Combatants for Peace:
There is another way!
In 2006, Israeli and Palestinian former combatants, people who had taken an active role in the conflict, laid down their weapons and established Combatants for Peace. The egalitarian, bi-national, grassroots organization was founded on the belief that the cycle of violence can only be broken when Israelis and Palestinians join forces. Combatants for Peace is the only organization, worldwide, in which former fighters on both sides of an active conflict have laid down their weapons, choosing to work together for peace and justice.
Emma's Revolution and Annie Patterson
The dynamic award-winning duo Emma's Revolution (Pat Humphries and Sandy O) and Annie Patterson, co-creator of the popular songbooks Rise Up Singing and Rise Again, will perform together and lead songs for an uplifting musical evening honoring Pete Seeger and his legacy.
Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice (MVPJ) stands firm in its commitment to work for peace. While we recignize and respect diversity among individuals and traditions, MVPJ insists that "War is not the answer," but will lead to more violence and countless harm and death, particularly in this current situation between the United States and Iran. MVPJ is not advocating all the views or stands of any of these organizations, but in the list below we want to show how people from so many and various backgrounds and walks of life are speaking out against war with Iran, and offer their perspectives for your prayerful consideration. WE URGE YOU TODAY to call or write to your Congressmembers, either directly or through one of these online options!
Check this webpage occasionally for updates. Below is an initial collection of action suggestions and responses from different religious and civic groups. Feel free to email us if you have ideas we might add, particularly from your own faith tradition. Please note that you do not need to be a member of any of these traditions or organizations to use their site to send messages.
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL): MVPJ has long partnered with and learned from this Quaker-based peace lobbying group. Here is a link to easily find and write a letter to your Congress members through FCLN, and this link has a short script for you to CALL your Congressperson, always
CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) is a Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. On this webpage they call on Americans to urge Congress to block funding for war with Iran, give background on the legislations re-introduced to Congress last Friday, Jan. 3, and an opportunity to send an email to officials.
J Street, a Jewish organization in the United States, released this article with very helpful information on why they believe Congress must act to prevent war with Iran.
The United Church of Christ (a major Protestant denomination) has long advocated for diplomatic and peaceful engagement with Iran. Use this link for useful background information and as well as to send an email to your Congress members.
Pax Christi USA is a Catholic peace and justice organization that has a full, updated webpage with excellent links to prayers, faith statements, study material (including from the National Council of Churches) and action recommendations.
"The Report (which is available for streaming through Amazon) dramatizes the brutality of the 2002-2007 CIA torture program, as well as the political battle to make the failures of that program public," writes the Rev. Dr. Eileen Altman, a longtime member of MVPJ's steering committee and local pastor.
"Watching The Report is not easy, but it is nonetheless important viewing. Each of us must take seriously our obligation as citizens to take responsibility for the actions of our nation. All of us must push our leaders toward policies and practices which reflect the highest moral and ethical standards of our faith traditions, so that we might become a more perfect union."
Click here read Altman's full and powerful Opinion piece in Unbound: an interactive journal on Christian social justice.
Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice will host a viewing of this film followed by discussion
Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice (MVPJ) has set up a process which will allow us to respond quickly with publicly visible acts of solidarity on behalf of any religious, ethnic, or other targeted communities in our local area which are being threatened, or which have been harmed or violated in some way. Examples of triggers could be receipt of hate mail, defacing of property, threats to the well-being of the community or to a member of the community. Our goal is to gather in response and public solidarity within 24-48 hours of learning about the incident, or as requested by the community that is targeted. These MVPJ solidarity responses will be faithful, peaceful demonstrations of solidarity and friendship. (Please note that these responses do not require the training necessary for the Rapid Response teams, who might possibly be confronting ICE agents or raids.) Supportive, peaceful, faith-based signs may be brought by participants to these public solidarity events.
When an action is needed, our email subject title will be “IMMEDIATE LOCAL RESPONSE NEEDED,” and the body of the email will include instructions as to where and when to gather.
If your community is targeted or threatened in some way, and you want to ask for a public show of solidarity, or simply discuss this possibility, please contact us through this email: email@example.com. You may certainly talk with anyone on the MVPJ steering committee personally if you prefer, however the "firstname.lastname@example.org" email is set up to be checked every day for a quick response.
If your community feels it wise to evacuate its premises due to a threat of any kind (such as a bomb threat or threatening graffiti) and needs an alternate space for worship or study on short notice, we have several congregations who are willing to host you if at all possible. You may inquire about this offer through email@example.com and we will help you connect to these communities as quickly as possible.
Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice Non-Violent Commitment
In all actions that we take, members of Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice commit to the principles of non-violence, and pledge that all their actions will be peaceful, respectful, prayerful and non-violent.
Monthly Multifaith Prayers for Peace
In the midst of difficult times, Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice will host “Peaceful Presence,” a monthly prayer service on the evening of the 11th of each month, offering a time of quiet multifaith prayers for peace and strength for the journey. All are welcome: those of all faith traditions and of no defined faith, those who are suffering at the hands of their own government, those who need a pause in the midst of intensive work on behalf of others, and all who would like to pray with others for the well-being of all. The prayer time will include elements from several religious traditions.
On August 11 local Jews and Quakers joined together to lead a powerful Multifaith Service of Lament and Public Worship with a Concern for Immigrants and Refugees. More than 200 people participated.
The Lament was part of a national effort that connected the 9th of Av (August 11th), the Jewish annual day of mourning over displacement, discrimination and murder of Jews through their history, with the experience of today’s immigrants.
The Quaker Public Worship with a Concern for Immigrants and Refugees invited participants to sit in silence to listen to the Spirit which guides human affairs and inspires both immediate words and future action.
On July 12, 2019 MVPJ hosted a vigil on behalf of immigrants, children and refugees as part of the Lights for Liberty campaign. Click below to see more photographs of the event. Many thanks to Jack Owicki from Pro-Bono Photography who took these wonderful pictures!
God of Compassion, this is not normal.
רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל תִּקוָה
To those we have lost, grant perfect rest under the sheltering presence of your love.
Unity and Solidarity Vigil
Marking the terrifying attack on pedestrians on April 23 in which the police say the driver may have targeted the victims based on their race and his belief they were Muslim, and the horrific shooting at Congregation Chabad Synagogue in Poway, CA on April 27, we gathered in Unity and Solidarity at the site of the April 23 incident. The vigil was a quiet, loving presence to acknowledge the pain and suffering of all people targeted by violence and hate, and to declare unequivocally that all lives are precious and we are all part of the same human family.
Thursday, May 2, was the National Day of Prayer*, and at this time our nation surely needs prayers for healing, respect in our diversity, and peace. Thursday was also Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, a time to remember victims of the Nazi Holocaust, and to honor all victims of violence and pledge, "Never Again."
In pain and solidarity at yet more violence, Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice offers both words and action. Our words are below, and our actions continue with the Thursday vigil.