBAY AREA INTERRELIGIOUS CALENDAR

Our searchable new calendar page offers listings of interfaith opportunities for learning, celebration, taking action, and celebrating the diverse religious traditions of the Bay Area. The calendar can be viewed as a list, as a monthly calendar page, or by the week.

ICPSPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES

REIGNITE. In this time of upheaval, with so many social and economic inequalities,
the need for resilient and skilled leadership is essential. The Ignite Institute, created by Pacific School of Religion, offers innovative leadership training programs, thought leadership, and events at the intersection of spirituality, community building, and social change. Registration is now open for the June retreat. See more information here.

THE CHARTER FOR COMPASSION EDUCATION INSTITUTE offers a variety of online classes, including “Compassion: Reflection and Practice,” “Emotional Intelligence for a Compassionate World,” “How to Bring Balance and Compassion to Life,” and “Practicing Spirituality with the Peacemakers.” Many classes allow you to set your own timing and pace. See more at Charter for Compassion Educational Institute.

INTERFAITH PIONEER. The Rev. John T. Pawlikowski, is a familiar figure in Jewish/Christian relations. He served for six years as President of the International Council of Christians & Jews and its Abrahamic Forum and currently holds the title of Honorary Life President. He has authored/edited some fifteen books on Christian-Jewish Relations as well as on social issues such as economic justice, war and peace, and ecological sustainability. American Diversity Report recently featured a podcast interview with Dr. Pawlikowski.

SPIRITUALITY AND PRACTICE offers a wealth of resources related to spiritual life in its many dimensions, including background information, films, books, quotes, art, and more. One of their online classes is “Practicing Spirituality With the Peacemakers,” sharing the teachings and inspirational practices of peacemakers such as Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Thich Nhat Hanh, Desmond Tutu, Joan Chittister, Bernie Glassman, Daniel Berrigan, John Dear, and many others. The 40 emails each include a short passage to contemplate and a related practice to try that day. Particpants can choose when to begin and how frequently to receive messages; cost is $49.95. See details at www.spiritualityandpractice.com/

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN FOCUS. The United States Department of Justice publishes a periodic email update about the Civil Rights Division’s religious liberty and religious discrimination cases. The March 2017 issue includes stories about dealing with opposition to a mosque and a church, legal action following the burning of a Catholic church, and anti-Muslim hate crimes. You can find it (and previous issues) at www.justice.gov/crt/religious-freedom-focus-volume-69-march2017

ARSON PREVENTION. Each year for Arson Awareness Week (AAW), the U.S. Fire Administration gathers and shares information to raise awareness of arson or youth firesetting and provide individuals with strategies to combat these problems in their community. This year, the week will be May 7-13, and will focus specifically on arson prevention at houses of worship. An average of 103 arson events a year happen at houses of worship. More information and resources can be found at www.usfa.fema.gov/

ICPBAY 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 .img@.img. 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.