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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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Rapid Response Training to Support Immigrants in Our Community

Wednesday, June 21, 7-9:30pm
First Congregational Church, 1985 Louis Road, Palo Alto

Help keep families together!

Learn about solidarity, accompaniment for detained families, community-led deportation defense, and how you can be involved.

Click here to register!

Sponsored by Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice, Sacred Heart Community Service, PACT, and Pangea Legal Services.

Download full size flyer.
Download half-page flyer.


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A New Map for Relationships: Creating True Love at Home and Peace on the Planet

Sunday, July 23, 7pm
First United Methodist Church of Palo Alto
Kohlstedt Hall
625 Hamilton, Palo Alto

Dorothie and Martin Hellman, authors of A New Map for Relationships: Creating True Love at Home and Peace on the Planet, will tell how they tranformed an almost failed marriage into one where they reclaimed the true love that they felt when they first met fifty years ago. They will also explain why the lessons they learned are the same ones the nations of the world need to grasp to build a more peaceful, sustainable planet.

Admission: Free

Click here to download a flyer.


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Sanctuary Movement for These Times

Discussion on Ways to Support Immigrants, Refugees, Muslims and Others
Thursday, July 13, 7pm
First Congregational Church
1985 Louis Road., Palo Alto

Is your congregation looking for ways to provide support and solidarity with immigrants, refugees, Muslims and others who are threatened at this time in our nation’s history?  Faith communities on the Peninsula are invited to a presentation by The Rev. Deborah Lee of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity to help congregations and individuals discern and find concrete ways to engage in sanctuary -- a public, corporate commitment to walk alongside immigrants, mixed-status families and refugees to uphold dignity, due process and full acceptance into the life of our society through protection, support and advocacy. Congregations make different choices about how they are willing and able to join this effort. There are four ways congregations can demonstrate their solidarity and commitment to sanctuary.


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Multifaith Prayers for Peace on 11th of the Month

Monthly Multifaith Prayers for Peace
7-7:30pm on 11th of every month

In the midst of difficult times, Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice will host “Peaceful Presence,” a monthly prayer service on the evening of the 11th of each month, offering a time of quiet multifaith prayers for peace and strength for the journey.  All are welcome: those of all faith traditions and of no defined faith, those who are suffering at the hands of their own government, those who need a pause in the midst of intensive work on behalf of others, and all who would like to pray with others for the well-being of all.  The prayer time will include elements from several religious traditions.

Upcoming:
Tuesday, July 11th, 7-7:30pm: University AME Zion Church, 3549 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto- Click here for map.

Friday, August 11, 7-7:30: Palo Alto Friends Meeting House, 957 Colorado Ave., Palo Alto

Click here to download a PDF flyer.


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Unity Rally


Saturday, June 10, 11am
Stevens Creek Blvd. between Winchester and Santana Row, San Jose

Join religious and community organizations as we stand up for justice and friendship in a UNITY RALLY.  ACT for America, a grassroots anti-Muslim organization that has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is coordinating dozens of anti-Muslim protests around the country this Saturday, including one in Santa Clara, CA.  Our UNITY RALLY will lift up a positive message message of inclusivity and diversity, standing in solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers, and speaking out for the core tenets in all faith traditions of truth, respect and love of neighbor near and far.

Please plan to arrive and leave as you are able. There will be no program. 
We will stand as witnesses for inclusivity, justice, and the beauty of human diversity in community.

A large turnout will be a strong witness for love.

Gather on Stevens Creek Blvd. between Winchester and Santana Row, in front of Crate & Barrel and The Container Store, San Jose.
(Look for the orange construction tape. That's where we belong.)

We will gather from a variety of spiritual paths and walks of life, from communities around the bay area, to celebrate the friendship and respect that we hold dear. While hate must never stand unchallenged, the intent of the UNITY RALLY is not confrontational, but to affirm the unity in the midst of diversity which is the strength of our communities.

How you can get involved:

  • Spread the word in your communities and congregations.
  • Share the event on Facebook.
  • Click here to download a flyer and distribute widely!
  • Sign the "Statement Against Hate" as an individual and/or organization by using this google form. Click here for a clean and final copy of the "Statement Against Hate." (There are some typos on the google form.)
  • Ask your congregation or organization to co-host the rally, and register that by on this google form. Co-hosting means you will be listed as an organization co-host of the vigil, to send a strong message that our region stands against hate. (To see a recent list of co-hosts (there are LOTS but they keep coming in), click "Read More.")
  • Come to the rally! See suggestions below to visually demonstrate our unity.

Pictures and Social Media: Please take and share lots of pictures. We will be using the #CounterACTHate hashtag on social media.

SUGGESTIONS TO SHOW UNITY AND INCLUSION:
- Bring flowers to give away
- Wear flowers
- Bring American flags
- Make LARGE white signs with bold black letters
- Signs should be positive and show what we believe IN

Please carpool if possible.

Religious leaders are encouraged to wear their clerical attire.

Please join Multifaith Voices for Peace & Justice, the Council of American Islamic-Relations (CAIR-SFBA) and more than 120 other religious and community organizations this Saturday as we celebrate our UNITY! 

For more up to date information, visit the event Facebook page.


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Statewide Call to Action!

California Religious Freedom Act, SB 31, prohibits a state or local agency or public employee acting under color of the law from providing to the federal government personal information regarding a person's religious beliefs, practices or affiliation.  This bill will ensure that California does not participate in any way in a registry targeting Muslims or any other religious group. SB 31 has passed the Senate and is scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on June 13th. Click here to download a SB 31 Fact Sheet. The bill is co-sponsored by the ACLU of California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - California, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations California. Please contact your local Assemblymember and urge him/her to support SB 31.

The California Senate recently passed SB 54, the California Values Act, that will ban the use of state and local resources from carrying out the work of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in deportation actions, essentially making California a Sanctuary state. This is a huge step in standing up for immigrants and those who could become targets of the Trump administration.  Click here to download a SB 54 Fact Sheet. SB 54 next must go through the California Assembly committees (which may entail amendments or changes), pass a majority State Assembly vote, and then be signed into law by Governor Brown.

What is most important to do now is to contact your State Assemblymember to express your support of SB 31 and SB 54 and urge them to work for its passage.

 Contact information for local Senators and Assemblymembers can be found below.


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Syria Tragedies: Pray & Act for Peace

The tragic war in Syria -- which has brought death and suffering to the Syrian people for six years -- reached a new heartbreaking low this week with the horrifying chemical weapons attack against a defenseless civilian population in Idlib Province, and the response of our government with unauthorized missle attacks on Syria’s Al Shayrat airfield. 

Many of our partner faith-based organizations have issued statements and calls to action in response to the ongoing war and most recent tragedies, condeming both the use of chemical weapons and the retaliatory attacks by the U.S. Especially during our Jewish and Christian holy days this week, MVPJ encourages us all to pray fervently for the people of Syria and speak out boldly for actions that will bring humanitarian relief and authentic peace.

The Fellowship of Reconciliation issued a statement calling for international diplomacy and global humanitarian aid while urging us to contact our Senators and Congressional Representatives and tell them that the military attacks only increase the dangers and intensify the humanitarian catastrophe in the region. Click here to read and act!

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) reasserts that "war is not the answer" and calls for efforts to stop the U.S. from escalating war. Click here to read their statement and respond to their action alert. They offer a conference call with experts on April 12 (click here to RSVP), and encourage face-to-face meetings with Congressmembers while they are in-district April 7-24.

The Pax Christi USA (Catholic) statement grieves the hearbreaking situation, reminding us of the truth that hate begets hate, violence begets violence.


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Know Your Rights

Everyone here has constitutional rights, and that includes Muslims, immigrants and refugeees.  The ACLU has Know Your Rights posters translated into 14 languages, and provides videos in Spanish, Arabic, Urdu and Farsi on what to do if stopped by immigrant agents or the police.  Click here to access these important resources from the ACLU website, and share widely!

Knowing your rights is crucial, now more than ever.  


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Stop New Ban on Muslims and Refugees

This week a new Presidential Executive Order renewed the assault on refugees, especially those from Muslim-majority countries.  Friends Committee on National Legislation furnishes background on the ban. For CAIR's (Council on American Islamic Relations) analysis, press conference and links to the actual text, click here.

This is not who we are as Americans and contradicts the central values of our many religious traditions, all of which teach us to welcome the stranger, show compassion to those in need, and respect the dignity of all people. 

Please take a moment to do one or more – or all – of the following to oppose the new travel ban:


·      Call the White House comment line (202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414) and tell President Trump that you are profoundly opposed to this policy. Give the President a strong and clear message:  “As a person of faith, I oppose the refugee ban and believe we need to be doing more – not less – to support refugees. My faith moves me to show compassion to those in need and embrace the stranger as a moral imperative. My identity as an American leads me to insist that sheltering immigrants is one of our nation's proudest traditions.” HIAS (guided by Jewish values, working for the protection of all refugees) provides some script ideas and a follow-up electronic message option.

·      Call or write to your Congressional Representative and Senators. Click here for contact information for our local Congresspeople and Senators. The ACLU offers an easy process for emailing your senators, but calling always carries more impact. Do both!

·      Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper.  It is important to keep the public discourse about the injustice of this sort of action strong. We must not allow such discrimination and inhumane exclusion to become normal or acceptable. The Friends Committee on National Legislation has talking points, writing tips and contacts for local newspapers. Just click here

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What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?

This is a gift to you for today: WATCH THIS VIDEO AND BE TRULY INSPIRED. 

In face of the darkness, Valerie Kaur shares the deep hope of her Sikh tradition as she speaks on December 31, 2016 at the National Moral Revival Campaign. 

What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? 
What if our America is a country that is waiting to be born?

 

 

Valerie Kaur is filmmaker, civil rights lawyer, Sikh activist and interfaith leader.  She is founder of the Groundswell Movement.


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Quote of the Week

My heart is open to all the winds... Wherever God's caravans turn, the religion of love shall be my religion. And my faith.

- Ibn 'Arabi, 13th Century Sufi traveler & mystic