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Participating Congregations and Organizations
  • American Muslim Voice
  • Bahá'í Community of Palo Alto
  • Beyt Tikkun Synagogue
  • First Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) Palo Alto
  • First Evangelical Lutheran Church Palo Alto
  • First Presbyterian Church Palo Alto
  • First United Methodist Church Palo Alto
  • Mountain View Buddhist Temple
  • Palo Alto Buddhist Temple
  • Palo Alto Friends Meeting
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Palo Alto (Catholic)
  • Social Action Committee of the Redwood City Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship
  • Trinity Church in Menlo Park (Episcopal)
  • Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
  • Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Los Gatos
  • West Bay Chapter, Buddhist Peace Fellowship

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Interfaith Statement to Meeting for Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Joint Interfaith Statement Welcoming the First Meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (June 22 2022)

"As faith communities from a diversity of traditions and located all over the world, we join together with one voice to mark this first Meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohbition of Nuclear Weapons.  We welcome this historic occasion and celebrate this milestone that moves us closer to a world without nuclear weapons."

Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice is honored to be an endorser of this statement along with religious communities of many traditions and from around the world. Click here to download statement and full list of endorsers.

The Statement was read aloud at the opening of the Meeting.


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ACT to End Gun Violence

SPEAK - PRAY - ACT to End Gun Violence
Action Opportunities

  • Click here to download a PDF handout of Actions to End Gun Violence.
  • Text BOLD to 64433 to tell your Senators to take action or share on social using this link.

  • Call, Email, Tweet, Message and Write Postcards to your Senators and other Senators holding them accountable to do their job! Urge them to work for bipartisan common sense gun laws that will protect us all such as enhanced background checks, extreme risk protection orders (or "red flag laws"), banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and equal access to justice for victims of gun violence. Click here for Brady website with helpful specifics. See suggested names of Senators, weblinks and contact information below.

  • Use this Friends Committee on National Legislation website to send easy and quick emails to your Senators to support high-level, bipartisan negotiations for extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs).

  • Support communities that have been victims of violence through contributions to local, on the ground organizations they trust. As a multifaith group ourselves (Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice) we suggest considering Voice Buffalo, an affiliate of Faith in Action, as it seeks to serve their community after the mass shooting in their local supermarket. Voicebuffalo.org @VoiceBuffalo

  • Donate to national and trustworthy gun violence prevention organizations.

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I LOVE Ukraine: An Interfaith Grassroots Campaign of Protest & Support

I LOVE Ukraine:
An Interfaith Grassroots Campaign of Protest and Support

JOIN THE CAMPAIGN! SEND A MESSAGE TODAY!

With the horrific and brutal assault on Ukraine unfolding, I love Ukraine is an initiative for good people of all ages everywhere to stand up and to speak out against this unspeakable inhumanity. Governments have spoken. Now it is time for individuals to add their voices.

We invite you to send an expression of protest to the Russian government and a message of support for Ukrainian children and citizens by email, regular mail, and social media.

We hope that Expressions of Protest will flood the Russian Embassy with messages of protest. Join us in this global effort to demand an end to the brutal Russian assault. Sample messages and instructions are below.

We hope that Expressions of Support will fill the inboxes and mailboxes of the Ukrainian Embassy and Consulates with messages of love. Sample messages and instructions are below.

With the guidance of teachers and parents, children are especially encouraged to write their messages and to draw pictures for Ukrainian children who have been forced to flee or remain in harm’s way.

Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice is proud to join in this campaign with the Board of Rabbis for Northern California, other faith partners and people of goodwill around the world!

See details and suggestions below. 


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Breaking the Silence: Remembering the Words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Breaking the Silence: An Intergenerational for Unity and Action
Monday, April 4, 2022

On April 4, 1967, Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the Riverside Church in New York City, spoke out powerfully against the Vietnam War, and much else the plagues our country. His words, "A time comes when silence in betrayal, and that time has come for us," is the foundation for the mission of Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice.

King's historic speech still calls to us today to urgent action to eradicate racism, militarism and poverty.

CLICK HERE for a youtube recording of a LOCAL READING OF KING'S SPEECH featuring peninsula and south bay faith and community leaders. Readers associated with MVPJ include Rev. Dean Koyama, Rabbi Sheldon Lewis, Rev. Dr. Debra Murray, Rabbi Amy Eilberg, Rev. Dr. Diana Gibson, and two members of Palo Alto Friends Meeting, Andrea Harman and Robin Severns. Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice joined with the Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (San Jose and Peninsula Chapters), PACT, SiVIC, Peninsula Peace & Justice Center, San Jose Peace & Justice Center and others to produce this local reading of King's speech as part of the California Poor People's Campaign in preparation for the Poor People's Campaign visit to Los Angeles later this Spring.

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift
is approaching spiritual death.”


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Support Ukraine: Contribution Suggestions

Below are some suggestions for faith-based programs supporting Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees, as well as some organizations recommended by our faith-based partners.

DONATIONS:
Valarie Kaur, an American interfaith leader from the Sikh Tradition and founder of the Revolutionary Love Project offers this curated list of organizations to support to help the people of Ukraine. 

This statement from the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee includes helpful links to organizations that respond directly to the crisis. 

CHILDREN: Voices for Children (from their website) has been helping Ukrainian children affected by the war since 2015. Currently providing assistance to affected children and families from all over the country, providing emergency psychological assistance, and assisting in the evacuation process.Our objective is that every child who has suffered from the war in Ukraine must get psychological help in time

REFUGEE SUPPORT:

ADVOCAY: The Friends Committee on National Legistlation (a national, non-partisan, Quaker-based organization lobbying for peace, justice and environmental stewardship) is quite active advocating for peace-building, diplomacy and human rights in Ukraine. Learn more here.


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Ukraine: Faith-based Resources for Prayer, Reflection, Action

As people committed to work for peace and justice, the war in Ukraine calls to our hearts, minds and lives. Our Ukrainian siblings are suffering, and need our prayers, contributions, and action. While we may not know exactly how to respond most faithfully to such suffering and violence, we cannot look away. It is a time to dig deeply into our faith traditions, and to learn from others. Below are some resources MVPJ has gathered.

ACTION:
The Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quaker-based) offers this "Six Nonviolent Ways Congress Can Help Ukraine." They note, "While it may feel as though more weapons and punishing sanctions are the only options, in fact U.S. leaders  have many nonviolent options available to save lives and advance peace. They need to understand that using diplomacy, working through multi-lateral institutions, supporting local peacebuilders, providing humanitarian aid and protecting refugees are not "weak" responses. These are our best tools for bringing about a durable solution to the crisis." Read more here.

DONATIONS:
Click here for our page of contribution suggestions.


PRAYERS AND REFLECTIONS:
PRAYER:
Rabbi Naomi Levy wrote the Prayer of Peace for the People of Ukraine. "God, Our Shelter, bring peace. Let it rain down from heaven like a mighty storm. Let it wash away all hatred and bloodshed. Please, God. Please, God. Amen."

PRAYER: The National Council of Churches offers these prayer, one focused particularly on diverse faith communities in Ukraine. 

REFLECTION: Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons, part of the United Religions Initiative, has posted a reflection from the convener, Bishop William E. Swing. Click here to download

PRAYER: The Chabad Community offers a prayer for Peace in Ukraine, concluding with, "we pray for the day when “nations will beat their swords into plowshares … and not learn war anymore."

PRAYER: Pope Frances tied support for peace in Ukraine to Christian's Ash Wednesday (3/2/22), calling for prayer, fasting, and opening hearts and borders to refugees. See Religious News Service 3/2/22 article.

STATEMENT: The Islamic Group Network Statement on the Invasion of Ukraine is A Call for the Right of Self-Determination, Early and Consistent Diplomacy to End all Conflict, and Peace as our Mutual Goal to Prevent Wars.


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Global Day of Action for Peace in Ukraine

About 130 people gathered on the corners of El Camino & Embarcadero on Sunday, March 6 as part of a GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION FOR PEACE IN UKRAINE!

At the conclusion of the vigil, MVPJ steering committee members Rev. Eileen Altman and Ellen Stromberg offered prayer.

"Comfort the children and heed their cries... Make us a people who love our children, all of our children, more than we love greed, power and control." Click here to read Eileen's full prayer.

Ellen spoke of a conversation she had that morning (3/6/22) with Ukrainian Rabbi Julia Gris who had just escaped to Poland. While Gris has very little with her now, "What she does have is her understanding that the world is also made up of good people, who are kind and caring. Her hope is in the humanity of everyone reaching out." Click here to read Ellen's words and prayer.

Click here for regularly updated actions, donations, prayers and reflections in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. 


Thanks to Jack Owicki from ProBonoPhotos.org for these wonderful pictures! We have posted just a few here.
Click here to view the full album from this event on their website.  There are some awesome ones that we can't display well here.

Click here to view a growing album of photos of Global Day of Actions from across the nation and around the world!


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Climate Action Opportunities

On January 11, 2022 MVPJ hosted Pastor Danielle Parish of Spark Church, an official UN Observer of the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. She inspired us again to do our part to support environmental justice, and particularly to connect you with faith-based local opportunities for action.

While Danielle's riveting presentation to us was not recorded, click here to to view a youtube recording of her presentation on December 15, 2021. 


Two local faith-based climate action organizations you should know about are:


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Roman Catholic Archbishop Wester Pastoral Letter Calls for Nuclear Disarmament

Roman Catholic Archbishop John C. Wester from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, issued a pastoral letter, "Living in the Light of Christ's Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament," on January 11, 2022.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has a special role to play in advocating for nuclear disarmament given the presence of two nuclear weapons laboratories and the United States of America’s largest repository of warheads located within its boundaries.  Archbishop Wester states, “The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has a special responsibility not only to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, but also to encourage its active implementation.” He goes on to “…invite us to have a conversation together about what it means to follow the risen, nonviolent Jesus who calls us to be peacemakers, put down the sword, and love everyone, even the enemies of our nation.”

Click here to see a one-page summary of the letter.


Celebrate the first anniversary of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons locally with street vigil in front of the Livermore Nuclear Lab on Friday, January 21. Click here for more information from our web calendar. Sponsored by Tri-Valley CARES.


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A Guided Meditation on Being Whole

At our December 11, 2021 Peaceful Presence, Eric Sabelman of the Palo Alto Friends Meeting (Quarker) and MVPJ Steering Committee, offered the attached "Guided Meditation on Being Whole."

Simple -- and profound -- we offer it to you for whenever you need it.

"When you are done, what is left will be you, and only you.
You have the strength to hold what is needeful in your life, and discard what is not."

(end of meditation)


Maryam Mostaghimi from the Palo Alto Baha'i Community and also the MVPJ Steering Committee, offered this  Báhá’i Prayer for Humanity, beginning, "Thou kind Lord! Thou hast created all humanity from the same stock. Thou hast decreed that all shall belong to the same household."


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Events
Quote of the Month

“Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience. It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in floods caused by senseless deforestation in a neighboring country. Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free. "

…Unknown. Attributed to the 14th Dalai Lama