Topics

Participating Congregations and Organizations
  • American Muslim Voice
  • Beyt Tikkun Synagogue
  • 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)
  • Trinity Church in Menlo Park (Episcopal)
  • Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto
  • West Bay Chapter, Buddhist Peace Fellowship

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Unity Rally

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Saturday, June 10, 11am
Stevens Creek Blvd. between Winchester and Santana Row, San Jose

Join religious and community organizations as we stand up for justice and friendship in a UNITY RALLY.  ACT for America, a grassroots anti-Muslim organization that has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is coordinating dozens of anti-Muslim protests around the country this Saturday, including one in Santa Clara, CA.  Our UNITY RALLY will lift up a positive message message of inclusivity and diversity, standing in solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers, and speaking out for the core tenets in all faith traditions of truth, respect and love of neighbor near and far.

Please plan to arrive and leave as you are able. There will be no program. 
We will stand as witnesses for inclusivity, justice, and the beauty of human diversity in community.

A large turnout will be a strong witness for love.

Gather on Stevens Creek Blvd. between Winchester and Santana Row, in front of Crate & Barrel and The Container Store, San Jose.
(Look for the orange construction tape. That's where we belong.)

We will gather from a variety of spiritual paths and walks of life, from communities around the bay area, to celebrate the friendship and respect that we hold dear. While hate must never stand unchallenged, the intent of the UNITY RALLY is not confrontational, but to affirm the unity in the midst of diversity which is the strength of our communities.

How you can get involved:

  • Spread the word in your communities and congregations.
  • Share the event on Facebook.
  • Click here to download a flyer and distribute widely!
  • Sign the "Statement Against Hate" as an individual and/or organization by using this google form. Click here for a clean and final copy of the "Statement Against Hate." (There are some typos on the google form.)
  • Ask your congregation or organization to co-host the rally, and register that by on this google form. Co-hosting means you will be listed as an organization co-host of the vigil, to send a strong message that our region stands against hate. (To see a recent list of co-hosts (there are LOTS but they keep coming in), click "Read More.")
  • Come to the rally! See suggestions below to visually demonstrate our unity.

Pictures and Social Media: Please take and share lots of pictures. We will be using the #CounterACTHate hashtag on social media.

SUGGESTIONS TO SHOW UNITY AND INCLUSION:
- Bring flowers to give away
- Wear flowers
- Bring American flags
- Make LARGE white signs with bold black letters
- Signs should be positive and show what we believe IN

Please carpool if possible.

Religious leaders are encouraged to wear their clerical attire.

Please join Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice, the Council of American Islamic-Relations (CAIR-SFBA) and more than 120 other religious and community organizations this Saturday as we celebrate our UNITY! 

For more up to date information, visit the event Facebook page.

 
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Action Alert: Federal Budget Decisions Need to Support People Not War

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Congress needs to finalize our federal budget in the next few days. Urge your representative to say NO to increase Pentagon spending and YES to prioritizing programs that address human needs, support the vulnerable in our country and globally, and promote diplomacy and international cooperation.

CALL OR EMAIL YOUR CONGRESSPERSON! Click here for contact information.

For more background click below:

NETWORK (Advocates for Justice Inspired by Catholic Sisters) has an email link to urge Congress to work for a moral budget.

Friends Committee on National Legislation offers an analysis by Director Diane Randall: Too much on war. Not enough on peace.

Oxfam America explains that we need to call our Representatives to advocate for programs that save lives globally, especially when four famines are looming and millions face starvation.

 
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Pray with the Earth for Peace

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CELTIC RECHARGING OF OUR SOULS
Tuesday, April 25, 7:45-8:30pm
Trinity Church Chapel, 330 Ravenswood, Menlo Park

In candlelight, with Celtic harp and chant, ritual, reflections and readings from different faith traditions, this Celtic "recharge" is for people who follow different spiritual paths, those who are wondering and those who are wandering,  to come together for the strength to persist and work for peace!

In these troubled, troubling times,  we know we must be about loving our neighbor, welcoming the stranger, and walking humbly. 

But we need quiet time for renewal, for listening for the heartbeat of the One whom we call by many names. Please join us. It's free. 

Think of it as bath time for our souls.

 
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Syria Tragedies: Pray & Act for Peace

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The tragic war in Syria -- which has brought death and suffering to the Syrian people for six years -- reached a new heartbreaking low this week with the horrifying chemical weapons attack against a defenseless civilian population in Idlib Province, and the response of our government with unauthorized missle attacks on Syria’s Al Shayrat airfield. 

Many of our partner faith-based organizations have issued statements and calls to action in response to the ongoing war and most recent tragedies, condeming both the use of chemical weapons and the retaliatory attacks by the U.S. Especially during our Jewish and Christian holy days this week, MVPJ encourages us all to pray fervently for the people of Syria and speak out boldly for actions that will bring humanitarian relief and authentic peace.

The Fellowship of Reconciliation issued a statement calling for international diplomacy and global humanitarian aid while urging us to contact our Senators and Congressional Representatives and tell them that the military attacks only increase the dangers and intensify the humanitarian catastrophe in the region. Click here to read and act!

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) reasserts that "war is not the answer" and calls for efforts to stop the U.S. from escalating war. Click here to read their statement and respond to their action alert. They offer a conference call with experts on April 12 (click here to RSVP), and encourage face-to-face meetings with Congressmembers while they are in-district April 7-24.

The Pax Christi USA (Catholic) statement grieves the hearbreaking situation, reminding us of the truth that hate begets hate, violence begets violence.

 
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Tax Day Protest: No Pentagon Increa$e

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Money for Education, Environment, Health & Justice: NOT WAR!
Protest the huge increase in military spending!
Saturday, April 15, 12Noon
King Plaza at City Hall
(250 Hamilton, Palo Alto)

Stand for a budget that promotes human welfare - not war! The current administration is asking for an additional $54 billion for Pentagon spending, while it advocates cutting programs that support education, fair labor practices, health care, the environment, and much, much more.

 
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Stop New Ban on Muslims and Refugees

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This week a new Presidential Executive Order renewed the assault on refugees, especially those from Muslim-majority countries.  Friends Committee on National Legislation furnishes background on the ban. For CAIR's (Council on American Islamic Relations) analysis, press conference and links to the actual text, click here.

This is not who we are as Americans and contradicts the central values of our many religious traditions, all of which teach us to welcome the stranger, show compassion to those in need, and respect the dignity of all people. 

Please take a moment to do one or more – or all – of the following to oppose the new travel ban:


·      Call the White House comment line (202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414) and tell President Trump that you are profoundly opposed to this policy. Give the President a strong and clear message:  “As a person of faith, I oppose the refugee ban and believe we need to be doing more – not less – to support refugees. My faith moves me to show compassion to those in need and embrace the stranger as a moral imperative. My identity as an American leads me to insist that sheltering immigrants is one of our nation's proudest traditions.” HIAS (guided by Jewish values, working for the protection of all refugees) provides some script ideas and a follow-up electronic message option.

·      Call or write to your Congressional Representative and Senators. Click here for contact information for our local Congresspeople and Senators. The ACLU offers an easy process for emailing your senators, but calling always carries more impact. Do both!

·      Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper.  It is important to keep the public discourse about the injustice of this sort of action strong. We must not allow such discrimination and inhumane exclusion to become normal or acceptable. The Friends Committee on National Legislation has talking points, writing tips and contacts for local newspapers. Just click here
 
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Hands Around the Mosque

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Muslim Community Association
3003 Scott Blvd., Santa Clara, CA
Sunday, March 19, 4-6:30pm

Join with people of many faiths and walks of life, neighbors from near and far, for this Hands Around the Mosque event sponsored by American Muslim Voice and the Muslim Community Association of Santa Clara. Religious and community leaders will offer brief remarks as we stand in solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers.

Bring your whole family, friends and nieghborhood! This is a family event, and children are welcome! Tea and snacks will be provided.

Faith leaders are kindly requested to wear their religious attire for the event.

Please RSVP via Eventbrite by clicking here. This is very helpful for our planning, but not required. Also, please carpool if possible!

Strong multifaith and community participation will make this a meaninful and powerful gathering for everyone! Please spread the word!

 
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Family Book Event: Fred Korematsu Speaks Up!

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Sunday, March 19, 12noon
First Presbyterian Church
1140 Cowper Street., Palo Alto

Featuring authors Stan Yogi and Laura Atkins at this event open to children, families, adults, teachers, librarians and everyone else!

Fred Korematsu challenged the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans when few others did. A new children’s book, Fred Korematsu Speaks Up, explores this civil rights hero’s life and its relevance today.

Join authors Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi to learn about Fred’s lifelong fight for justice. They will read excerpts from the book, talk about the larger historical context, and lead a discussion about what people can do today to speak up for justice. This event is for children, families, teachers, librarians, and anyone who wants to join.

All ages welcome! Books available for sale and signing from Reach And Teach

 
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Multicultural Shabbat Dinner

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Community Shabbat Gathering for Solidarity and Friendship
Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto
Friday, April 28, 6-8:30pm

Multifaith, intergenerational and multicultural gathering with vegetarian dinner, music, children's activities and lively conversation. Meet neighbors, make friends, and learn about diverse traditions.

Registration required. Adults $10; Children $5 to cover costs. Click here to purchase tickets and make reservations.

 
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San Francisco Board of Supervisors Refuses to Make Muslim Registry

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San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance prohibiting the city using any resources to create, implement, provide investigation or information for, to enforce, or otherwise assist or support any government program requiring the registration of individuals on the basis of religion, national origin, or ethnicity, or creating a database of individuals on the basis of religion, national origin, or ethnicity. 

What a wonderful example of what we can work for in our cities and counties!

The news clip below gives a clear and strong outline of the ordinance.  (Sabiha Basrai, the person being interviewed, is the daughter of MVPJ Steering Committee members, too!)

 
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