Plans are moving forward for the creation of a new multifaith organization in the South Bay. At a meeting last week at Antioch Baptist Church in San Jose, the planning team charged with the task of framing a process for creating the organization proposed that it be called the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council.
The Council will not supplant any of the existing multifaith entities and efforts, but will work with them to build interreligious relationships of respect and understanding, and create opportunities for education and shared action involving not only the religious communities of the valley, but other guiding institutions as well — educational, governmental, and private sector.
The Council will be the center for efforts related to the Partner City Network. Silicon Valley was named as the “Inaugural” member of the Partner City Network of the Parliament of the World’s Religions at the global gathering in Melbourne in 2009.
A diverse group of individuals and organizations from the many religious traditions of the South Bay have been meeting monthly since early this year to chart the directions for future collaboration. In recent meetings, they have hosted the Executive Directors of several multifaith groups in the Bay Area: the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, Marin Interfaith Council, Peninsula Clergy Network, and the San Francisco Interfaith Council. In each session, participants have learned about the promise and challenge of interreligious cooperation.
Reports and background documents related to the process of developing the Council can be found at the SouthBay Interfaith website: www.southbayinterfaith.org. Interested people are especially invited to respond to the Questionnaire About Interfaith Organization, and the Draft Guidelines for Building Interreligious Relationships.