2015 – Justice
“Do your little bit of good where you are: it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world”
The Community Conversations
Each year after the speakers present information on how the traditions might approach the topic, everyone participates in Table Discussions. This year we have organized the discussions in a new way. We have divided the space into four related justice topics. Two groups deal with specific justice issues facing Davis and Yolo County: homelessness and people from other countries who lack the documentation to legally reside in the United States. The other two topics focus on building an inclusive just community: restorative processes for resolving conflicts in our community and building a coalition among those individuals and groups who are working for equal justice for everyone. The five groups represented in the Interfaith Fair for Justice have worked with us on developing the table conversations. (See more below) We will invite individuals attending the Celebration to sit in the area they most would like to discuss.
At the first Celebration of Abraham, we shared a small ritual to emphasize that we believe this work is a sacred responsibility. The two-part ritual comprised washing each other’s hands and breaking bread together. Each action is preceded by a Christian, Jewish and Muslim prayer. We have included this hand washing and bread sharing each year. All communities have rituals and this one has brought us closer together and reminded us of how blessed we are to be able to come together to discuss our differences.
The Service Projects
From the beginning the Celebration of Abraham has closed with an act of love toward the larger community. Some years we have raised funds for local groups like the Yolo Food Pantry. Other years we have raised money to help the survivors of the Super Hurricane Haiyan. This past summer, when we chose who we would support with our donations, Israel and Gaza were at war. Hoping to help the people living through those wars we chose two educational groups working with children and youth to support.
The two groups are— Seeds of Peace and reGeneration.
Because Abraham is working on its non-profit status, Care for God’s Creation is acting as our fiscal sponsor, so please make all checks out to Care for God’s Creation. They will deposit the money in their account and then send checks to the two groups
Pottery for Peace
When a group of potters representing many faiths heard that the Celebration was going to support groups working to build bridges to peace in the Middle East, they approached the Celebration and proposed Pots for Peace. Using materials donated by the University of California, Davis Craft Center, this group under the leadership of Renee Dryfoos produced 100 pots for peace! Anyone who donates $20 to the two groups working for peace will receive a “Peace Pot.” Of course donation less than $20 will be much appreciated and those who want to replenish their soup bowls may purchase more bowls.
Seeds of Peace
Seeds of Peace inspires and equips new generations of leaders from regions of conflict with the relationships, understanding, and skills needed to advance lasting peace. From 46 American, Egyptian, Israeli and Palestinian teenagers in 1993, we have expanded our programming to include young leaders (“Seeds”) from across the Middle East, South Asia, Cyprus and the Balkans. Our leadership network now encompasses over 5,000 Seeds. Currently, we are actively working in the Middle East, South Asia, and the United States. http://www.seedsofpeace.org/about#sthash.smzlynsT.dpuf
ReGernation is an interfaith non-profit seeding the Middle East with an educational philosophy that embraces life, learning, the arts, the earth and all the children. http://regenerationeducation.org/ One of their primary projects is Ein Bustan the first Jewish/Arab Waldorf kindergarten in Israel, and is situated in the small Arab village of Hilf, near Kiryat Tivon, in the lower Galilee. The educational framework, which is based on Waldorf Education, accepts both Arab and Jewish cultures equally. (http://www.ein-bustan.org/
Interfaith Community Justice Fair Organizations
The Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter of Davis (IRWS) is a community based-effort enabling member congregations to provide cold-weather shelter and hospitality on a rotating basis to persons who are homeless in the Davis community. The spirit of the program is to provide a bridge between those with shelter and those without. http://www.interfaith-shelter.org/
Davis Community Meals (DCM) is a nonprofit, non-denominational organization whose mission is to provide low-income and homeless individuals and families with housing, food, and human services to help them rebuild their lives. http://daviscommunitymeals.org/
The Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network (YIIN) is a group of people serving and advocating for immigrants in Yolo County. We believe that by working together, we can make our community a better place for all of us to live and thrive. https://www.facebook.com/YIIN.Group
The Yolo Conflict Resolution Center provides community mediation based on the principles of Restorative Justice regardless of the parties ability to pay. They also train people in restorative processes. http://yolocrc.org/index.html
The mission of the Phoenix Coalition is to gather and engage the Davis community in ongoing efforts to eliminate intolerance, for the purpose of preventing hate motivated violence and thus cultivating a broader civic culture that embraces and promotes all aspects of the city’s diverse community. https://www.facebook.com/DavisPhoenixCoalition