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.
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.
I solemnly swear to take a stand against violence and
Click here to sign the Campaign Nonviolence pledge, and join the movement to build a peaceful world for all!
On December 8, at a conference in Vienna, Pope Francis issued a new statement on nuclear weapons titled "Nuclear Disarmament: Time for Abolition" that indicates a major change in Roman Catholic policy. "Nuclear deterrence and the threat of nuclear assured destruction cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and states," the Pope said. While the Roman Catholic Church has long declared the use of nuclear weapons to be immoral, it has, up until now, articulated a "conditional acceptance" of nuclear deterrence as a necessary evil. This changes with the Pope's message, which was read on the first day of the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons conference in Austria.
The Vatican's statement declares, "The youth of today and tomorrow deserve far more.... Peace must be built on justice, socio-economic development, freedom, respect for fundamental human rights, ... and the building of trust between people."
Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice wants to help spread the word about local events promoting peace, justice, compassion, human rights and environmental sustainability. Just go to our Events page and click on "Submit an Event." Faith-based events are specifically encouraged, but other events are always welcome and will be considered. Please be sure the description of the event is clear and accurate.
And now you can check our calendar to learn about local events worth considering. We hope this will help build stronger networks as we work together for justice and peace.
The Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers recently wrote:
In this noise of militarized mania,
Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice has put together a study guide for use with the film, Nuclear Tipping Point. It is designed to assist small groups of adults and mature young people in exploring some issues related to nuclear weapons in the light of their religious faith. This small group study can be completed in two one-hour sessions. MVPJ is pleased to make this study guide avaialble to our web visitors. Click here to download it now (more information about it appears below).