The Interfaith Center's mission is to welcome, serve, and celebrate the diverse spiritual wisdom and faith traditions of the Bay Area.
Interfaith Center at the Presidio
State Department Visits
Throughout the year the Institute of International Education on behalf of the U.S. State Dept. arranges for foreign dignitaries to visit the Lnterfaith Center to discuss interfaith cooperation. They are all impressed by the welcoming aspect of the Interfaith Chapel because in so many parts of the world, freedom of religion is an unknown concept. How fortunate are we that the Founding Fathers (and Mothers) provided us with the First Amendment to the Constitution!
Michael Krasny in Conversation with Charles Gibbs, Executive Director of URI
Dr. Krasny, host of KQED's The Forum and professor at San Francisco State University, discussed his search for a God he can believe in as written in his book Spiritual Envy: an Agnostic's Quest. Co-sponsored by United Religions Initiative. (See video.)
Memorial Day Interfaith Service at the Presidio Chapel
There was a new dimension to the annual interfaith service on Memorial Day this year. A few board members participated on the inter-agency committee that planned the commemoration at the National Cemetery next to the Chapel. They then arranged for several veterans service providers to set up tables in front of the Chapel to let vets and the public know about their services.
An Evening with Ambassador Swanee Hunt in Conversation with KQED's Belva Davis
Former US Ambassador to Austria. Swanee Hunt, was posted to Vienna during the Bosnian War, where the American Embassy became deeply involved in stemming the conflict in the neighboring Balkan region. Her forthcoming book Worlds Apart: Bosnian Lessons jor Global Security addresses the "disconnect" between powerful decision-makers and human resources at the grass roots who, she believes, can be a powerful force in stabilizing their communities and their nations. Co-sponsored by: Interfaith Center at the Presidio, San Francisco Interfaith Council, United Religions Initiative, and the Presidio Trust. (See video)
"Money and Soul", a conversation with Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money and Charles Gibbs, Executive Director of URI
Lynne Twist's extensive work as a worldwide fundraiser offers unique perspectives on the purpose of money and its use in the community. When infused with expressions of our heart and soul, our money and its use can become a truly meaningful part of our lives and communities. Lynne & Charles discuss the intersection of money and spirit as a rich and fertile place, suggesting new ways for giving and receiving money in the social-profit arena. Co-sponsored by San Francisco Interfaith Council, Interfaith Center at the Presidio, and United Religions Initiative. (See video)
The Presidio Chapel Mural, Victor Arnautoff, and the Public Art of the 1930s with Robert W. Cherny, Professor of History, SFSU
The 1930s--the era of the New Deal--saw a blossoming of public art throughout the country. San Francisco contains several important murals from that decade, many of which show the influence of Diego Rivera, the great Mexican muralist. Victor Arnautoff, the artist of the Presidio Chapel mural, was one of San Francisco's most prolific mural painters of that decade. This presentation begins with the Presidio Chapel mural. then considers Arnautoff and his work in the context of the time. Co-sponsored by: lntefaith Center at the Presidio, Presidio Historical Association, and The National New Deal Preservation Association.
There will be no peace among nations unless there is peace among religions. And there will be no peace among religions unless there is authentic dialogue among religions.
Hans Kung, Catholic Theologian
HISTORY AND MISSION
OF INTERF AITH CENTER AT THE PRESIDIO
"Swords to Plowshares." That was a major theme that emerged during citizen meetings in the early 1990s as San Francisco and the nation planned the turnover of the Presidio from military to ciyilian use. The Interfaith Center at the Presidio was formed as the Bay Area interfaith community's response to religious leaders from different faiths calling for an interfaith presence in the new park to address religious intolerance, injustice, and violence.
Since 1996 when the Center moved into the Presidio Chapel, more than 150,000 visitors have attended over 1,500 weddings and memorials and more than 1,000 faith and interfaith meetings, workshops, programs, exhibits, concerts, and celebrations.
The Interfaith Center is a regional interfaith organization for the Bay Area. Twenty-two interfaith entities with 15 different religions have been represented on the board over the years. The Center is a practical expression of people from different beliefs talking to and building relationships.