I LOVE Ukraine:
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.
Breaking the Silence: An Intergenerational for Unity and Action
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
Below are some suggestions for faith-based programs supporting Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees, as well as some organizations recommended by our faith-based partners.
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
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.
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.
PRAYER: The National Council of Churches offers these prayer, one focused particularly on diverse faith communities in Ukraine.
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.
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.
Click here to view a growing album of photos of Global Day of Actions from across the nation and around the world!
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.
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.
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.
On the Eve of World Human Rights Day:
We came together from diverse faith and spiritual traditions to stand in solidarity for the human rights of all people, locally and globally.
Missed it? Want to hear it again? Watch the event on youtube anytime!
Click here to view the wonderful pictures by ProBono Photo. Thank you ProBono!!
Click here to see ABC7 News coverage and interviews.
In light of multiple hate messages and incidents in our local community, including some personally threatening individuals and community leaders, we gathered on the Eve of World Human Rights Day to say NO to hate and YES to the dignity and worth of every human being.
"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin?
Sunday, August 29, 2021, people gathered to "Surround the City with Light and Love" in response to a series of hateful and racist incidents in our community, escalating in racist and threatening signs targeting the Rev. Dr. Debra Murray, Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto. We came together to pray - with our words and feet, our hearts and our lives - that we can be a community devoted to respect, dignity and safety for all people. You can download the inclusive prayer handout here.
Organized by Palo Alto faith leaders, people of many diverse traditions participated. While there is still much work to be done to foster a truly anti-racist, welcoming and liberating community, there is no doubt that, in Pastor Debra's words, "we set some powerful love and energy loose in the world" that afternoon!
The J-Weekly (Jewish News of Northern California) covered the event with this article.
We greatly appreciate Jack Owicki, ProBonoPhoto.org for the wonderful photographs documenting the event, including the one to the left, and those below in this article. Click here for the full photo gallery on the Pro Bono Photo website.