IN THIS ISSUE: Memorial Day Service| Post Chapel Improvements | “Remembered Light” in Germany | Ramadan Begins | NAINConnect 2017 | Around the Bay| Parliament 2018 | The Interfaith Observer | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News | Bay Area Interreligious Calendar | Special Opportunities | Subscribe to BAIC
MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE AT ICP. Since its founding in 1995, the Interfaith Center at the Presidio has been housed in the historic Main Post Chapel building. Continuing the tradition of interfaith religious celebrations in this space, ICP sponsored an interfaith Service on Memorial Day, May 29. Following ceremonies in the Presidio cemetery next to the chapel, the service opened with a greeting from Camilla Smith of the ICP Board, and included a statement from Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s office,. Then came a reading of Dylan Thomas’ “And Death Shall Have No Dominion” by Brian Voglass. A meditation by Sensei Elaine Donlin of the Buddhist Church of San Francisco was followed by the Kaddish prayer from the Jewish tradition, offered by Board Member Rita Semel. Music was provided by Erich Sylvester, a resident of the Presidio. Over the years, ICP has been honored to offer this sacred space to people of all religious backgrounds as a safe space for prayer, reflection, and renewal. Some photos from the service can be seen here.
POST CHAPEL IMPROVEMENTS. The Presidio Trust, which is charged with the management of the buildings and grounds of the Presidio, is making some improvements to the chapel. They will be installing an interpretive wayside about the chapel outside the Mural Room and are making the memorial garden ADA compliant. Work began about 2 weeks ago on this project and is progressing.
REMEMBERED LIGHT IN GERMANY. Another sort of memorial is represented by the “Remembered Light” collection of peace windows that were created from the shards of shattered stained glass gathered by Chaplain Frederick McDonald in the European ruins following World War II. You may remember that the windows were displayed at the Parliament of the World’s Religions held in Salt Lake City in 2015 (see below).
ICP has also created a set of large-scale photographs of the windows which have been displayed in Germany. The traveling display of reproductions of the San Francisco originals has been displayed in Aachen, in the Peace Museum in Hürtgenwald, as an introduction for the “Peace Week” in Ahrweiler, and at the Ringhotel Haus Oberwinter in Remagen, in cooperation with the Remagen Bridge Peace Museum.
RAMADAN BEGINS. The month of Ramadan in the Muslim calendar began this year at sundown on May 26. During the month, Muslims fast from food and water from sunup to sundown, join in special prayers, read through the Qur’an and carry out acts of mercy to others. It is traditional to break the fast each evening with a meal known as an iftar, and these meals provide an opportunity for inviting family, friends, and neighbors to join in. For many years, the mosques and Muslim associations in the Bay Area have invited the wider community to interfaith iftars, to meet their Muslim neighbors and to learn more about the observance and its meaning.
Several interfaith iftars have already been scheduled in our area. Be sure to check the calendar at the ICP website for full details on these chances to meet and celebrate with your Muslim neighbors.
ING (Islamic Networks Group) is offering a Ramadan Information Sheet with more information about the observances; also recommended is a recent article on VOX, “Ramadan 2017: 9 questions about the Muslim holy month you were too embarrassed to ask.“
The Parliament of the World’s Religions invites you to their Interfaith Ramadan series, where Muslim and non-Muslim leaders will be sharing reflections about how they are building solidarity along lines of division and connecting with the values of Ramadan.
Ramadan mubarak (a blessed Ramadan) to all our Muslim friends!
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/.
- Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County is featuring a series of “Defusing Hate” workshops to teach nonviolent communications skills for interrupting and responding to hate speech. A number of sessions have been scheduled around the county; more details here.
- Girish Shah, a member of the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council board, was interviewed for an article at URI on non-Abrahamic religious traditions in interfaith work.
PARLIAMENT SCHEDULED FOR TORONTO IN 2018. Toronto–acclaimed the most diverse city in the world and home to six million Canadians—has been chosen as the host city of the 7th Parliament of the World’s Religions, to be convened November 1-7, 2018.
The Parliament is a unique opportunity to meet people engaged in interfaith work from around the world. PWR Executive Director Dr. Larry Greenfield noted, “We are especially encouraged by the Indigenous, women, and young people who will be featured among the international leaders coming from around the world to this Parliament.”
Mark the dates now, and watch for more news to come! Find out more at the Parliament website.
What does it mean to live an interfaith life? It means intentionally learning about and respectfully engaging with the religious (or non-religious) “other.” This month’s issue gives you snapshots of interfaith living.
- Reassessing the Role of the Senses by Donald Miller
- Listening as Peacebuilding by Ana Patel
- What do Clothes Tell us? by Marcus Braybrooke
- Living Life as an Interfaith Family by Vicki Garlock
- Interfaith is Political. Interfaith is Personal by Bud Heckman
- Katy Perry’s Not the Only One Who Wants to Live in a Convent by Megan Sweas
- Peacemaking with “the Other” by Paul Chaffee
(TIO) is an independent internet journal about all things interfaith. 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.
NOTES & QUOTES: “Interreligious dialogue today must not look simply to shrines and temples, icons and festivals. It must find ways to approach a world of social media and selfies, celebrities and profit-making, with a conviction that in some way known but to God, the non-religious world in which so many of us live can ‘reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men'” – Father William Grimm, Tokyo… ” the moment people see a turban or our identity, they identify that with something which stands for anti-Americanism or violence against Americans or terrorism” – Dr. Rajwant Singh… “I pray that we are moving towards a world in which people are rooted in their own traditions but find dimensions to admire and learn from in others, that Ramadan is a time during which people from a variety of backgrounds come together in the common purpose of growing closer to God and one another” Eboo Patel.
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 @. 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!
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.
TOOLKIT FOR MUSLIM SUPPORT. Shoulder to Shoulder, a nationwide coalition of 34 religious denominations and organizations committed to standing with American Muslims for American values has developed a “Toolkit for Mobilizing to Protect and Support American Muslims.” The resource is filled with suggestions for actions you can take, and is updated as new issues arise.
GOLDEN RULE MEDITATIONS. Scarboro Missions in Canada has an extensive repository of materials for interfaith activity and learning, as well as an array of posters and other materials centered on the Golden Rule. This includes a list of 21 do-it-yourself meditation activities featuring texts of the Golden Rule from various religions that can be used with individuals or groups. You can find them listed here.
TORTURE AWARENESS MONTH. The National Religious Campaign Against Torture has designated the month of June as “Torture Awareness Month.” They invite you, and your local church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or faith community, to join people of faith throughout the world in commemorating Torture Awareness Month. More information and resources can be found on the NRCAT website.
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
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 @. 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.