Topics

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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September 11 Multifaith Peace Picnic & Prayers 2019

Mark this day for friendship, solidarity and peace!
Wednesday, September 11, 6-8pm
King Plaza, 250 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto

Join us for this annual multifaith gathering. The picnic begins at 6pm followed by a program at 6:45pm. Both are hosted by American Muslim Voice in partnership with MVPJ and others. This year there will be just ONE PROGRAM with prayers and words for peace from diverse faith traditions, music, singing and children's choirs. 

Everyone is welcome!

Are you available to help? Please click here to fill out our volunteer form. 


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Pictures from August 11 Multifaith Lament & Worship

On August 11 local Jews and Quakers joined together to lead a powerful Multifaith Service of Lament and Public Worship with a Concern for Immigrants and Refugees. More than 200 people participated.

The Lament was part of a national effort that connected the 9th of Av (August 11th), the Jewish annual day of mourning over displacement, discrimination and murder of Jews through their history, with the experience of today’s immigrants.
 
The Quaker Public Worship with a Concern for Immigrants and Refugees invited participants to sit in silence to listen to the Spirit which guides human affairs and inspires both immediate words and future action.

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Correction Officer Drives Truck into Peaceful Protesters outside Detention Center

On Wednesday, August 14, a correctional officer drove a truck into a group of peaceful demonstrators protesting ICE policies outside a detention center in Central Falls, R.I. Those protesting were mostly Jewish community members demonstrating against the for-profit prison's contract with ICE and the inhumane and immoral immigration policies. Several demonstrators were injured. Click here to read the NPR report and watch the video.

The Rhode Island chapter of T'ruah, a national organization of Jewish rabbis for human rights, issued this statement:

Last night, a corrections officer drove a pickup truck into a row of protestors at the entrance to an ICE detention center in Rhode Island; when those present surrounded the truck and their injured friends, the crowd was sprayed with pepper-spray. If this sort of violence is wielded against unarmed, conscientious objectors gathered peacefully outside, it frightens us to imagine the treatment faced by those detained within the center’s walls.

Our Torah teaches: “When strangers reside with you in your land, you shall not wrong them. The strangers who reside with you shall be to you as your citizens: You shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt (Lev 19:33-34).” As rabbis, we believe that we must aspire to apply this ethos to immigration policy in this country. We also believe that the right to peacefully protest in this country must be vigilantly guarded.

...We will remain steady in our commitment to nonviolent action, even in the face of such callous disregard for the lives and safety of our friends, congregants, students, and neighbors. As those of us present sang many times that evening, “Olam chesed yibaneh: We will build this world from love.”


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Prayerful and Passionate Protest Photographs

On July 12, 2019 MVPJ hosted a vigil on behalf of immigrants, children and refugees as part of the Lights for Liberty campaign. Click below to see more photographs of the event. Many thanks to Jack Owicki from Pro-Bono Photography who took these wonderful pictures!



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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: Multifaith Peace Prayers & Picnic,
Wednesday, September 11, 6-8pm, hosted by American Muslim Voice at King Plaza, 250 Hamilton Ave., 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
Wednesday, September 11, 6-8pm, American Muslim Voice hosted at King Plaza, 250 Hamilton, Palo Alto

Friday, October 11,7-7:30pm, tba
Monday, November 11, 7-7:30pm, First Presbyterian Church, 1140 Cowper St., Palo Alto 94301
Wednesday, December 11, 7-7:30pm, Congregation Etz Chaim, 4161 Alma St., Palo Alto, 94306
January 11, 7-7:30pm, First United Methodist Church, 625 Hamilton St., Palo Alto, 94301


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A Prayer to the God of Compassion, Peace and Hope

God of Compassion, this is not normal.
אֵל מָלֵא רַחֲמִים
(Eil malei rachamim)
God of Compassion, this is not normal.
It is not normal for weapons to disrupt prayers of freedom and memory.
It is not normal for houses of worship to have protocols for responding to violence.
It is not normal for leaders, partners, and friends to extend thoughts and prayers in the wake of another attack.

אָדוֹן הַשָּׁלוֹם 
(Adon hashalom)
God of Peace,
We refuse to accept this as normal.
We refuse to resign to apathy.
We refuse to give in to forces that seek to divide.
We refuse to allow time to dull our moral outrage.

רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל תִּקוָה 
(Ribono shel tikvah)
Master of Hope,
In the face of hate, strengthen our hearts to insist on love.
In the face of darkness, uncover our eyes to find sparks of Your light.
In the face of violence, open our hands so we might extend them in peace.

To those we have lost, grant perfect rest under the sheltering presence of your love.
To those who are in pain, grant wholeness, comfort, and healing.
To those who survive, grant us the faith, courage, and wisdom we need to build a world of peace.


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Unity and Solidarity Vigil held in Sunnyvale

Unity and Solidarity Vigil
in light of attacks in Sunnyvale and Poway Synagogue
WE ARE ONE!
Was held on Thursday, May 2, 2019
El Camino Real and Sunnyvale-Saratoga Road in Sunnyvale

Marking the terrifying attack on pedestrians on April 23 in which the police say the driver may have targeted the victims based on their race and his belief they were Muslim, and the horrific shooting at Congregation Chabad Synagogue in Poway, CA on April 27, we gathered in Unity and Solidarity at the site of the April 23 incident. The vigil was a quiet, loving presence to acknowledge the pain and suffering of all people targeted by violence and hate, and to declare unequivocally that all lives are precious and we are all part of the same human family.

Thursday, May 2, was the National Day of Prayer*, and at this time our nation surely needs prayers for healing, respect in our diversity, and peace. Thursday was also Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, a time to remember victims of the Nazi Holocaust, and to honor all victims of violence and pledge, "Never Again."

In pain and solidarity at yet more violence, Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice offers both words and action. Our words are below, and our actions continue with the Thursday vigil.


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Statement of Soldarity with Muslims Everywhere


3-15-19
Around the world the human family is grieving over the horrific terror attack that killed at least 49 of our Muslim brothers and sisters and wounded dozens more as they worshipped in mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. We at Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice share our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy with that community, especially the loved ones of the victims, and offer prayers for what comfort and healing they might find.
 
We also intensify our commitment to stand against all forms of hatred, drawing from the wellspring of love that animates the world’s faith traditions to triumph over bigotry based on race, ethnicity, or religion. Our traditions require our constant vigilance in confronting injustice, intolerance, division, and other evils with a love that we know ultimately wins.
 
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern noted that many of the victims were refugees and immigrants. She proclaimed “New Zealand is their home. They are us.” May we all work and pray for the day when humanity’s shared home, the planet Earth, is so full of love and care for all of God’s children that there is no room left for bigoted and hateful acts of violence. Meanwhile, we stand in solidarity with members of the world-wide Muslim community, offer them our ardent love, and hold their well-being in our hearts.
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A Personal Story and Statement from a MVPJ Steering Committee Member

Amidst the rubble of what was once a beautiful mosque in Afghanistan in 2002, a boy was rocking back and forth reciting a portion of the Qur'an. I sat next to him, reminded of how he resembled children in a Jewish synagogue from my childhood, rocking back and forth as they recited Hebrew prayers. The Imam walked over and lightly touched the boy on the shoulder. He stopped praying and looked up. The Imam told the boy that I was Jewish and asked him, "What do we call Jewish people?" The boy smiled at me and responded "People of the Book." "Very good," the Imam replied as he touched his heart. With a nod from the Imam, the boy resumed reciting prayers. Muslims refer to Jews and Christians as people of the book because we share common sacred texts, the Torah, the Bible, and for Muslims, the Qur'an. 

Today, as people of the book, we grieve with our Muslim siblings and the entire human family over the tragic and horrific killings in New Zealand. Apparently inspired by White Supremacist hate exported from the United States, a killer went on a rampage, killing at least 49 people, as they prayed in mosques on Friday. We must stand up against hate and violence with all of our might and do all that we can to change the hearts of those who harbor such hate, while also doing all that we can to prevent such people from being able to cause such mayhem. May we instead be inspired by the smiles of young children, who instead of harboring hate, see our interconnectedness as a human race. We are not born with hate, we are taught hate. Our task, today, tomorrow and every day is doing all that we can to sow the seeds of love, acceptance, and peace, for what we sow we shall reap, Inshallah.

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How do you respond when...

...your dinner guest makes an Islamophobic comment?

...you witness public instances of racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Trans or any other form of oppressive interpersonal violence or harassment?

American Friends Service Committee (Quakers) has six thoughtful and helpful tips to counteract anti-Muslim rhetoric in your conversations.

They also have bystander intervention do's and don'ts for how to intervene in public situations while considering the safety of everyone involved.

Both articles provide guidelines that may be contrary to your first instinct, however noble those may be. These are important reads!


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