Unleashing the Power of Interreligious Cooperation
The Interfaith Center at the Presidio welcomes, serves, and celebrates the diverse spiritual wisdom and faith traditions of the Bay Area and is networked with interfaith groups locally and globally. Located at the Post Chapel in the Presidio of San Francisco, ICP’s core activities include:
Developing local and global connections, and
Creating interfaith learning environments and resources.
Two key elements of our linking work are:
Bay Area Interfaith Connect: A monthly newsletter of events, opportunities, and reflection on things interfaith here in the Bay Area and around the World
This is the time of year when it seems that every organization doing worthy work is asking for your support, and ICP is no different. Many of you will soon receive a personal letter inviting you to contribute to our efforts. To be able to provide the services to the interfaith community in the Bay Area and to maintain our facility in a manner that guarantees both its safety and its beauty, we depend on friends like you to share our vision and support our ultimate cause: to bring peace and understanding to humankind, not only in San Francisco, but throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Please join us in our efforts to continue the dialogue with those who are different from us to help lead the way in bringing harmony and peace to our world.
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HOLIDAY MUSICAL CELEBRATION. On Sunday, December 17, at 4:00 pm, ICP will sponsor a program of drumming, storytelling, piano and vocal music to celebrate the holidays. “Celebrate with Music: Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa” will feature Aeeshah & Kokomon Clottey (djembe, song, story telling), Linda Baird (operatic soprano), Josephine Gandolfi (concert pianist), Deon Nielsen Price (composer/pianist) and Cantor Brian Reich (songs with guitar). Join us at the Presidio Chapel for some wonderful holiday celebration!
The concert is part of the 3rd Sunday Concert series at the Presidio Chapel. Upcoming concerts will offer: January 21- Chamber Music; February 18- African American Composers; March 18- Women Composers.
RECENT EVENTS AT ICP. Several memorable events took place during November at the Presidio Chapel:
November 4: Shoulder to the Wheel with Joanna Brooks. Brooks, a noted religious scholar and author, led an interactive conversation on White Supremacy, Mormonism, and the 40th Anniversary of the End of the Latter Day Saints Black Priesthood/ Temple Ban. See more.
November 11: Veterans Day Interfaith Service of Remembrance. Our annual observance of Veteran’s Day, with prayers from different traditions, special music, and a talk by Tyler Solorio of Swords to Plowshares. See more.
November 19: “Music Around the World for Saxophone and Piano” featured pianist Mary Au and saxophonist Chika Inoue in a program that included music from Japanese, German, Armenian, Belgian, and U.S. composers. A highlight was the piece “Behind Barbed Wire,” composed by Presidio resident Deon Nielsen Price, that told the story of the WWII Internment Camps by weaving together music, poetry written by internees and home movies from the era. See more.
SPRUCING UP THE CHAPEL. In October, the Presidio Trust began a project to repaint the Presidio Chapel and upgrade the parking area. You can see some photos of the work on our site.
NEW BOOK. Eternal Quest for Happiness: A Practical Guide to Fulfilling Dreams — could also have been called Looking for Happiness in All the Wrong Places: Simple Steps to Fulfilling Dreams. The authors — Aeeshah and ICP Board Member Kokomon Clottey— propose that we’re like a cat looking for its tail, going around and around in circles hoping to find what it already has. As they discussed in their earlier book Beyond Fear: Twelve Spiritual Keys to Racial Healing, the key to happiness is rooted in this wisdom: “The essence of our being is love.” The key point is that if we look at life through the lens of love, we inevitably find happiness. Available here.
URI MEMBERS TELECONFERENCE. The United Religions Initiative invites all its Cooperating Circle members and affiliates to join with like-minded interfaith activists and peacebuilders from all over the continent in a teleconference on December 5, 1:00 – 2:00 PST. This participatory call will be focused on conversations among participants for relationship-building, sharing and learning. We will also be joined by a special guest! URI’s Executive Director, The Rev. Victor Kazanjian, will join us to both listen to your sharing and offer words of encouragement and a brief update on the work of your fellow URI members around the world. North American Regional Coordinator Sari Heidenreich will also share exciting opportunities for you to stay connected to your fellow URI members in 2018. For full details and registration for the call go to the URI site.
RE-IMAGINING INTERFAITH. A conference in Washington, D.C., July 29-August 1, 2018, Re-Imagining Interfaith is a global gathering for grassroots activists and interfaith peacebuilders focused on skill-building, networking, and organizing. Training will be offered in 6 Program Tracks: Cultivating Inclusive Communities in the Face of Religious Discrimination; Community Organizing: Initiating and Sustaining Social Change Movements; Staying “Woke”: Recognizing Privilege, Challenging Systemic Oppression; Interfaith Organizing in a Changing Spiritual Landscape; Making a Movement: Building Skills to Bring Interfaith to the Next Level.
Co-sponsored by numerous diverse organizations, including Religions for Peace-USA, Shoulder-to-Shoulder, World Congress of Faith, the Interfaith Funders Group, the International Association for Religious Freedom and multiple faith communities. Early bird registration is available until December 14. See details and registration at www.reimagineinterfaith.org/
THE INTERFAITH OBSERVER. The Interfaith Observer (TIO) is an independent internet journal about all things interfaith. Interfaith is a global movement, but sometimes we can get so caught up in our own local and national contexts that we forget to take a global perspective. We are also limited by language barriers and what our news sources choose to publish. For these reasons, TIO has chosen to focus on Africa, a continent with vibrant interfaith initiatives, but of which we seldom hear about. Enjoy! –TIO Team
NOTES & QUOTES: “Dialogue cannot exist, however, in the absence of a profound love for the world and its people.” “Dialogue cannot exist without humility.” – Paolo Friere…”A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.” – Abraham Joshua Heschel…”To see the other side, to defend another people, not despite your tradition but because of it, is the heart of pluralism.” – Eboo Patel
SEND US YOUR NEWS! We at Bay Area Interfaith Connect make every effort to include upcoming interfaith events in our monthly calendar (which is always available on our website). Please be sure to send information about your upcoming events to @. We’d also like to share what happened at your events or celebrations with the wider interfaith community. Got a story you’d like to share? Pictures from that latest gathering? Send them along and let everyone know what’s happening!
BAY AREA INTERRELIGIOUS CALENDAR
Our searchable new calendar page offers listings of interfaith opportunities for learning, celebration, taking action, and celebrating the diverse religious traditions of the Bay Area. The calendar can be viewed as a list, as a monthly calendar page, or by the week.
MULTIFAITH CALENDAR. The 2018 Multifaith Calendar offers a quick and accurate reference to dates and descriptions of approx 240 culturally relevant observances and holidays for 14 world religions (including religious accommodation references), plus many additional public holidays, UN events, etc. The MFC also includes a carefully selected collection of stunning original art. It’s available from the Interfaith Marketplace for $14.95 plus shipping.
DEALING WITH DISASTERS. The recent hurricanes in the Southeast and the fires in the Bay Area have raised awareness of the role that religious communities may be called upon to play during times of disaster. Preparing for the impact of a disaster both on the religious community and its facilities and for the call on the community for relief and support for the wider population are things to consider before disaster strikes. Two resources with suggestions and resources for considering your own preparedness are the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (http://www.n-din.org/) and Disasters and Faith Based Organizations (https://disastersandfaith.com/).
NEW CONTEMPLATIVES SCHOLARSHIP. Applications are now available for the 2018 New Contemplatives, a scholarship and award from Spiritual Directors International that creates opportunities for spiritual guidance and contemplative formation for people in the first half of their lives. New Contemplatives will receive a full scholarship plus hotel and a travel stipend for the Spiritual Directors International Seeking Connection conference in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, April 26-29, 2018. SDI seeks candidates that reflect the human diversity on our planet. Deadline for receiving applications is Friday, December 1, 2017. You must be a spiritual director (that we define broadly) with at least one year of experience to apply. Please see this post for a list of defining characteristics for an authentic spiritual director. http://www.sdiworld.org/blog/what-makes-good-spiritual-director
BAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT is sent each month to nearly 2,000 subscribers, and is available online at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.
About the Editor: D. Andrew Kille is director of Interfaith Space in San Jose, working to develop and strengthen interfaith relations throughout the Bay Area. Send your calendar items, comments and suggestions to @. We try to keep the ICP Update and Calendar as current as we can, but if you want your item included in the monthly newsletter, it needs to be in our hands a week before the end of the month.
As part of the ICP 3rd Sunday Concert series, Chika Inoue and Mary Au presented “Music Around the World for Saxophone and Piano” to an enthusiastic crowd of 45-50 music lovers on Sunday, November 19th.
With Chika Inoue on saxophone and Mary Au at the piano, the concert featured music from Japanese, German, Armenian, Belgian, and U.S. composers.
One piece, “Behind Barbed Wire,” portrayed the terrors of war and what happened to Japanese Americans post-EO9066, through a combination of music, Haiku and Tanka poems written by internees, and video with home movie camera footage. It was written by Deon Nielsen Price, a widely performed and recorded composer and pianist, who is now a resident of the Presidio.
The Interfaith Service of Remembrance sponsored by ICP on Veterans Day, November 11, included prayers from different traditions, music by local musician Brian Vouglas, a message of greeting from the office of Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi, and a reflection from Tyler Solorio of Swords to Plowshares.
Left to right: Gerry Caprio, Alex Lazar, Congressional Aide representing the Democratic leader of the House Nancy Pelosi, Brian Vouglas, actor and musician, Sensei Elaine Donlin (Buddhist Church of San Francisco), Erich Sylvester, musician, Tyler Solorio from Swords to Plowshares, Rita Semel and Camilla Smith in front.
On November 4, noted scholar and author Joanna Brooks presented an interactive talk on White Supremacy, Mormonism, and the 40th Anniversary of the End of the Latter Day Saints Black Priesthood/ Temple Ban.
Brooks is the author of The Book of Mormon Girl and editor of Mormon Feminism, among others. Her presentation was co-sponsored by the Interfaith Center at the Presidio and the Bay Area Mormon Studies Council.
The recovery from the Northern California wildfires will continue for the foreseeable future as our prayers and support continue to flow toward all those affected. Below are ways you can give or receive help in the wake of last month’s wildfires.
Offer Spiritual/Emotional Support in Santa Rosa: An opportunity for clergy and counselors to offer support that is coordinated by The Salvation Army. For more information, click on the link above or contact Captain Anthony Barnes at (623) 692-1868.
REMEMBERING VETERANS: Fighting ceased at the end of World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars and became Veterans Day.
Since 2011, the Interfaith Center at the Presidio has offered an Interfaith Service of Remembrance, with music, prayers, and silent reflection on Veterans through the years. This year the observance will take place on Saturday, November 11, 11:00 am at the Presidio Chapel, 130 Fisher Loop, Presidio, San Francisco [map].
Ordained Clergy/Mental Health Professionals Asked to Self Organize as Pastoral Care Teams for Fire Victims
The City of Santa Rosa has requested help with their repopulation efforts of neighborhoods affected by the recent, and ongoing, catastrophic fires. The City has requested Pastoral Care and Mental Health teams to be made available this Wednesday through Sunday (October 18 – 22), 8 am – 5pm, to be present as areas open up one by one. During this time only residents and approved support personnel will be allowed into neighborhoods.
*Please note that this is a tentative schedule as any opening of affected areas is on approval for safety by CAL Fire.
Teams of 3-5, ordained ministers or licensed mental health professionals moving together through neighborhoods offering emotional support to persons in area. Please note that even those with houses still standing may be deeply affected by this incident.
Teams once formed will register the Emotional and Spiritual Care Officer (contact listed below). They will be given directions and a time to meet for the opening they are assigned to assist with. Teams can register for multiple days. Please register as soon as possible; people must be registered and vetted to be allowed in. Vetting will be a simple verification of the team’s association with the Congregation or Organization they claim affiliation with.
Once the restrictions on neighborhoods have been lifted, and public access is granted, teams can assist as they are moved to do so; many opportunities to help those affected by this fire exist well after this initial effort is concluded.
Fighting ceased at the end of World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars and became Veterans Day.
Please join us for an Interfaith Service of Remembrance
Saturday, November 11, 11:00 am