Moina Shaiq's "Meet a Muslim" at the Castro Valley Library on Sunday, March 5, 2017. This event was organized by the Castro Valley Library, Dining with Women, and the Eden Area Interfaith Council.
Nearly 50 guests attended the Eden Area Interfaith Council first annual meeting on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017. During the meeting, we formally ratified the group’s new bylaws and introduced the new officers and Board of Directors. One of our next steps is to incorporate as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
The program began with a welcome and a blessing by Reverend Dr. Arlene K. Nehring (Eden United Church of Christ – Hayward, which was also the gracious host for the meeting). Julie Greenfield (Congregation Shir Ami – Castro Valley) provided a history and a list of accomplishments for the one-year-old Council. Munir Safi (Masjid Abu Bakr – Hayward) spoke about the importance of interfaith and inter-religious dialogue and understanding to bridge the gulfs of misunderstanding as our country faces an evolving and sometimes uncertain political landscape. He appreciated the work of the Council to make concerted efforts through programming and public statements to get to know their American-Muslim neighbors.
Penelope Hughes (Spiritually Independent) introduced the group’s new Representative Council and its Officers and Board of Directors. The nominated members were ratified (names and positions below). Penelope also presented the dues structure proposal and Munir Safi presented the proposed first-year budget.
These musicians also provided musical interludes: Pastor Paul Keim (First Presbyterian Church – Hayward) performed an original song medley, Bob Myerson (Star King Unitarian Universalist Church – Hayward) performed “Somos el Barco,” and the Badarikashrama Hindu Spiritual Center – San Leandro performed sacred Hindu music. Those performers were Rita Sahai, accompanied by Professor Dr. Daniel Kennedy, Vivek Anand, and Rajneesh Kanat.
The Eden Area Interfaith Council is a signatory to a December 1, 2016 letter that denounces hate targeting religion.
News of a hateful letter received by the Evergreen Islamic Center in San Jose and at least five other mosques is the most recent of an increasing number of incidents targeting people of different religions across the country.
As religious leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area, we cherish the rich diversity of religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions that comprise the mosaic that is America. Our diversity is a resource rather than a barrier to the democratic nation that we seek to be. Incidents of hate, such as this, seek to dehumanize "the other" and contradict the most basic principles common to our age-old faith teachings and those religious liberties enshrined in the American Constitution.
The rise of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in our country, catalyzed in part by the divisive rhetoric of the current political climate, is of great concern to all who seek cohesive and peaceful communities. When any one religion comes under attack, all religions come under attack. Therefore, we unite in condemning such acts. We stand together to denounce this and all acts that seek to marginalize and target entire faith communities.
G.L. Hodge, Chair, San Francisco Interfaith Council
Rita R. Semel, Past Chair, San Francisco Interfaith Council
Michael G. Pappas, Executive Director, San Francisco Interfaith Council
Imam Abu Qadir Al-Amin, Resident Imam, SF Muslim Community Center
The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, The Episcopal Diocese of California
Rev. Fr. Mesrop Ash, Parish Priest, St. John Armenian Church
Fatih Ferdi Ates, Director, Pacifica Institute
The Rev. Sally Bingham, Canon for the Environment, The Episcopal Diocese of California
Rev. Dr. Amos C. Brown, Pastor, Third Baptist Church & President, SF Branch-NAACP
Rev. Angela Brown, JD, Associate Pastor, GLIDE
Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., Interim Senior Pastor, GLIDE
Rev. John Buehrens, Senior Minister, First Unitarian Universalist Society of SF
Ken Chambers, Executive Director, Interfaith Council of Alameda County
Most Reverend Salvatore Cordileone, Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco
Linda L. Crawford, Executive Director, Interfaith Center at the Presidio
Sister Chandrika Desai, Director, Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center, SF
Pastor Elizabeth Ekdale, St. Mark's Lutheran Church
Maha Elgenaidi, Chief Executive Officer, Islamic Networks Group (ING)
Fred Fielding, Board President, Interfaith Center at the Presidio
Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J., President, University of San Francisco
His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos, Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco
Rabbi Marvin Goodman, Executive Director, No. California Board of Rabbis
Julie Greenfield, Facilitator, Eden Area Interfaith Council
Iftekhar Hai, President, United Muslims of America Interfaith Alliance
Sari Heidenreich, Regional Coordinator, URI North America
David Hoffman, Chair, Interfaith Council of Sonoma County
Rev. Mark W. Holmerud, Bishop, Sierra Pacific Synod, ELCA
Rev. Theon Johnson, III, Associate Pastor, GLIDE
Auxiliary Bishop William J. Justice, Archdiocese of San Francisco
The Rev. Victor Kazanjian, Jr., Executive Director, United Religions Initiative
Rev. D. Andrew Kille, Chair, Silicon Valley Interreligious Council
Rev. Ronald Kobata, Resident Minister, Buddhist Church of San Francisco
Rev. Deborah Lee, United Church of Christ, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity
Dr. James McCray, Jr., Tabernacle Community Development Corp.
Rev. Will McGarvey, Executive Director, Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County
Abby Porth, Executive Director, Jewish Community Relations Council
Rev. Scott Quinn, Acting Director, Marin Interfaith Council
Rabbi Larry Raphael, Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Sherith Israel
Rev. Schuyler Rhodes, Superintendent, Bridges District, CA-NV Conference-UMC
Moina Shaiq, President, Tri City Interfaith Council
Rita Shimmin, Executive Director, GLIDE
Rabbi Jonathan Singer, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Emanu-El
Rev. John Weems, Pastor & Head of Staff, Calvary Presbyterian Church
The Very Rev. Dr. Malcolm Clemens Young, Dean, Grace Cathedral
Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman Graf, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Sherith Israel
For additional information, please contact Michael G. Pappas at (415) 425-9631.
Nearly 80 people of various faiths and non-faiths enjoyed informal conversation and a salad bar Sunday afternoon in the spirit of gratitude and interfaith conversation at the Eden United Church of Christ on Sunday, November 27, 2016.
Participants were seated at tables of eight with persons from a variety of Eden Area faith communities and participated in facilitated conversations and prompts about their faith tradition, hosted by a table leader.
Our host, Eden Church, provided salad, beverages, and table service, the MCC East Bay provided the bread, and participants were invited to bring an ingredient for the salad bar reflective of their dietary practices, preference, and tradition.
The faiths represented were Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Unitarian-Universalist, Spiritual Independents, and various Christian denominations including Catholic, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon), Methodist, Presbyterian, Protestant, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians, and United Church of Christ. The attendees include middle and high school students.
A big thank you to the planning committee for this event: Stephanie S. Spencer, Chris Leahy, Maria Cristina Vlassidis, and Munir Safi.
The Eden Area Interfaith Council, along with the Eden Area League of Women Voters, are sponsoring a panel from 1:30 to 3 p.m. this Sunday, Nov. 30 at the Castro Valley Library.
Panelists will include:
- Miguel Aviles, a local gun owner
- Lorrain Taylor, a mom who lost twin sons to gun violence several years ago, and founded 1000 Mothers Against Violence.
- Toni Shellen, representing the national group Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
- U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell, who represents our district in the House of Representatives, or (if unavailable) a member of his staff to discuss federal gun legislation.
No registration required. Please join us.
Register now to join your neighbors from the rich variety of Eden Area congregations and faith groups as we gather to celebrate our many blessings and our unity as people of faith. Enjoy informal conversation with people of other faiths and unaffiliated faith in facilitated conversations over a salad bar lunch.
Please bring an ingredient (salad and bread provided) for the salad bar reflective of your dietary practices and preferences (i.e. vegetarian, kosher, halal, etc.). Advance registration is requested for planning purposes. Each faith tradition in the Council is reflected on the event registration page so there is representative attendance at each table.
This is for high school, middle school students, and adults. The venue is Eden United Church of Christ.
Please also bring a donation of a canned, non-perishable food item for the Alameda County Community Food Bank.
3 p.m. - Introductions
3:15 to 4:45 p.m. - Facilitated table interfaith listening sessions at 12 tables
5 p.m. - Ending with prayers from various faith traditions
Event registration closes at 5 p.m., on Sunday, November 20. Please register as soon as possible at:
Salad provided by the Eden United Church of Christ. Bread provided by the Muslim Community Center - East Bay.
On Sunday, July 31, 2016, the Eden Area Interfaith Council joined a peace service with Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church in Hayward entitled "Let There be Peace on Earth." The service was organized by Bob Meyerson.
Presenters read 12 short digests of prayers for peace from various faith traditions. Interspersed with homilies, the prayers were from a United Nations document prepared in 1986 in Assisi, Italy in celebration of World Peace Day. You can see the service program and speaker biographies and watch the service below.
Solidarity and Hope for Orlando and the LGBT Community. This peace vigil was held in Castro Valley on June 12, 2016.
The Eden Area Interfaith Council represents diverse religious organizations in the East Bay that promotes respect for all faiths and human rights for all. We are a collective of religious groups in the East Bay's Eden Area, including Hayward, Castro Valley, San Leandro, and San Lorenzo. We represent local Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and other faith groups.
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