Entries categorized "Religion"

Al's Curiosity Corner #2 - Open Forum on the Library Issue

While there has been a discussion on that 'other' blog, the reason I hang here is that many comments get deleted there without explanation, especially on this issue and especially comments even modestly politically right.  However, this is a sensitive issue, and I am not going to allow outright insults directed at trans people/supporters/protestors nor at persons associated with Mom's for Liberty. 

For example, for some reason that other blog allows MFL persons to be called Nazis, and that sort of useless comment isn't going to be allowed here.  On the other hand, in the Yahoo comments on the Bee article, about 153 out of 155 comments were against the library actions, despite the article leaning towards supporting the protestors.  AND . . . many if not most of those commenting there were denying the existence of trans people, insulting trans people, and/or calling trans people various derogatory terms implying mental illness just for being trans.  I'm not putting up with any of that shit here either.  I won't outright delete a comment unless it's completely empty of anything but outright hate towards either side, and I'll always explain why a comment or part of a comment was deleted.

My views on the library matter are simple:  I'm a Jew who believes the Skokie decision was the greatest triumph for the core of what makes America great:  Free speech, baby!

What are your views?   I'd like this to focus on free speech vs. hate speech; the actions/authority of the library/library-manager, the actions of those putting on the meeting and those protesting the meeting, and various takes in the media.

(Note:  I have a life, so your comments may not be posted for many hours.  Deal with it.)

Seeds of Justice Reading and Reflection Group

By Ooti Maxine, Maidu artist

(From press release) The Seeds of Justice learning community started in 2021 as a project of the Episcopal Church of St. Martin to study the backgrounds for establishing land-based ministry in Yolo County; that is, an approach to ministry that considers the racialized history of the land including its uses, original inhabitants, labor and immigration, ecosystem health, and environmental threats, to be a key component of the church’s mission. We have in the past two years hosted lively conversations with Native Californian cultural practitioners, historians, and professors: Diana Almendariz, Melissa Moreno, Melinda Adams, Beth Rose Middleton Manning, John Liu, and Alan Taylor.

This year, we are partnering with YoloSol, a cultural arts and ecology collective, and the Yolo Interfaith Alliance for Climate Justice to read the book Know We Are Here, edited by Terria Smith, a tribal member of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians.

We will meet once a month on Tuesdays from 6:30-8pm at St. Martin's  to reflect on how these stories shape our understanding of the Native Californian past, shed light on our current climate crisis, and might suggest pathways to a restorative future for the web of life here in the Yolo bioregion.

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Davis Housing Solutions: A Community Conversation

(From press release) Interfaith Housing Justice Davis (IHJD) is excited to announce an upcoming forum "Davis Housing Solutions: A Community Conversation".  The forum is designed to address pressing housing issues and explore viable solutions.

The forum is scheduled for the evening of May 16th and will be held at Davis Community Church.  IHJD has invited local and regional experts on affordable housing and social service issues.  Topics covered will include "who needs housing" and "how" do we help them.  In addition, to provide a deeper understanding, the stories and voices of marginalized communities that include the homeless, victims of eviction and even those struggling to purchase their first home will be presented. The event will discuss the city's Housing Trust Fund, including funding and its role in solving the various housing needs highlighted.   Attendees will gain insights into how the Housing Trust Fund could effectively address housing challenges in Davis.  A key focus of the conversation will be how to ensure sustainable funding for the Housing Trust Fund.

Following the formal presentations attendees will have the opportunity to ask their own questions to a panel of the presenters including council members and city staff.

In addition to the forum and panel discussion, there will be a number of organizations available with whom the attendees can meet and talk.  Organizations already registered to participate include Northern California Legal Services, Mutual Housing California, Interfaith Housing Justice Davis, Ca House and DavisCAN.  All the organizations have a role in providing housing resources and support systems. This interaction will provide numerous opportunities for community members to get involved and contribute to housing equity efforts.

Davis Housing Solutions: A Community Conversation is open to all and is free.  Donations to the Housing Trust Fund are welcomed and can be made when registering for this event. Livestreaming information available at registration.  IHJD encourages all community members to join this conversation and participate in shaping the future for housing in Davis.

To register for the forum, go to https://bit.ly/interfaithhousing

If you wish to contact Interfaith Housing Justice Davis, email: Ellen Kolarik  [email protected]

Ramadan Prayers for Gaza

The weekly Vigil for Children continues as the death toll in Gaza exceeds 31,000 with no end in sight.   The Holy month of Ramadan begins and prayers are spoken to God and our brethren for the blessings of peace.

By Scott Steward

Prayers for Ramadan
The 21st weekly Gathering of Yolo residents in front of Mike Thompson's Woodland office. During the Congressman's term, there has been no adequate response by the US government as the House, Senate, and President placate the continued massacre of Gazan civilians and all Palestinians in the vicinity of Israel.

Ramadan Prayers for Gazans

Assalam Alaikem, beloved Palestinian brothers and sisters. Our hearts and souls are with you.  You are not alone.  we pray for peace in your homeland. May you be blessed forever.


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Thank you from The Celebration of Abraham

The Celebration of Abraham (https://celebrationofabraham.net) wants to thank 103 people who braved the weather to come together on February 4 for the 21st annual Celebration of Abraham: A Community Conversation on Generous Listening. The program began with presentations from speakers from each of the Abraham traditions on the importance of listening within the tradition: Michael Hirsch, Bet Haverim; Pastor Dan Smith, Lutheran Church of the Incarnation; and Laleh Rastegarzadeh, Muslim Davis Engagement and Interfaith Network (DEIN). After the speakers set the table, Vera Sandronsky (Bet Haverim) and Anne Kjemtrup (Muslim DEIN) presented and then led the attendees through a structured listening training developed specifically for interfaith dialogue.

Following the exercise, participants were asked to write down, “How do you see using this listening tool in your life today?” One reflection captured what so many felt: “The world is in need of more people who listen well. We need to keep on working on these tools so that they become a natural part of one’s listening. “

After the exercise, participants engaged in a ritual of hand washing and sharing bread.

This year’s freewill offering totaling $1675 supported the Seeds of Peace which brings together young people from conflict areas of the world, including Israel and Palestine,  for dialogue and exercises in peace leadership

The event ended with another great tradition-- Randy Ferris leading all in singing “Children of Abraham.”

The Celebration thanks the Lutheran Church of the Incarnation for providing the venue and the Davis Coop for the bread.

Celebration of Abraham, February 4th at 3 pm

(From press release) The Celebration of Abraham will meet in person on February 4th at 3 pm at the Lutheran Church of the Incarnation and practice GENEROUS LISTENING. Please preregister: http://bit.ly/abrahamlistening

 “It is a great pleasure to be able to welcome people in-person to our community conversation after three years of having to do our program online,” said Helen Roland, chair of the Celebration of Abraham and longtime Christian member of the organization. “Seeing people on a screen is one thing but sitting with people in person allows for deeper connection,” she added. COA is asking that folks register for this free event at http://bit.ly/abrahamlistening

The three years since the Celebration of Abraham (https://celebrationofabraham.net) has been able to meet in person have been difficult for most us—not only isolation, but illness, for some loss of friends and family, and the ever increasing political divisions.  Interfaith connections and conversations have become extremely challenging, and yet they are more important than ever.

The planning board of the Celebration of Abraham (COA)) includes people from the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths. When the Celebration of Abraham (COA) Board started meeting in September to plan for this year’s interfaith gathering, the focus was on the deep polarization in our country and how sharing across our faith traditions might provide tools to bridge the divisions in our community, especially in light of the Israeli/Gaza War.  With the escalation of violence in Israel and Gaza, the members of the board have felt a myriad of emotions from shock to anger, to fear and more. People have asked the COA to issue a statement about the war. As Vera Sandronsky, a Jewish member of the COA Board, has noted “We did issue a statement that focused on a shared desire for peace, but we were aware that our own board members needed to process the events with each other if we were going to ask the broader community to come together.”

Continue reading "Celebration of Abraham, February 4th at 3 pm" »

Help ‘Stuff the Bus’ With Food, Other Essentials

Flyer_StuffTheBuss(From press release) Unitrans and the Davis Food Co-op invite the community on Dec. 16 to “Stuff the Bus” with food and some of life’s other essentials for The Pantry, which serves UC Davis students in need.

One of Unitrans’ vintage double-deckers from London will be ready to take aboard donations for the seventh annual collection 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. in the parking lot of the Davis Food Co-op, 620 G St.

The first 50 donors will receive a Unitrans pass good for 10 rides on the campus-city transit service and a $10 coupon for the Davis Food Co-op. Everyone is invited to have some fun by climbing to the top deck of the bus.

Nonperishable food items — including easy grab-and-go snacks — dominate the list of needed goods at The Pantry, which is a unit of the Associated Students of UC Davis. Staff said toiletries and hygiene products are also a high priority.

Some of the specific items on The Pantry’s wish list are canned, ready-to-eat meals; cooking utensils; healthy snacks; gluten-free foods; canned soups; peanut butter; jam; fruit juice; and baby formula.

“Pretty much anything that’s reasonably healthy, we’ll take it!” said Sergio Bocardo- Aguilar, director of The Pantry. “Things we’d like to avoid are sugary foods and non- nutritious food.”

Starting in a living room in 1972, the Davis Food Co-op has grown into a full-service grocery store owned and operated by more than 8,000 households. It features natural, organic and local foods but strives to offer a full spectrum of groceries to serve the entire community.

Unitrans has been serving the community for more than 50 years with a fleet of red buses that includes new and vintage double-deckers and, more recently, electric, single-deck buses.

A Letter from Biden, Israeli and Palestinian Humanity, but the Bombing Continues

Picture of part of the thousands of voices calling for ceasefire, led by Jewish Voices for Peace, at New York's Penn Station. 10/30/23. 

By Scott Steward

The White House has acknowledged that there is a war against Hamas. There are also many encouraging humanitarian words for Palestinians and Israelis contained in the November 1st letter from Joe Biden. (see letter below).

The murder of Israeli's is unconscionable, but how many more thousands of penned up unarmed, starving Palestinian women and children will have to die, at the hands of one of the world's most sophisticated military nations, before ceasefire?   

While the President’s reply is far better than the inflammatory language coming from much of our leadership, Joe Biden's letter is not enough to deter the conviction that we need to continue to make space for Palestinian voices - today and tomorrow - for everyone's sake.

The United States policy toward the Israeli, and the Palestinian people, has not contributed to a sincere and consequential path to peace.  Most suggested concessions to the Palestinians have been, in the majority, equated with treason to Israel.  That sanctimonious position is a mistake and has justified 75 years of oppression and has fostered and allowed extremists, who are willing to resort to violence and terrorism, to determine much of the circumstances of Israel and Palestine.

We need to speak to the humanity of the Palestinian right to exist in peace and speak to the security of Israel to live in peace.  We need to listen to the voices of peace that exist on both sides (and around the world).

Continue reading "A Letter from Biden, Israeli and Palestinian Humanity, but the Bombing Continues" »

Response from Celebration of Abraham

Dear Friends,

We are overwhelmed with grief over the violence in Israel and Gaza. We know that the feelings of many of the members of our community regardless of their religious tradition are raw. Folks are exhausted and confused as we all try to understand the atrocities visited on our brothers and sisters that are resulting from the conflict. As the Celebration of Abraham tried to discern how to respond, we received the International House email that expressed that group’s distress and then affirmed the statement developed by the University of California Davis Cross-Cultural Center. The carefully crafted statement of the Cross-Cultural Center reflected the Celebration of Abraham’s thinking and, so we like International House are choosing to uphold the following statement:

“While no statement or message can encompass the historical breadth and political depth of this complex conflict, we want to acknowledge that the language and narratives used by media and in various statements can compound and increase feelings of vulnerability and distress.

We recognize that words matter and are concerned about dangerous rhetoric that can lead to increased anti-Arab sentiment, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia. This impact can include but is not limited to, people feeling unsafe emotionally and physically due to doxxing, surveillance, threats, and fear of voicing their opinion or perspective.

As a community, we encourage folks to be mindful of where they receive information, apply critical thinking skills when evaluating sources, and be open to deepening their knowledge around multiple perspectives.”

We, like International House, thank the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center for naming concerns and encouraging thoughtful consideration. We also thank the International House for reminding us that if we work to deepen our knowledge of others and practice deep compassion, we can realize what connects us as humans is stronger than the difference that divides us.

With a prayer for peace for all,

Helen Roland Cramer, Chair

Celebration of Abraham

Celebration of Abraham ZOOM Service of Compassion and Comfort, Sunday May 7

Interfaith Prayer Compassion and Comfort

Dear Friends,

What a horrific week! But also what an outpouring of community solidarity. As Chief Pytel said at his press conference, the work of not only all the law enforcement personnel but also the community resulted in an ending to the violence. The community also really stepped up to provide shelter for the most vulnerable among us, the unhoused. Now our community must heal. To aid that process, the Celebration of Abraham will host a ZOOM Service of Compassion and Comfort on Sunday.

Attached is the information on the Sunday May 7 ZOOM Service of Compassion and Comfort. Please spread the information about our ZOOM to your email lists and friends. Our service will focus on the need for healing but also on how the community came together to meet the challenges especially those faced by the unhoused and how we need to strengthen the community going forward. We will end by offering some of the ways individuals can become involved in caring for the community.

Register for the Zoom here:  https://bit.ly/abrahamprayer

Thank you, Helen

Helen Roland Cramer

Caring for Our Earth, Caring for Each Other

Celebration-of-abraham-logo(From press release) The Celebration of Abraham, a long-time interfaith organization in Yolo County, extends an invitation to the whole community to join us for our 20th annual community conversation:  “Caring for Our Earth, Caring for Each Other.” Helen Roland, President of Celebration of Abraham explained, “It seemed fitting that our 20th anniversary community conversation theme revisits one of our earlier events of caring for creation, and at the same time expands to reflect a common thread in the Abrahamic faiths recognizing a relationship between stewardship for our earth and for humankind.” The topic was arrived at by a multi-faith group of Celebration of Abraham members who gather monthly to plan for the event.

Regardless of spiritual traditions, all are welcome to join in the virtual ZOOM gathering from 3 pm to 5 pm on Sunday, February 5. Please register here: https://bit.ly/CeleAbraham20.

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Please Pick the Side of Democracy


By Colin Walsh

Please pick the side of Democracy.

Tonight, the City Council has the opportunity to set in motion their own private pick of the successor to Lucas Frerichs for the District 3 Council seat, or they can side with democracy and let voters decide.

I can certainly understand the temptation to save money and sidestep elections and appoint their selected candidate (likely Donna Neville). After all, the council all endorsed each other and almost always votes together. Even our newest council member Bapu Vaitla arrives as a consummate insider with strong relationships with the other council members. I mean really the Davis power clique has dominated the last elections and has every reason to believe their handpicked appointment would win in an election anyway. After all – the inside candidates dominate in fundraising, endorsements, and opportunities in all recent council elections.

The mechanism for picking might look like this - we would probably see the Council set in motion a process where they would pick the pickers. The council could appoint a committee to go through the process of interviewing and evaluating candidates and then pick exactly the same person the council would pick. After all, the council would surely pick the pickers that would pick the council’s pick of choice anyway - all while the voters of district 3 would be left picking their noses.

But maybe district 3 would vote differently than the power clique prefers. They certainly should have a chance to pick for themselves.

Some argue precedent, that the council has picked replacements candidates in the past, but things are different now with district elections. All of the current council members are elected by voters from specific districts and not by district 3 voters. District 3 voters deserve the chance to pick their own council person without interference from the candidates representing the other districts.

Even if the council chooses an election sometime in the future, but picks an interim council member, it amounts to the biggest endorsement they can give providing a very unfair advantage to their pick in the election. Better to leave the seat open until the voters of District 3 can vote democratically for the council member to fill the remaining term that Frerichs has left behind. Frankly if district 3 voters are upset about not being represented for a period of time, they should send their complaints to Frerichs who abandoned his council seat mid term for a better paying gig.

Let’s face it, the council has been voting in lockstep on just about every major issue for years now. A vacancy for a few months is not going to make a big difference in outcome. Especially considering the lockstep council would likely just pick another person to join them in lockstep.

Or maybe the council will pick democracy and district 3 can pick the next council person to represent them. One can hope.

Social Service Groups Receive Biberstein Social Action Fund Grants

(From press release) Fourteen (14) nonprofit social service groups in Yolo County have received grants totaling $18,475 from a fund established by Congregation Bet Haverim, Jewish Fellowship of Davis. The Biberstein Social Action Fund was established in 2002 to honor longtime Davis residents Ernie and Hannah Biberstein for their contributions to community service and social justice.  The fund sponsors efforts to address problems related to poverty, discriminations, abuse and neglect.

The following organizations were funded:

The Bike Campaign; Celebration of Abraham; Davis United Methodist Church – Grace Gardens; HEART of Davis (formerly Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter) ; iDream – The Mac Give Back Project; Meals on Wheels Yolo County; Mercer Veterinary Clinic; Personal Care Pantry (Woodland United Methodist Church); Purple Tree Café; STEAC; St. James Conference Society of Vincent de Paul; Suicide Prevention of Yolo County; Yolo County Continuum of Care; Yolo Crisis Nursery.

“We are very happy to make these awards,” said Ernie Biberstein.  “We think they will make a meaningful difference to the organizations selected and to the Yolo County community.

The winners, who were chosen by a committee of Bet Haverim members, will be recognized at a ceremony at the Bet Haverim Religious School in Davis in February.

“With the loss of Hannah, we continue to feel that it is even more important to show our religious school students the value of supporting the needs of their community,” continued Biberstein. Hannah Biberstein passed away in April of 2011.

Biberstein Social Action Fund awards are given annually on the basis of proposals made to the synagogue committee. Contributions to the fund may be made through Congregation Bet Haverim, 1715 Anderson Road, Davis, CA 95616. Please note that the donation is for the Biberstein Social Action Fund.

Celebration of Abraham Rocks the Block in West Sacramento with Habitat for Humanity

Rocks-the-block(From press release) On Saturday October 8 the Celebration of Abraham joined Habitat for Humanity Greater Sacramento to Rock the Block in West Sacramento. Our team comprised folks from all three Abrahamic traditions including Jewish (Renee Dryfoos, Gregory Guss, John Katonah and Dean Newberry), Muslim (Anne Kjemtrup, Kamal  Lemseffer and Timur Mamedov) and Christian (Mary Philip and Helen Roland Cramer). In addition to providing the interfaith work team, the Celebration of Abraham ran an on-line fundraising campaign and raised $1350 to supply the materials needed to work on the project.

The specific project that the Celebration of Abraham worked on was painting the transitional housing that Shores of Hope provides to folks aging out of foster care. Shore of Hope is a nonprofit in West Sacramento that offers among other services transitional housing, Slavic Women’s Health Outreach, emergency shelter, and a Food Closet. (See Welcome to Shores of Hope )

Biberstein Social Action Fund Grants Available

20th Annual Request for Proposals; proposals due October 28, 2022

(From press release) Nonprofit organizations are invited to submit applications to the Biberstein Social Action Fund for grants in support of projects addressing poverty, discrimination, abuse and neglect issues in Yolo County.

The Biberstein Social Action Fund was established in 2002 by the Board of Directors of Congregation Bet Haverim to honor Ernie and Hannah Biberstein, who are among the founding members of CBH, and who devoted much of their lives to community service and social justice. Hannah passed away in April 2011. 2022 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Fund, and, even more importantly, Ernie’s 100th birthday in November.

The goal of the annual awards made from the Biberstein Social Action Fund is to help Yolo County organizations in their efforts to meet unfulfilled needs. “In light of all the budget cuts in social services, we hope that grants like ours can make a difference,” Hannah Biberstein had said. “It means a lot to us that real individuals benefit from our grants.” Special consideration is given to new and/or innovative projects.

An annual Request for Proposals is released in the fall every year. Grants ranging from $500 to $2,000 are awarded each November. A committee of Bet Haverim congregants reviews grant applications.  Current Biberstein Fund committee members are congregants Ernie Biberstein, Anne Gieseke, Amy Abramson, Sandy Jones, Joan Sublett, and Shoshana Zatz.

Information about the Biberstein Award, including a link to the application, is available on the CBH website: https://www.bethaverim.org/engage/committees/biberstein-social-action-fund/

Grant proposals must be submitted no later than October 28, 2022. Questions may be directed to the Biberstein Social Action Fund at: [email protected]. Awards will be announced in December, 2022.

Continue reading "Biberstein Social Action Fund Grants Available" »

Donate to the Biberstein Social Action Fund

In Honor of its 20th Anniversary and Ernie’s 100th Birthday!

Biberstein donations(From press release) The Biberstein Social Action Fund was established in 2002 by the Board of Directors of Congregation Bet Haverim to honor Ernie and Hannah Biberstein, who are among the founding members of CBH, and who devoted much of their lives to community service and social justice. The goal of the Biberstein Fund is to recognize and support the work of organizations dedicated to the alleviation of poverty, discrimination, abuse and neglect in our local area (Yolo County). An annual Call for Proposals is released each September*. Grants ranging from $500 to $2,000 are awarded in December. Since 2002, the Biberstein Social Action Fund has contributed close to $200,000 to local social action organizations. (https://www.bethaverim.org/engage/committees/biberstein-social-action-fund/)

2022 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Fund, and, even more importantly, Ernie’s 100th birthday in November. In honor of this momentous occasion, we invite special contributions to be made to the Fund. Using the link below, please check the “Donations to Specialized Funds” box and make a contribution in any amount to the “Biberstein Social Action Fund”. (https://www.bethaverim.org/donate/).

If you prefer to mail a check, pay by cash or use a credit card over the phone, please contact the CBH office for further instructions at [email protected] or 530-758-0842.

Join us in wishing Ernie a very happy 100th Birthday and in celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Fund created to support the Bibersteins’ lifetime dedication to Tikkun Olam.

*A group of Bet Haverim Partners reviews grant applications.  Current Biberstein Fund members are congregants Ernie Biberstein, Amy Abramson, Anne Gieseke, Sandy Jones, Joan Sublett, and Shoshana Zatz. Ex-officio: Rabbi Bess Wohlner and Rabbi Jeremy Simons.

Learning from the anti-Semitic incident on 113 overpass

Anti-Semitic bannersBy Roberta Millstein

As most Davisites have learned by now, at least twice over the past two weekends, masked men displayed antisemitic banners from a highway overpass in Davis (see Davis Enterprise article for details).

The banners said, “Communism is Jewish” and “The Holocaust is an anti-white lie.”

Several local leaders issued responses.  These responses, although all were well-meaning, miss the mark a bit.  I want to try to explain why.

Chancellor Gary May said: “We are sickened that anyone would invest any time in such cowardly acts of hate and intimidation. They have no place here. We encourage our community to stand against antisemitism and racism.”

This isn’t false per se, but it’s incomplete.  This isn’t just an act of hate.  As I will explain further below, the banners replicate common tropes (repeatedly told stories) about Jewish people.  Without calling out those tropes, many will not understand, or fully understand, what the issues are.

Chancellor May is correct that anti-Semitism and racism are connected, but he doesn’t say how.  Again, more on this below.

Continue reading "Learning from the anti-Semitic incident on 113 overpass" »

Sunday Jams

IMG_5703_smlr"Sunday Jams” at Lutheran Church of the Incarnation (LCI)

On Sunday, May 1 at 11:30 am, nine people came together to make some folk music at Lutheran Church of the Incarnation (LCI) shortly after its 9:30am worship service and 10:30 education and coffee hour.  Many brought instruments: guitars and ukuleles could be seen, there was a piano and many voices.  Each brought their own favorite folk songs to share with the others, and the group quickly caught on, singing Irish folk tunes, classics like “Shenandoah”, “This Land is your Land”, “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “If I had a Hammer” and many others.  
It was a moment to share something deeply needed among this fellowship of friends, and perhaps in our world today: unity through the healing power of the arts.  “Sunday Jams” is a tradition that will continue at LCI: the next jam session will be Sunday May 22 at 12:00 noon, playing the music of the Beatles.  All are welcome!  LCI is at 1701 Russell Blvd. Davis, 95616 (corner of Russell & Arthur, just west of 113).  

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2022 Virtual Celebration of Abraham

Hope in difficult times     flyerHope in Difficult Times: An Interfaith Conversation

(From press release). The Celebration of Abraham, which is the only interfaith organization guided by the laity in Davis and Woodland, will hold another virtual celebration this year, Sunday February 6, 2022, 3 pm-4:30 pm. We deeply miss gathering with everyone in person and look forward to doing this again as soon as we can do so safely.

We recognize that the pandemic, environmental destruction, and political unrest continue to affect our well-being and therefore our ability to sustain ourselves as we face these challenges. For this year’s theme, “Hope in Difficult Times: An Interfaith Conversation,” we have chosen three young leaders to offer guidance grounded in their faith traditions: Leah Julian, Rabbinical Student; Tara Rogers-Soeder from the Davis United Methodist Church; and Omar Abdel-Ghaffar from Muslim Davis Engagement and Interfaith Network (DEIN). Our speakers will explore how we can live with hope without turning away from the difficulties that we face in our individual and collective lives. After hearing from the three speakers, we will invite attendees to discussion breakout rooms to share their thoughts.

Randy Farris will again lead us in singing Children of Abraham. We will raise donations for the International Rescue Committee. To sign up for the free event hosted on Zoom, please go to  http://bit.ly/COAHope. This link is case sensitive. You can also sign up by going to our website at http://www.celebrationofabraham.net.

Hope in Difficult Times: An Interfaith Conversation

Hope in difficult timesFREE 1.12Join the Celebration of Abraham, Sunday February 6, 2022, 3-4:30 PM, for their Annual Community Conversation - Virtual!

You must register to attend! Please register here:


Monetary donations will be collected for:

International Rescue Committee, Sacramento (https://help.rescue.org/donate/us-northern-california-ca)

Seeds of Justice lecture and workshop series

(From press release) What is our responsibility as people who live, work, or worship in Davis to the original inhabitants of this land? What is the legacy of environmental racism? How can we heal and repair the harm? These and other critical questions guide a new educational opportunity being offered to the community this fall.

The Episcopal Church of St. Martin will bring a series of lectures and workshops, Seeds of Justice, to Davis to highlight the work of scholars and cultural practitioners in this region - the ancestral homeland of the Patwin-Wintun people.

St. Martin’s developed the Seeds of Justice program to understand the racialized history of the land here in the epicenter of gold, greed and genocide. Through storytelling, discussions and hands-on workshops, participants will study the resistance and resilience of Native Californians to the ongoing social and environmental impacts of settlers in this region.

“We hope this will be a safe, honest and transformative space for our community to grapple with the legacy of injustice to this land and her people,” said Ann Liu, Chair of St. Martin’s Care for God’s Creation Committee. “Everyone is invited to come and learn with an open heart and mind.”

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