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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Singalong Concert: Rise Up & Rise Again!

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Rise Up and Rise Again!
Singalong Concert with Annie Patterson & Friends
TONIGHT: Saturday, Oct. 20, 8pm

Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
505 E. Charleston Rd., Palo Alto

Join us for an evening of song and inspiration at this concert which is a benefit for Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice!

Patterson is co-creator of the songbooks Rise Up Singing and Rise Again! She will be joined by Mary Witt of The O-Tones.

Suggested donation: $15-30 at the door. Children/youth $5. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

For more information, click here.

Tickets can be purchased online, and will also be available at the door.

 
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Live Performance: THIS WAR IS NOT INEVITABLE

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THIS WAR IS NOT INEVITABLE
Play by Michael Hedley Burton
A Live Performance by Lightweight Theater
Wednesday, November 7, 7:30pm
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
This riveting new production offers compelling, human-centered answers
about inequality and society that give HOPE in these uncertain times.
 
Three ideas that can transform our world:
Freedom of Thought
Brother/Sisterhood in the Economy
Equality of Rights
 
"The ending was profound and moved me deeply" -- David Leighton, Campbill, California
"A MUST SEE, especially for the next generation" -- Kirsten Ramsden, Carmel, California

TICKETS: $27 General; $22 Seniors; $22 Educators; $15 Students
PURCHASE: Walk-up or Phone 650-903-6000 ($3 fee) or online at mvcpa.com (variable fee)

Click here for more information about the play, background and videos.

 
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Sept. 11 Multifaith Peace Picnic and Prayers

Mark this day for peace, justice and hope!
Tuesday, September 11, 7-8:30m
King Plaza, 250 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto


Multifaith Peace Picnic - 7pm.
Sponsored by American Muslim Voice, MVPJ and many other Peace Partners
Food, friendship, and a short program including children singing and messages of hope and inclusion

Multifaith Peace Prayers - 8pm
A brief service of prayers, music and rituals from diverse faith traditions, marking the end of the Jewish Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah at 8:11pm, and concluding by 8:30pm with a candlelight vigil.
 
Everyone welcome!
 
RSVP: The event is free and open to all, but your RSVP for the picnic will really help us plan! Please let us know you are coming by clicking on this Eventbrite page!
 
Use our Facebook event page to share and show your interest.
 
VOLUNTEER FOR SET-UP and/or CLEAN-UP:  Click here to volunteer to help with set-up from 6:30-7pm and/or clean-up 8:30-9pm! We need a few people to arrive by 6:30pm (please allow ample time for parking, which can be a challenge!) to help set-up chairs and tables, etc., and others to stay after the program to stack chairs, gather recylcing and garbage, etc. Thank you!
 
Click below to download flyers. Please distribute widely! 
PDF flyer with blue background
PDF flyer on white for easier printing
JPEG flyer
 
Cohosts include: All Saints Episcopal Church, Palo Alto; American Muslim Voice; Anjuman-e-Jamali (San Jose Muslim Organization); Baha'i Community of Palo Alto; Bend the Arc: A Jewish Parnership for Justice, South Bay Chapter; Berkeley Masjid (Mosque); Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos; Congregation Etz Chayim, Palo Alto; Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), San Francisco Bay Area; First Baptist Church, Palo Alto; First Congregational Church, Palo Alto; First Lutheran Church, Palo Alto; First Presbyterian Church, Palo Alto; First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto; Human Concerns Committee of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Parish, Palo Alto; Keddem Congregation; MVPA (Mountain View/Palo Alto) Musalla (Muslim Mosque); Muslim Community Association of the San Francisco Bay Area; Oshman Family Jewish Community Center; Palo Alto Buddhist Temple; Peninsula Solidarity Network; Region 7, Sathya Sai International Organization USA; SiVIC (Silicon Valley Interfaith Council); South Bay Islamic Association; SPARK Church, Palo Alto; St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Palo Alto; Stanford Memorial Church and the Office for Religious Life; Trinity Church in Menlo Park (Episcopal); Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto; Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Los Gatos; Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Sunnyvale, Social Justice Team; University AME Zion Church, Palo Alto; University Lutheran Church, Palo Alto.

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MVPJ Activity at the RISE march Sept. 8 in San Francisco

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Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice is one of the co-sponsors for RISE for Climate, Jobs and Justice. On the morning of September 8, we will go to San Francisco to join other peace and justice organizations in the Bay Area in the largest climate march the West Coast has ever seen.

The core concern of the march is for climate justice:

  • No new fossil fuels
  • A  just and fair transition to 100% renewable energy

However, there are additional contingents that will represent related concerns. Two of these connect particularly to MVPJ activities. Please note that the Faith Contingent and the No Nukes contingent (see details on each below) will be marching side by side, so you can join one and visit the other as you march!

1.  The Faith Contingent, organized by California Interfaith Power and Light, will spotlight the commitment of leaders of faith communities to the cause.  They will gather at 9:15 am at Ferry Park for a multi-faith prayer service, Shabbat service and send off. Then they will re-group across the street at the designated place in the march line-up at Embarcadero Plaza.  The march begins at 11:00, goes up Market Street, and ends with a resource fair and creation of the largest street murals project. Religious headwear, clerical collars, stoles, banners, shirts and signs that proudly celebrate your religious community's participation are all warmly encouraged! It will be helpful to RSVP for the Faith Gathering by clicking here.

2.  The No Nukes! No Wars! No Warming! Contingent will focus on the twin existential threats posed by climate change and nuclear weapons.  This contingent is sponsored by the Western States Legal Foundation, the SF Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility, Tri-Valley CAREs, and the Livermore Conversion Project, an umbrella group of dozens of organizations. Gather at 10am in front of the Vaillancourt Fountain in Embarcadero Plaza. (From Embarcadero BART station walk to the end of Market St. facing the Ferry building and turn left.) Look for the " March for Nuclear Abolution and Global Survival" banner. This contingent will march in section 3 of the march, "We Rise for Democracy." Use their Facebook page for more information, and to help spread the word. RSVP for this contingent by clicking here.

Hope you will join in this event in whatever way fits for you! We recommend using using public transportation – Caltrain, BART, etc.

 

 
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Hiroshima & Nakasaki Commemorations: Nuclear Disarmament Resources & Actions

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Observe the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6 and 9, 1945) in prayer, study and actions for global survival.

March for Nuclear Abolition & Global Survival: Mon., Aug. 6, 8am at Livermore Lab. Program features Daniel Ellsberg (famed whistleblower and author), Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka (atomic bomb survivor), and Professor Christin Hong (UC Santa Cruz expert on Korea). Click here to download flyer with full information.

Atomic Homefront (Film): Monday, Aug. 6, 6:30-9pm, Rinconada Library, Embarcadero Room, 1315 Newell Road., Palo Alto. Documentary about the failure of the federal government and corporate oversight to properly safeguard radioactive waste dumped in the Westlake landfill in St. Louis, Missouri, and how a concerned group of women galvanized the community to fight for clean-up of the site. Sponsored by the local chapter of Women's International League for Peace & Freedom.

Nuclearn Disarmament Resource Guide for Religious Leaders and Communities: Published by Religions for Peace. Click here to download.

Nuclear Remembrance and Action Week Guide: Includes 10 ideas for action. Click here.

Global List of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Commemoration Events: Peruse this online collection of 2018 events around the world! So inspiring! Posted by Abolition 2000, the global network to eliminate nuclear weapons.

 
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NEXT STEPS re: Stand with Muslims in Response to Supreme Court Decision

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More than 100 people gathered on June 26 at 5pm at the corner of Winchester and Stevens Creek in San Jose to protest the Supreme Court decision upholding the Muslim ban. The event was hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and co-hosted by MVPJ along with a multitude of other faith and civic organizations. Other rallies were held across the nation.

Click here for video analysis of the SCOTUS decision from CAIR.

WHAT DO WE DO NOW?

1) If you are not a Muslim, contact every Muslim you know to tell them that you care, that you stand in solidarity with them, and that we will fight this together.  Many Muslims now face not being able to have family members be with them for weddings, birthdays, at times of sickness or death and much more. It can be an excrutiatingly painful time. The Supreme Court decision also opens the door for more acts of discrimination and hate.  It can be a scary time, too.  We must remember that we belong together as one human family. Show your commitment today. Don't underestimate how important personal relationships are at this time!

2) If you are Muslim, reach out to those you trust for care and comfort and courage. Remember that you are not alone. We are in this together and for the long haul. Click here to read CAIR's "Know Your Rights" statement for important and updated information. The Family and Youth Institute has very helpful information about processing your own feelings and talking with your children, "Being a Muslim Family in the Time of the Muslim Ban."

3) Contact your members of Congress to tell them to stand up against the Muslim Ban and this decision. The Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers, FCNL) reminds us, "This ruling does not change the basic truth: the president's executive order immorally and intentionally targets Muslim citizens, immigrants, and visitors. The Supreme Court has said that the policy is permissible. But that doesn't make it right." Even if you think your Congressmembers agree with you, a call or email urges them to take leadership in the effort to rescind the ban. Click here to use the FCNL website to send a a letter -- or better yet, call directly!

4) If you use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, click here for these easy tools provided by CAIR to amplify the message via social media.

RELIGIOUS RESPONSES TO THE SCOTUS DECISION

United Church of Christ: "UCC Leaders Sickened, Angered by Supreme Court Ruling Upholding Muslim Travel Ban"

Roman Catholic: "Chairman of U.S. Bishops' Migration Committee and Religious Liberty Committee Express Disappointment with Supreme Court Ruling in Travel Ban Case"

 
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Faith Voices Speak Out on Border Policies AND Action Opportunities

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Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice (MVPJ) stands in solidarity with immigrants and refugees fleeing violence and injustice in their own countries and strongly condemns our government’s current policy of detaining indefinitely all immigrants crossing our southern border. Fleeing violence and injustice is not a crime, and people seeking asylum should not be treated as criminals before their cases are heard and evaluated. They should instead be able to seek safe refuge in this country. Keeping children in prison-like conditions, even if with their parents, is inhumane and will cause long-term damage to innocent children. Every faith represented in the MVPJ family abhors such practices and teaches its members to love their neighbors, to help those in need, to be kind and compassionate to all.

While the Presidential Executive Order issued June 20, 2018 demonstrates that widespread, sustained religious, political and civic protest can have an impact, it does not solve the problem. It does not include any plan to reunite more than 2000 children who have already been forcibly separated from their parents, but leaves those children lost in a massive human rights nightmare.  And it leaves in place the “zero-tolerance policy,” allowing children with their parents to be held in family prisons, perhaps indefinitely.

We hereby insist that our government immediately reunite those children and parents who have been separated from each other and establish a humane and expeditious process for immigrants crossing the border to apply for asylum. We call on government officials to listen deeply to the stories of these immigrants, to open their hearts to our common humanity, and to find a more compassionate and comprehensive approach to reforming our immigration system.  We speak out in the name of all our Steering Committee members and their congregations of many faiths.

Many religious leaders and communities have decried the policy of separating parents and children, and now imprisoning both. Read below for a list of statements, and possibilities for action. Click here for a careful explanation of the June 20, 2018 Executive Order by the Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quaker).

 
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Update on Haspel hearing: She is unable to say that torture is immoral!

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Please read this important report on Haspel's hearing Wednesday, May 9, from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT).

"Refusing to say that torture is immoral, after being asked repeatedly in her Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, is all you need to know to conclude that Gina Haspel is uniquely disqualified to serve as our next CIA Director." ~ Rev. Ron Stief, NRCAT

Haspel: A Moral Compass that Spins in Circles Around Torture

WASHINGTON, DC – During her hearing on Wednesday, May 9, CIA Director nominee, Gina Haspel, claimed to have a "strong moral compass" yet, when asked repeatedly by Senators Warner, Heinrich, Harris, and Reed, not once was she able to say that the CIA's torture program was immoral.

Rev. Ron Stief, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, responded to Ms. Haspel's moral confusion by saying:

"Ms. Haspel argued that the program was legal, she suggested that Congress had adopted the Army Field Manual as a 'stricter' moral standard, and she even suggested that waterboarding was inhumane if done by a terrorist but not if done by the CIA. She was never, though, able to say that waterboarding or any other act of torture was immoral. Ms. Haspel has conflated law with morality and seems to have a moral compass that is spinning in circles. Being unable to say that torture is immoral shows that she lacks the character necessary to stand up to the President and be an independent, moral CIA Director."

 
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Bystander Intervention Training

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What do you do if you are in a public place and witness hateful harassment?
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A BYSTANDER!

Wednesday, May 2, 7-9pm
St. Albert the Great Church
1095 Channing Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Click here for directions.

Gain tools and practice to be able to respond to hate incidents due to religion, ethnicity, sexuality, gender or any other factors.
Learn how to overcome the bystander effect and de-escalate the situation in a non-confrontational way.

Led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and sponsored by Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice, this is the first time this training will be presented in Palo Alto.

The workshop is free. Donations will be accepted at the event. 

Help us spread the word by sharing our Facebook page.

Click here to download a PDF flyer.  Click here to download a jpg flyer. 

Click here to read a San Jose Mercury News article about the workshop.

Everyone is welcome.
To register, complete the form below (click "Read more" if you don't see the form) and hit "Submit."
Registration is very helpful, but not required.

 
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UPDATED: Faith Coalition Condemns Nomination of Haspel for CIA due to Past Record on Torture

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IMPORTANT UPDATE: Haspel's hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee is schedule for Wed., May 9.
Please call your Senators every single day until the vote is taken.
One of California's own Senators, Diane Feinstein, is a particularly important contact - she has not said yet how she will vote!
CALL SENATOR FEINSTEIN every day and URGE HER TO VOTE AGAINST GINA HASPEL on deep moral grounds. 
Call Feinstein's office at 202-224-3841 or 415-393-0707 to say NO to Haspel!

March 13, 2018 NRCAT Press Release:
"With news that President Trump plans to nominate CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel to replace Mike Pompeo as CIA Director, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) reiterates its call for no new government jobs for torturers. Rev. Ron Stief, Executive Director, said, 'It is morally repugnant that a former head of a CIA torture site who helped destroy videotaped evidence of torture would be elevated to the role of CIA Director. Haspel cannot be trusted to follow the law nor represent our country's fundamental values of ethical government and transparency.'"

As a long-time member of NRCAT, Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice asks you to:
1) contact your Senators and urge them to VOTE NO on Haspel nomination. (See below for contact information for Senators Feinstein and Harris.)
2) sign NRCAT's petition to the U.S. Senate stating, "It is a moral outrage for someone who headed a CIA torture site and destroyed videotaped evidence of torture to become CIA Director. Stand up for our democracy and the rule of law by blocking President Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel as CIA Director." Click here to sign.

Read the April 27 ACLU article for more information about Haspel's involvement in the CIA "black site" in Thailand, the torture of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, and her involvement in ordering the destruction of CIA videotapes.  ACLU also joins several senators in questioning the CIA's unprecedented activities promoting Haspel's nomination. Read the May 4th article here.

More background material from the ACLU and a link to a letter signing page to U.S. Senators (where you can sign the letter as is or add your own comments) is provided by this Peninsula Peace & Justice Center action page. Or you may use the information below to contact California Senators directly. 


 
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