SiVIC Forum: I Am the Other

Stereotype word cloudJoin us on Sunday, July 23, 1:30 pm at the Bay Area Youth Vaishnav Parivar in Milpitas for a panel and discussion on countering stereotypes, religious illiteracy and hate crimes. Our panel includes distinguished speakers from Hindu, Jewish, Ahmadiyya Muslim and Sikh communities.

Full details and registration are available HERE.

SiVIC co-sponsors unique interfaith Ash Wednesday service

On March 1, the Christian world celebrated Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent, a time of preparation, prayer, and fasting looking ahead to Easter next month. Many Christian denominations take part in a ritual of placing ashes on the forehead as a sign of repentance and a reminder that “from dust you came; to dust you shall return.”

This year, in conjunction with the Diocese of San Jose, PACT, and several religious groups, SiVIC co-sponsored an interfaith gathering to lift up our common religious aspiration to be a “Compassionate Community,“ acknowledging that there are many obstacles that prevent us from realizing Compassion: our very selves and the social realities in our community.

The service was in two parts:  First, a gathering in the courtyard of the San Jose City Hall to hear testimonies, sacred texts calling for transformation and a reminder of being committed to a Compassionate Community. Speakers included members of the Baha’i, Muslim, Unitarian, Kriya Yoga and Christian traditions. The group then processed to the meeting hall of First Christian Church, where those who wished to receive ashes from Rev. Nichole Lamarche of the Silicon Valley Progressive Christian Community and Rev. Jennifer Goto of St. Paul United Methodist Church.

This gathering marked the beginning of “90 Days of Compassion,” a period that will encompass multiple religious feasts and traditions that fall between March 1 and June 3 and speak to both personal and social transformation.

Interfaith Ash Wednesday Service

Photo: Steve Herrera

Another Successful Coat Ministry!

Coat Ministry 2016 volunteersWe would like to thank the community for great generosity towards the 14th Annual Coat and Soup Giveaway. Through this collaborative effort with Emmanuel Baptist Church, Grace Baptist Church, SiVIC and several partners of many faiths, we received over 767 coats, served over 343 families/people, raised $3,100, had 216 volunteers assist us both days, had 23 people receive blood pressure checks, 10 received flu shots, 6 showered, and 12 signed up for food.

Coat Ministry 2016Praise God! We had another diverse group of donors and volunteers that came together to serve the community. All of the efforts and donations brought forth a diverse community presence represented by various inter-faith partnerships, college and community fraternal and sorority organizations, community businesses, and other civic and social organizations. We had the Foothill Community Health Center provide the blood pressure checks and had other community service agencies share their community resources for the participants.

Special thanks to SiVIC Board member Rev. Celinda Miranda, who served as primary organizer for the effort.

Coat Ministry 2016

Coat Ministry 2016 Coat Ministry 2016- Pacifica volunteers

Area Thanksgiving Celebrations

Giving thanks is one of the key values shared by most religious traditions, and thus it is no surprise that the Thanksgiving holiday has long been an occasion for people of differing faiths and practices to come together in our communities.

Here is a list of opportunities for you to join interfaith services around our area (click on links for more details):

Friday, November 18, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Pacifica Institute Annual Thanksgiving Dinner 2016
Pacifica Institute, Silicon Valley Chapter
1257 Tasman Dr, Unit B, Sunnyvale, CA

Sunday, November 20, 6:30 pm
2nd Annual San Jose Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
Temple Emanu-El
1010 University Ave., San Jose 95126

Sunday, November 20, 7:00 pm
Palo Alto MultiFaith Thanksgiving Celebration
First Church of Christ, Scientist
3045 Cowper, Palo Alto 94306

Monday, November 21, 7:30 pm
Embracing Compassion
St. Joseph Catholic Church
43148 Mission Blvd., Fremont, CA 94539

Tuesday November 22, 7:30 pm
Los Gatos Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
Los Gatos United Methodist Church, 111 Church Street, Los Gatos, CA 95030

Thursday November 24, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
51st Annual Saratoga Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
Congregation Beth David, 19700 Prospect Rd, Saratoga, CA 95070

Multifaith Peace Walk and Picnic

Photos from the Multifaith Peace Walk and Picnic held in Palo Alto on September 11, 2016.

Hundreds of people walked from Congregation Etz Chayim to Mitchell Park, passing by University AME Zion Church and Our Lady of the Rosary Church along the way. At the park, they enjoyed a picnic and a program featuring music, multifaith prayers, and words from Palo Alto Mayor Patrick Burk and California 25th District Assemblymember Kansen Chu.

Read more at Palo Alto Online.

Nonviolence in Today’s World

gandhiYou won’t want to miss this special Interfaith Forum featuring:

  • Maha Elgenaidi
    Chief Executive Officer and founder of Islamic Networks Group.
  • Professor Michael Nagler
    Founder and President of The Metta Center for Nonviolence, Berkeley
  • Subba Raoji
    Chairman, National Youth Project India

Their conversation will be moderated by Dr. Prasad Kaipa, researcher and consultant and followed by an interactive discussion with the audience.

See details on our Events calendar or download a flyer: 2016 nonviolence forum

Nonviolence in Today’s Violent World

Mahatma GandhiA SiVIC Interfaith Forum

How to solve issues of racial, economic, political and religious injustice with non-violence

Sunday, August 14, 2016, 2:00 – 5:00 pm

Pacifica Institute, 1257 Tasman Drive, Unit A-B, Sunnyvale CA 94089 [map]


Their conversation will be moderated by Dr. Prasad Kaipa, researcher and consultant and followed by an interactive discussion with the audience.

Light  refreshments  will be served.

Please RSVP :, 408 530 2733; 669 292 1457

Co-sponsored by 

details on the calendar