Unity Prayer Service Celebrates Diversity

Unity Prayer Service

Community members from across the spectrum joined together on Sunday, August 20 for a celebration of unity, a response to the recent events in Charlottesville, and a pledge with local public officials to work together toward justice in the community at large. Civic leaders attending included San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia, SJ Mayor Sam Liccardo, San Jose City Council members Chappie Jones and Lan Diep, Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, and US Representative Zoe Lofgren.

The event was hosted at Evergreen Baptist Church on the east side of San Jose.

For more, see the San Jose Mercury News.

Deacon Steve Herrera, of the SiVIC Board, took photos of the event.

Civic Leaders at Unity Rally

Responding to Charlottesville

From its formation, the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council has devoted itself to building interreligious understanding and harmony in order to seek a more just and compassionate society in Silicon Valley.

We, as people seeking compassion and reconciliation, are grieved and stunned by the activities over this past weekend by those who value neither. We lament the loss of life and disruption of the community. We of diverse faiths stand together unified against Hate. We grieve the murder of Heather Heyer who was standing up for our values. We will not stand idly by, as all our faiths compel us to raise our voices clearly against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia of any kind.

We commit ourselves anew to the task of bringing all people together for the good of the whole community. Hate is not welcome here.

For statements from other Bay Area Interfaith Councils, see the Interfaith Center at the Presidio website.

SiVIC Forum Sunday: I Am the Other

Stereotype word cloudThis coming Sunday, July 23, join us at 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 Newsletter- July 2017

Silicon Valley Interreligious CouncilThe newsletter for July 2017 includes the upcoming SiVIC Forum on “I Am the Other: Countering Stereotypes, Religious Illiteracy, and Hate Speech,” an Interreligious Conference: Faith and Service at the Jain Center, a Dessert Gala for Yezidi Relief and our Multifaith calendar of religious observances and listing of interfaith opportunities.

See the July issue here.

Subscribe to the newsletter.

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 Newsletter- June 2017

SiVIC Newsletter

The newsletter for June 2017 includes articles on the Unity Rally held on June 10, the upcoming SiVIC Forum on “I Am the Other: Countering Stereotypes, Religious Illiteracy, and Hate Speech,” and our Multifaith calendar of religious observances and listing of interfaith opportunities.

See the June issue here.

Subscribe to the newsletter.

Bay Area Joint Statement Against Hate

Residents of the San Francisco Bay Area benefit from both individuals and institutions whose faith motivates them to provide food to the hungry, shelter to the needy, inexpensive or free health care, and other humanitarian services.

Our history includes episodes of injustice and harmful conduct based on ethnicity, race, and nationality, but also a strong history of opposing bigotry and embracing all people of good conscience. We also value our history of embracing individuals’ right to practice the faith tradition of their choice.

While some isolated individuals in our community may sometimes hold events designed to foster hatred and fear, those involved in legally expressing their political opinions must enjoy the protection of our nation’s laws. However, we similarly exercise our speech rights to reject and marginalize hate speech and attempts to divide our communities.

Islamic societies, organizations, places of worship, and communities enrich and benefit the spiritual, moral and cultural life of our community. We find abhorrent all forms of discrimination, including those forms of discrimination targeting religion or belief. We oppose any expression of bigotry towards Muslims with the equal moral, legal and practical force that we oppose other forms of discrimination.

We find abhorrent all forms of discrimination, including those forms of discrimination targeting religion or belief. We oppose any expression of bigotry towards Muslims with the same full moral, legal and practical force that we oppose other forms of discrimination.

Silicon Valley Interreligious Council
Together with dozens of local religious and community groups

See Facebook for updates

An Interview with Girish Shah

The United Religions Initiative recently interviewed Girish Shah, founding member and Treasurer of SiVIC for a recent profile: “3 followers of Eastern Traditions engaged in interfaith work.”

Girish, a leader of the Jain Center of Northern California in Milpitas, explains how his tradition leads him into interfaith cooperation”

“The creed of Jainism is non-violence, not only in action, but in speech and thought,” Shah said. “Thought translates to speech, and speech translates to action. To stop the violent action, we need to start with our thoughts. ”

Girish Shah

Girish Shah

SiVIC is a Cooperating Circle of the United Religions Initiative, a global network of interfaith groups. Read the rest of the article, including Girish, Dr. Prem Kahlon (Sikh), and Dr. Ji Hyang Padma (Buddhist) on the URI website.

Next Parliament in Toronto!

The Parliament of the World’s Religions has announced that the next Parliament will take place November 1-7, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. The Parliament is a unique opportunity to meet people engaged in interfaith work from around the world, as some 10,000 people gather to hear world-renowned speakers, learn in hundreds of workshops, and make and renew friendships.

SiVIC was born out of the process of becoming a Partner City of the Parliament, and delegations have traveled to Melbourne, Austrailia in 2009 and Salt Lake City in 2015 to share our story. We anticipate once again taking a group from SiVIC to take part. Mark the dates now, and watch for more news to come! Find out more at the Parliament website.