Board Meeting, Sept 12, 6pm

Board Meeting

Thursday, Sept 12 at 6pm at the Islamic Cultural Center

 On the agenda: starting to plan fall events
(including the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service)

We welcome any interested members to join us!


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Unity World Day of Prayer, Sept 12

Thousands will join Silent Unity––an international 24/7 prayer ministry open to people of all faiths––and Unity churches around the world on Thursday, September 12 for the 20th annual Unity World Day of Prayer. This year’s theme is: “Living Well: Nurturing Mind, Body, and Spirit.” The prayer or affirmation is: “My positive thoughts, words, and actions create a healthy life––mind, body, and spirit.”

“World Day of Prayer is an opportunity to make a positive difference by fostering healing and wholeness through prayer. As citizens of the planet, we are tasked to heed Ghandi’s call to ‘be the change you want to see int he world.’ What better way to start than by establishing healthy and and life-affirming practices in our own lives,” said Rev. Joanne Burns, Minister, Unity of Fresno.

Silent Unity will begin their 24-hour prayer vigil the evening of Wednesday, September 11 and continue through Thursday, September 12. Locally, Unity of Fresno will start their prayer vigil at 7:00 a.m. the morning of September 12. The church will set-up four different stations in recognition of the many aspects of prayer: a Burning Bowl station, a Communion station, a Votive station and an Interfaith station. Plus, the sanctuary will be available for those who wish to meditate and pray.

Unity of Fresno’s prayer vigil will culminate at 7:00 p.m. that evening in an Interfaith concert held in the sanctuary. Unity of Fresno Music Director Jim Coventry will direct the concert featuring local musicians from Fresno and the surrounding area.  All are welcome to attend. Unity of Fresno is located at 315 W. Shields Ave. in Fresno.

Details about Unity World Day of Prayer events at Unity Village in Missouri and other communities are online at Information is available in Spanish at World Day of Prayer is also on Facebook (search for Unity World Day of Prayer).

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“Race in Fresno” Dialogue Sept 26

Race in Fresno: A Dialogue Between Pastors

September 26, 5:30- 8:30pm
at Westside Church of God (1422 W California Ave., Fresno, CA 93706)

Co-sponsored by
No Name Fellowship &
Faith in Community (The PICO affiliate)

No Name Fellowship & Faith in Community are proud to invite you to a powerful night to listen to the Pastors of our city dialogue around the complex and at times heated issue of race in Fresno. We are positive that this conversation will be both respectful and transformative and model for congregants a way to continue this conversation in our churches and communities.

The diverse panel is designed to have the church body address the issue of race outside of our perspective silos. We are thrilled for this dialogue and exchange of perspectives.

The night will include optional dinner and table discussions following the event. Come and be a part of this historic and formational night!

Confirmed Panelists:

  • Paul Binion: Westside Church of God
  • BT Lewis: Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church
  • DJ Criner: Saints Rest Baptist Church
  • Natalie Chamberlain: United Christian Church, Disciples of Christ
  • Eli Loera: Christian Temple
  • Brad Bell: The Well Community Church
  • Jim Franklin: Cornerstone Church
  • Father Gabriel Ruiz: St. Anthony Mary Claret

Panel Facilitators:

Dr. Matthew Jendian, Department Chair & Professor of Sociology at CSU Fresno

Dr. Francine Oputa, Director of the Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute at CSU Fresno


Time: 5:30-9:00 Dinner: 5:30-6:15 (optional)
Panel: 6:15-8:30
Table Discussion: 8:30-9:00

For more info & to purchase dinner tickets, click here

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Interfaith Youth Ice Cream Social, Aug 14

Interfaith YouthYouth in the Central Valley are invited to an Interfaith Youth Ice Cream Social, to be held on Wednesday, Aug. 14 at 6:30pm. at the St. Paul Newman Center in Fresno, (1572 E Barstow Ave.).

Ice cream will be shared, there will be a quiz, water games and prayer.  This event is free and open to all.  Bring your favorite ice cream topping.

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John Esposito at Islamic Cultural Center on July 19

john espositoJohn Esposito, the Director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University will be a featured speaker at the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno on Friday, July 19 at 6 PM.

His topic will be: “Being Muslim in America: The Success & Challenges of Promoting Peace”.

The evening will include a dinner of Persian & Pakistani food. Tickets for the dinner and lecture are $25, children/students: $10.

For tickets or for more information contact the Islamic cultural center by email or by calling 559-297-9535

Download a flyer here.


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What is the Truth about American Muslims?: Questions and Answers

Did you know that the first mosque structure built in the United States for the purpose of serving a Muslim community was in Ross, North Dakota (1929)?

What is the Truth about American Muslims?: Questions and Answers is a resource created jointly by Interfaith Alliance and the Religious Freedom Education Project. In a time when misinformation about and misunderstandings of Islam and of the American Muslim community are widespread, our goal is to provide the public with accurate answers to understandable questions. The resource reflects widely-shared views among American Muslims on important topics such as sharia, jihad, the role of mosques and the relationship between religious and civil legal codes. In producing and disseminating this resource, we seek to uphold our shared commitment to religious freedom and contribute to a climate of understanding and mutual respect among Americans of all faiths and none.

This resource has been endorsed by 23 diverse religious, secular, interfaith and civil rights organizations: African American Ministers Leadership Council, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, Islamic Networks Group, Islamic Society of North America, Muslim Public Affairs Council, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, People for the American Way Foundation, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Queens Federation of Churches, Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Secular Coalition for America, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Sikh Coalition, Sojourners, Southern Poverty Law Center, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society.

It can be downloaded at:   


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Statement Regarding Boston Bombing

The members of the Interfaith Alliance of Central California are a diverse group representing people of many faiths and no faith. As we contemplate the horrific events of April 15 in Boston, we offer our prayers and good thoughts to the victims, their families and friends, the people of Boston, and every nation represented on the streets of Boston yesterday. We affirm that we believe good is stronger than evil and that good will prevail when we stand and work together for justice and peace. We call on good people everywhere to let their voices be heard; it is in our silence that evil thrives. May God’s blessings be upon all those who suffer.

Imam Seyed Ali Ghazvini & Rev. Natalie Chamberlain,
Co-Chairs, Interfaith Alliance of Central California

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National Day of Prayer Service, May 2

NDOP logo“Under the Wings of Peace” an inclusive National Day of Prayer Service will be held on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 6 pm, at the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, 2111 E. Nees Ave., Fresno, CA 93720.

Download a flyer for sharing here.

People of all faith communities and those without a traditional religious faith are invited to take part in this celebration. Join us for a one hour service presenting inspiration and musical offerings from many of the faith traditions represented in our greater Fresno community.

Clergy and faith leaders are invited to process into the service. We will gather for processional at 5:45.

Please bring a plate of fruit, vegetable or sweets to share in community following the service.

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Civic Education, Religious Diversity, & Democracy, Apr 13

Charles HaynesIACC, along with Fresno State and ACEL Fresno, are sponsoring “Civic Education, Religious Diversity, & Democracy”, a workshop and panel discussion with Dr. Charles Haynes on  Saturday, April 13, 8:30AM-2:30 PM at Residence Dining Hall at Fresno State.

Charles Haynes, from the First Amendment Center, is the nation’s preeminent expert on First Amendment and religious issues in schools.  For more info:

Download a flyer to share

8:30-11:30:     Morning session will focus on education, religious diversity, and the First Amendment, with discussion of Tony Blair’s Face to Faith curriculum project

 11:30-12:30:   Lunch

12:30-2:30:     “Civic Education and Democracy in the 21st CenturyPanel featuring:

  • Charles Haynes, First Amendment Center
  • Lori Grace, Doctoral Student at Fresno State and Principal at Hoover High School
  • Dr. John Minkler, Program Director of the Academy for Civic and Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Deborah Brown, Madera County Teacher of the Year
  • Moderated by Dr. Andrew Fiala, Director of the Ethics Center at Fresno State

To confirm attendance (for planning purposes) email Dr. Susan Schlievert at [email protected] and indicate whether you will attend the morning, afternoon, or both sessions.

Further information: Andrew Fiala, [email protected]

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Vigil for Sandyhook School held Dec 20

Sandyhook vigil speakers

Some of the speakers: Rev Natalie Chamberlain, Interfaith Alliance of Central California and United Christian Church; Ghassane Habib, Islamic Cultural Center; Rev Dr Chris Breedlove, College Community Congregational Church; Beverly Fitzpatrick, Peace Fresno; Jean Hays, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Rabbi Rick Winer, Temple Beth Israel

On Thursday, December 20, 2012 the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno hosted a candlelight prayer vigil for the victims of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.  A number of faith, peace, and community groups collaborated to organize the event.  Dr. Su Kapoor was a chief organizer.

Sandyhook vigil candle

The gold candle represented hope. Participants each lit their candle from the candle of hope and then carried it into the world.


Sandyhook vigil outside

Dr. Su Kapoor & Babs Eskin, Unitarian Universalist Church and IACC. Once outside, everyone was asked to pray in a way befitting their tradition.

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Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

Thanksgiving service 2012

Interfaith clergy/leaders at the 2012 Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

One of the most popular events for Interfaith Alliance Central California is our annual interfaith Thanksgiving service.  Our 2012 service was held at the Fresno Buddhist Family Dharma Center on November 18.

Plan now to attend the 2013 Interfaith Thanksgiving service!

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Interfaith Scholar Weekend, Feb. 8-10, 2013

Fr Laurence FreemanThe Interfaith Scholar for 2013 will be Fr. Laurence Freeman.  Father Freeman, OSB is the Director of the World Community for Christian Meditation, a global network of Christian meditation groups.  Father Freeman has been active in interfaith dialogue.  Read more about Fr. Freeman.

His topic for the ISW: “The Art of Meditation: Sustaining the Compassionate Life“,in which he will explore a practice for purposeful activists.   Mark your calendar and register online now to join us February 8-10, 2013!

The Friday evening and Sunday events are free.  Advance registration for Saturday’s lectures are $45 per person, which includes two meals (both are kosher and halal). Students can register for $10 per person.  At the door, registration will be $50 per person.  Scholarship assistance is available– email Al Evans for more information.

Fr. Freeman is a popular speaker, and we anticipate that we will reach the registration limit before the event.  If you plan on attending, please register early!

To register by mail: Send your check payable to “Interfaith Scholar Weekend” to: ISW, c/o College Community Congregational Church, 5550 N. Fresno St., Fresno, CA 93710 ).  Please clearly indicate the name(s) of the registrants.

Click here to register online and pay with a credit card.

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Interfaith Activist Speaker at Islamic Cultural Center

Imam Abdul Malik MujahidOn Saturday, January 26, Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Chairman of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, an interfaith activist and film producer as well as chairman of Sound Vision will be the keynote speaker at the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno. The topic of his speech will be “The Peace Movement of Prophet Muhammad: Lost Between Love & Hate Today”.

The occasion is the celebration of Prophet’s Birthday and ICCF Fundraising. Program starts at 5:30 and goes up to 8pm but the lecture is only 30-40 min from (6-6:40pm) followed by dinner.

Tickets are for $25.  For more information, contact [email protected].


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MLK Events 2013

MLKSince 1984, the greater Fresno community has commemorated the legacy and dream of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As one of the oldest celebrations west of the Mississippi, the events planned by the MLK Unity Committee help us remember the life of Dr. King today and will inspire future generations for tomorrow.

Download a flyer with all events & parade route

Program of Celebration Events

(Please Bring Canned Goods to All Events)

Noon-1:00pm—Opening Garlanding Ceremony @ Fresno County Courthouse Park, 1100 Van Ness Avenue.
The public is encouraged to bring flowers to place at Dr. King’s bust.  For event information, contact Gail Gaston, (559) 681-3140 or Dr. Sudarshan Kapoor, (559) 435-2212 .

5:30pm-7:30pm—2012 MLK Awards Reception & Ceremony @ Fresno City Hall, 2600 Fresno Street.
Reception will honor awardees for outstanding service to the community.  For event information contact Gregory Barfield, (559) 621-8000.

9am-11am—Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast @ Clovis Veterans Memorial Building, 808 4th Street, Clovis. Keynote Speaker: Lynne Ashbeck, City of Clovis Mayor Pro Tem. Tickets at the door with a canned food item: $5. Tables of Eight: $40. Tables of 8 available with reservation and advance payment.  For reservation and ticket information contact Erin Ford-Horio, (559) 324-2476 or [email protected]

4pm-6pm—All-Faiths Service & Candlelight Vigil @ New California & Elm Community Gym, 1802 California Avenue. Enjoy various beloved spiritual leaders, musical talent and keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. Robert Smith.  For event information, contact Dr. Sudarshan Kapoor, (559) 435-2212, or Rev. Bruce McAlister, (559) 227-9819.

MONDAY, JANUARY 21 (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
9am—Assemble for Dr. Martin Luther King March @ St. John’s Cathedral, 2814 Mariposa Avenue.
10am—March begins. March will stop at City Hall for speakers. Afterwards, the march will continue on to the Veterans Memorial Auditorium for the Commemoration Program.
10:45am—Commemoration Program @ Veterans Memorial Auditorium, 2425 Fresno Street.  For event information, contact James Lett, III, (559) 284-6420, or Leonard Addams, (559) 375-6749, or Eric Payne, (559) 486-9470.

Time—Art Exhibit @ Fresno County Office of Education Tower Lobby, 1111 Van Ness Avenue. Student Art and Essay Contests Winners work to be displayed in the lobby February 1-22.  For event information, contact Dr. Lisa Benham, (559) 265-3073, or Shirley Hargis, (559) 265-3060.  Deadline for Speech, Essay and Art Contests submissions is January 17, 2013. For contest rules and informa-tion, contact Linda Sibel, (559) 497-3710, or Hilda Sandoval, (559) 265-3098 ext. 3284.

MLK Unity Committee Contact:
[email protected]

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Interfaith Longest Night Service of Healing

Friday, December 21 at 5:30 pm
At United Christian Church

candlesThe winter solstice, the longest night of the year, falls during the time of year when much of our culture focuses on festivities and family.  But many people struggle to feel joyous in the midst of strained relationships or struggles with depression.  This Longest Night Service will focus on healing and light dawning in darkness.  The interfaith service is co-sponsored by United Christian Church and Mental Health America of the Central Valley

Refreshments served after the service.


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Japenese Ancestral Wisdom Workshop

Ronald Y. NakasoneWorkshop & Worship with Rev. Dr. Ronald Y Nakasone
December 1-2, 2012
United Japanese Christian Church

On Saturday December 1, Professor Ronald Y. Nakasone will offer a two-part workshop sharing his reflections on “Ancestral Wisdom” in Japanese culture.  During the first session, 1:00-2:30pm, he will speak on the sources—Shinto, Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, Christianity, and other traditions—of Japanese Spirituality that still inspire Japanese and Japanese Americans and their communities. He will also explore the meaning of “shūkyō,” commonly rendered as “religion” in Japanese culture.  Subsequently, in the second session, 3:00-4:30pm, he will highlight the legacy of the Japanese spiritual tradition through the arts and elder tales.

At Sunday worship at United Japanese Christian Church on December 2 (10:30am) Dr. Nakasone will speak on “Ancestral Wisdom, Lessons of 3/11” as we begin the Advent season with the story of Jesus’ elder relatives, Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth, who become the unlikely parents of John the Baptist.

Rev. Dr. Ronald Y Nakasone is a member of the Core Doctoral Faculty at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California and faculty at the Stanford University Geriatric Education Center. He has published more than 110 academic books and articles on Buddhist Thought, Ethics, and Aesthetics, Aging and Spirituality, and Okinawan Studies. Students and colleagues contributed essays to Memory and Imagination, Essays and Explorations in Buddhist Thought and Culture (Nagata, 2010), a festschrift that celebrated his completion of one life cycle (60 years) according to the Chinese zodiac. He received the Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award from the Graduate Theological Union in 2011.  Both Rev. Akiko Miyake-Stoner and Rev. Kathryn Schreiber (pastors at United Japanese Christian Church) studied with him while students at PSR.  Professor Nakasone is a sansei, born and raised in Hawai’i. He studied at the University of Hawai’i, Ryūkoku University (Kyoto), University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Harvard University. He is an ordained Jōdoshinshū (Pure Land) priest and a skilled sho- (calligrapher) artist.

Pre-event reading materials will be available.  For more information, please email Rev Kathryn Schreiber.

Please RSVP to Stephanie Sumi at United Japanese Christian Church.


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Interfaith Thanksgiving Service 2012

Thanksgiving 2011

Interfaith Thanksgiving Service 2011

The annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service will be held at the Fresno Buddhist Family Dharma Center, 2720 E. Alluvial Ave.  The service will be held Sunday November 18 at 5:30 p.m.

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