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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Malalai Joya: Afghan Woman Among Warlords

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Prospects for Afghan Women and Non-Intervention in My Country
Friday, Oct 18, 7:30pm
Friends Meeting House, 957 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto

Click here for details.

Malalai Joya spoke out publicly against domination by warlords in 2003. She was one of 68 women elected to the Afghan National Assembly in 2005. A remarkable young woman raised in refugee camps in Iran and Pakistan, she became a teacher in secret girl's schools under the Taliban.

 
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MVPJ Celebrates 10 Years of Faith-Based Action

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Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice was formed in March 2003 before the United States began the war in Iraq.  Since then, we have devoted our efforts to the elimination of war, torture, injustice, and reduction of civil liberties, all guided by the core values of each of our faith traditions.  We have prayed, marched, sung, worshiped, advocated, laughed, cried, lamented, protested, served, studied and vigiled on street corners, city plazas, and in mosques, synagogues, churches, meeting houses and parks. We have met with our congress people and learned from our religious leaders. Through it all, we have built strong relationships of trust and respect. In many ways, we have become a community of sisters and brothers across faith lines. 

Click here to download a history of our efforts and activities over the past 10 years.

Now we want to take this 10-year anniversary to reflect on actions, the effect we've had on our community and the world, and to think and pray about what we are called to do next.

 
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A Peaceful Response to Syrian Crisis

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Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice issued this statement on Sept. 4, 2013. We give thanks for the continued efforts to work for a nonviolent resolution to the tragic conflict in Syria, and urge you to keep the people of Syria in your prayers and support humanitarian efforts on their behalf.

"As people of faith from diverse traditions, Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice joins with a growing number of faith organizations and people of good will around the globe in condemning chemical weapons use in Syria or anywhere, and insisting that the world community, in particular our own United States government, respond to this tragedy using diplomatic and political tools, not military intervention. We implore Congress to refuse to authorize any military action against Syria. Bombing and killing Syrians to send a message that bombing and killing Syrians is wrong makes absolutely no sense.

U.S. military interventions in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan over the last 60 years make it clear that war as a solution to world problems is NOT the answer. By denying the president the authority to use military force against Syria, the United States Congress could bring us one step closer to the end of senseless war.

 
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Prayers, Action & Resources for Peace in Syria

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A growing number of people and organizations of faith and good will are lifting up their voices, calling for diplomatic and nonviolent responses to the Syrian crisis, and opposing military action.  Here are a few thoughtful pieces and useful links.

Friends Committee on National Legislation - Click here for excellent articles on possible alternative responses and action

US Conference of Catholic Bishops - Click here for statements on Syrian crisis

Jim Wallis of Sojourners: "Respond, But How?" 

Peninsula Peace & Justice Center has posted several excellent articles, including "On Syria, a U.N. Vote Isn't Optional"

Rabbi Arthur Waskow's full article "Drop Gas Masks, Not Bombs"

Pope Francis' Declaration of a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Syria

 

Real World Peacemaker Diane Randall, National Peace Legislative Leader

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Hear the Executive Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation
Sunday, July 28, 6-8pm

Unitarian Universalist Church, Fireside Room
505 E. Charleston Road., Palo Alto, 94306

Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice is pleased to sponsor this Real World Peacemaking event featuring Diane Randall, the head of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL).

Founded in 1943 by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL is a multi-issue advocacy group connecting peace, equality, simplicity and truth with the social issues of our nation.  FCNL is non-partisan and fields the largest team of registered peace lobbyists in Washington, D.C.

A potluck will begin at 6pm, with the program starting at 7pm.  Everyone is welcome.  Please bring some food to share if you can. 

 
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Ending U.S. Sponsored Torture Forever

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Film & Discussion
Friday, June 8, 7:30pm

Unitarian Universalist Church, Fireside Room
505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto

Produced by the National Relgious Campaign Against Torture, "Ending U.S.-Sponsored Torture Forever" is a 20-minute video that reports on the facts about torture by the U.S. government after 9/11, describes the perspectives on torture from a variety of faiths, provides comments from a torture survivor, and addresses how some recent depictions of torture in popular entertainment are misleading (at best), and make it critically important to grow a clear moral consensus against the use of torture.

Please help spread the word! Click here to download a flyer for the event. 

Discussion will follow watching the film.  Everyone is welcome.  The event is free.

 
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U.S. Muslim Leaders Condemn Boston Bombings

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Representatives of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, on Friday joined other leaders at a new conference in Washington, D.C., to state that Americans will remain united in the face of developments in the Boston Marathon bombings that include the naming of suspects who are reportedly Muslim.

The CAIR website lists case by case, year by year examples of consistently condemning any form of terrorism. According to their website: "Any Muslim who plans, attempts or carries out a terrorist attack would be acting outside the boundaries of his or her faith and would be repudiated and condemned by our community."

In the same spirit, the Islamic Network Group (ING) issued a statement expressing their prayers which are with all of the victims and their families.  ING emphasized that "the ideology of extremists do not reflect the beliefs and practices of the vast majority of the ethnic or religious groups to which the extremists are associated, and that American Muslims vociferously and unequivocally condemn terrorism."

Interfaith Alliance president Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy released a statement from the national group saying that any hatred or violence expressed toward Muslims because the brothers were reportedly Muslim would be "against everything we stand for as Americans."

 
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Call in Day to Cut Nuclear Weapons

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Californians have a unique role to play in reducing dangerous stockpiles of nuclear weapons as well as helping to reduce the deficit. Our Senator, Dianne Feinstein, is the Chair of the committee that oversees the nuclear weapons budget, and is one of the most important leaders in the Senate on the issue.  
 
That is why an urgent Statewide Call-in Day is planned for Tuesday, April 9th, to show Sen. Feinstein that Californians want to cut spending on nuclear weapons. Please join us in calling on April 9th, or on whichever day you can this week. 

Sen. Feinstein agrees that nuclear weapons are dangerous and outdated. However, current plans will have the US spend up to $500 billion in the next decade on these weapons, in direct contradiction to the growing bipartisan consensus* that we could safely cut our nuclear arsenals now and save billions of dollars to invest in our economy.

If we want Sen. Feinstein to take the lead in cutting billions in nuclear weapons spending, she needs to hear from you right now. Please join thousands of people across California joining forces to call Sen. Feinstein on April 9th!

Call Senator Feinstein at (415) 393-0707.  Here is a suggested message:

"My name is ____ and I live in _____. I am calling to ask Senator Feinstein to cut wasteful spending on nuclear weapons and new bomb plants."  [If appropriate, you may want to add one sentence about how your faith leads you to urge this action.]
 
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Join Us March 16th for Eyes Wide Open

March 16: Palo Alto "Eyes Wide Open" Event at King Plaza (in front of City Hall)

On the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, these boots and shoes are still empty.

Marking the 10th anniversary of its formation, Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice invites you to its "Eyes Wide Open" exhibit on Saturday, March 16th at King Plaza (Hamilton & Ramona in Palo Alto).  Empty boots bearing the names of California military killed in Iraq or Afghanistan are place in rows for silent meditation. Unnamed shoes represent the thousands of civilian casualties, young and old.  You are invited to this time of reflection on the true cost of war, the lost opportunities for making peace, the sacrifices of those who fought, the devastation wrought upon the people and land of Iraq and Afghanistan, and our eternal hope for an end to war. We pray that as we honor all the lives lost, we will learn how desparately we must redirect the focus of our nation to the ways of peace.

March 20, 2013 will be the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice (MVPJ) will be highlighting the cost of continued war in our world. MJVP and others sponsored this display in May 2008 and we felt the event was moving and appropriate, even more so now with continued (and expanded) hostilities around the world. 

The display will be monitored at all times. The boots will be in place by 10am in the morning on Saturday, March 16, and taken up again at sunset that day (approximately 7:30 p.m.). Short programs will be held throughout the day.

Visit us on Facebook - click here - and invite all of your friends, too.

Program Schedule

10am Opening Program - Sounding of the Shofar (Jewish Call to Prayer) followed by featured speakers County Supervisor Dave Cortese, Peninsula Peace & Justice Center director Paul George, and Veteran for Peace Doug Nelson.  Jason Materne from American Friends Service Committee will explain the history of the Eyes Wide Open exhibit.  Music will be led by Chris Lundin from St. Thomas Aquinas Parish and MVPJ Steering Committee.

1:30pm Midday Program will begin with Muslim Prayers.  Speakers include Phil Pflager from Veterans for Peace Chapter 101, Samina Sundas, founder and director of American Muslim Voice, and Rev. Geoff Browning from United Campus Christian Ministry at Stanford.

3:30pm Reading of Names of the Dead - The names of military casualites from California and of civilians from Iraq and Afghanistan will be read and honored. The sounding of a Buddhist Meditation Bowl will begin the readings, and the Jewish Mourner's Kaddish will conclude the readings.  (If you wish to take part by reading aloud some of the names of civilians and/or military, please arrive at 3:20pm and speak to a program coordinator near the sound system. We will give you a list to review in advance, and be happy to have you participate.)

6:30pm Closing Program - Featured speaker: Karen Meredith from Gold Star Families Speak Out, a mother from Mountain View whose son, 1st Lt. Kenneth Ballard, was killed while serving in Iraq.  Reflections will be offered by Craig Wiesner, U.S. Air Force Veteran and member of MVPJ Steering Committee.  Prayer led by Rev. Dr. Eileen Altman of First Congregational Church, Palo Alto.  Music led by Chris Lundin.  "Taps" will be played at sundown (approximately 7:30pm) by Chris Iyer from First Presbyterian Church, Palo Alto.

Sign up to volunteer for 1 hour or more on Saturday, March 16 by clicking here.  (There will always be MVPJ steering committee members present to orient and support you.)

Co-sponsors include:

  • American Friends Service Committee - San Francisco
  • American Muslim Voice
  • Beyt Tikkun
  • CAIR-SFBA (Council on American- Islamic Relations)
  • Catholic Community at Stanford
  • Episcopal Lutheran Campus Ministry at Stanford
  • First Congregational Church of Palo Alto Peace and Justice Task Force
  • First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto
  • First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto
  • Human Concerns Committee, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Palo Alto
  • Los Altos Voices for Peace
  • Mission Task Team of First Baptist Church, Palo Alto
  • Network for Spiritual Progressives
  • Northern California Islamic Council
  • Peace and Social Action Committee of Palo Alto Friends Meeting (Quakers)
  • Peninsula Peace and Justice Center
  • Reach And Teach, San Mateo
  • San Jose Peace & Justice Center
  • Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese
  • SIREN (Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network)
  • Stanford Says No to War
  • Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
  • United Campus Christian Ministry at Stanford/Progressive Christians at Stanford
  • Veterans for Peace Chapter 101
  • West Bay Chapter of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship 

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Congregational Participants

Come...

We come together from more than 36 diverse faith communities and traditions to put our convictions into action by saying NO to war and YES to peace and justice.

Gather...

...to call upon our government to cease its focus on war and to focus its energy and resources on peaceful and lawful resolution, negotiation, international cooperation, and the well-being of all creation.

...to call upon our government to defend civil liberties at home and strengthen the values that our nation holds: justice, tolerance, diversity, equality, liberty, and human dignity.

...to insist that war is a moral, ethical and religious issue involving matters of life and death for children, youth and adults who all share our common humanity.

As people of faith we are compelled in this critical time to commit our spirits, voices, hearts and actions to the cause of justice and peace on earth.

Act...

  • We are committed to nonviolent action for peace and justice. We will walk and talk, pray and act in the manner of love, for God is love.
  • We seek to win over our opponents in truth and love, never to humiliate or defeat them. Affirming that every human being has inherent worth and is a child of God, we refuse to hate or condemn any person or group of persons, even as we oppose and condemn forces and actions of violence and injustice.
  • We pray, speak and act for the well-being of all people. Members of our own armed forces and the armed forces of all nations will be respected. It is in part on their behalf and for their safety that we say NO to war.
  • We will stand in solidarity with individuals or groups whose civil rights are violated. We will not be silent.
  • We ground ourselves in the core teachings and practices of peace and justice in our own faith tradition. From these sources we gain strength, wisdom, courage and compassion for all.
  • We come from diverse faiths; therefore, our words and actions will be diverse. Our activities may range from meditation and prayer vigils to political action, and, if discerned necessary, include acts of civil disobedience. Each of us will participate according to our own conscience. We respect, celebrate and learn from this diversity.

We base all our thoughts and prayers, words and actions on the conviction that only love will overcome hatred, only justice will lead to peace, and as people of faith we are called to build a just and peaceful world.

Participating Congregations and Organizations:



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