Friday, November 2, 2007

IRC By-Laws

IRC by-laws: as revised, March 2004

I. The purpose of the Interreligious Council of San Diego shall be to promote mutual understanding and respect among the member faiths; to deal with issues which affect the total religious community; to share the members’ concerns for the problems of the community, the nation, and the world; to voice those concerns when unanimously agreed upon by the voting members of the council, as provided for in Article III, Section 5 of the Bylaws.

II. The office of the current president will be considered as the principal office of the Interreligious Council of San Diego. The board of delegates may at any time, or from time to time, change the location of the principal office from one location to another in the County.

III. Section 1. Members
There shall be three classes of members of the Council. The first class of members shall be know as voting members; the second class of members shall be known as associate members; the third class of members shall be known as liaison organizations.
Section 2. Qualifications of voting members
a. The voting members of this council shall be comprised of organizations officially representing historic religious groupings, including as founding organizations, the Islamic Center of San Diego, the San Diego Rabbinical Association, The San Diego Buddhist Temple, the Baha’i Faith, the Vedanta Society of Southern California, and the San Diego Ecumenical Conference, and the Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints which joined subsequent to the founding. Organizations shall be admitted to voting membership by a unanimous vote of the voting members as provided in Article III, Section 5 of these Bylaws, and shall agree with the founding purpose, goals and values of the council.
b. Where a constituent body of the Interreligious Council is, in turn, the collective of several religious organizations, the delegate(s) of that constituent body shall be representative of those organizations and shall be appointed in consultation with/or by the appropriate judiciaries.

Section 3. Qualifications of Associate Members
Associate members may be admitted and shall be comprised of organizations accepted by a unanimous vote of the voting members to provide ongoing, volunteer staff services to this council.

Section 4. Qualifications of Liaison Organizations
The liaison organizations of this council shall be comprised of ecumenical-interreligious organizations or religious service organizations in San Diego whose purposes and inclusive nature are accepted by this council as being consistent with the stated purposes of this council, and who are given the status of liaison organizations by the unanimous decision of the voting members.

Section 5. Voting rights of Member Organizations
Each voting member of this council shall be entitled to one vote. Associate members and liaison organizations of this council shall not be entitled to vote. Decisions of the council shall be made by a unanimous vote of those voting members present at a duly called meeting, except all actions taken on the council’s Bylaws, amendment of Bylaws, or membership, must be referred to each member organization and shall be declared approved within a 30-day period following notification provided there have been no negative votes received.

Section 6. Liabilities of Members
No organization which is now, or which later becomes, a member of this council, nor any person who is now, or later becomes, a delegate of this council, shall be personally liable to its creditors for any indebtedness or liability, and any and all creditors of this council shall look only to the assets of this council for payment.

IV. Numbers of Delegates and Quorums
Section 1. Number of Delegates
Each voting member shall be entitled to appoint up to two delegates (whenever possible, the head of the organization shall be one of the delegates). Each associate member shall be entitled to appoint one delegate. The term of office for each delegate shall be within the sole discretion of the voting members. Each delegate may succeed himself or herself in office. Each past president, at his or her sole option, serve from time to time, or perpetually, as a non-voting member.

Section 2. Quorum; Majority Rule; Conduct of Meeting
One-third of the total voting members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. A quorum shall be conclusively presumed unless questioned prior to the termination of the meeting. Decisions of the council shall be by unanimous decision of the voting members present at meetings at which a quorum exists, excepting as provided in Article III, Section 5. Meetings shall be conducted according to “Robert’s Rules of Order”, unless otherwise provided in the bylaws.

Section 3. Powers of the Delegates
Subject to limitations of the Council’s Bylaws, and especially Article III, Section 5, hereof, all powers of the council shall be exercised by or under the authority of, and the business and affairs of the council shall be controlled by, the voting members acting through their delegates. Without limiting the general powers, the delegates shall have the following powers:
a). To select and remove the officers, agents and employees of the council, prescribe such powers and duties for them as may not be inconsistent with law or with the Bylaws, fix their compensation (if applicable), and require from them security for faithful service.
b). To conduct, manage and control the affairs and business of the council, and to make rules and regulations not inconsistent with the law, or the Bylaws.

Section 4. Place of Meeting
a). Regular meetings of the council shall be held at any place, within or without the state, that has been designated from time to time by the executive committee. In the absence of this designation, regular meetings shall be held at the principle office of the council. Special meetings may be held either at a place designated or at the principle office.
b). Meeting dates will be set at the September meeting of the Interreligious Council of San Diego.

Section 5. Regular Meetings
Unless otherwise decided by the council or the executive committee, regular meetings of the council shall be held monthly, September through June, with written notice, i.e., post, e-mail or FAX, to the delegates.

Section 6. Special Meetings
Special meetings of the council for any purpose or purposes may be called at any time by the president or by two or more voting member organizations requesting such a meeting.
Written notice of the time and place of special meetings shall be delivered personally to each delegate or sent to each delegate by mail or by other form of written communication, charges pre-paid, addressed to him or her at his or her address as it is shown in the records of the council. The notice shall be mailed at least 5 days before the time of the holding of the meeting. The transactions of any meeting of the council however called and noticed and wherever held, shall be as valid as though made at a meeting held after regular call and notice, if a quorum is present and if either before or after the meeting each of the delegates not present signs a written waiver or a consent to hold the meeting or an approval of the minutes. All such waivers, consents, or approvals shall be filed with the council records or made part of the minutes of the meeting.

Section 7. Action without a Meeting
Any action by this council may be taken without a meeting if all voting members unanimously consent in writing to this action. Such written consent or consents shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the board.

Section 8. Compensation
The delegates shall receive no compensation for their services as delegates or as officers.

V. Officers
Section 1. Officers
The officers of this council shall be a president, vice-president, secretary and a treasurer, and such other officers as the voting members may appoint. One person, other than the president, may hold more than one of these offices. The officers shall be comprised of delegates of voting member organizations. The term of office is one year.

Section 2. Election
The presidency shall be assumed by the primary representative of each member organization in rotation. A minimum of six months of service on the San Diego Interreligious Council is required to serve as President. The order of rotation shall be: 1) Baha’i Faith, 2) Islamic Center of San Diego, 3) Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints of San Diego, 4) Vedanta Society of San Diego, 5) San Diego Rabbinical Association, 6) San Diego Ecumenical Conference, 7) San Diego Buddhist Temple. Any organization which becomes a member of the council subsequent to May 2004 shall be placed last in rotation.
The voting members of the council shall elect all other officers of the council for terms of one year, or until their successors are elected and qualified. The annual election of officers and succession of presidency shall be held at the regular meeting of the delegates in June of each year. New officers confirmed in June will assume their responsibilities as of July 1.

Section 3. Vacancies
A vacancy in any office because of death, resignation, removal, disqualification, or otherwise, shall be filed by the board of delegates as follows:
A vacancy in the office of president shall be assumed by the other delegate from the same organization which holds the presidency for that year. If no other delegate is assigned at the time of the announcement of impending vacancy, the presidency shall be filled by board of delegates from among the voting members eligible which include all except the organization which held the presidency last year or which will succeed next year.
A vacancy in an office other than the presidency shall be filed by the board of delegates.

Section 4. President
Subject to control of the voting members of the council, the president shall have general supervision, direction, and control of the business and affairs of the council. The President shall prepare the agenda for and shall preside at all meetings of the board of delegates, and shall have such other powers and duties as may be prescribed from time to time by the board of delegates. The president shall be the official spokesperson of the council either personally or through a representative from the council.

Section 5. Vice President
In the temporary absence or disability of the president, the vice president shall perform all the duties of the president and in acting shall have all the powers of the president. The vice president shall have such other powers and perform other duties as may be prescribed from time to time by the board of delegates.

Section 6. Secretary
The secretary shall keep a full and complete record of the proceedings of the council, including a roster of delegates and the attendance thereof; shall make service of such notices and records as may be necessary and proper, including the sending to each delegate in advance of meetings the proposed agenda therefore and providing each delegate with minutes of the previous meeting; and shall supervise the keeping of records of the council.

Section 7. Treasurer
The treasurer shall receive and safely keep all funds of the council and shall report on the financial status of the council on a quarterly basis.

VI. Committees
The president, with the consent of the board of delegates, shall establish such committees and task forces as necessary, and appoint their members and chairpersons.

VII. Amendment of Bylaws
These Bylaws may be amended or repealed or new bylaws adopted by a unanimous vote of the voting members present at a meeting in which a quorum exists, subject to the unanimous ratification of all of the voting members of the council, in accordance with the provisions of Article III, Section 5 and Article IV, Section 2, hereof.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

9/11 Memorial Service Program

The InterReligious Council of San Diego’s
6th Annual

9/11 Memorial Service
Inner Peace

An Interfaith Service

Presentation of Colors

Introduction: Farzaneh Presley, IRC President 2007-8 and Baha’i Representative to IRC

Guest Speaker: Fireman Jeff Chumbley

Vedanta Society: Swami Ishatananda, Hindu Representative to IRC

Sikh Foundation: Gagandeep Kaur, Sikh Representative to IRC

1st Interlude: Meditation, led by Rev. Mukojima

San Diego Rabbinical Association: Rabbi Sultan, Jewish Representative to IRC

Ecumenical Council: Fr. Justin Langille, of Contemplative Outreach International, representing traditional Christianity

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints: President Allen Haynie

2nd Interlude: Music, by Aryan Nadertabar

Buddhist Temple of San Diego: Rev. Yushi Mukojima, Buddhist Representative to IRC

American Islamic Services Foundation: Imam Sharif Battikhi, Muslim Representative to IRC

Closing Remarks: Farzaneh Presley


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

6th Annual 9/11 Memorial Service

The InterReligious Council of San Diego’s
6th Annual

9/11 Memorial Service

Inner Peace

An Interfaith Service

When: Tuesday, September 11, 2007 at 11 AM

Where: Balboa Park, on 6th Ave. across from St. Paul’s Cathedral (between Nutmeg St. and Olive St.)

Featured Guest Speaker:

Fireman Jeff Chumbley, of the Carlsbad Fire Dept.

Mr. Chumbley was involved with the post 9/11 support efforts and attended the first memorial service in New York. He is a man of faith, and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Representatives from Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Moslem and Sikh traditions will also give brief messages.

Parking is available in the park—enter on Upas Street, or you may park on the street.

Light refreshments will be served following the service

Monday, April 30, 2007

Media Conference Rescheduled

Last week, Rev. Glen Allison, a very active and respected member of the faith community, died, and his funeral is scheduled for the same time as we had planned to have our media conference and workshop. At least two of the scheduled speakers will be attending his funeral.

Because we did not want to detract in any way from Rev. Glenn Allison’s memorial on May 5th, the Interreligious Council has rescheduled the Media Conference to Saturday, June 9th. The Media Conference will still be held at the Baha’i Center.

Please let me know - as soon as possible - if you can join us on Saturday, June 9th ( If you have registered but cannot come on this new date, please let me know so that I can return your check.

Thank you for being so patient with these changes – Rev. Allison’s death and memorial services simply could not be anticipated. We sincerely hope your schedule will allow you to attend on the 9th of June.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Why the IRC

We strive for unity because disunity is destructive to society. The IRC seeks to build community bridges, not walls, by sharing information and experiences. Above all, the IRC brings together many faiths, united in diversity, in a mutual pursuit of service and harmony.

How We Work

We recognize that misunderstanding of religious, cultural and ethnic differences has often led to bigotry, oppression, and violence. As an interreligious body, we strive to provide a model of tolerance and a voice of openess and understanding among all people.

We seek to serve as a religious resource to the entire community and to provide information and programs in a balanced and non-proselytizing spirit.

In order to maintain our effectiveness as a moral and religious voice, we will at all times avoid involvement in partisan politics.

What We Value

We value human life and dignity, and support efforts to enhance life and dignity for all peoples.

We value religious, cultural, and ethnic diversity, and support efforts to protectthe richness of our human heritage.

We recognize the importance of religious values in society, and seek to provide a moral leadership where needed and appropriate.

Members of the IRC

As Baha'is, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs, we represent many of the faith communities in San Diego. Our communities may have diffrent prayers, different customs, different ancestries and different languages. While respecting these differences, we share certain interests, values, and goals in common. It is to give voice to these commonalities that we join together.

IRC Statement of Purpose

The Interreligious Council of San Diego strives to:
Promote mutual understanding and respect among member faiths by:
Dealing with issues that affect the total religious community.
Sharing the members' concerns for the problems of the community, the nation and the world.
Voicing those concerns when agreed upon by the members of the council.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Prayers for 9-11 Memorial Service

*In Remembrance*


O Thou kind Lord! This gathering is turning to Thee. These hearts are radiant with Thy love. These minds and spirits are exhilarated by the message of Thy glad tidings. O God! Let this American democracy become glorious in spiritual degrees even as it has aspired to material degrees. And render this just government victorious.

Confirm this revered nation to upraise the standard of the oneness of humanity, to promulgate the Most Great Peace, to become thereby most glorious and praiseworthy among all the nations of the world.

Oh God! This American nation is worthy of Thy favors and is deserving of Thy mercy. Make it precious and near to Thee through Thy bounty and bestowal.
(From an address by Abdu’l-Baha at Hull House, Chicago, 1912)


In silently contemplating the transient nature of this human existence, nothing is more fragile and fleeting than the life of man. Thus, we have not heard of human life lasting for a thousand years. Life passes swiftly, and who among men can maintain his form for even one hundred years?

Whether I go before others, or others go before me, whether it be today or tomorrow, who is to know? Those who depart before us are as countless as the drops of dew.
Though in the morning we may have radiant health, in the evening we may return to white ashes. When the winds of impermanence blow, our eyes are closed forever; and when the last breath leaves us, our face loses its color. Though loved ones gather and lament, it is to no avail.

The body is then sent into an open field and vanishes from this world with the smoke of cremation, leaving only the white ashes. Nothing is more real than this truth of life.

The fragile nature of human existence underlies both the young and old. Therefore, we must, one and all turn to the teachings of the Buddha and awaken to the essence of life. By so understanding the meaning of death, we come to appreciate the meaning of life, which is to be treasured because it is unrepeatable. By virtue of true compassion, let us realize the unexcelled value of this existence, and let us live together with gratitude in our hearts.
(From a letter by Rennyo Shonin (1410-1499 CE), the eighth Gomonshu (Chief Abbot) of the Jodo-Shinshu sect of Buddhism, to a friend whose daughter suddenly became ill and died).

CHRISTIAN (Traditional)
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is sadness, joy.
Where there is darkness, light.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand.
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
(From the Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi)


On this, the anniversary of such a devastating day, we cannot call back the dead but we can call upon our Heavenly Father to bring comfort to those who have suffered. We also can plead with Him to hasten the day when men beat their swords into plowshares and, as written in Isaiah, “learn war no more”. If there is to be a change, it must begin in the home. Let us pray that our homes will be the place of teaching love and acceptance, and not hate. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.


May we all be united in our hearts;
May we all be united in our speech;
May we all be united in our minds;
May we all perform our duties as did the wise men of old.
May we all be united in our prayer and goal and resolve;
May we all be united in our understanding;
May we all be united in our offering and feeling and thoughts;
May there be perfect unity amongst all of us.
AUM, Peace, Peace, Peace be unto all.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful,
Peace be upon you.
O God, help us to hold all together to the rope of You and not be divided;
O God, the Creator of all creatures, grant the victims of 9/11 the suitable reward and give their families and children patience;
O God of us all, grant our American society peace, love and harmony, and clean our hearts from the evils of hostility, bigotry, and discrimination.
O God, help America and Americans and our leaders to be leaders of principle, of peace and of justice.
O God, we ask peace and justice for all people all over the world.
Our Lord, grant us mercy from Thee and provide for us a right course in our efforts.


May it be Your will
That there will be an end to war and to the shedding of blood in this world,
And that a deep and genuine peace will pervade this world.
And that nation will not have to lift up sword against nation in this world,
And that human beings will no longer have to learn war.
Instead, may all those who live on this planet
Realize that we have not come into this world
In order to hate or to envy or to compete or to kill,
But that we have come into this world to live and to labor and to love.
(Adapted from Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav, 17th Century Sage and Mystic)


One Universal Creator God, only Truth is Your Name. Creative Spirit, without fear, without hatred. Image of the Undying, beyond birth, self-existent. By Guru’s* grace, chant and meditate. True in the Primal Beginning, True throughout the ages, true here and now. O Nanak*, forever and ever True.
(Guru Nanak, p. 1, first message, Guru Granth*)

God, you are my Father, and You are my Mother. You are my Relative, and you are my Brother. You are my Protector everywhere; why should I feel any fear or anxiety?
By Your Grace, I recognize You. You are my Shelter, and You are my Honor. Without You, there is nothing; the entire universe is the Arena of Your Play.
You have created all beings and creatures. As it pleases You, You assign tasks to one and all. All things are Your doing; we can do nothing ourselves.
Meditating on the Naam*, I have found great peace. Singing the glorious praises of the Lord, my mind is cooled and soothed. Through the Perfect Guru, congratulations are pouring in—Nanak is victorious on the arduous battlefield of life!
(5th Guru Nanak, in Majh* measure, p. 103 Guru Granth)

Through the gift of the Naam given to us by Nanak, may we always remain in a state of peace. Within Your will, we pray for the welfare of all humanity.
(Every Sikhs closing prayer)

*Guru—word of a spiritual teacher who has realized God
Guru Nanak—founder of Sikh faith
Guru Granth—Eternal Guru of the Sikhs, Holy Scripture recited by Gurus and Saints
Majh—a style of classical eastern musical measure
Naam—the Name of God