Participating Congregations and Organizations
  • American Muslim Voice
  • Bahá'í Community of Palo Alto
  • 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
  • Mountain View Buddhist Temple
  • Palo Alto Buddhist Temple
  • 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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Peaceful Presence January 11, 2021

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Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, 7pm

In light of the violence and brokenness we face
as individuals and as a nation,
this Peaceful Presence features
faith leaders from our local community calling us to
come together and move toward healing and justice.




Rev. Dean Koyama, Minister, Palo Alto Buddhist Temple
Dr. Mohammad Nadeem, President, Muslim Community Association of the Bay Area
Rev. Dr. Debra Murray, Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto
Rabbi Jonathan Prosnit, Associate Rabbi, Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos Hills
Music from the Baha'i and the Unitarian Universalist traditions

Gathering Musice begins at 6:55pm:
Pete Seeger singing "This Land is Your Land" at the "We Are One" Presidential Inaugural Concert in 2009

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End the Nuclear Era Palo Alto Street Vigil (with COVID safety precautions)

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The U.N Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
becomes international law on Friday, January 22.

VIGIL Supporting the Treaty
Friday, 1/22, 12noon-1:30pm
Corner of El Camino and Embarcadero in Palo Alto

Join this peaceful outdoor vigil/celebration in support of the U.N. treaty banning nuclear weapons!
Organized by the Peninsula/Palo Alto branch of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and co-sponsored by many peace groups, including MVPJ.
Why? Because this is a milestone moment on the road to nuclear disarmament!

Please wear appropriate masks and gloves and respect physical distance guidelines to help keep this vigil safe!

You are welcomed to bring signs supporting and celebrating this treaty -- and a nuclear weapon free world!

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Election Opportunities for Prayer & Nonviolent, Faithful Actions

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An unprecedented election in unprecedented times calls for prayer, peace and action. Here are some opportunities (some virtual and some on the streets) that MVPJ recommends.

The Days After Election Day

Friends (Quaker) Talk with an Election Expert: After the Elections, Now What?
Thursday, Nov. 5, 1pm PST
Join Diane Randall, director of Friends Committee on National Legislation online for a post-election day interview with Myrna Perez, director of voting rights and elections democracy at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School. Click here to register.

Protect the Results is a national movement organizing local actions after the election.
Click here to find updated information about events locally and all over the country.

Feed your Spirit with Ella's Song (We who believe in freedom cannot rest), by Bernice Johnson Reagan performed by San Jose State University Choirs. Click here for youtube performance.

Campaign Nonviolence (with whom MVPJ works closely) has a rich list of Election Action Suggestions

FAITH LEADERS are urged to sign this letter calling on the Supreme Court to ensure every vote is counted. Join Auburn Seminary, Bend the Arc, Faith in Public Life, Faith in Action and Sojourners. Note a faith leader? Then please reach out personally and urge the leader of your faith community to sign.


Rigged Virtual Screening and Live Q&A with film producer and local pastor

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Please join the Rev. Debra Murray (First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto) and film producer Mac Heller for a virtual sceening of the film Riggged: The Voter Suppression Playbook followed by live Q&A.

Sunday, September 20, 7PM (PDT)

Click here to register on the Eventbrite page and a Zoom link with be sent to you 48 hours in advance of the event.


Sept 11 Peaceful Presence: Multifaith Peace Picnic & Prayers (virtual of course!)

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Multifaith Peace Picnic & Prayers
Friday, Sept. 11, 5:30-6:45pm (NOTE EARLIER START TIME!)
Hosted by American Muslim Voice

Let us move from fear to friendship!

This annual event always hosted with American Muslim Voice will be held virtually this year.
5:30 - Multifaith Prayers and Program
Prayers from diverse faith traditions, poems for peace written and read by children, and featured speakers:
  - Rev. Dr. Emma Jordon-Simpson - Executive Director of Fellowship of Reconciliation
  - Nancy Meyer - Member of Peaceful Tomorrows and sister-in-law of 9/11 Flight victim Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas
  - Dr. Dot Maver - Peacebuilder, educator, co-founder of Global Silent Minute, National Peace Academy USA
Closing ceremony: Light the night for peace and justice

The ability to make our country safe,
secure, peaceful and
harmonious lies in our hands.

Everyone is welcome!
We invite you, your friends and your family
to be a part of this community building event.

Use the Zoom link below to join us!

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Extemporaneous Speech by Julia Jackson, Mother of Jacob Blake

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"I'm really asking and encouraging everyone in Wisconsin and abroad to take a moment and examine your hearts. Citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicans: do Jacob justice on this level and examine your hearts.

We need healing.

As I pray for my son's healing - physically and emotionally and spiritually - I also have been praying even before this for the healing of our country. 

God has placed each and every one of us here in this country because He wanted us to be here."

Click here to watch and hear Julia Jackson's full and very moving speech (August 25, 2020) on youtube.

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75th Anniversary of bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki

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"We are badly off course in efforts to honor the plea of the hibakusha -- the survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings -- and end the nuclear threat." -Kazumi Matsui, Mayor of Hiroshima

As people from diverse faiths, we have all been taught the intrinsic value of each human life, and the preciousness of all creation. And so it is we are all called - compelled - to speak out against the horrific destruction and death caused by nuclear weapons. We cannot ignore the stories of suffering and loss wrought upon our siblings in Japan 75 years ago, and we must do all within our power to end the threat of nuclear weapons.

See our August web calendar for a multitude of opportunities from August 2-9 to hear the voices of survivors, to pray for peace and the transformation of hearts and minds that allow us to continue to even contemplate such devastation, to discuss actions that will help lead our government and our world back on track for nuclear disarmament.

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Campaign Nonviolence National Conference Aug 6-8 Online

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Campaign Nonviolence National Conference
Embracing the Nonviolence Shift
Marking the 75th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

August 6: Online Vigil for Hiroshima and Nagasaki
(5pm PDT)
August 7: Online Nonviolence Training
(12Noon PDT)
August 8: Online Conference
(9am PDT)

CLICK HERE for full 3 day schedule and list of speakers.

Experience the wisdom of nonviolence visionaries, scholars and practitioners
Hear of concrete pathways to build a transformed world -- a world free of racism, poverty, war and environmental crisis.
In this time of great transition ushered in by a worldwide crisis, nonviolence offers us what we need right now: vision, strategies and practices that will equip us to live and lead in the direction of personal and societal transformation.

Featured speakers include Dr. Ira Helford, MD (Steering Committee of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) which was the recipient of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize), Roshi Joan Halifax (Upaya Zen Center), Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. (minister, activist, President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus), Rev. Richard Rohr (Center for Action and Contemplation, theologian, religious leader, author, Franciscan priest), Dr. Erica Chenowith (Harvard University, social scientist and scholar on nonviolence), and many others. Click here for full list of speakers. 

Registration Information:
August 6 Vigil - Free but registration required
August 7 Nonviolence Training - $20
August 8 Conference - $50
Student discounts 50% and other scholarships available.



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Digital MASS POOR PEOPLE'S ASSEMBLY this Saturday!

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A National Call for Moral Renewal
Mass Poor People's Assembly and
Moral March on Washington

is going digital
June 20, 2020 (7am & 3pm PDT)

On June 20th, the Poor People's Campaign will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. The Poor People's Campaign is a movement of tens of thousands of people across the country who are organizing to end the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. JOIN THEM NOW!


ON SATURDAY, JUNE 20, hear poor and impacted people testify about their experiences of systemic racism, poverty, militarism, immigration and more, introduced by activists and actors including Former Vice President Al Gore, Danny Glover, Erika Alexander, Jane Fonda, David Oyelowo, Wanda Sykes and Debra Messing.

The Mass Poor People's Assembly and Moral March on Washington is a 2.5 hour program that will be broadcast on SATURDAY, JUNE 20th, at 7am and 3pm PDT and again on Sunday, June 21 at 3pm PDT.

The Poor People's Campaign is organizing this gathering with more than 100 partner organizations including 16 religious denominations.

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Pastor Calls for Change in Palo Alto

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"Our country continues to contend with the horrific killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Across the country, people are exercising their right to protest against these injustices. As a country and a city, we must face the reality that we have systemic issues that disproportionately affect black people and that need to be addressed now," writes Rev. Kaloma A. Smith, pastor of University A.M.E. Zion Church and chair of the Human Relations Commission. (Click here to read the full Guest Opinion piece on Palo Alto Online.)

Rev. Smith's call for change was presented at the Palo Alto City Council Meeting on Monday, June 8. Click here to read the Palo Alto online June 9th article about that meeting.

All of us are asked to pray for our country, our cities, for change and for jusice. AND we are called to act. You can support changes in Palo Alto right now by doing these few simple things:

  • Email your city mayor, city manager, and council members in support of police reform!
  • Make public comments on community forums supporting calls for racial justice and BLM. Insist on the dignity and worth of black lives and all people of color. Lift up the need for change right here! Keep the conversation going.
  • Visit the #8cantwait website to learn about the campaign to make these 8 life-saving policies part of all police departments. Scroll down to find out  what policies your local police department has in place, and what need to be added. (If you city is not listed there, do the research yourself.) NOW start a campaign to make ALL OF 8 CAN'T WAIT POLICIES STANDARD PRACTICE IN YOUR LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT.
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