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Participating Congregations and Organizations
  • American Muslim Voice
  • 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
  • Holy Trinity Episcopal Menlo Park
  • Network of Spiritual Progressives
  • Palo Alto Friends Meeting
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Palo Alto (Catholic)
  • Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
  • West Bay Chapter, Buddhist Peace Fellowship

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Sept. 11 Multifaith Peace Walk & Picnic

Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016
1:30 Gathering
(Snacks, coffee, music, stroller/wagon/tricycle decorating)
2:00 Program and Walk begin

Start: Congregation Etz Chayim, Spark Church and St. Andrews United Methodist Church parking lots, 4111 & 4161 Alma St., Palo Alto

End: Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 3233 Cowper Street, Palo Alto 

Picnic: American Muslim Voice hosted picnic at Mitchell Park, 600 East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto, beginning about 4:30pm

Walk length: 2 miles plus .5 mile to picnic (Free shuttles will be available from Our Lady of the Rosary Church to Mitchell Park for the closing program and picnic, and from the park back to parking area at Congregation Etz Chayim).

Everyone and all ages are welcome! 

Sponsors include American Muslim Voice, Congregation Beth Am, Congregation Etz Chayim, Congregation Kol Emeth, First Baptist Church PA, Friends Meeting House PA, Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, Spark Church, St. Andrews United Methodist, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, PA, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Community of Palo Alto, Stanford Memorial Church, Unitarian Universalist Church PA Social Action Council.

Refreshment and water stand will be located throughout the walk.  PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN WATER BOTTLES!


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"DISARM NOW" Action August 9, Nagasaki Day, 2016

Tuesday, August 9, 8am
Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory
at Vasco & Patterson Pass Roads, Livermore

On the 71st anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice joins with the Livermore Conversion Project and other peace, justice, faith and environmental groups to encourage you to stand with Japanese Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors), Pacific Islanders and others impacted by deadly nuclear weapons to proclaim "Never Again." 

Music, speeches, drummers, art and more will be followed by a short procession to the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab gates where those who choose will peacefully risk arrest in a nonviolent action. 

Click here to download a flyer with more information.


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Sept. 11 Multifaith Peace Walk & Picnic

Join our Multifaith Peace Walk and Picnic on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 2pm. Together with sisters and brothers of many backgrounds and spiritual traditions we will say "no" to fear and "yes" to friendship by walking together to show the way to peace.  After about a 2 mile walk with stops and refreshments, we will conclude at Mitchell Park with a Peace Picnic. 

Salaam ~ Shalom ~ Peace ~ Shanti ~ Salaam ~ Shalom


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Joint Statement from United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Not Terrorists; Not Tourists: Refugees are Human Beings

I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,* you did it to me.”—Matthew 25:36-40

In the past few days, we have shared in the public and global outpouring of sympathy and support for the victims, their families, and the people of France, Lebanon, and Russia. We reiterate that expression of solidarity, and our condemnation of these acts of violence, all of which have been claimed by the “Islamic State.”


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Unitarian Universalist Prayer

The Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), shares this pastoral message:

The horrific terrorist attacks in France fill all good people with the deepest sadness. May we all rededicate ourselves to waging peace based on compassion and respect. Hatred must not triumph. 

I share the following prayer written by the Rev. Eric Cherry, director of the UUA’s International Office: 

Holy One, our hearts are torn, broken, and battered.
Even across an ocean
from the City of Light;
Such pain, such violence, such suffering.


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Statement from Rabbi Michael Lerner

After Paris: A World that has Lost its Ethical Direction
November 15, 2015

For many years, we at Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives have warned that the domination and power-over strategies to achieve “homeland security” have been tried for over 7,000 years and all they have produced is more wars and violence, interspersed with short periods of peace that have, with the help of the sensationalist and natioanlist  media and professional apologists for the existing inequalities, managed to hide from public view the degree of covert structural violence that every system of inequality and domination embodies.


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MVPJ Responds to Paris Attacks

As in 9/11, the terrorists responsible for the tragic events in Paris are succeeding far beyond their wildest dreams of sowing fear and hatred among all the nations in the West.  The various responses – such French President François Hollande calling the attacks an "an act of war" to which France will respond without pity – are understandable, but play directly into the terrorists' hands.

What is really hard to understand are the calls to block the entry of Syrian refugees – particularly Muslim refugees.  What better way could be imagined to demonstrate that terrorists claim that the West is waging a "War on Islam", thereby recruiting an even larger number of disaffected Muslim youth?

Even worse, if we succumb to Islamophobia to the extent that we actually close our doors and our hearts to people at a time of great need, we will be betraying the love of mercy and justice that is at the core of our country's Judeo-Christian tradition.  From time to time, every nation faces a test to see if it can live up to its ideals.  This is one such test.  We call upon everyone to resist the xenophobic fear-mongering and stand for the principle that our country proclaims so solemnly that all people are created equal.

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A Prayer for this Week

Holy One,

We pray for all people and places that have experienced the terror of violence this week as the aftershocks of fear and grief reverberate through bodies and buildings:

For the 43 people in Beirut and the 129 in Paris who were killed by Daesh;

For the people who survived and are now grieving the loss of people they love—parents, children, lovers, spouses, friends, siblings;

For the untold number of Syrians who have died in retaliation attacks;

For Muslims around the world who are targets of renewed and vicious Islamaphobia; 

We want peace for these people and places, but we do not know how to achieve it. Help us to see with clarity how our own country’s actions have contributed to the violence we see and mourn in the world this week. Let our collective mourning and sense of solidarity drive us deeper into the work for peace in our own country, and let us not feel angry only at Daesh, but also at the political policies and realities that engender extremism.

by Emily Brewer of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship


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Some Actions for this Week

"A time comes when silence is betrayal, and that time has come for us."

As people of faith and goodwill, we cannot remain silent when violence leads to more violence, tragedy leads to more suffering, and fear leads to injustice and hatred. As people of faith and goodwill, we are called to compassion, to courage, to solidarity, and to peace. In the midst of retaliatory bombing, hatefilled rhetoric and egregious calls to close our borders in the midst of one of history's most tragic human refugee crisis, organizations with whom MVPJ has long worked suggest some of the following actions.

  • The Friends Committee on National Legislation reminds us that a response based on fear will not lead to security or peace. As we hear calls from members of Congress, governors and candidates to shut the door on Syrian refugees, FCNL invites us to urge all of our elected officials to welcome Syrian refugees who are fleeing violence at home.  Call, write, email, or use this online letter-writing form provided by FCNL.
  • The Fellowship of Reconciliation writes, "In the face of such a global crisis of violence, we may be tempted to give up our agency to larger actors of states,... If we were to do this, not just our democracy but also our souls would be at stake." FOR directs us to George Lakey's fascinating article, 8 ways to defend against terror nonviolently, published in Waging Nonviolence (a website worth knowing about!).
  • Peninsula Peace & Justice has an Urgent Action Alert in response to Senator Dianne Feinstein's statements calling for increased military action and troops in Syria and Iraq.  PPJC invites us to email Senator Feinstein personally, and to sign PPJC's letter, urging strong statements instead for sanctuary and care for Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
  • Letters to the Editor and op-eds are other very important ways to lift up voices of compassion and peace. Don't be shy!

As we mourn and pray for the people of Paris, let us also pray for Beirut, where 43 people were killed in a terrorist attack the day before those in Paris, for Bagdad, where 26 people were killed in violent bombings, and Syria, where children, women and men are now facing drastically increased deadly air strikes.


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Campaign Nonviolence Week of Action: September 20-27

Abolish War
End Povery and Racism
Reverse the Climate Change

Take action this week to build a better world by participating in any of these local events:

Sermon: "Whose Lives Matter?" - Sunday, Sept. 20, 10am, First Congregational Church, 1985 Louis Rd., Palo Alto. This sermon by the Rev. Eileen Altman will begin Campaign Nonviolence local Week of Action by exploring issues of justice.

"White Like Me" Documentary and Discussion: Tuesday, Sept. 22, 7pm, First Congregational Church, 1985 Louis Road, Palo Alto. This 1 hour film by Tim Wise on race and privilege will be followed by a discussion on issues of race, racism and white privilege.

Climate Justice: Response to Pope's Congressional Address: Thursday, Sept. 24, 12Noon, Midpeninsula Media Center, 900 San Antonio Rd., Palo Alto. Join the studio audience immediately following Pope Francis' message to the U.S. Congress. Hear a panel of local and religious climate activists, and live reports from Washington D.C.'s Catholic Climate Covenant activists and members of the Moral Action on Climate team.

Protest Nuclear Weapons at Lockheed Vigil: Friday, Sept. 25, 12-1pm, Lockheed Space Systems at Mathilda Ave. and Lockheed Martin Way, Sunnyvale.  In this silent, nonviolent vigil we will stand in witness against the destruction and death perpetrated by Lockheed Martin - the largest manufacturer and exporter of military weapons.

Quaker Harvest Festival: Saturday, Sept. 26, 9am-4pm, 957 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto. This annual fair with music, food, plant and book sales benefits the Friends Committee on Legislation for California, which advocates for peace and justice issues in our state.

Sermon: "A Subtle Voice" - Sunday, Sept. 27, 9:30 & 11am, Unitarian Universalist Church, 505 East Charleston, Palo Alto. Recognizing that religion can both stimulate and counteract violence, Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern will ask, what are our religion's resources for un-making violence.

Labyrinth Peace Walk: Sunday, Sept. 27, 10:30am-12:45pm, Unitarian Universalist Church, 505 East Charleston, Palo Alto. In honor of the U.N. Peace Day (9/21) and concluding Campaign Nonviolence Week of action, come walk the labyrinth with your wish for peace and nonviolence.


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Quote of the Week

My heart is open to all the winds... Wherever God's caravans turn, the religion of love shall be my religion. And my faith.

- Ibn 'Arabi, 13th Century Sufi traveler & mystic