On Sunday, March 6, the San Francisco Bay Area will welcome its newest interfaith organization, the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council. Though the South Bay has a long history of collaborative work and mutual appreciation among the varied religious communities in the area, there has not been a broadly inclusive and ongoing formal organization to encourage interfaith cooperation.
The first Annual Assembly of the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council will take place from 2:30 – 5:00 pm in the California Mission Room, located in the lower level of the Benson Center at Santa Clara University. The theme for the day is “Transforming the (Inter?)religious Landscape of Silicon Valley,” exploring what role diverse religious communities can and should play in shaping life in Silicon Valley.
The Council’s aim is to “build interreligious harmony and understanding so as to promote a just and compassionate society in Silicon Valley.” It will work to build relationships among religious communities, encouraging shared action and service, promoting education about religious diversity, and serving as a communications resource both to and from the interreligious community.
The program will feature a community conversation responding to the recent “Soul of the Community” report from the Knight Foundation. Participants include Chris Block (American Leadership Forum) Moderator, Fr. Jon Pedigo (Interfaith Council on Economics and Justice and the Diocese of San Jose); Feeza Mohamed (Vice Chair for San Jose District 3 Youth Advisory Council and a junior at Notre Dame High School); Mari Ellen Reynolds Loijens (Silicon Valley Community Foundation); and Delorme McKee-Stovall (Director, County of Santa Clara, Office of Human Relations).
Following the panel conversation, there will be time for dialogue and conversation among all those attending. Special music will be provided by Ladyesong and Juanita Harris and the Joyous Voices Gospel Choir. Several local officials, including Dave Cortese, President, SC County Board of Supervisors; Cindy Chavez, Working Parnerships USA; Chris Moore, San Jose Chief of Police; and Ellen Grace O’Brian, Board of Trustees, Parliament of the World’s Religions, will bring words of support for the new Council.
To find out more, or to register for the March 6th assembly, go to the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council (SiVIC) website at www.sivicouncil.org.