As people of faith, we must speak out! Nuclear weapons must never be used!
Russian President Vladimir Putin's threats to use nuclear weapons in the war against Ukraine are horrifying. While the threats deserve condemnation, more importantly, they require a steady response of de-escalation that pulls us back from the threat of nuclear warfare.
TELL CONGRESS THAT MORE DIPLOMACY IS THE BEST WAY TO PROTECT HUMAN LIVES AND OUR ENVIRONMENT!
WRITE: Join the Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) letter campaign TODAY by clicking here! Easy pre-scripted letters to send to your Senators and Congressmember, or you can edit to personalize them before sending.
As the Friends Committee on National Legislation reminds us:
"Dialogue with Russia is not capitulation or appeasement. It is, in fact, the only sane response to the threat of nuclear brinksmanship. Congress has a moral responsibility to de-escalate tensions and prevent the use of nuclear weapons to preserve the environment and all humanity.
In the face of nuclear threats, the world must work together deter disaster."
In response to the increasing risk of a nuclear disaster, Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice's Steering Committee has endorsed a letter to President Biden with an urgent call for the resumption of arms control negotiation. The letter was issued on September 22 by some 29 distinguished and diverse faith leaders in the New York and Washington metropolitan areas. We join with them in imploring President Biden to, for the sake of our whole human family, make the resumption of arms control negotiation his highest priority.
The multifaith letter states, in part:
We affirm the view previously expressed by religious authorities that nuclear weapons are inherently immoral because of their horrific and indiscriminate effects on civilians and on the environment.
Mr. President, for the sake of the entire human family, we urge you to press for the resumption of arms control negotiations without further delay.
Click here to download and read the entire letter.
Monthly Multifaith Prayers for Peace
As we move through various COVID safety concerns, Peaceful Presence will sometimes be offered in-person, sometimes by Zoom, and sometimes hybrid (with both options - to join in person or via Zoom). Watch for updates!
Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice coordinates “Peaceful Presence” gatherings, 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.
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.
SPEAK - PRAY - ACT to End Gun Violence
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!