Calendar Events

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IMG_4032◊◊◊  Monthly Interfaith Dialogues (Yes, you are invited!)
March 2, April 6, May 4, June 1
Walnut Creek United Methodist Church
Wesley Room, Education Wing
(in the back) to the right of the office
1543 Sunnyvale Ave. Walnut Creek
The monthly meeting of the Interfaith Council is the First Thursday of the month (except July) at 8:00 am (breakfast and visiting) and 8:30 am for the dialogues.  We meet in the Wesley Room of the WCUMC education wing, next door to our office up the hill and in the back. Wesley Rm is the 2nd door on the right.
All are welcome.  We invite at least one representative from each congregation to participate, clergy or not.  Each month has a different conversation.  If you would like to rsvp, please email
◊◊◊  Lunch and Learn at St. Isadore’s
March 3rd – St. Isadore’s Catholic Church, 440 La Gonda Way, Danville.  Contact is Elby Salazar (925) 548-1272 and
Bring a brown bag lunch.  Beverages and cookies will be provided.  We will have a presentation on the work of the host Center or Congregation at Noon. 
Future Lunch & Learns
April 7th – Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church. 49 Knox Dr., Lafayette. Contact Terry Clark (818) 590-8820 and
May 5th – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Institute of Religion, 300 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill.  Contacts Stuart or Evelyn Candland: (925) 922-1884.  Plenty of parking behind.
June 6th – Walnut Creek Friends Church (Quaker), 1950 1st Ave, Walnut Creek.  Speaker is Steve Diehl, who can be contacted at 925-689-6427 or
◊◊◊  Health & Faith In Action
Our January meeting should help set the tone for some extra traction for the New Year.  We will be addressing the issue of the future  of the ACA and its impact on Covered California.  Guest speaker Laurel Lucia of the UC Center for Labor Research and Education has just co-authored an important report, “California’s Projected Economic Losses under ACA repeal,” and will discuss her findings.  Our own Douglas Dunn will give us an update on the County’s implementation of Laura’s Law—and all this in the tranquil atmosphere of Father Tom Bonacci’s Interfaith Peace Center in Antioch.
Please join us on Friday, Jan. 27, 12-1:30pm with a bag lunch, and Tom will provide us with drinks, cookies, and a short tour of his library and center, if we’re prompt.  Please hit ‘Reply’ to Rsvp.  Reminder and agenda will go out 1/23.
4517 Buckeye Court
(925) 325-0144
16267◊◊◊  International Women’s Day Event (Save the Date)
Wednesday, March 8th at 7:30 pm
2949 Stone Valley Rd., Danville.
We will have a panel conversation with a number of women from different walks of life and different faith groups.  Please invite your friends and community members.  Last year we had 200 people for an amazing conversation.
Download the flyer here: Interfaith
◊◊◊  Interfaith Series at B’nai Tikvah  
25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek
• Monday, March 20th – 7PM Rev. James Bergquist – Orinda Community Church (UCC)
• Sunday, April 23rd – 3 PM Dr. Ejaz Naqvi and Imad Abboushi – Islamic Center of San Ramon
• Monday, May 15th – 7PM Pascal Kaplan – Sufism Reoriented, Walnut Creek.
• Sunday, June 4th – 3 PM Rev. Quentisha Davis – Pittsburg United Methodist Church
This series will include speakers from different faith traditions who will come and speak about the history, beliefs and traditions that make them each unique.  Then there will be time for questions and answers.  This series is cosponsored by B’nai Tikvah and the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County.  All are welcome to attend.






+++  Ongoing Opportunity:  Responding to Genocide of the Yezidis

  • From Rabbi Pam Frydman: World leaders have declared that what so-called-ISIS is doing to the Yezidi people is Genocide. A consortium of Jewish and Interfaith Leaders is implementing aBeyond Genocide Yezidi Campaign to rescue and support Yezidis who are being persecuted because of who they are.More than 12,000 have been murdered, including mass murders and beheadings of fathers in front of their families. Over 3500 Yezidi women and girls remain in sexual slavery. Nineteen Yezidi women were burned alive in June 2016 for refusing to cooperate with their rapists. More than 2000 Yezidi boys have served as forced child soldiers and hundreds are being forced to train as suicide bombers. More than 100 Yezidi boys have already been killed in battle. Thousands of other Yezidis have been tortured, while an unknown number of Yezidis continue to be held as hostages.
  • Here are some things you can do:

o   Add your name to the growing list at

o   Make a personal donation from your pocket and/or your Discretionary Fund  by clicking on the Donate button in the upper right hand corner at

o   Share this information with your extended network of friends, family, congregants, etc.

o   Develop a local Beyond Genocide Yezidi Campaign charity project.

o   Clergy and other leaders wishing to lend their name to the Beyond Genocide Yezidi Campaign may do so by emailing Please include your title and name as you wish it to appear, name of your organization (if any), physical address, city and state or country and telephone number. We will only list your city and state or country on this website, but we need the additional information for our records.


 Volunteer Opportunities:

The Red Cross website currently says:  “There’s an emergency need for blood” .  Supporting this blood drive at Reutlinger would be a wonderful way to help out.  See below for details.
Wishing you all a peaceful and joyous rest of your summer, and looking forward to seeing you all on September 8!
In peace and with love,
Maggie Rowland

image002◊◊◊ Mountain View Shelter in Martinez. 

Dear Friend,

The Interfaith Council would like to thank everyone who has partnered with SHELTER, Inc. to prepare and/or provide and meals at the Mountain View Shelter in Martinez.  Your willingness to help by providing meals makes it possible for us to direct our limited funds to 1) continue operating the shelter and 2) to provide critical services that will help families end the cycle of homelessness (e.g. case management, employment services, tutoring, etc.).

Please consider this volunteer opportunity as a rewarding experience that you can create for your family, friends or co-workers.  You can utilize the shelter’s commercial kitchen to cook healthy, nutritious dinners and get to know some of the men, women and children who don’t have a place of their own to call home. The upcoming meal dates needed are:

  • 12/26- 12/30
  • 2017 weeks are open!

General Information:

  • Mountain View Emergency Family Shelter is located at 1391 Shell Ave, Martinez, CA94553
  • A weekly menu is recommended but not necessary (A menu helps give the families with something to look forward to throughout the week.)  Some ideas for this fall would be Soup and Hot Sandwiches, Taco Bar, Stew.  MartieSteinmetz, can help you come up with ideas!
  • Volunteers are asked to purchase items to prepare the meals including beverages (please only milk, water, or 100% juice; dessert is optional.
  • Volunteers should expect to provide enough food for 12 adults, 15 children and themselves. Please call Martiethe week before your scheduled week to cook in order to get an updated count of the parents and children.
  • Volunteers may choose to prepare the meal offsite and bring to the shelter to serve for dinner time, at which time volunteers can serve or staff. Volunteers may also choose to cook onsite.
  • Dinner is served at 6:00pm, with the exception of Wednesday when our parenting class is in session (Please check with the Martie in regards to this.) Volunteers can arrive as early as 2:30pm (arrival time depends on whether volunteers are preparing meal onsite).

Please contact Martie Steinmetz via e-mail at or at 925-228-6920 if you are ready to sign-up or if you would like additional information. Your generosity is helping homeless families in our community rebuild their lives.  Thank you!


WPE Logo


+++  You can play a direct, personal role in helping to end hunger in the Contra Costa County. Think about helping with The White Pony Express!

White Pony Express is a 100% volunteer-based non-profit that redistributes approximately 18,000 lbs. of fresh, delicious, healthy food each week to those in need. We need more volunteers to get the food delivered to these neighbors!

White Pony Express (WPE) partners with food retailers with a surplus and delivers free of charge to those in need. Some of the more well-known donors are Nob Hill Foods, Whole Foods, Costco, Sprouts Farmers’ Market and The Cheesecake Factory—but there are a hundred additional donors. White Pony Express distributes throughout the County to over 30 recipient partners including Bay Area Rescue Mission, Shelter, Inc., Loaves & Fishes, Love A Child, Don Brown Shelter, and Shepard’s Gate.

WPE operates fifteen hours a day, seven days a week. Volunteers are needed for 2-4 hour shifts. Our primary need is for daytime volunteers during the hours from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Help us serve those in need – it is rewarding work! Contact: Vince Karakashian at or 925-876-0402.

a5b296d8-2118-45d8-bc63-7b4b8d5abefb+++  Help Trinity Center House up to 50 people this Winter!

We are writing to ask for your support.  This year we’re using to organize our  SignUps for our Evening Program at the Walnut Creek Armory.  We are seeking volunteers to cook, drive, work a shift as a floor monitor, prepare weekend lunch bags.
Here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:
1) Click this link to see our SignUp on SignUp.com
You can forward this email to invite others to sign up.
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It’s Easy – you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on
Note: does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact Nora at and she can sign you up manually.

SignUP Link

Thank you for your support.
Donna Colombo
Trinity Center
Website and 925.212.2383

Volunteers needed for Trinity Center Winter Evening Program

Trinity Center is seeking help with their 2016 /2017 Winter Night Program from November 12 to March 30, 2017. The program will support 30 to 50 local homeless with a variety of services including counseling and dinner / breakfast. The program was recently overwhelmingly approved by the Walnut Creek City Council and will take place in the National Guard Armory in Walnut Creek.

Urgently needed are vans and SUVs with drivers to transport the members from Trinity Center to 1800 Carmel Dr. in Walnut Creek a one mile five minute drive in the evening and return in the morning. All participants are members for Trinity Center who have been vetted and have flu shots.

Please contact Nora Hudson at: or Steve Mason at or 925-487-2994



+++  Monument Crisis Center Needs List
September is here and we have lots going on at Monument Crisis Center. We kicked off the new school year with an incredible backpack drive. This year we distributed over 1500 backpacks to students anxious to get started on another successful year. Then last week we began another session of After School Café. Our K-8 students are back on Wednesdays and Thursdays for tutoring, snacks and fun. And yesterday we had some of our Faith Community Partners at the center for the debut of our new program ” The MCC Safety Net Project”. This new interactive program is an effort to educate about the resources and programs we offer at the center, and put a face on the clients we serve. If you are interested in our doing the program for you and your team, please contact me.
Of course quickly enough we are approaching the holidays and with that comes our many opportunities for you to partner with us:
 Halloween brings a great idea for your youth groups to participate in our “SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN FOOD DRIVE”. Send the kids out to collect kid friendly food on behalf of MCC. Drop the flyers and bags from Oct. 22-28th. Pick up the food on Halloween Oct. 31rst. Bring it to Monument Crisis Center on Nov. 1rst. Easy and fun and a way to bring meaning to the holiday.
Thanksgiving offers a chance for your who;le  congregation to participate in this time of gratitude. Drop off frozen turkeys and grocery gift cards on Monday, Nov. 21rst between 9AM and 1PM at the center. Your generosity will help bring a happy holiday to those most in need.
The season of giving means meeting our greatest need of the year. Thousands of holiday food boxes are needed to distribute to our clients from the end of November through December. Help us reach our goals by participating in this important drive. We can even help provide the boxes and lists. Drop off dates begin 11/21/16 through 12/8/16.

image001+++  Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Opportunities:

Speakers Bureau: Are you interested in speaking about Habitat to your congregation or other faith communities? Or, do you feel shy in front of groups, but like tabling and talking to people one-on-one? Do you love to talk about Habitat, but want to brush up your knowledge or learn more about our geography or programs? Speaker’s Bureau is a great way to get involved. Please contact me for more information.

All Faiths Build Days:  … and onward into 2015, each Third Saturday of the month. Please get in touch via email or phone to request dates for you and your congregation. We discussed using a Google Document to help volunteers register, to better share who would be joining you on your build days.

Why a Tour? 
Updates and Tours are a great way to see the work of Habitat first hand, get inspired, meet new staff, AmeriCorps, and volunteers, and get a quick update.  Invite a friend to join you and share your passion for building homes and hope.

Register Today!

From our Building on Faith Framing Blitz in 2015, you know just how powerful 1000 hands are.  
Join us in 2016 to celebrate 30 years of building homes and hope with Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley.

Not a builder?  We’ve got a job for you!  We usually need 10-20 volunteers per day of the Build-A-Thon to help with food, parking, registration, and many other tasks.  Your help makes the whole event run smoothly.

Spots go quickly, so don’t hesitate to reach out via email at or 510-803-3375 with any questions about how to get involved.

Alternative ways to get involved:  Sign up to bring lunch or coffee and donuts to one of the build or service days. These engagement ideas may also be a part of our Google doc sign-up system.


cclogoheader+++  CCIH Faith Communities Service Opportunities for summer volunteers!

We’re Off to See the Wizard! Contra Costa Interfaith Housing’s annual auction gala, Ruby Slippers-There’s No Place Like Home is February 4, 2017 at Diablo Country Club. This over the rainbow evening includes a silent and live auction, dinner, and dancing. You won’t want to miss out on this fun evening! Buy tickets here: We are also looking for Safeway gift cards and other exciting auction items. If you have questions, please email See you on the yellow brick road!


+++  The Northern California Family Center.
NCFC provides five services:
(1) Youth Outreach services for run aways, primarily through the Safe Place Program in Contra Costa and Solano Counties, including an emergency telephone hotline.
(2) 24-hour accessible short-term shelter for runaway and home¬less youth.
(3) Crisis counseling and family mediation with runaway and homeless youth.
(4) Psychotherapy with families and children.
(5) Long-term foster care for children aged 1 through 17 years, who may be referred by Child Protective Services.At this time NCFC is recruiting foster parents to provide homes for the abundance of children in need of home placement.  We also offer family mediation services for runaways as well as family counseling.  This maybe a good resource for families having difficulty with accepting their LGBTQ youth who do not feel comfortable going to the RCC.  My personal project for this internship is to recruit LGBTQ foster parents and create training materials and train cis-foster parents as LGBTQ allies. 


The Northern California Family Center is a non-profit, licensed Foster Family Agency that has been serving the needs of youth and families for over 38 years. Our staff are dedicated professionals on-call 24 hours a day to provide experienced clinical care and assessment for a wide range of personal and family problems.

YOU CAN HELP:  The Northern California Family Center needs special people, like you, with a little extra space in their home and the ability to provide a caring environment for children in need. Youth may be in ongoing foster care, or brief shelter, including evening and weekend stays. There are all types of foster families, those with children, couples without children, families whose children have grown, working couples and singles.

Many of the youth in our program have histories of abuse and neglect. They need adults, like you, who care.

WHAT’S INVOLVED:  In General Foster Care, we work with the county social service departments. We provide foster care to children between 0 and 17 who have been taken out of their families’ home because of abuse or abandonment. General foster care can occur over weeks, months or years. The focus of the program is to provide a secure, nurturing home to facilitate the youth’s development, and independence.

During Brief Shelter, youth, ages 9-17, stay approximately 1-5 days in foster placement with a family. The Northern California Family Center counselors work with the youth and their families for reunification, or to develop a mutually agreed upon alternative living agreement.

Emancipation and work experience are also considered. This program works well for people who are considering providing foster care services on a short-term basis.

“My parents and I got to the point that we were so angry we just couldn’t talk; so I ran away. My counselor at school gave me Northern California Family Center’s number…” Runaway, age 14.

“I’ve never really been able to talk much with my dad. The Northern California Family Center counselors helped me sit down and talk about my feelings without getting angry.” Runaway, age 16.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:  Foster Parents must be able to pass a background record check, as well as participate in training related to foster care. Foster parents should have extra room in their home and be able to be supportive and appropriately supervise youth in their care.


If your family is ready for a rewarding experience or if you would like to receive further information, please call the Northern California Family Center at (925) 370-1990.

Northern California Family Center
2244 Pacheco Blvd. Martinez, CA 94553
(925) 370-1990 or 1-800-718-4357

+++  ISRV Refugee Project

Naveed Royeen, a recent refugee from Afghanistan is living at San Damiano Retreat Center in Danville.  He is fluent in English with a BA in business administration and a job in the Reutlinger Home, Danville business office.  We have created a sign up genius account to provide rides to and from work for him until he receives his green card and can purchase a car in November.  Pease go to  and click on “Find a Sign Up”  enter:  where you are asked for the email address.  Then enter the random text and numbers.  Once in, pick your dates and to or from work drive.

Naveed is intelligent, well-spoken and very interesting individual; those of us who have been driving him over the past two weeks have, with out exception, enjoyed his company.  If you need more information contact Jean Crane at or Steve Mason at

If you would like to sign up for our eBlasts that come out twice a month, send your contact information to Rev. Will McGarvey.

If you want to add an event to this page contact Will here or sign in.


Interfaith Calendars



*Interfaith Events in the Broader Bay Area Community
*ICCCC Events and those cosponsored by the Interfaith Council
That an event is listed here or on our website at doesn’t always imply sponsorship or support except where noted by color.  We view our role in the East Bay as a network of Inter-religious communities who support peace, freedom for all, and supporting those public and religious systems that work together toward the flourishing of all humanity.



Chronological Events:


130108-3727027ea2+++  Interfaith Series at B’nai Tikvah
25 Hillcroft Way, Walnut Creek

Monday, March 20th – 7PM
Sunday, April 23rd – 3 PM
Monday, May 15th – 7PM
Sunday, June 25th – 3 PM
This series will include speakers from different faith traditions who will come and speak about the history, beliefs and traditions that make them each unique.  Then there will be time for questions and answers.  This series is cosponsored by B’nai Tikvah and the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County.  Look on the website for specific speakers.



ACL Program Overview - TriFold Brochure 1-16-16



+++  Affordable Care Acts Create Incentives for Better Health and Provides Payroll Tax Savings for Your Organization.Many organizations are taking advantage of provisions in the Affordable Care Act to promote preventative health care for their employees. Coeus Financial has partnered with A Charitable Life (ACL) Health Solutions to create a Participatory Preventative Health Solutions program to provide benefits to your nonprofit and your employees, and is in line with the Affordable Care Act guidelines. The Participatory Preventative Health Solutions is a new program that provides opportunities for your employees to better their well-being and provide you with health care and tax savings. These are direct savings to your organization that can help fund your programs. The Participatory Preventative Health program also supports the government requirement to reduce healthcare costs and provide additional options outside of social security benefits for retirement.

Highlights of the program include:

An average of $180 in supplemental benefits to the employee

Tax savings to the nonprofit of about $500.00 per employee per year (direct reduction of FICA payments)

No change in employees’ net pay

Please click on the link below to learn more.

ACLHS Employer Video
The attached brochure will also help answer most questions regarding our program.  Please feel free to contact me to find out how much your organization can save and how your employees can take advantage of this program.

ACL Program Overview – TriFold Brochure 1-16-16




+++  Talks and Workshops on Judaism and Jewish Mysticism

Dr. Charles Burack is available to give talks and workshops on a variety of Jewish subjects and spiritual topics.  Topics include: The Three Pillars of Judaism; The Jewish Mystical Experience of God; Jewish Mystical Interpretations of the Bible; Chasidic Teachings on Spiritual Healing and Transformation; The Jewish High Holidays; The Passover Seder; Jewish Perspectives on Evil; Core Jewish Mystical Ideas and Practices; Jewish Meditation; Kabbalah and Psychology; Kabbalah and Creativity; The Kabbalistic Tree of Life.  Dr. Burack welcomes invitations from churches, ashrams, mosques, temples, synagogues, interfaith centers, and cultural centers.  A former rabbinical student, he is an award-winning professor and author, as well as an interfaith counselor and lay chaplain who is active in interfaith education and arts.  He can be reached at or (925) 405-7075.



+++  Monthly Immigration Vigil
First Saturdays from 11 AM – 12 PM
West County Detention Facility
5555 Giant Highway, Richmond

This month we will have our monthly vigil at West County Detention Facility.  For 4 years we have gathered to pray and stand in solidarity with immigrant detainees, and to offer a faithful prophetic witness against a system that profits on incarcerating dear members of our communities.

+++  NAMI Workshops for Mandarin Speaking Community
2nd Saturday of each month, 10:00 am -12:00 noon.
San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church
902 Danville Blvd, Alamo

National Alliance on Mental Illness:  Contra Costa contact information:  Gloria, 925-487-8288, or Susan, 925-216-9592;

Flyer Mental Health 101



+++  Mental Health Crash Course:   Questions on Mental Illness?

A one-time seminar that will give you an orientation to the Contra Costa County Mental Health System of Care.

Offered EVERY Wednesday night throughout the Year from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.  Family Justice Center, 2151 Salvio Street, Ste. 201, Todos Santos Plaza, Concord. Across from Todos Santos Park In Concord.  (Same Building that E.J. Phairs Restaurant is in.)

FREE   NO RSVP  925-676 5771



+++  Women’s Circles in Lafayette2014-03-08 17.57.12

Are you a curious, open-minded woman interested in meeting with, learning from and doing community service with like-minded women from diverse faith traditions?  If you are, please consider joining the Interfaith Women’s Circle of Contra Costa County.
In 2011, an amazing group of women from Temple Isaiah, the Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church (LOPC) and the San Ramon Islamic Center created the first women’s circle with about a dozen women.  They met monthly in each other’s homes, and decided in 2012 to launch another circle.  The second women’s circle (pictured above) was launched in August 2012, and has been meeting once a month ever since.  In addition to learning about each other’s faith traditions, and sharing in faith celebrations ranging from Shabbat Dinner to an Iftar dinner during the holy month of Ramadan to celebrating Advent and Christmas, the second circle held a retreat at Asilomar Conference Center in March 2014.  The members of the second circle have also been engaged in community service activities ranging from preparing meals for the Loaves and Fishes free lunch program, facilitating learning and dialogue about peace in the Middle East by attending “Wrestling Jerusalem” and participating in the Peace Cafe, raising funds for a breast cancer project in Palestine and emergency relief in Gaza, supporting peace building efforts in the Congo, and raising awareness about sustainable living practices.
The second women’s circle is taking a break for the summer.  2nd circle will regather in the fall.
The third women’s circle will hold its next monthly circle in December.  3rd circle meets on the 3rd Monday of the month on July 20th.
The interfaith womens’ circle members meet for two hours of conversation and learning each month.  In addition, participants have a chance to participate in an annual retreat and two community service events with members of the first and second interfaith women’s’ circles.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the third circle, please contact Rebecca Calahan Klein at or call or text 510.612.0547. Rebecca, Elby Salazar and Kaaren Rose will serve as mentors for the third interfaith women’s circle.




August 14th  Meditation: 5-6pm  Potluck Fellowship: 6-7 pm
Doors open at 4:45 pm
Oakland Peace Center
111 Fairmount Ave, Oakland

This is the building of the First Christian Church of Oakland, corner of Fairmount Ave and 29th St. Enter through the parking lot door.

OneLife is excited to launch a new offering!  Second Sundays is a Monthly Meditation Circle and Community Potluck.

We meet the 2nd Sunday of each month.  There will be a number on the door to text for late arrivals.  Chairs provided, but feel free to BYO cushion, pillow, mat, etc.  Please bring food that is easy to serve – there is no kitchen available.  (It’s okay to come for only meditation or only the potluck, or stay for BOTH!)  All are welcome. No meditation experience required.  Please contact us with questions about wheelchair accessibility.

+++  Monument Crisis Center Needs
We have several opportunities listed below with which we hope you can help. Please feel free to contact me about these or any other ideas you may have to engage in programs here in Monument Crisis Center. As always, your are more than  welcome to visit and tour. Have a safe and wonderful summer!
                 JULY 8TH, AUGUST 5TH AND DEC. 2ND
                  Food needed for our 120 seniors who 
                  attend our Senior Moments Program. 
                  Simple sandwiches, soup, or a meal of
                  your choice to be dropped off or served
                  by your group. It’s easy and fun!
                 JULY 18TH-AUGUST 4TH
                  Donate backpacks filled with supplies 
                  to help our students start the year right.
                  Help over 1200 children from K-12 go
                  back to school. WE NEED YOU!
                  BARRELS TO YOU!!! HOST A DRIVE!
Join other faith community partners as we discuss poverty issues in Contra Costa County. 9:30 AM at Monument Crisis Center RSVP

793945e7-f666-4281-904a-55281e8ef9f8+++  Ceasefire Night Walk Richmond
Friday July 29th New Hope Missionary Baptist 321 Alamo Ave., Richmond


Friday August 5th, New Direction Ministries 2354 Andrade Ave., Richmond
Friday August 12th, Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church 5051 Bayview Ave., Richmond,
Friday August 19th, Greater Abundant Life Ministries 671 9th Street, Richmond
Friday August 26th CITYWIDE NIGHT WALK Bethlehem MBC 684 Juliga Woods St., Richmond

For more information contact Rev. Donnell “Rickey” Jones:  510-331-3605

Check out the coverage on Richmond Ceasefire-Lifelines to Healing Movement.

+++  Interfaith Community Healing Service: Gathering to bring healing, health, harmony and wholeness into our lives.
Every 2nd Sunday, November 12th at 5:30 pm
Walnut Avenue United Methodist Church
260 Walnut Avenue Walnut Creek
Healing teas will be served at the beginning of the service.
This service is for anyone interested in a spiritual healing service featuring alternative healing techniques, meditation, arts, prayer and anointing. A labyrinth walk is available at the end of each service. As an expression of shalom, people of all faith traditions are welcome and encouraged to share their expressions of healing.

+++  Help a Veteran Find a Home!

Are you a landlord, property owner or property manager?  You may hold the key to ending veteran homelessness in Contra Costa!
More than 40 Contra Costa armed services veterans are lease-ready but cannot find a place to live.  If you have a fb31aa7d-7f7d-4f8f-977c-fd9352961521vacant or soon to be vacant unit, consider renting to one of these brave men and women.
For more information contact the Landlord Education and Placement Program (L.E.A.P.) at or call 925-313-7700

Chuck’s Story

After four years of homelessness, Chuck Young has a plan, a housing voucher, and all the supportive services he needs to get off the streets for good.
But despite searching for more than nine months, Chuck still can’t find a place to rent in Contra Costa County.
The County’s housing crunch is having a major impact on people trying to transition out of homelessness. Watch this 90-second video to learn more about how to you can be part of the solution for people like Chuck .
Spread the word and be part of the solution by sharing Chuck’s story via email, Facebook, Twitter and all your social media!
HIP HousingHIP Housing
+++ Hello Community Partner,
As a previous supporter of the educational programs being developed by Chef Cindy at Mount Diablo High School, we are excited to share with you a new way to support her efforts to build a healthy community.
Instead of bringing food donations to a collection box, people can now purchase healthy food online and have it delivered directly to innovative programs that provide healthy food and impactful nutrition education. The Institute for Responsible NutritionWellness City Challenge and Imperfect Produce have teamed up to provide the first Bay Area Real Food Drive  using Amp Your Good’s crowd-feeding platform. 
As Chef Cindy states, “If you change the food, you change the future.Strong science-based nutrition is essential and must be a central element of the educational model for all schools and grade levels.  One of the ways we do this is to prepare and serve healthy food to students that improve their nutritional well-being and academic performance.”  
To support Chef Cindy’s efforts, a Real Food Drive Campaign is currently in progress, and you can donate food by clicking the link below:
Thank you for your support (and please share this information with others), and we wish you a joyful holiday season!
Pamela Singh
Executive Director
Wellness City Challenge
Since 2007, Wellness City Challenge, an action-oriented organization, has been aligning local resources, laying solid ground work, and gaining recognition of its efforts to improve health through nutrition education and physical activity. 

Wellness City Challenge is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization.  
For more information, go to:


Are you living with shelter?

So many of our neighbors aren’t.

That’s why faith organizations all over the county are opening their doors to shelter residents with no roof over their heads, feeding children and their families, and providing warmth with coats and scarfs as gifts. As you share your generosity at this time of year, the Multi-faith ACTION Coalition asks you for help that will lead to sustainability for families in need.  Attention this month is focused on finding housing for the 40 Veterans ready to rent, but unable to find a unit.  They need a landlord or property owner to give them a chance.
Here’s where you come in! Are you a property owner or landlord?  Do you know one?
You can play a key role in honoring those that have served our country by renting your next vacant unit to a Veteran or to someone who has completed the necessary steps to gain a place to live.


As we struggle to build enough affordable and subsidized housing to keep up with demand, finding and recruiting landlords willing to rent to these residents is more important than ever. That’s why Contra Costa County is launching the Landlord Engagement, Access and Placement program with new landlord incentives, including a Housing Security Fund. If every landlord considered modifying their screening criteria in order to rent to just one low-income individual or family with rental barriers, we’d be that much closer to making homelessness rare, brief and a one-time occurrence for thousands of individuals and families in our county.
To get involved or receive more information,
please contact our Housing and Shelter Task Force co-chair, Doug Leich at



+++  Ecumenical Taizé
3rd Sunday of the month 7:30pm – 8:30pm

Practice is at 6:30pm in church, except for CTK (practice is at 6:15pm) which will be next door to church at Ministry Center.

2016-Taize Schedule






















2016-Taize Schedule

+++  No One Left Behind is a 501(c)3 Tax Exempt Nation-wide Non-Profit which assists in the resettlement of Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa holders; these are persons who have worked for the US Government in their native countries, most as translators supporting our troops.  They and their families are now settling in the US as it is not safe for them to remain in their native country; they have risked everything for our troops and now arrive in this country with nothing.

NOLB_SFPamphlet_UPDATE (2) The mission of No One Left Behind is to treat these refugees as the heroes they are, by supplying them with household goods, employment, education, social services  and housing assistance, and emotional support. Most, but not all of these families are served by governmental resettlement agencies but their obligation to the families end 90 days after arrival.  Some families have been here for over 2 years without adequate support. We aim to fill the gap in service that the government-funded agencies cannot fill.

Since the local San Francisco Chapter was founded in August of 2015 we have helped over 110 families, all with a small local volunteer staff.  We have distributed $76,000 in in-kind donations, and started 460 individual refugees on a path to success in their new homeland.  But we have approximately 4 new families each week, and so we need to increase the community support of this program in order to continue to serve this community.  We seek partnerships with the Faith Community to do this.
The opportunities to partner with No One Left Behind are many:
Congregational support:
Faith communities are invited to sponsor an individual family.  Some congregations assist resettlement of 1 family a month, others one a quarter, others as a one-time effort.  We welcome any and all possibilities, whether it is as a commitment to provide goods, or as a financial gift.  Organized congregational assumption of any of the volunteer opportunities below is also a possibility!
Individual volunteer opportunities: 
The possibilities for individual involvement  are limited only by your imagination!  Much of the work can be done virtually from your home; other opportunities allow you to interface with the families.
Airport Welcoming:  We like to welcome newcomers at the airport when they first arrive in the US
Donation Management: Assist in locating goods, matching goods with client needs, arranging delivery, and/or data entry of donations
Child Care Coordinator:  Set up a program of individual child care providers so mothers can go the English classes
English Tutors and Family Mentors: Most mentors visit the family once a week and help the wives learn English; we will train you for this, no Farsi or Pashto needed!
Intake Officer:  Interview new refugees over the phone as their first contact with No One Left Behind
Drivers:  Pickup drivers to move goods, drivers to take clients to Doctor appointments,  meetings, interviews
Resume builder/ revision:  While most have constructed a resume, almost all need revision to make them “Employer-attractive”
Job Coach and Mentor/ Locate Employment options.
Volunteer Coordinator:  Recruit and Help new volunteers find a satisfying way to serve within their commitment
Agency Coordinator: Work with the 3 local governmental resettlement agencies (Jewish Family and Community Services, Catholic Charities of the East Bay, International Rescue Committee) to identify and serve                                        clients when the 90 day support by those agencies ends.
Legal Advisor and or Immigration Advisor:  A rarely needed, but essential role!
Grant writer:  Seek out and apply for funds
Data Management:  We have a large database of information about clients, their needs and what we have done for them.  Keeping this up to date is crucial. Jobs include data entry, contacting families periodically to update their needs and their resumes
Employment Officer:  Locate job possibilities and inform clients
Strategic Partnership Development:   Locate and nurture partnerships in the community and corporate world for goods and financing
Public Relations: Keeping the public aware and creating media events.  Posting to our Facebook page!
Sewing Coordinator:  Almost all the women sew and many would like to do so professionally.  We have supplied sewing machines to 12 women since August, but there are over 25-30 who still want machines.  Assist in setting up a sewing cooperative business.
Congressional Liaison:  Some have family in their native land with visa problems preventing their immigration; a few well-placed phone calls can often fix these problems.
Special Event Coordinator:  Develop and orchestrate special fund-raising events. (We have one in the pipeline: A very special vineyard wine-tasting…want to run with that?)
Specialty Skills:  Fixing computers and bicycles, tax prep support, executive management, you name your skill, we can use it!
Adopt-A-Family:  A longer-term relationship where you and/or your family check in with a single family once a month, often just over the phone, to see how things are going, alert NOLB staff of problems and acute needs
Thank you for your interest and willingness to consider assisting these fine people who have given so much to our country.
If you have questions or would like to get involved, please call Bobbie Preston at 925-376-8474,  NOLB_SFPamphlet_UPDATE (2)

Many of you know Pastor Pablo Morataya from Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana Hispana (PIPH). He has been a tireless and outspoken defender of migrant rights in Oakland. His congregation is one of the 3 congregations who declared Sanctuary in 2014.

He has asked us to reach out to you for a new volunteer opportunity. PIPH is running an ESL program from Mondays – Wednesday, 7pm -9pm. The ESL program is supported by volunteers who give their time and talent to teach English to newly arrived migrants.

A good number of volunteers have served 80-100 students who are eager to learn English on three different levels: beginners, intermediate and semi-advanced. For this semester, they have volunteers teachers for Mondays and Wednesdays, but not Tuesdays. As you can see, there is a great need to cover!

Teaching ESL to newly arrived immigrants is a great way to grow community with the immigrant population, and is also a great way to learn from their culture!

If you feel called to offer your talents and gifts by helping newly arrived immigrants learn English, here is what is asked of volunteers:

Cover one class weekly. Volunteers usually pick one day to teach and give one class a week. For this semester, PIPH needs volunteers for Tuesdays.

To commit to teach for the next 10 weeks until this semester is over.

If you are unable to cover your class, to contact the coordinator 24 hours in advanced and help in whatever way you can to find a replacement.

If you would like to volunteer for this opportunity, please call Matt Miles at 510- 978-8102 or Irma Hernandez at 510-533-4321.
Thank you for considering this volunteer opportunity!

+++  Contra Costa Interfaith Housing

-Fall 2016 Backpack Drive:  Help equip formerly homeless and low-income students for a successful 2016-17 school year.  Please let us know if your community is interested in participating. A Target Gift Registry has been created for all items except for backpacks as the donor can choose size/color. Please copy and paste this link to shop:

(Additionally, I am Attaching a Flyer a list for families that do not like to shop online.)

-Interested in helping run a summer day camp for one week?  We are currently putting together summer programming for kids (toddler through middle school), and we need your help.  Many of these kids are formerly homeless or very low-income.  This is a great opportunity for ages 13+ as adult supervision is provided. You can sign up at Sign-Up Genius by copying and pasting this web address: If you are a new volunteer, you will also need to fill out a volunteer interest form at




+++  Want to help with the Refugee Crisis?  Here’s a start.

Flyer - RefugeeHelpVolunteers 5.17.16Flyer – RefugeeHelpVolunteers 5.17.16

+++  Interfaith Quotes (from the Awakening Center and elsewhere)

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone person to person.

 – Mother Teresa


There is a soul force in the universe, which if we permit it will flow through us and produce miraculous results.

 – Mahatma Gandhi


At certain moments, always unforeseen, I become happy… I look at the strangers near as if I had known them all my life… everything fills me with affection…  It may be an hour before the mood passes, but latterly I seem to understand that I enter upon it the moment I cease to hate.

 – William Butler Yeats


Only a life lived for others is worth Living at all.

– Albert Einstein


When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God’s light shines down upon you.

– Jon Krakauer


In order to love others with perfect charity I must be true to them, to myself, and to God.

– Thomas Merton


The silence that we acquire through prayer and meditation helps us find peace and true happiness in this noisy world.

– Amma


The friendship that can cease has never been real.

– St. Jerome


Silence is an empty space; space is the home of the awakened mind.

 – Buddha


Few are the number of those who think with their own mind and feel with their own heart.

 – Albert Einstein


Thank God for what you have, and you will always have everything you need.  If you want to find God, hang out in the space between your thoughts.

 – Alan Cohen


It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

 – Henry David Thoreau


Accustom yourself continually to make many acts of love, for they enkindle and melt the soul.

 – Saint Teresa of Avila


The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.

 – Henry Miller


A friend is long sought, hardly found, and with difficulty kept.

 – St. Jerome 


A generous heart, kind speech, and compassion are the things in which renew humanity.

 – Buddha


Ego says, “once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.”  Spirit says, find your peace and then everything will fall into place.”

 – Marianne Williamson


Life can be found only in the present moment

– Thich Nhat Hanh


Love is the light that dissolves all walls between Souls.

– Paramahanan Yogananda


To give the Lord a perfect hospitality, Mary and Martha must combine.

– St. Teresa of Avila


When you forgive, you love. And when you love, God’s light shines down upon you.

– Jon Krakauer


Death has no power to change you, but you have the power to transform yourself.

– Swami Rama


Our souls may lose their peace and even disturb other people’s, if we are always criticizing trivial actions – which often are not real defects at all, but we construe them wrongly through our ignorance of their motives.

– Saint Teresa of Avila


“Learn to be still in body and mind, for where motion ceases, there begins the perception of God.”

– Yogananda


“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.”

– Seneca


“Each day the Master would be inundated with questions that he would reply to seriously, playfully, gently, firmly.  One disciple always sat through each session in silence.  When someone questioned her about it, she said, “I hardly hear a word he says. I am too distracted by his Silence”.

– Anthony de Mello, S.J


FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real

– Wayne Dyer


Spiritual life is the bouquet, the perfume, the flowering and fulfillment of a human life, not a supernatural virtue imposed on it.

– Joseph Cambell


We become ourselves by dying to ourselves. We gain only what we give up, if we give up everything we gain everything. We cannot find ourselves within ourselves, but only in others, yet at the same time before we can go out to others we must first find ourselves.

– Thomas Merton


Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.

– Gerard De Nerval


Passover and Easter are the only Jewish and Christian holidays that move in sync, like the ice skating pairs we saw during the winter Olympics.

– Marvin Olasky


The tortoise moves about in the water. But can you guess where her thoughts are?  There on the bank, where her eggs are lying.  Do all your duties in the world, but keep your mind on God.

– Sri Ramakrishna



If you harbor not subject-object thinking, no demons can e’re harm you.

– Milarepa


The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.

– St. Jerome


You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived, are the moments when you have done things in a spirit of love.

– Henry Drummond


The life of the body is the soul; the life of the soul is God.

– Saint Anthony of Padua


Brooding on sense objects causes attachment to them.  Attachment breeds craving; craving breeds anger.  Anger breeds delusion; delusion breeds loss of memory (of the Higher Self).  Loss of right memory causes decay of the discriminating faculty.  From decay of discrimination, annihilation (of spiritual life) follows.

– Bhagavad Gita II:62-63


The greatest joy in life is service.  The greatest power in life is love.  The greatest battle in life is the battle against oneself.  The greatest enemy that man of earth shall ever know is in his own thinking.  The greatest poverty that man of earth shall ever know is impoverished thinking; and the greatest blessing man shall ever know is the blessings of spiritual riches…

– Frater Achad


Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

– Francis of Assisi


There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us.  When we discover this we are less prone to hate our enemies.

– Martin Luther King, Jr.


Praying in faith is not an inner conviction that God will act according to our desires if only we believe hard enough.  It involves believing that God will always respond to our prayers in accord with His nature, His purposes, and His promises.

– Alvin VanderGriend


Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.

– Francis of Assisi


I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy sitting next to me.

– Woody Allen


Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.

– Mark Twain 


A cowboy appeared before St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. “Have you ever done anything of particular merit?” St. Peter asked. “Well, I can think of one thing,” the cowboy offered. “On a trip to the Big Horn Mountains out in Wyoming, I came upon a gang of bikers who were threatening a young woman. I asked them to leave her alone, but they wouldn’t listen. So, I approached the largest and most tattooed biker and smacked him in the face, kicked his bike over, ripped out his nose ring, and threw it on the ground.” I yelled, “Now, back off or I’ll kick the shit out of all of you” Saint Peter was impressed, “When did this happen?” “Couple of minutes ago.”



You can never know your mind without knowing your heart.

– Swami Rama


We too easily assume that we are our real selves, and that our choices are really the ones we want to make when, in fact, our acts of free choice are largely dictated by psychological compulsions, flowing from our inordinate ideas of our own importance.  Our choices are too often dictated by our false selves.

– Thomas Merton


He (Siddhartha) abandoned the desire to escape the world of phenomena, and as he returned to himself, he found he was completely present to the world of phenomena.  One breath, one bird’s song, one leaf, one ray of sunlight—any of these might serve as his subject of meditation.  He began to see that the key to liberation lay in each breath, each step, each small pebble along the path.

– Thich Nhat Hanh


Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.  Those who look outside, dream. Those who look inside, awaken.

– Carl Gustav Jung


Our minds are like crows. They pick up everything that glitters, no matter how uncomfortable our nests get with all that metal in them.

– Thomas Merton


God does not depend on the Universe; the Universe depends on God.  Mind does not depend on the body; the body depends on the mind.

– Swami Veda


Concentrated power is silence.  Diffused power is noise…When you reach the place   of silence in mind, you have reached the place of power, the place where all is one…

– Baird Spalding


What is it that stands higher than words? Action.  What is it that stands higher than action? Silence…

– Francis of Assisi


“A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of”

– Nelson Mandela


“Religious knowledge is a practical kind of knowledge like driving or swimming. You can’t learn to swim or dance from reading a book. You’ve got to get into the water and learn to float.”

– Karen Armstrong


“Show me a religion that doesn’t care about compassion. Show me a religion that doesn’t care about stewardship of the environment. Show me a religion that doesn’t care about hospitality.”

– Eboo Patel


“[I]t is not possible to establish true links with God while ignoring other people. Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam.”

– Pope Francis I.


Life is a beautiful song.  Open your heart and rejoice in its melody.  Once you are attuned to this song, you will find the Composer seated in the lotus of your heart.

– Swami Rama


I stand between the years.  The Light of My Presence is flung across the year to come.  Backward, over the past year, is My Shadow thrown, hiding trouble and sorrow and disappointment.  Dwell not on the past—only on the present. I hold the year in My Hands—in trust for you. But I shall guide you one day at a time.

– Anonymous (taken from the book, God Calling)


Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.

– Hamilton Writht Mable


The sun, the moon, the stars, and all the lights that you can imagine in the entire external world are but fragments of that one great Light that is within you.

– Swami Rama


Here are Christmas gift suggestions from our friend Ray:

Christmas gift suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness.

To an opponent, tolerance.

To a friend, your heart.

To a customer, service

To all, charity

To every child, a good example.

To yourself, respect.

– Oren Arnold


Silence does not lie within the domain of your mind; silence lies beyond your mind.

– Swami Rama


The truest communication with God is absolute, total silence; there is not a single word in existence that can convey this communication…

– Bernadette Roberts


Life is not to be regarded as an uninterrupted flow of words which is finally silenced by death.  Its rhythm develops in silence, comes to the surface in moments of necessary expression, returns to deeper silence, culminates in a final declaration, then ascends quietly into the silence of Heaven which resounds with unending praise.

–  Thomas Merton


The best way to love ourselves is to love others, yet we cannot love others unless we love ourselves since it is written, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” But if we love ourselves in the wrong way, we become incapable of loving anybody else.  And indeed when we love ourselves wrongly we hate ourselves; if we hate ourselves we cannot help hating others.

– Thomas Mer 

There are three qualities that define a completely open mind, a mind that is experiencing freedom: spaciousness, clarity, and compassion.  By spaciousness we mean a mind that is not grasping at separateness, at the feeling that you and I are separate, that you are reading something that I have written. In spaciousness there is only the direct experience of reading. Clarity is the quality of clearly knowing what is happening right now, not being lost in thoughts about the past or future.  Compassion is the open heart meeting we experience in life with a desire to alleviate suffering. It has been said the heart is the depth of the mind and the mind is the surface of the heart.

– Dale Borglum


It is impossible to be negative while we are giving thanks!

– Donald Curtis


Appreciate life instead of resisting it…

– Judy Tatelbaum


If the only prayer you say in your entire life is “Thank you,” that will suffice…

– Meister Eckhart


As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

– John F. Kennedy



Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon of St. Francis of Assisi:


Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,

All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.

To you alone, Most High, do they belong,

and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name. 

Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,

especially Sir Brother Sun,

Who is the day through whom You give us light.

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,

Of You Most High, he bears the likeness. 

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,

In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair. 

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,

And fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,

by which You cherish all that You have made. 

Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,

So useful, humble, precious and pure. 

Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,

through whom You light the night

and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong. 

Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,

Mother Earth

who sustains and governs us,

producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.

Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon

for love of You and bear sickness and trial.

Blessed are those who endure in peace,

By You Most High, they will be crowned. 

Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,

from whom no-one living can escape.

Woe to those who die in mortal sin!

Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.

No second death can do them harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,

And serve Him with great humility.


The life of the body is the soul; the life of the soul is God.

– Saint Anthony of Padua


Brooding on sense objects causes attachment to them.  Attachment breeds craving; craving breeds anger.  Anger breeds delusion; delusion breeds loss of memory (of the Higher Self).  Loss of right memory causes decay of the discriminating faculty.  From decay of discrimination, annihilation (of spiritual life) follows.

– Bhagavad Gita II:62-63


The greatest joy in life is service.  The greatest power in life is love.  The greatest battle in life is the battle against oneself.  The greatest enemy that man of earth shall ever know is in his own thinking.  The greatest poverty that man of earth shall ever know is impoverished thinking; and the greatest blessing man shall ever know is the blessings of spiritual riches…

– Frater Achad


Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

– Mahatma Gandhi


Good friends are like stars—the darker the night the brighter they shine.

– Anonymous


Silence is not the absence of sound, but the absence of self.

– Anthony de Mello, S.J.


The Success of one’s life depends upon one’s ability to forget what is not relevant to the present moment.

– Amma


The gift of love is the gift of the power and the capacity to love, and, therefore, to give love with full effect is also to receive it.  So, love can only be kept by being given away, and it can only be given perfectly when it is also received.

– Thomas Merton


…our duty as a Party is not to our Party alone, but to the nation, and, indeed, to all mankind. Our duty is not merely the preservation of political power but the preservation of peace and freedom. So let us not be petty when our cause is so great. Let us not quarrel amongst ourselves when our Nation’s future is at stake. Let us stand together with renewed confidence in our cause—united in our heritage of the past and our hopes for the future—and determined that this land we love shall lead all mankind into new frontiers of peace and abundance.

– John F. Kennedy


Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

– Mahatma Gandhi


“Life on this earth is but a brief moment; utilize that moment to purify the way of the soul.”

– Swami Rama


“Close the language door and open the love window.  The moon won’t use the door, only the window.”

– Rumi


“If you go into solitude with a silent tongue, the silence of mute beings will share with you their rest.  But if you go into solitude with a silent heart, the silence of creation will speak louder than the tongues of men or angels.”

– Thomas Merton


“A positive reality is put into a person who receives grace…”

– Thomas Aquinas


We find that by opening the door to the shadow realm a little, and letting out various elements a few at a time, relating to them, finding use for them, negotiating, we can reduce being surprised by shadow sneak attacks and unexpected explosions.

– Clarissa Pinkola Estes


“I understood suddenly how thought was just an illusory thing, and how thought is responsible for, if not all, most of the suffering we experience. And then I suddenly felt that I was looking at these thoughts from another perspective, and I thought, ‘Who is it that is aware that I’m thinking?’ Suddenly, I was thrown into this expansive, amazing feeling of freedom — from myself, from my problems. I saw that I was bigger than what I do, bigger than my body, everything and everyone. I was no longer a fragment of the universe. I was the universe.”

– Jim Carrey


You are constantly being sent signs from the universe about what path to take…

– Sanaya Roman


We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.  We need silence to be able to touch souls.

– Mother Teresa of Calcutta


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

– Melody Beattie


Let us more and more insist on raising funds of love, of kindness, of understanding, of peace. Money will come if we seek first the Kingdom of God – the rest will be given.

– Mother Teresa of Calcutta


Retain evenness of mind under all circumstances.  In every situation be calmly active and actively calm.  Banish all disillusionment, all disappointments you might have found in losses and suffering.  These constraints on the power of thought and will must absolutely be done away with.  Your trials did not come to punish you, but to awaken you—to make you realize that you are a part of Spirit and that just behind the spark of your life is the Flame of Infinity; just behind the glimmer of your thoughts is the Great Light of God…

– Paramahansa Yogananda


My life is my message.

– Gandi


Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing yourself is enlightenment.

– Lao Tzu


Suffering is given to you that you might open your eyes to truth.

– Anthony DeMello


Action and reaction are continuous. Everything is connected to everything else.

– Swami Prajnanpad


Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.

– Mother Teresa


Our Task must be to free ourselves, by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures.

– Albert Einstein


Darkness can’t drive out darkness, only light can.

– Martin Luther King


God has been very good to me, for I never dwell upon anything wrong which a person has done, so as to remember it afterwards. If I do remember it, I always see some other virtue in that person.

– Saint Teresa of Avila


Those who are considered to be great know how to perform their duties selflessly for humanity.  They surrender the fruits of their actions to the Lord, whom they see in others.  When you work for yourself, you are afraid you might not get the fruits, or if you get the fruits, perhaps they will be snatched from you.  If you work for God, you will have no such fears and you will enjoy all the actions of your life.

– Swami Rama


Prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.

– Saint Teresa of Avila


How can you determine whether at this moment we are sleeping, and all our thoughts are a dream: or whether we are awake, and talking to one another in the waking state…

– Plato


To serve others means to serve the Lord. If you could see God in those whom you love and do your duties for God, you would experience harmony and peace within.  You could never hurt or treat someone badly if you could see God in that person.

– Swami Rama


The tree that is beside the running water is fresher and gives more fruit.

– Saint Teresa of Avila


It is better to be violent if there is violence in our hearts than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence.

– Gandhi


Swami Rama, Swami Veda, Ram Dass and Eckhart Tolle all say, to be here now, but we are all here because we are not all there.

 – Michael Smith


The root cause of all emotion is desire.

 – Swami Rama


Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.

 – Mother Theresa


Feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.

– Pema Chödrön


If you really want to know who you are, you have to take off all the masks, one after the other.

 – Swami Rama


When you are patient, you take the time to immerse yourself in the joy of the moment, which is denied to those who hurry…

 – Donald Curtis


People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.

 – Steve Maraboli 


It is not enough to know the way; we must travel it…

– Alice H. Rice


Our body has this defect that, the more it is provided care and comforts, the more needs and desires it finds.

– Saint Teresa of Avila


When I understand myself, I understand you, and out of that understanding comes love. Love is the missing factor; there is a lack of affection, of warmth in relationship; and because we lack that love, that tenderness, that generosity, that mercy in relationship, we escape into mass action, which produces further confusion, further misery. We fill our hearts with blueprints for world reform and do not look to that one resolving factor which is love.

– Jiddu Krishnamurti


Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.

– Mother Teresa


When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers

– Thich Nhat Hahn.


Ecstasy is the awakening of consciousness, the extending of awareness from the limits of the body to the limitlessness of Eternity…

– Yogananda


The only strength a person can rely on is inner strength, and that inner strength is based on love.

– Swami Rama


The most important teachings have their source in intuition and are beyond the powers of verbal communication.

– Swami Rama


Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

– Steve Jobs


Let nothing disturb you,

Let nothing dismay you;

All things pass;

God never changes…

One who has God lacks nothing;

God alone suffices.

 – St Teresa of Avila


I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him.

– Teresa of Avila


Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.

 – Mark Twain


You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.

 – Woody Allen 


What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary. Go and learn it.

 – Hillel, Talmud, Shabbath 31a


Loneliness and feelings of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty…

– Mother Teresa


Loneliness is the root cause of many diseases. People are lonely because they are not aware of the fountain within.

– Swami Rama


The ability to discipline oneself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term, is the indispensable prerequisite for success.

– Brian Tracy


The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.

– Thich Nhat Hahn.


The greatest power in the world is the divine power of grace.

– Swami Rama


Ask and it shall be given unto you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you…

– Jesus


We must learn to work in this world with interest, but keep relaxed and unattached.

– Yogananda


Spirit is the life of God within us…

– Teresa of Avila


Fearlessness is the first requisite of the spiritual life…

– Mohandas Gandhi


Spiritual life cannot force out of anyone more than the person wishes to put into it…

– Gayatri Devi


We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

– Teilhard de Chardin


You can create many diseases through your own mind and you can heal yourself through the same mind.

– Swami Rama


Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world.  Rather, we learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be.  We must learn to penetrate things and find God there…

– Meister Eckhart


Wise beings do not want to remain a slave to fear of pain.  They permit the world to be what it is instead of being afraid of it.  They wholeheartedly participate in life, but not for the purpose of using life to avoid themselves. If life does something that causes a disturbance inside of you, instead of pulling away, let it pass through you like the wind.

– Michael Singer


Both the optimist and the pessimist are right, but as different as light is from darkness…

– Anonymous


True progress quietly and persistently moves along without notice…

– Francis de Sales


I am realizing every day that the search for truth is vain unless it is founded upon love.  To injure a single human being is to injure those divine powers within us, and thus the harm reaches not only that one human being, but with him the whole world…

– Mohandas Gandhi


Where there is humility and patience, there is neither anger nor vexation

– Francis of Assisi


There are two ways to lose your mind. The way of the mad, and the way of the mystic…

– Swami Veda


The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You don’t blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the President.  You realize that you control your own destiny…

– Albert Ellis


The root cause of all emotions is desire.

– Swami Rama


One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious

– Carl G. Jung


…If you would only switch on the light of awareness and observe yourself and everything around you throughout the day, if you would see yourself reflected in the mirror of awareness the way you see your face reflected in a looking glass, that is, accurately, clearly, exactly as it is without the slightest distortion or addition, and if you observed this reflection without any judgment or condemnation, you would experience all sorts of marvelous changes coming about in you.

– Anthony De Mello


Patience means waiting without anxiety…

– Francis de Sales


Harmony means absence of conflict; it means stillness and silence, peace and tranquility…

– Ramesh Balsekar


There is no path greater than love.  There is no law higher than love.  And there is no goal beyond love, God and love are identical…

– Meher Baba


Our highest hopes are often destroyed to prepare us for better things. The failure of the caterpillar is the birth of the butterfly; the passing of the bud is the becoming of the rose; the death or destruction of the seed is the prelude to its resurrection as wheat.  It is at night in the darkest hours, those preceding dawn, that plants grow best, that they most increase in size…

– William G. Jordan


I have found that in the heart of disappointment there is always seated a limitless joy that can emancipate one from sorrow.

 – Swami Rama


At times I think that Jesus may be knocking from the inside, that we may let him out.

 – Pope Francis


The worst thing in your life may contain seeds of the best.  When you see crises as an opportunity, your life becomes not easy, but more satisfying

 – Joe Kogel


There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual walk with God.  Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it…

 – Brother Lawrence


Gratitude is one of the great positive emotions because it creates magnetism… A magnet is that which draws things to itself; therefore, by giving heartfelt thanks for all the good we now have, through the magnetism that gratitude creates, we will start attracting more good into our daily life…

 – Elaine Hibbard


I am a nobody,

nobody is perfect,

therefore I am perfect.

And who says nothing is impossible;

I’ve been doing nothing all day.

Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled.

 – Michael Smith


God is good but God and Chocolate is even better.

– St. Teresa of Avila


I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.

– Woody Allen


The Lord is within you, seated deep beyond your mind and emotions.

– Swami Rama


Emotions are like waves.  Watch them come and go on the vast ocean of existence…

– Hindu proverb


If negative emotions produce negative chemical changes in the body, wouldn’t the positive emotions produce positive chemical changes?

– Norman Cousins


Fill yourself first and then only will you be able to give to others…

– St. Augustine


Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it.  But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it…

– Mohandas Gandi


Where are the gateways to peace and enlightenment?  In the spaces between words. Look closely and enter.

– Swami Veda Bharati


Love is the law of God. You live that you may learn to love. You love that you may learn to live.

 – Mikhail Naimy


Ingratitude is the soul’s enemy… Like a hot, parching wind, it dries up the well-spring of holiness, the dew of mercy, and the streams of grace…

 – St. Bernard


The fountain of contentment must spring up in the mind, and he who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition, will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief he proposes to remove…

 – Samuel Johnson


The spiritual quest is a journey without distance. You travel from where you are right now to where you have always been. From ignorance to recognition…

– Anthony de Mello


Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated.  You can’t cross a chasm in two jumps…

– David L. George


Buddha left a road map, Jesus left a road map, Krishna left a road map.  But you still have to travel the road yourself…

– Steve Levine


Every dream has a purpose, whether it’s to warn us, inspire us, encourage us to slow down or to get moving…

– Patricia Garfield


Great dreams contain inexhaustible truths, and orient us, like runes, toward our futures… Great dreams are like wells that never run dry…

– Michael Grosso


Nothing so much convinces me of the boundlessness of the human mind as its operations in dreaming…

– William B. Clulow


Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change. Kiss slowly, play hard, forgive quickly, take chances, give everything and have no regrets. Life’s too short to be anything but joyful.

– Unknown


Our primary relationship is really with ourselves… Our relationships with other people constantly reflect exactly where we are in the process.

– Shakti Gawain


A relationship is like a garden.  If it is to thrive it must be watered regularly.  Special care must be given, taking into account the seasons as well as any unpredictable weather.  New seeds must be sown and weeds must be pulled…

– John Gray


“We become contemplatives when God discovers Himself in us…”

– Thomas Merton


“Do you know what one feels in meditation? The mind becomes like a continuous flow of oil—it thinks one object only, and that is God. It does not think of anything else…”

– Ramakrishna


“May you become so large as to encompass all space

with your subtle body.

May your heart strings be played by the Master

Musician of the universe.

May you radiate a golden glow in a dark room.

May you give back to Nature twice what you receive from Her.”

– Swami Veda Bharati


“I am so washed in the tide of His measureless love that I seem to be below the surface of a sea and cannot touch or see or feel anything around me except its water.”

– Catherine of Genoa


“Do not doubt the ability to remove the root cause of the disturbance inside of you.  You can look deep within yourself, to the core of your being, and decide that you don’t want the weakest part of you running your life.  You want to be free of this.  You want to talk to people because you find them interesting, not because you’re lonely.  You want to have relationships with people because you genuinely like them, not because you need for them to like you.  You want to love because you truly love, not because you need to avoid your inner problems.”

–  Michael Singer


“Light, even though it passes through pollution, is not polluted…”

– Augustine


“Love means non-hurting, non-harming, non-injuring, and non-killing, not only through actions, but through speech and thoughts also.”

– Swami Rama


“When you demand nothing… seek nothing, expect nothing, then the Supreme State will come to you uninvited and unexpected.”

– Nisargadatta Maharaj


“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

– Plato


“To fight the darkness of ignorance do not draw your sword, light a candle of love”

– Zarathustra



Mission Statement

We as people from a diversity of religions, spiritual traditions and sectors of society, gather to manifest our unity as we promote the spirit of community, service and cooperation through the work of the Interfaith Council.


The Council is able to sustain the Chaplaincy Program and provide these minitries only because of the generous and regular support of people like you and congregations such as yours. These ministries are carried out on your behalf, and would not be possible without your support.

Contributions toward the work of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County may be sent by check or money order to 1543 Sunnyvale Ave., Walnut Creek, CA 94597. Designations toward one of our programs, including the chaplaincy ministry of the Rev. Dr. Charles Tinsley, may be noted on the memo line.

The Interfaith Council is a 501(c)(3) organization, and all contributions are tax-deductible to the extent of the law.