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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The Drones Quilt Project

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MVPJ has joined with several local organizations and congregations in sponsoring 3 months of local displays of The Drones Quilt Project. The purpose of this effort is to raise awareness about the immoral and tragic use of weaponized drones by the United States, which is responsible for the injury and death of hundreds of people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Each block of each quilt bears the name of a drone victim, and was created by a different individual, humanizing the victims and showing the connection between all human beings.

In Palo Alto, quilts will be on exhibit from January-March at various times in different congregations, including First Congregational Church, Unitarian Universalist Church, and two Catholic Churches.  On Wednesday, January 13, 7pm there will be a display, reception and discussion featuring the quilts at the Los Altos Library. Click here for more information.

 
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Learn how Muslims celebrate their holidays: 2nd EID FESTIVAL

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Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice is delighted to co-sponsor the 2nd annual EID Festival - a holiday to build a beloved community.

Saturday, Dec. 19, 1-4:30pm
First United Methodist Church, 625 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto

Free Pakistani food.
Cultural experiences with ethnic dresses, Mehndi (Henna), and bangles for girls.
Nasheed (Spiritual singing)

All faiths encourage their follwers to love their neighbors. To love our neighbors, we must know our neighbors.

Free event. Register at 222.eventbright.com search for Eid Festival (celebration of Muslim holidays).

Sponsored by the American Muslim Voice Foundation. 

 
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Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

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The Blessing of Water
Balancing God's Gift and Our Responsibility

Sunday, Nov. 22, 7pm
Congregation Etz Chayim
4161 Alma St., Palo Alto, CA

Featuring:
Gordon Stewart Peninsula Trombone Choir
Storytellers - Tom and Sandy Farley
Leaders from the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu Faith Communities
Dancers from a variety of cultures

 
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Statement from Rabbi Michael Lerner

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After Paris: A World that has Lost its Ethical Direction
November 15, 2015

For many years, we at Tikkun and the Network of Spiritual Progressives have warned that the domination and power-over strategies to achieve “homeland security” have been tried for over 7,000 years and all they have produced is more wars and violence, interspersed with short periods of peace that have, with the help of the sensationalist and natioanlist  media and professional apologists for the existing inequalities, managed to hide from public view the degree of covert structural violence that every system of inequality and domination embodies.

 
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MVPJ Responds to Paris Attacks

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As in 9/11, the terrorists responsible for the tragic events in Paris are succeeding far beyond their wildest dreams of sowing fear and hatred among all the nations in the West.  The various responses – such French President François Hollande calling the attacks an "an act of war" to which France will respond without pity – are understandable, but play directly into the terrorists' hands.

What is really hard to understand are the calls to block the entry of Syrian refugees – particularly Muslim refugees.  What better way could be imagined to demonstrate that terrorists claim that the West is waging a "War on Islam", thereby recruiting an even larger number of disaffected Muslim youth?

Even worse, if we succumb to Islamophobia to the extent that we actually close our doors and our hearts to people at a time of great need, we will be betraying the love of mercy and justice that is at the core of our country's Judeo-Christian tradition.  From time to time, every nation faces a test to see if it can live up to its ideals.  This is one such test.  We call upon everyone to resist the xenophobic fear-mongering and stand for the principle that our country proclaims so solemnly that all people are created equal.
 

A Prayer for this Week

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Holy One,

We pray for all people and places that have experienced the terror of violence this week as the aftershocks of fear and grief reverberate through bodies and buildings:

For the 43 people in Beirut and the 129 in Paris who were killed by Daesh;

For the people who survived and are now grieving the loss of people they love—parents, children, lovers, spouses, friends, siblings;

For the untold number of Syrians who have died in retaliation attacks;

For Muslims around the world who are targets of renewed and vicious Islamaphobia; 

We want peace for these people and places, but we do not know how to achieve it. Help us to see with clarity how our own country’s actions have contributed to the violence we see and mourn in the world this week. Let our collective mourning and sense of solidarity drive us deeper into the work for peace in our own country, and let us not feel angry only at Daesh, but also at the political policies and realities that engender extremism.

by Emily Brewer of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship

 
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Some Actions for this Week

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"A time comes when silence is betrayal, and that time has come for us."

As people of faith and goodwill, we cannot remain silent when violence leads to more violence, tragedy leads to more suffering, and fear leads to injustice and hatred. As people of faith and goodwill, we are called to compassion, to courage, to solidarity, and to peace. In the midst of retaliatory bombing, hatefilled rhetoric and egregious calls to close our borders in the midst of one of history's most tragic human refugee crisis, organizations with whom MVPJ has long worked suggest some of the following actions.

  • The Friends Committee on National Legislation reminds us that a response based on fear will not lead to security or peace. As we hear calls from members of Congress, governors and candidates to shut the door on Syrian refugees, FCNL invites us to urge all of our elected officials to welcome Syrian refugees who are fleeing violence at home.  Call, write, email, or use this online letter-writing form provided by FCNL.
  • The Fellowship of Reconciliation writes, "In the face of such a global crisis of violence, we may be tempted to give up our agency to larger actors of states,... If we were to do this, not just our democracy but also our souls would be at stake." FOR directs us to George Lakey's fascinating article, 8 ways to defend against terror nonviolently, published in Waging Nonviolence (a website worth knowing about!).
  • Peninsula Peace & Justice has an Urgent Action Alert in response to Senator Dianne Feinstein's statements calling for increased military action and troops in Syria and Iraq.  PPJC invites us to email Senator Feinstein personally, and to sign PPJC's letter, urging strong statements instead for sanctuary and care for Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
  • Letters to the Editor and op-eds are other very important ways to lift up voices of compassion and peace. Don't be shy!

As we mourn and pray for the people of Paris, let us also pray for Beirut, where 43 people were killed in a terrorist attack the day before those in Paris, for Bagdad, where 26 people were killed in violent bombings, and Syria, where children, women and men are now facing drastically increased deadly air strikes.

 
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9/11 Peace Picnic in San Jose

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Let us unite to honor the victims of 9/11, their families and first responders as we strive to transform this tragic day into one of peace & community building.

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

Please join us with your family and friends for this Peace Picnic on Friday September 11th, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm at 70 W. Hedding St, San Jose.

This event is free and open to ALL. You will enjoy gourmet vegetarian, cheese and halal chicken pizza, a Multifaith Service and children’s performances. We invite you, your friends and family members to be a part of this peace and community building event.

 
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Campaign Nonviolence Week of Action: September 20-27

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Abolish War
End Povery and Racism
Reverse the Climate Change

Take action this week to build a better world by participating in any of these local events:

Sermon: "Whose Lives Matter?" - Sunday, Sept. 20, 10am, First Congregational Church, 1985 Louis Rd., Palo Alto. This sermon by the Rev. Eileen Altman will begin Campaign Nonviolence local Week of Action by exploring issues of justice.

"White Like Me" Documentary and Discussion: Tuesday, Sept. 22, 7pm, First Congregational Church, 1985 Louis Road, Palo Alto. This 1 hour film by Tim Wise on race and privilege will be followed by a discussion on issues of race, racism and white privilege.

Climate Justice: Response to Pope's Congressional Address: Thursday, Sept. 24, 12Noon, Midpeninsula Media Center, 900 San Antonio Rd., Palo Alto. Join the studio audience immediately following Pope Francis' message to the U.S. Congress. Hear a panel of local and religious climate activists, and live reports from Washington D.C.'s Catholic Climate Covenant activists and members of the Moral Action on Climate team.

Protest Nuclear Weapons at Lockheed Vigil: Friday, Sept. 25, 12-1pm, Lockheed Space Systems at Mathilda Ave. and Lockheed Martin Way, Sunnyvale.  In this silent, nonviolent vigil we will stand in witness against the destruction and death perpetrated by Lockheed Martin - the largest manufacturer and exporter of military weapons.

Quaker Harvest Festival: Saturday, Sept. 26, 9am-4pm, 957 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto. This annual fair with music, food, plant and book sales benefits the Friends Committee on Legislation for California, which advocates for peace and justice issues in our state.

Sermon: "A Subtle Voice" - Sunday, Sept. 27, 9:30 & 11am, Unitarian Universalist Church, 505 East Charleston, Palo Alto. Recognizing that religion can both stimulate and counteract violence, Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern will ask, what are our religion's resources for un-making violence.

Labyrinth Peace Walk: Sunday, Sept. 27, 10:30am-12:45pm, Unitarian Universalist Church, 505 East Charleston, Palo Alto. In honor of the U.N. Peace Day (9/21) and concluding Campaign Nonviolence Week of action, come walk the labyrinth with your wish for peace and nonviolence.

 
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Climate Justice: Responses to Pope Francis' Address to Congress

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Pope Francis will speak to a joint session of Congress on Thursday, September 24.  Join the studio audience with local and national religious and environmental activists to discuss his address.

Thursday, Sept. 24, 12 Noon
Midpeninsula Media Center
900 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto

Local panelists in the studio will include Debbie Mytels, Peninsula Interfaith Climate Action; Katia Reeves, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Parish Green Committee; and Paul George, Peninsula Peace and Justice Center.  Live reports from Washington D.C. will come via Skype or conference calls with members of the "Catholic Climate Covenant" and "Moral Action for Climate" directly following the Pope's address.

Pope Francis' encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si, challenges us all to hear both "the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor." 

"The entire material universe speaks of God's love....  Soil, water, mountains - everything is, as it were, a caress of God." 

 
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