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Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church

Interfaith Dialogue

Check out the many opportunities to be informed and involved in our interfaith community

Welcome to Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church

Interfaith Dialogue

Check out the many opportunities to be informed and involved in our interfaith community


Following up on our December 10 program, Table Talk: Presbyterians Dialogue on Israel/Palestine, we want to share with the congregation our faithful witness on the conflict currently raging in Israel/Palestine. Based on our Christian values and guided by the materials and positions of the Presbyterian Church (USA), we support and pray for peace and an end to hostilities as well as the safe return of the hostages to Israel and a dramatic infusion of humanitarian aide for all those suffering in Gaza. We also recognize the traumatic impact these hostilities have had both on our local Jewish brothers and sisters and on our local Arab and Muslim brothers and sisters.

We join our Jewish interfaith neighbors, especially our partner congregation at Temple Isaiah, to decry the actions of Hamas which resulted in the tragic loss of Jewish civilian lives and the taking of the hostages who must be released. Simultaneously, we join our Muslim and Arab interfaith neighbors, especially our partner congregation at the San Ramon Valley Islamic Center, to grieve the overwhelming loss of innocent human life, deprivation of sustaining humanitarian aide and destruction of property being inflicted by Israel on the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Under the guidance of the PCUSA, we acknowledge the complexities which have led to these enormous tragedies while being faithful to the teachings of the Gospel that all lives are precious. On the one hand, we continue to support Israel’s right to exist as a free and sovereign nation within their internationally recognized borders, the right of Israeli citizens to live safely in secure borders, and for the state of Israel to hold accountable to justice those who carry out acts of violence and murder against them.

Similarly, we stand firm in support of Palestinians and their right to live free in their internationally recognized land, without occupation, aggression and bloodshed. We therefore urge the Israeli government to honor the Palestinian people with the same freedom they offer their own citizens and continue to do so amid this crisis. We also urge Hamas to release all hostages safely and refrain from additional violence. Moreover we urge all leaders to immediately put an end to the bloodshed, end the fighting, and open corridors to provide the people of Gaza with medical attention and necessary humanitarian supplies (sufficient food, safe water, fuel, electricity, etc.) to everyone who is in need.

Recognizing the immense destruction that is being inflicted in the Gaza strip, and in support of our mission partners there, LOPC has raised funds to provide relief and humanitarian support to the victims; and we hope to continue to do so. In worship and through prayer, we will lift up the families of victims on both sides, the hostages who are held captive, and intercede for peace and the cessation of hostilities. We will also remain in contact and solidarity with our Jewish and Arab and Muslim neighbors as well as our mission partners in Gaza, and keep the congregation informed on any actions developed in support of those interfaith and mission partners.  In addition, we are planning to have a further Table Talk event after the holidays to deepen our understanding of the complex realities at work in the Israel/Palestine region.


Review the comprehensive page of Israel-Palestine Resources that PC(USA) has put together on its website found HERE— with sections on Policies, Resources, Webinars, Advocacy, Multimedia (including an informative 25 minute video narrated by Presbyterian Mission leader Douglas Dicks), History and Our Partners. There are many ways in which you can get involved in advocacy for peace and justice. Click on any of the links below to find easy ways for your voice to be heard and to sign up for PC(USA) email updates:

Office of Public Witness Action Alerts

Urge the U.S. Senate to reject initiatives to curb free speech and advocacy for Palestinian rights

Urge Congress to Prevent Genocide in Gaza

OPW joins letter to President Biden on de-escalation in the Middle East and calling for a ceasefire

Take Action for a Ceasefire and Humanitarian Aid for Gaza

Urge a Ceasefire for Gaza now!

Call to Action: An Immediate Ceasefire Must be Obtained

Why Compassion Matters in Times of War

Statement of Lament for Israel and Palestine

Sign up to receive the latest Action Alerts from the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness here.

For further contextual background that both preceded and followed the October 7, 2023 start of the most recent war between Israel and Palestine, you are encouraged to also review the following:

-See/read the Letter of October 13, 2023 from the Stated Clerk of the PC(USA) General Assembly Condemning the Violence, found HERE.

-Consider this November 13, 2023 Letter from 30 Heads of Churches for Middler East Peace (CMEP) with an Urgent Call on President Biden for a Ceasefire.

-Here also are the PowerPoint slides from the program on December 10, 2023 “Table Talk: Presbyterians Dialogue on Israel/Palestine” — presented by Pastor Peter Whitelock, Mission Elder Chris Johnson and Clerk of Session Terry Clark and covering LOPC’s history with mission partners in Gaza, the current situation with those mission partners during this war, a review of the evolving history of Israel/Palestine since 1948 and the PC(USA) denomination’s statements over the years on the self-determination rights of both Israel and Palestine, together with the impact the war in Gaza has had on LOPC’s local interfaith Jewish and Muslim partners.

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If you would like to stay up to date and receive current information and/or be notified on planned programs to be held at LOPC on the war in Israel/Palestine, please sign up HERE and we will be glad to include you on all of those communications.

You may also write a Letter to any or all of President Biden, Senator Alex Padilla, Senator Laphonza Butler and/or Congressman Mark DeSaulnier. Download a Proposed Letter that you can use/customize for each or any of them by clicking here. Addresses are as follows:

President Joseph R. Biden, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20500

Senator Alex Padilla, 333 Bush Street, Suite 3225, San Francisco, CA 94104 OR 331 Hart, Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Senator Laphonza Butler, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room G-12, Washington, DC 20510 OR One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, 3100 Oak Road, Suite 110, Walnut Creek, CA 94597


On August 4, 2024, at 11:11 a.m. after Sunday worship services, Presbyterian Mission leader Douglas Dicks – referenced above regarding his video on the PC(USA) Resources page – will provide us his valuable insights and on the ground experiences from his many years in the Israel/Palestine region. All are welcome!

LOPC is planning additional expert speakers following Sunday morning worship.  Watch the LOPC Monday e-blast and the Sunday Bulletins for details and the opportunity to register.

MISSION STATEMENT / Interfaith dialogue

LOPC has a long history of Interfaith work based in love, collaboration, and mutual respect. We encourage members and friends to build friendships and discover more about other faith traditions through our partnerships with Neighbor 2 Neighbor and the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County. Our desire in our Interfaith dialogue is to hold onto and understand our own Christian identity more deeply while growing in friendship and shared understanding of how people of faith can benefit from each other and can benefit our local community.

People of Faith Respond

On March 5, 2023, LOPC Hosted a discussion on the historic 2022 Supreme Court decisions relating to abortion and prayer in public school. Panelists included LOPC’s Pastor Peter Whitelock, Sheik Hassan Maseehullah, Rabbi Jill Perlman, and Terry Clark, LOPC elder, as Moderator.

Program Notes

Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County

Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County

LOPC has had a long-standing relationship with the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County (ICCCC), a not-for-profit corporation with 108 congregations representing a wide variety of faith traditions. ICCCC is one of LOPC’s mission partners. Our own Terry Clark has been instrumental with ICCCC, having served 10 years on their Governing Board, and most recently for 6 years as President; Ken Sargent just retired from serving on the Governing Board and had also been Treasurer for several years; Sharon Campton currently is an Elected Council member. LOPC members and friends have participated in many ICCCC-sponsored programs and events over the years, including worship services, concerts, educational and advocacy programs and retreats.

Through its many programs and activities providing advocacy, education, awareness, and safety net services, ICCCC is responsible for meeting local needs as they arise on major issues affecting this area. ICCCC also partners with other established community programs to support their activities under ICCCC’s ICARE and “Caring Contra Costa” initiatives, linking and working with faithful volunteers to carry out needed projects across the County. In addition, ICCCC sponsors the Social Justice Alliance, Juvenile Chaplaincy Ministry, Singing Messengers, Interfaith Climate Action Network, Interfaith Disaster Preparedness Network, numerous retreats, concerts, worship services and prayer vigils, programs/education on racial justice, food insecurity, and homelessness. It also partners in support with Winter Nights Shelter, Trinity Center Walnut Creek, Monument Crisis Center, Shelter Inc., United Religions Initiative, and the Multi-Faith Action Coalition.

Visit ICCCC’s website for details about many upcoming programs and events, where you can sign up to receive their email blasts for updates. Some events will be highlighted in future Staying Connected emails, but there are so many things happening, it’s best to check the website to not miss out on events of particular personal interest.

Neighbor to Neighbor

For the past several years, LOPC has had an on-going interfaith “Neighbor to Neighbor” dialogue underway with Temple Isaiah and the San Ramon Valley Islamic Center.

Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) is an East Bay initiative among Christians, Jews and Muslims whose mission is to grow understanding and respect for the religions of the world, through social initiatives that promote deep inter-relationships among neighbors of different religions, ages and cultures.

As part of the N2N initiative, the LOPC Interfaith Team periodically presents speaker programs of significance on our efforts to learn more about each other and in the process deepen our own faiths. Other events involve:

  • Joining in each others’ worship and prayer services
  • Gatherings to discuss books we have read together
  • Small group discussions on current timely events
  • Informal “getting to know you” dinners
  • Educational presentations on what each of us believe
  • Classes on our respective faiths and holy scriptures
  • Social Justice Projects for the Hungry and the Homeless
  • Gathering for our Annual Interfaith Picnic