Organizations and Efforts to Oppose Destructive EO's and Stand for Inclusion, Justice and Compassion
This is a time to work together! So much of what we hold dear - human rights, compassion for victims of war, nuclear disarmament, protection of the earth, welcoming of immigrants and refugees, health care for all, peace and diplomacy with other countries - is under attack. Let's support one another and build networks that are strong in diversity and united in compassion.
Here is a broad list of organizations that we consider worthy of consideration in these times. We know that not all communities endorse all the groups on this list, nor does this list represent official endorsement of MVPJ or any of our participating communities. There are surely many other wonderful and worthy organizations that do not yet appear! Most of these are either local, faith-based, and/or partners of MVPJ in various endeavors.
Send notes of encouragement and peace to your local mosques and Islamic centers. This simple yet beautiful idea comes from the Shoulder-to-Shoulder Campaign. Be creative! Invite children in your community of faith or your neighborhood to write letters, too, and draw pictures of friendship and love. Consider indicating on the outside of the envelope that yours is a message of kindness and support.
Standing in solidarity with our immigrant sisters and brothers, Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice encourages efforts to become Sanctuary cities, churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and campuses.
Offering sanctuary - a safe place that honors dignity and worth - is a tradition drawn from many of our faiths.
There are several movements toward making bay area cities into "sanctuary cities" and some local faith communities are considering offering sanctuary as well. Currently there is a letter being circulated for signatures to go to the Los Altos City Council, urging them to pass a resolution that "affirms our respect for human rights and diversity and declares that we will not participate in any federal efforts to undercut those principles." If you live in Los Altos, click here to read and sign this letter.
If you are interested in learning what it means to become a sanctuary congregation for your own place of worship, please contact us by emailing email@example.com
Several hundred people gathered in prayer and solidarity with the Evergreen Islamic Center (EIC) on Sunday, December 11. The event was filled with love and joy. Featured speakers included leaders from diverse faith traditions as well as elected representatives from the city of San Jose and State Assembly and Senate. People of all faiths and walks of life felt called to offer their support.
The community came together at the invitation of the EIC after the mosque received some hate mail. Clearly we say "no" to hate and "yes" to all that holds us together as sisters and brothers in the human family. We stood shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with one another in a powerful expression of love and commitment.
Imam Faheem Shauibe, Rev. Danielle Parish (Spark Church) and Rabbi Chaim Koritzinsky (Congregation Etz Chayim) led the beginning of the Multifaith Peace Walk on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. The event opened with more than 750 participants singing songs of peace in Arabic, Hebrew and English with drums and guitars, readings from Jewish, Muslim and Christian scriptures, face painting for children, youth making signs saying "Peace" - "Salaam" - "Shalom," and a ritual of friendship that included Palo Alto Police Department Chief Dennis Burns with local and national faith leaders.
After a 2.5 mile walk and other brief programs on peace, the community gathered for a picnic that began with the release of peace doves in Mitchell park. The picnic, hosted by American Muslim Voice, allowed time for creating new friendship, more singing and dancing, and stories of peace making internationally as well as at home.
Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016
Gather, Opening Program & Begin Walk: Congregation Etz Chayim Synagogue and Spark Church, 4161 Alma St., Palo Alto
Stops & Programs: University AME Zion Church, 3549 MiddlefieldRd., and Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 3233 Cowper Street.
Concluding Program & Picnic: American Muslim Voice hosted picnic at Mitchell Park, 600 East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto, beginning at 4:30pm. Program includes release of peace doves! Simple food provided, including plenty of vegetarian options.
Walk length: 2.5 mile
Walk Handout: Click here to download the Walk Handout with detailed route, walk guidelines and shuttle information for end of walk.
We invite people from all walks of life, from diverse faiths or no particular faith, all colors of the rainbow, children, youth and adults, left, right, and center, to walk united in our diversity, in solidarity as one human family. We walk to show our community and our world that we say "No" to fear and division and "YES" to friendship and peace.
Volunteer: Click here to volunteer to be a walk monitor (help keep the walkers safe).
Share on Facebook: Please visit and share our Facebook page for this event.
Sponsoring Communities: All Saints Episcopal Church PA; American Muslim Voice; Baha'i Community of Palo Alto; Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice; Berkeley Masjid; Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale; Congregation Beth Am; Congregation Emek Beracha; Congregation Etz Chayim; Congregation Kol Emeth; Council on American Islamic Relations (San Francisco Bay Area Chapter); First Baptist Church PA; First Congregational Church PA; First Lutheran Church PA; First Presbyterian Church PA; First United Methodist Church PA; Grace Lutheran Church PA; Islamic Networks Group; Keddem Congregation; Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice; Muslim American Society of Bay Area; MVPA Musalla Muslim Worship Place; Oshman Family Jewish Community Center; Palo Alto Friends Meeting (Quakers); Palo Alto Human Relations Commission; Rebuilding Alliance; Region 7, Sathya Sai International Organization USA; South Bay Islamic Association; Spark Church; St. Andrews United Methodist Church; St. Mark's Episcopal Church PA; St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Community of Palo Alto; Stanford University - Office for Religious Life; Unitarian Universalist Church PA Social Action Council; Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Los Gatos; Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Sunnyvale Social Justice Team; University AME Zion Church; University Lutheran Church.
Refreshment and water stands will be located throughout the walk. PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN WATER BOTTLES!
There will be short programs and refreshments at faith communities along the way, and a picnic at the end sponsored by American Muslim Voice.
Shuttle Information: Shuttles from 1-1:50pm will take those who park at the Unitarian Universalist Church (505 E. Charleston) from there to Congregation Etz Chayim for start of walk. Shuttles will also be provided at end of event, taking walkers from the picnic at Mitchell Park to Congregation Etz Chayim, running from 5-6:25pm every 15-20 minutes. These shuttles will leave from the Unitarian Universalist parking lot just behind the picnic area. (Signs and people with directions to the shuttle pick-up will be at the park.) All shuttles are free.
Make a day of it! The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center will be hosting a Day of Service for all ages the morning of Sept. 11, 10:30am-12:30pm. Click here for details!
Click "Read More" to download our newest fliers and more details.
Join our Multifaith Peace Walk and Picnic on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 1:30pm. 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 2.5 mile walk with stops and refreshments, we will conclude at Mitchell Park with a Peace Picnic.
Click here for more information.
Salaam ~ Shalom ~ Peace ~ Shanti ~ Salaam ~ Shalom
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.”
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.
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.