Silicon Valley Interreligious Council (SiVIC) builds interreligious harmony and understanding so as to promote a just and compassionate society in Silicon Valley.
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On the Gaza Conflict
July 22, 204
As events continue to unfold in Israel and Gaza, we in the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council (SiVIC) are grieved by the human cost and suffering occasioned by the current conflict. While members of our community may lean more toward support for Israel or for Gaza, together we know how important it is for us to maintain connections and dialogue with one another, especially when some would polarize the debate and end discussion.
Regardless of our individual stances, we share a recognition of our common humanity and a conviction that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must cease, that there is no violent solution to that conflict, that all human life is valued, and that all parties must cooperate to achieve a just and lasting peace on behalf of God’s children who reside in the land that many of us call holy.
(Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) Workshops
This free ASIST 2-day workshop is offered by the Santa Clara County Mental Health Department and is open to mental health counselors, faith leaders & social workers in Santa Clara County and the San Jose State University Community. Learn more . . .
Join the Silicon Valley Interfaith Book Club!
SiVIC has created a new opportunity for those interested in reading together with people of differing religious traditions. Find out how you can take part.
Mitty Students Visit Turkey
In a cooperative effort between Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose and the Pacifica Institute, a group of 14 students from Mitty traveled to Turkey, where they learned about interfaith dialogue and appreciation of religious differences, and dissolved their stereotypes about Muslims. Here are some of their remarks:
See our listing of upcoming interreligious opportunities in the South Bay.
Sustainable, Just and Healthy Food Campaign
Shir Hadash already does a lot to support eating that is healthy and socially responsible. Within each of the four areas of the SiViC pledge, there are multiple options, and a congregation chooses one from each area to constitute its pledge. We found that our existing activities already met at least one option in each area. We made a conscious decision to pick another pledge activity in each area, one that we did not already do, to ensure that our pledge was a motivation for continuing to improve what we do – to paraphrase Lo Alecha from Pirke Avot, we must continue to improve upon the work we are doing. Read more . . .
Join congregations across Silicon Valley in making a pledge to better connect our food choices with our values. Faith institutions are becoming the front lines of health and sustainability movements, for many reasons. We are communities of people that care deeply about each other and about our responsibilities as stewards of the earth. We gather regularly for celebrations, meetings and rituals which involve food. We can become the force that turns around the obesity epidemic and creates the cultural shift needed to make our food system more sustainable. Find out how . . .
Our Religious Neighbor Next Door: Photo Project
Today's Silicon Valley is home to communities from virtually all of the world's religions. Indigenous peoples, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christians, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans, Jains, Baha'i, Jews, Mormons, Sikhs, and many others have put down roots here, making our region a microcosm of the globe's diverse religious landscape.
This year, SiVIC invited local congregations and organizations to submit photos that capture their distinctive identities. The resulting collection – or better, collective snapshot of religion in the Valley in 2012 – made its debut at the closing event for this year's Silicon Valley Reads. Eventually it will be posted online. Although the original deadline is now past, we still invite communities to participate in expanding the exhibit.
Find out more . . .
Several members of the SiVIC board attended the "Bathing the Buddha" ceremony at the Zen Center of Sunnyvale; Chair Andrew Kille and Outreach coordinator Diane Fisher were invited to speak at the inclusive interfaith service.
The Interreligious Leaders Forum met at the Jain Center of Northern California and featured a discussion on "Religious Education and Middle Schools," with Samir Kalra of the Hindu-American Foundation and SiVIC Board member Garth Pickett, interfaith coordinator for the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints in San Jose.
The second Interreligious Leaders Forum met at Congregation Shir Hadash in Los Gatos, and featured SiVIC Board member Hank Millstein on the topic of "Religion and Empire."
The Interreligious Leaders Forum was restarted. The session on "End of Life and Religious Faith" featured Prof. Dale Larson of the Counseling and Education Department at Santa Clara University, and Tandy Beal, producer of “Here After Here,” an exploration of what happens after death which was presented at SCU.
SiVIC began an Interfaith Book Club on Goodreads. The group is open to any interested people. To join, simply go to the Club Page, and click the button "Join Group."
SiVIC became a Cooperating Circle of the United Religions Initiative (URI), a global network of people committed to "promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings."
The Dalai Lama visited Santa Clara University and many SiVIC members were involved in the sessions.
Video of the sessions is available online.
See more of the activities of SiVIC on our News page.
SiVIC emerged from discussions among a varied coalition of religious communities, non-profit agencies, educational institutions, and governmental offices in Santa Clara County that has been meeting since the beginning of 2010. Download our brochure.
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