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South Bay Interfaith



South Bay Interfaith News

For current information and news, see Silicon Valley Interreligious Council.

"A Circle of Hands" Gathering affirms support for local Muslims

September 10, 2010

Distressed by the increasing news of anti-Muslim rhetoric, demonstrations against Mosques, and even personal attacks on Muslims, the people of Silicon Valley gathered in McEntee Plaza in front of the Santa Clara County building, determined to speak out about the cherished role that Islam and Muslims have had in our midst, and to affirm their connections one to another.

The gathering, organized by the Council of Churches of Santa Clara County, the Interfaith Council on Economics and Justice, and American Muslim Voice opened with a bell chant offered by the monks of the Chung Tai Zen Center, followed by introductory remarks that included Supervisor Dave Cortese. Supervisor Cortese was a member of the delegation that went to to the meeting of the Parliament of the World's Religions in Melbourne, Australia last December to represent Silicon Valley as it was welcomed as a member of the Parliament's Partner City Network.

Prayers and scripture readings from Jewish, Jain, Protestant, Catholic, and Buddhist traditions then followed. In front of the platform was a table with copies of sacred texts from a number of different traditions-- Bibles, Qur'ans, and Torahs-- side by side, along with Jain scriptures and others.

The group then closed with a community affirmation, punctuated by the gathered group's response: "We are one family. Together we will stand."

For media coverage of the event and the press conference held on September 8th, see:

Local Religious Leaders to explore new multifaith organization

May 12, 2010

Over 40 people gathered at the South Bay Islamic Association to consider the next steps for interfaith cooperation in Silicon Valley. There was nearly unanimous approval of a motion to work toward creating a new interfaith organization that could pick up the functions of the Partner City and serve as a connection point for interfaith efforts. A planning team of twleve local leaders was designated to develop a plan for forming such a group, and will report back to the larger group in June. For notes from this meeting and the ongoing discussion, see the Interfaith Organization Background Information.

SVFACES discontinues support of Dialogue Group

March 2010

Silicon Valley FACES has announced that as of June 1, 2010, they will no longer be able to provide staff support to the Interreligious Leaders Dialogue Group. The group began in 1972 as a Jewish/Christian dialogue group, under the sponsorship of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Since that time, the group expanded to include other religious leaders, reflecting the growing religious diversity of Silicon Valley. The sponsoring organization changed as well, becoming the National Conference for Community and Justice, the Silicon Valley Conference for Community and Justice, and finally Silicon Valley FACES. The Dialogue Group has served as an incubator for interfaith cooperation, including the formation of the South Bay Interfaith group to work on community events.

Partner City Group leads workshop on their experience

December 5, 2009

Members of the Silicon Valley Partner City Group led a workshop titled " Developing an Interreligious Community: How Silicon Valley Used the Partner City Process" at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Melbourne. They shared what they had learned in applying for Partner City status, and what the hopes were for interfaith collaboration in the future. Presenters included Ellen Grace O'Brian (Center for Spiritual Enlightenment), Girish Shah (Jain Center), Joy-Ellen Lipsky (First Unitarian), Rev Dr. Andrew Kille, (Interfaith Space), Dave Cortese (County Supervisor), Dr Philip Riley (Santa Clara University), and Rev Bruce Bramlett (SVFACES). A copy of the slideshow and other background materials can be found at Interfaith Space.

Following their presentation, they enjoyed a lunch as guests of the Bao Lin Chan Monastery, a sister community to the Chung Tai Zen Center in Sunnyvale. Ven Jian Hu, the Abbot of the Sunnyvale center, graciously set up this opportunity.

Supervisor Cortese hosts Partner City sendoff

November 12, 2009

Supervisor Dave Cortese hosted a Partner City celebration and send-off for the delegation going to the Parliament of the World's Religions in Melbourne in December. Supervisor Cortese will also be going to the Parliament. Also present were San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, and Dr. William Lesher, President of the Board of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions. Religious leaders, city and county staffers, and community service agency staff heard about the Partner City process, saw a brief film on the history of the Parliament, and were encouraged to save the date for a community gathering on February 11th to explore next steps.

South Bay Interfaith Statement following Ft. Hood shootings

November 11, 2009

Members of South Bay Interfaith expressed their concern for unity in the aftermath of the incident on November 5th.
Read the statement.

Mayor Reed receives Partner City declaration
at Faith Leaders Appreciation Breakfast

October 15, 2009

On behalf of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian presented a proclamation to Mayor Reed, naming San Jose and Santa Clara County as the "Inaugural" member of the Partner City Network.
Read the full text of the proclamation.

San Jose/ Silicon Valley Named "Inaugural Partner City"
of the Parliament of the World's Religions

September 23, 2009

We received word yesterday that San Jose and Silicon Valley have been accepted as the Inaugural Partner City, joining with “Legacy” partners Chicago, Cape Town, and Barcelona which have each hosted Parliament meetings. The Parliament of the World’s Religions is the largest interfaith gathering in the world. Held every five years, it is meeting December 3-9, 2009 in Melbourne, Australia. A delegation of folks from this area will be at this year’s Parliament meeting in Melbourne to accept the recognition of Partner City status, and to lead a workshop describing the experience of applying for Partner City status.


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For current information and events, see Silicon Valley Interreligious Council (SiVIC) |