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Interfaith Center at the Presidio

Interfaith Center at the PresidioUnleashing 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
  • Bay Area Interreligious Calendar: Continually updated calendar of events in our area of interest to building relationships and connections to each other

Northern California Wildfires: How Can You Give/Receive Help?

From the Marin Interfaith Council:

Dear MIC Community,

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.

Give Help

In addition to donating to Redwood Credit UnionCenter for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership, Sonoma County Resilience Fund, and the Red Cross, there are many ways to offer support, including:

  • 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.

Resources for those Affected by the Fires

If you are aware of other organizations providing assistance, please contact our Administrative Assistant at .img@.img, and we will share these additional resources on our Facebook page.


BAIC November 2017

Bay Area Interfaith ConnectThe Interfaith Center at the Presidio links the power of interreligious cooperation by welcoming, serving, and celebrating the diverse wisdom and faith traditions of the Bay Area.

IN THIS ISSUE: Veterans Day | Commemorating Internment | Joanna BrooksChapel Tours  |Around the BayCompassion in the City | The Interfaith Observer| Parliament 2018 | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News | Bay Area Interreligious Calendar | Special Opportunities | Subscribe to BAIC

Interfaith Center at the PresidioNOVEMBER AT THE PRESIDIO CHAPEL

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].

Presidio Chapel

ICPCOMMEMORATING THE INTERNMENT: Chika Inoue, saxophone, and Mary Au, piano, in Concert. Featured will be “Behind Barbed Wire,” composed by Presidio composer Deon Nielsen Price, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the signing of EO9066, which led to the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese-Americans from 1942-1946. The story is told through music, narration of Haiku and Tanka poetry written by internees in the camps, and a documentary video with footage from the camps. Also music by Schubert, A. Waignein, Ryo Noda, & Komitas.

Sunday November 19, 2017, 3:00 pm at the Presidio Chapel, 130 Fisher Loop, Presidio, San Francisco [map]. Free admission and ample parking. More information here.

ICPJoanna BrooksSHOULDER TO THE WHEEL with Joanna Brooks. White Supremacy, Mormonism, and the 40th Anniversary of the End of the LDS Black Priesthood/ Temple Ban. An interactive Fireside with Joanna Brooks, award-winning scholar and author or editor of nine books about American culture, religion, and politics. She serves on the boards of several organizations for progressive people of faith.

Saturday, November 4, 7:00 pm at the Presidio Chapel, 130 Fisher Loop, Presidio, San Francisco [map]. Co-sponsored by the Interfaith Center and the Bay Area Mormon Studies Council.

ICPPresidio ChapelDOCENT TOURS OF PRESIDIO CHAPEL. The Open House/Docent Tours at the Presidio Chapel each Sunday from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm. Come and view the historic 33′ fresco painted by Victor Arnautoff, a protegé of Diego Rivera, and the stained glass windows created by Willemina Ogterop, the first woman stained glass artist west of the Mississippi to be inducted into the Stained Glass Artists Guild. Our docent, Daniel Johnson, serves to make your visit memorable and informative. The open house is listed on the Presidio Trust’s website with other guided tours. Learn more about the Presidio Chapel here and then plan to visit us and take a tour.


  • Communities across the nation were stunned by the news of the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas. Among the local councils sponsoring interfaith services of remembrance and calling for an end to the violence were the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County and Marin Interfaith Council. The San Francisco Interfaith Council invited people to respond to the tragedy by joining with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
  • Later in the month, the devastating fires in the North Bay Area devastated communities, leaving many people homeless and traumatized. The Marin Interfaith Council and the San Francisco Interfaith Council especially played important roles in mobilizing assistance from the religious communities for the victims. Marin Interfaith Council has provided a list of useful ways to give or receive assistance following the fires. The Interfaith Council of Sonoma County held a special interfaith Healing Service in Santa Rosa on October 25.

ICPCharter for CompassionCOMPASSION IN THE CITY. A new online course from the Charter for Compassion aims to invite participants to explore all aspects of city life and to examine how by working with our attitudes and habits we can find countless ways to transform whatever we meet into an opportunity to become more free, happy and compassionate. “How to Be Compassionate in Urban Society” is led by Maureen Cooper, founding director of Awareness in Action, an organization dedicated to showing people how to combine well-being and excellence in the work environment. An accomplished practitioner of Buddhist meditation, Maureen is the author of The Compassionate Mind Guide to Reducing Stress that brings together the best of modern science and the wisdom of the world’s ancient contemplative traditions into a practical manual for thriving in today’s insanely fast-paced world. The course begins November 5; cost is $95.

ICPThe Interfaith ObserverTHE INTERFAITH OBSERVER. The Interfaith Observer (TIO) is an independent internet journal about all things interfaith. Spirituality is beautiful. From within its diversity, it has the ability to touch the life of each person in some way. Given what we face today, we are in need of spirituality in our lives – moments to take a step back and marvel at the breathtaking aspects of nature and the unity present in the universe. Moments to remember our own interconnectedness with the universe and one another. This month’s issue of TIO offers a glimpse into the realm of spirituality. Enjoy! –TIO Team

ICPParliament of the World's ReligionsPARLIAMENT OF THE WORLD”S RELIGIONS
Toronto,  Canada
November 1-7, 2018

“The Promise of Inclusion & the Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change” will be the theme for the 125th anniversary gathering of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. The Parliament invites proposals for programs, presentations, and performances at the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions, to be held in November 1 – 7 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Why Toronto? Here’s a video tour of the religious diversity that Toronto enjoys:


A “deep ecumenism” “could be summed up as an exercise in acknowledging the Other, welcoming the Stranger and reconciling the Enemy. This is no wishy-washy liberalism or cheap ecumenism, soft on doctrine and willing to compromise. It is the ethical core of all genuine religion.” – Dr John D’Arcy May… “It’s not kumbaya, saying nice things about others’ religions. It’s painful and people wince a little, but an atmosphere is created where you can say what bothers you, and there is compassion and caring.” Rabbi Ron Kronish

ICPSEND 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 .img@.img. 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!


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.


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  

COUNTERING THE “MUSLIM BAN.” The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, a national effort to stand against prejudice against Muslims has developed an Interfaith Toolkit with information and guidelines for groups that want to take action against the newest version of the Muslim ban. The toolkit can be found here.

FRANK v. GOD FILM: “Frank vs. God” is a comedy that asks the big questions with a light-hearted tone and an open mind. The film is an uplifting story of one man’s search for answers, by taking them to a higher court. “Great for interfaith discussions of all kinds. It sets a wonderful model for interfaith relations, as it shows leaders of all religious groups working together.” –Rabbi Mark Glickman, Congregation Kol Ami. Available on DVD and through streaming video; see details at www.frankvsgod.com/

ICPBAY AREA INTERFAITH CONNECT is sent each month to nearly 2,000 subscribers, and is available online at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.

Subscribe to BAIC

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 .img@.img. 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.

Pastoral Care Teams for Fire Victims

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.

For more information, click here.

Interfaith Service of Remembrance

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.

Presidio ChapelPlease join us for an Interfaith Service of Remembrance
Saturday, November 11, 11:00 am
Presidio Chapel

details here

Prayers for the people of Las Vegas

Interfaith Peace Vigil for Las Vegas
October 3 @ 5:30 pm7:00 pm, Concord


Following the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the Interfaith Center at the Presidio joins with people across the nation in grieving the victims, offering our prayers, and rededicating ourselves to the task of building relationships of respect and peace among the fractured communities of our nation.

As a  Cooperating Circle of the United Religions Initiative, we share the vision expressed by URI Executive Director Rev. Victor Kazanjian, Jr.:

If we do not allow ourselves to feel this sadness, to really grieve, then our fears and pain turn instead to grievance. Who is to blame? How can I get my revenge? The world seems locked in an endless cycle of grievance. Grievance is the fuel of terrorists. One act of violence fuels another act of violence and the cycle continues, day after day, generation after generation.

But we who work for peace are dedicated to breaking this cycle. First we weep, for those whose lives are lost. We weep for their families and friends and communities who grieve. We weep and then we work. Our sadness leads not to paralysis, but to a deeper commitment to work for peace in our communities, in our countries and in our world.

We will post information about any vigils or events that we know of being planned in the Bay Area; if your group is planning an event, please send details to .img@.img.

The URI has resources to help groups planning interfaith ceremonies.



BAIC October 2017

Bay Area Interfaith ConnectThe Interfaith Center at the Presidio links the power of interreligious cooperation by welcoming, serving, and celebrating the diverse wisdom and faith traditions of the Bay Area.

IN THIS ISSUE: International Day of Peace Events | URI Global Leadership in SarajevoChapel Tours  |Around the BayNAINConnect 2017 Photos| The Interfaith Observer| Parliament 2018 | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News | Bay Area Interreligious Calendar | Special Opportunities | Subscribe to BAIC

Interfaith Center at the PresidioINTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE EVENTS

The Interfaith Center was host to two special events in the Presidio Chapel marking the United Nations International Day of Peace. The September 21st service honored the 20th anniversary of “Mines to Vines,” a project of Roots for Peace to convert former battlefields to productive farmland. Heidi Kuhn, Executive Director of Roots for Peace, was the keynote speaker.

She was joined by leaders from Baha’i, Brahma Kumari, Buddhist, Catholic, Greek Orthodox,  Jewish, Latter Day Saints, Muslim, and Unitarian communities. The full program is available here. The San Francisco Interfaith Council and United Religions Initiative co-sponsored the event.

International Day of Peace ParticipantsOn Sunday, September 24, Victoria Rodriguez, Darryl Taylor, and Deon Nielsen Price, accomplished musicians and performers, joined their talents to present “To the Children of War,” based on poetry by Maya Angelou, along with other music by Chopin, Debussy and Deon Price. Their aim was to offer soulful music for voice and piano that addresses society’s unrest and can bring peace to the listener.

Continue reading

BAIC September 2017

Bay Area Interfaith ConnectThe Interfaith Center at the Presidio links the power of interreligious cooperation by welcoming, serving, and celebrating the diverse wisdom and faith traditions of the Bay Area.

IN THIS ISSUE: International Day of Peace | Responding to HateChapel Tours Around the Bay| Parliament 2018 | Notes & Quotes | Send Us Your News | Bay Area Interreligious Calendar | Special Opportunities | Subscribe to BAIC


September 21 again marks the International Day of Peace, declared by the United Nations and observed in many ways all around the world. This year’s theme is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”

A celebration of International Peace Day will take place at the Presidio Chapel, honoring the Roots of Peace “Mines to Vines” project that works to remove landmines and restore the soil with bountiful vineyards & orchards in war-torn regions worldwide. Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 4:00 pm, Presidio Chapel, 130 Fisher Loop, Presidio, San Francisco. Sponsors include ICP, the San Francisco Interfaith Council, and United Religions Initiative.

Learn more about the International Day of Peace, see a map of observances planned, and the U.N. “Join Together” program at internationaldayofpeace.org/

Continue reading

Love Lives in Marin

On Friday, August 25 over 350 people gathered at Congregation Kol Shofar in
Tiburon for “Love Lives in Marin”, an interfaith prayer service,
co-sponsored by the Marin Interfaith Council. The service included singing,
words of encouragement from local faith leaders, time for attendees to pair
up and offer mutual support, prayer and meditation. The evening concluded
with children lighting candles as participants sang and stood in solidarity
with each other.

The interfaith service was the first “Love Lives in Marin” event, which is
an initiative of the Marin Interfaith Council. It was inspired by a pastoral
visit by 40 rabbis from across the nation, including Rabbi Susan Leider of
Congregation Kol Shofar, to Whitefish, Montana, where a similar initiative
arose in response to anti-Semitic attacks aimed at the local Jewish
community. Businesses, civic leaders, and leaders from other faith
traditions rose up in solidarity with the Jewish community to oppose hate
and promote love and inclusion.

During Friday night’s service, Rabbi Leider said, “What is an attack on one
is an attack on all.” She explained the purpose of Love Lives in Marin is
to change the public discourse, create a community where all are welcome,
and “rise above the fray and speak for those whose voices aren’t uplifted.”

Other faith leaders who spoke or sang at the interfaith prayer services
included Rabbi Chai Levy, Congregation Kol Shofar; Ebrahim Nana, Islamic
Center of Mill Valley; Rev. Bethany Nelson and Rev. Rob McClellan,
Westminster Presbyterian Church; Rev. Scott Quinn, Marin Interfaith Council;
Rev. Yolanda Norton, Professor at San Francisco Theological Seminary; Rev.
Shokuchi Carrigan, Green Gulch Farm Zen Center; and Rev. Veronica Goines,
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

Each faith leader emphasized the evening’s central message that our faithful
response to hate is not only resistance but also to stand up for the values
promoted by all the world’s faith traditions: hope, inclusivity, equality,
compassion, justice and love.

Rev. Norton said, “Love is an active means of resistance.”

“Let love live not merely in the addresses we give, but also in the
addresses where we reside,” said Rev. McClellan.

Love Lives in Marin seeks to inspire more organic acts of compassion, hope,
interfaith connection, solidarity, and justice.