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Participating Congregations and Organizations
  • American Muslim Voice
  • Bahá'í Community of Palo Alto
  • Beyt Tikkun Synagogue
  • First Baptist Church Palo Alto
  • 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
  • Network of Spiritual Progressives
  • 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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Peaceful Presence Meditation and Story

Two highlights from our February 11 Peaceful Presence, hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, were a moving meditation and an inspiring story!

Rev. Yushi Mukojima from the Mountain View Buddhist Temple led our meditation, which included these words:

There is a saying in Buddhism: Let us cease from wrath and refrain from angry looks. Nor let us be resentful when others differ from us. For all men have hearts, and each heart has its own leanings. Their right is our wrong, and our right is their wrong. We are not unquestionably sages, nor are they unquestionably fools. Both of us are simply ordinary men.

Therefore, our spirit of justice should always be based on wisdom, compassion, and loving kindness, without anger and hatred. Even if we are upset with or even hate another person, we should not dwell on our differences, but just try to let them go. It may be very hard, but do not give into hatred. Hatred can never create anything constructive.

To read the full meditation scroll down or click "Read More" below.



We were also inspired with a reading of the story Kamala and Maya's Big Idea. The book is written by Meena Harris, and illustrated by Ana Ramirez Gonzalez. Craig Wiesner and Derrick Kikuchi, long time participants with Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice and owners of the independent bookstore Reach and Teach, read the story to us. To purchase the book visit the Reach and Teach website.



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Light the Night: Together We Stand

Light the night for hope, healing, peace and justice.

Tuesday, January 19, 6:30-7:30pm
Virtual Event hosted by American Muslim Voice
TOGETHER WE STAND
Diverse faith leaders declare their solidarity and commitment to the principles of our nation.

Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice is pleased to partner with American Muslim Voice and other faith organizations for this gathering.

Join us for prayers for our nation from diverse faith traditions. Click here to download a flyer with a full list of participants.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE PROGRAM LIVE ON YOUTUBE.


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Peaceful Presence January 11, 2021 Recording

On January 11th 2021, MVPJ hosted a Peaceful Presence.
Below is a link to a video of the event which many found to be just the right balm to heal and inspire us. 

 

Click here and use the passcode X9ZwZ@^d


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The People's Inauguration 2021

On January 21, 2021, let us come together across the country to recommit to building a nation with liberty and justice for ALL.

Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice is excited to join The Revolutionary Love Project, along with other faith and civic organization throughout the country for this national event!

The People's Inauguration will be a celebration of what is possible.
Sound government is necessary - but it won't heal and transition America into a society where we are all free.
This work belongs to us, the people.

After years of injustice and division, we need a moment of collective renewal and healing. Let's create a moral vision for the America we are capable of becoming.

 Imagine millions of us making our own oaths - to our core values, to each other, to ourselves.

Be a part of The People Inauguration from wherever you are! CLICK HERE to register now!


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Atherton joins Menlo Park in supporting the 'Back from the Brink' Resolution

On May 26, 2020, with the encouragement of Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice working with Menlo Park peace activist Judy Adams, Cecelia Taylor, the mayor of Menlo Park, signed a proclamation supporting a call for the federal government to take five specific steps to reduce the risk of nuclear war.

Then, on November 18, 2020, through the efforts of MVPJ and two Atherton peace advocates (Les DeWitt and former Mayor Malcolm Dudley), Atherton joined Menlo Park in supporting the call.

Entitled "Back from the Brink," this call was created by the Union of Concerned Scientists and Physicians for Social Responsibility, and has been endorsed by 250 organizations including the California State Legislature. Menlo Park and Atherton joined Los Angeles and seven other California cities to become the seventh and tenth California cities, respectively, to endorse 'The Call.'

Click here to download a PDF of the Op-Ed (July 31, 2020 in The Almanac) "Stepping Back from the Brink: Steps to reduce the risk of nuclear war" written by Richard Duda (of MVPJ) and Judy Adams about the call and Menlo Park action.

Click here to download a PDF of the Menlo Park Proclamation and the Atherton Proclamation.

If you are a resident of a city that has not signed the Back from the Brink call and would like to work with MVPJ on the best way to approach your city council, please contact us at info@multifaithpeace.org.


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Multifaith Prayers for Peace on 11th of the Month

Monthly Multifaith Prayers for Peace
7-7:30pm on 11th of every month

NEXT GATHERING:
Thursday, February 11, 7-7:30pm - hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto

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.

Upcoming
Thursday, February 11, 7-7:30pm - hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
Thursday, March 11, 7-7:30pm - hosted by Congregation Etz Chayim of Palo Alto
Sunday, April 11, 7-7:30pm - hosted by St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Palo Alto


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Extemporaneous Speech by Julia Jackson, Mother of Jacob Blake

"I'm really asking and encouraging everyone in Wisconsin and abroad to take a moment and examine your hearts. Citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicans: do Jacob justice on this level and examine your hearts.

We need healing.

As I pray for my son's healing - physically and emotionally and spiritually - I also have been praying even before this for the healing of our country. 

God has placed each and every one of us here in this country because He wanted us to be here."

Click here to watch and hear Julia Jackson's full and very moving speech (August 25, 2020) on youtube.


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June 11 Peaceful Presence on Racial Justice

Peaceful Presence: Multifaith Prayers for Peace and Strength for the Journey
June 11, 2020

This powerful gathering was hosted by the MVPA Musalla, a Mountain View/Palo Alto Muslim Community, and led by Farha Andrabi Navaid, leader of the Musalla. The focus was on the pressing need for racial justice. Contributions included:

"Peace and Struggle" remarks by Rev. Amy Morgenstern and inspired by Frederick Douglas. Click here to download and read.

"Hearts of Stones" remarks were shared by Quaker Eric Sabelman from Palo Alto Friends Meeting. Click here to download and read.

Jewish Reading from Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Song - presented by Rabbi Amy Eilberg. Click here to download and read.

A Christian prayer led by Rev. Dr. Diana Gibson and inspired by Pope Paul VI, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, and the Poor People's Campaign. Click here to download and read.

A song in memory of Chris Lundin, our beloved MVPJ Steering committee member, "music director," colleague and friend. (Click here to see our memory page for Chris.) "This is my song, O God of all the nations" was sung by Chris French from the Baha'i community. This was one of Chris Lundin's favorite songs. 


The following closing prayer with times of silence after each line was led by Kareem Syed of the MVPA Musalla:
Prayer for the family of George Floyd, and all those killed by violence.
Prayer for the healing of our own wounds from violence.
Prayer for the healing of the scourge of racism.
Prayer for the healing of our country.
Prayer in the face of fear.
Prayer for returning to God and holy ways.
Prayer for people to get to work and inspiration and courage to make a difference.


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Pastor Calls for Change in Palo Alto

"Our country continues to contend with the horrific killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Across the country, people are exercising their right to protest against these injustices. As a country and a city, we must face the reality that we have systemic issues that disproportionately affect black people and that need to be addressed now," writes Rev. Kaloma A. Smith, pastor of University A.M.E. Zion Church and chair of the Human Relations Commission. (Click here to read the full Guest Opinion piece on Palo Alto Online.)

Rev. Smith's call for change was presented at the Palo Alto City Council Meeting on Monday, June 8. Click here to read the Palo Alto online June 9th article about that meeting.

All of us are asked to pray for our country, our cities, for change and for jusice. AND we are called to act. You can support changes in Palo Alto right now by doing these few simple things:

  • Email your city mayor, city manager, and council members in support of police reform!
  • Make public comments on community forums supporting calls for racial justice and BLM. Insist on the dignity and worth of black lives and all people of color. Lift up the need for change right here! Keep the conversation going.
  • Visit the #8cantwait website to learn about the campaign to make these 8 life-saving policies part of all police departments. Scroll down to find out  what policies your local police department has in place, and what need to be added. (If you city is not listed there, do the research yourself.) NOW start a campaign to make ALL OF 8 CAN'T WAIT POLICIES STANDARD PRACTICE IN YOUR LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT.

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Calls to Action: Advocacy and Prayers Online, House Signs, On the Streets, and More

Week of Action - Month of Action - Life of Action:
Speak - Act - Pray to End Racist Violence and Build Racial Justice

Many of us are unsure how to most faithfully protest the egregious atrocities of violence against our black siblings and how to stand up and take action for justice in this tumultuous time. As each of us discerns what we are called to do, let us turn to the best in our own faith tradition that inspires us to be most loving and courageous. Let us learn from others - those in other faith traditions and leaders from the past. And let us remember, and commit, that we are in this struggle for the long haul.

What we do know is this: A time comes when silence is betrayal, and that time has come for us.

Overview of Possibilities
(This is meant to prompt your own imagination!
Send us your ideas to share!)

Online: Join or watch vigils; participate in training and education; advocate via social media; gather virtually for prayer and discernment; write emails to people in power; make donations; stay informed; watch movies and documentaries that help broaden your awareness.
From your Home: Post signs in your yard or own your car; send letters (yes, using the U.S. Mail Service!); call people in power; reach out to neighbors, friends, family and strangers; make sure people of color know they are not alone; educate yourself about how to shop, bank, etc. without supporting white supremacy; read relevant books.
On the Streets: Join peaceful and safe protests if you feel called to do so; work with others on creative and safe ways to publicly show solidarity -- then invite others and do it!


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