Interfaith Connection Podcast
"Four Buddhist Sanghas in Sacramento"
with Rev. Dave & Rachel Lyman
The May podcast explores the Buddhist faith tradition. Interfaith Explorer Rachel Lyman has a conversation with Rev. Dave about Buddhism as a faith tradition. The podcast then explores four active thriving Buddhist sanghas or communities in the Sacramento region. In addition the Interfaith Explorers have scheduled field trips in the next month to two of the Buddhist communities.
Interfaith Explorers, with Rachel and Rev. Dave Lyman, is brought to you by Spiritual Life Center. Spiritual Life Center is an Interfaith, Unity community located in Sacramento, California for spiritual seekers and life explorers. We honor the many paths to God and support people of all faiths in learning and applying positive spiritual principles in their daily lives.

The Month of June
Pride Month - LGBTQ+ Community
The month of June commemorates the Stonewall Riots and seeks to recognize the impact LGBTQ+ people have had around the world.

The Month of June
Caribbean American Heritage Month – Caribbean
The month of June recognizes the significance of Caribbean culture and history in the United States.

June 2
Right to Citizenship – Native American
June 2nd celebrates the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 when the right of citizenship was granted to all Native Americans born in the United States. However, the right to vote was not granted until 1957.

June 2
Ascension Day – Coptic Orthodox Christianity
Ascension Day marks Jesus’s ascension into heaven.

June 4 to June 6
Shavuot – Judaism
Shavuot is a Jewish holiday that combines a grain harvest and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

June 8
Race Unity Day – Baha’i
Race Unity Day is a day that promotes racial harmony and understanding in the Baha’i faith.

June 12
Loving Day – Black Americans
Loving Day is the anniversary of a historic court decision for interracial marriage.

June 12
Puerto Rican Day Parade – Puerto Ricans
Puerto Rican Day is one of the largest demonstrations of cultural pride in the United States. It promotes prominent, historical figures and seeks to raise awareness of critical issues in the community.

June 12
Trinity Sunday – Christianity
Trinity Sunday in the Christian faith celebrates the three personifications of God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).

June 12
All Saints Day – Eastern Orthodox Christianity
All Saints Day in the Eastern Orthodox Christianity church designates the end of the Easter season.

June 16
Feast of Corpus Christi – Roman Catholic Church
The Feast of Corpus Christi commemorates the real presence of Jesus’s body in the Eucharist in the Roman Catholic Church.

June 16
Martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev Sahib - Sikhism
June 16 is observed by Sikhs to commemorate an individual who laid down his life for his people.

June 19
Juneteenth – Black Americans
Juneteenth marks the anniversary of when African Americans first learned of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was more than two years after it was initially issued.

June 24
Litha Festival – Pagan and Wiccan
Litha is a festival that begins on the summer solstice and celebrates midsummer.

June 24
Feast of the Sacred Heart – Roman Catholic Church
The Feast of the Sacred Heart in the Roman Catholic Church celebrates Jesus’s physical heart as a representation of his love for all humanity.

June 27
Birthday of Helen Keller – People with Disabilities
The Birthday of Helen Keller celebrates all people with disabilities. She was known as being both blind and deaf and was one of the 20th century’s leading humanitarians and co-founder of the ACLU.
Reference: Various interfaith & Diversity calendars. The information presented may be subject to errors and omissions. Any edits will be shared in next month's newsletter.

By Suzanne Joy Livingston

This is the story of my friends Umangi and Joyce Patel along with Umangi’s husband Rakendu Shukla and 15-month old baby Utkarsh. This is the perfect time to share this story because, after almost two years of absence, the Patel/Shukla family is coming for a visit tomorrow all the way from
Marietta, Georgia. In 2020, during the COVID isolation period, I met Umangi through her mother Joyce who had introduced herself to us as we sat on our front porch on a warm spring day. The family lived together in an apartment across the street while both Umangi and her husband completed their residencies, she in pediatric medicine and he in Radiation/Chemotherapy at UCD. He and Jerry recognized each other from Jerry’s time in treatment there. Umangi had completed her residency so could be home until their move across country for promised jobs in Marietta. Over the next several months, we visited regularly on my front porch, of course keeping some distance to protect ourselves as well as that beautiful baby. Over my front yard fence, I learned they were practicing Hindus and vegetarians. I shared with them the five principles of Unity. We often talked about the roses in my front yard and, when the local store ran out of Mother’s Day bouquets, shared cuttings for Umangi to give to her mother. When Umangi’s parents came for a visit, Umangi called to ask if they could bring them over to meet us and tour our backyard vegetable garden. Jerry and Dad talked gardening, sharing tips on better production in the happy hour we spent together. Before they left for Georgia, I gave Umangi and Joyce each copies of the book I wrote, It’s Not the Same Without You. In turn, Umangi gifted me with a copy of the book Transcendence written by the 11th President of India and their prior spiritual leader, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, which I read cover-to-cover. I was deeply honored with the words Umangi and Joyce inscribed in the
front of the book: “We feel so blessed to have met you during our time here. Feels like it was meant to be. Thank you for your kind friendship and company during these uncertain times…”
Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento

For information on other regional interfaith events during
June 2022 in the Greater Sacramento region, go to the ICGS -Newsletter here:
Interfaith Explorers Field Trip
Kim Quang Vietnamese Buddhist Temple
Friday, June 10, 2022
3119 Alta Arden Expressway

5:30 p.m. Guided Tour of Outside Grounds
7 p.m. Participate in Temple Walking Meditation

Masks are not required inside the temple, but removal of shoes is required. Limited parking on Temple grounds; ok to park in Kaiser Morse Hospital parking lot and walk east to the Temple.

For questions contact Rachel Lyman at
Interfaith Women Chat About Their Faiths
Interfaith Women Panel - Muslim, Hindu, Baha'i, Christian
Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Hybrid program - in-person at Spiritual Life Center: 2201 Park Towne Circle, Sacramento and live-streamed.
6 p.m. Salad 7p.m. Program
Interfaith Explorers Field Trip
Vedanta Society of Sacramento
Saturday, June 25, 2022 at 10 a.m.
1337 Mission Ave, Sacramento

Guided Tour of Garden of Saints, Lotus Pond, Bookstore, Temple, and Refreshments
When entering property, turn right - follow road to back parking lot. Wear walking shoes for uneven ground. Mask suggested indoors. Meet group at Hindu oblesque (picture above); love offering appreciated in Temple.

For questions contact Rachel Lyman at
This month’s interfaith adventure is one in which I, along with members from Spiritual Life Center and participants and leaders in the interfaith community, attended the “Power of One” annual awards program. The “Power of One” is an annual fund raising program presented as “An Evening of Unity” by the Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento. The program took place on Sunday, May 22, 2022, at the California Museum located at 10th and O Streets in downtown Sacramento. We arrived early and were able to go upstairs to look at the many hands-on exhibits.

Before the program began, the auditorium was filled with people from all faith traditions and cultures. I sat with congregants from Spiritual Life Center: Rev. James Trapp, Elaine Laroa, Pat Harvey, Sally Scion and her husband Ray, Monica Hart, Dr. Rev Maureen White, Ronnie Crawford, and Dave Palm.

This year’s three non-profit honorees were: Gabby Trejo from Sacramento Area Congregations Together; Liz Igra from Central Valley Holocaust Educators’ Network, and Jon Fish, the past President of the Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento. In addition to the honorees, “Giving Back to the Community Awards” (monetary) were given to: Refugee Settlement, World Relief and Kelli’s Cookies non-profit organizations. It was a heartfelt experience listening about the work of all of these amazing people and their non-profits.

In addition to interfaith speeches and presentations, there was a talk by Rosanna Herber from the SMUD Board of Directors. She told us that SMUD helps the non-profit community in many ways by sponsoring programs like The Power of One and also providing volunteers for events. (Because of this, SMUD is featured in this month’s “Program Spotlight” section.) There was also a Keynote speaker; Phil Talbert from the US Attorney’s Office. Sylvia Villalobos was also there from the Peace Rose Garden to present special Peace Roses to award recipients. Seeing Sylvia brought back memories, for I can remember many years ago giving a prayer at the Peace Rose Garden (located on State Capital grounds) during an interfaith prayer service. If you’ve never visited the Peace Rose Garden, please do so - it is a one-of-a-kind garden in the United States, with others located all over the world. 

It was a wonderful evening seeing and talking with “interfaith friends” after many years of not seeing people in person. Sister Hansa and 3 of her Brahma Kumaris members sat in front of us. I also talked with Durriya Syed from the SALAM Center, several members of the ICGS Board, and award recipient Jon Fish.

The evening was heartfelt and pleasant. Each speaker reminded us to continue interfaith work, for peace building and community connections are crucial in today’s world. 

SMUD - Sacramento Municipal Utility District

For this month’s Program Spotlight we honor SMUD – the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. SMUD is a “community-owned electric utility serving Sacramento County and parts of Placer County. It is one of the largest publicly owned utilities in the United States, generating the bulk of its power through natural gas and large hydroelectric generation plants.” 

SMUD’s Key values are: “Through financial support, employee volunteerism, education through our speaker’s bureau and partnerships with customers and nonprofit organizations, we eagerly support causes that make a difference and align with our four key values:

Leadership – Economic development and Civic leadership
Integrity – Environmental stewardship and supplier diversity
Ingenuity – Education (focused on science, technology, engineering and math)
Community – Diversity and Culture; Healthy, sustainable communities”

Rosanna Herber (SMUD Board of Directors member) and speaker at the “Power of One” event, praised the Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento for its work in building bridges of understanding between people of all faiths in the community. SMUD gives financial sponsorship awards (they provided a sponsorship for the Power of One program) to nonprofits and also provides SMUD volunteers for nonprofit events.

To learn more about SMUD and its community support, go to their website link below.

Click here for SMUD’s website:
Spiritual practice for each of us is a deeply personal method to slow down and take a breath. We are on a journey that seems to go faster and faster so each of us are looking for a quiet place.

We are so blessed to have an Internet that opens a world of learning, a world of meditation, and a world of listening.

This month our May podcast explored four Buddhist sanghas of spiritual communities. Each is active in the region.

During our look, I was reminded in a profound and deep way of all the places we can land and listen to wonderful podcasts, videos of church services, and talks by spiritual leaders throughout the region.

This month I spent time listening to talks from the Unitarian Universalist Church on Sierra Blvd; dharma talks from the Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group; and St. Marks United Methodist Church Moon Lectures.

The faith tradition world is at your beck and call. Opt for a faith tradition to explore, get on a webpage and listen away to the best Sacramento has to offer. Take the step and quiet down in your own way!

Rev. Dave Lyman, Senior Minister, Interfaith Explorers 

Information on Buddhist Sanghas in Sacramento

For our May 26, 2022 podcast, Rev Dave researched and spoke about four Buddhist Sanghas in the Sacramento area. As he discussed these various communities, I said we would put website links to them in our May Newsletter.

  1. Buddhist Church of Sacramento – (Japanese Buddhism) Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Community/Shin Buddhism. Click here for Buddhist Church of Sacramento.
  2. Kim Quang Vietnamese Buddhist Temple - 3119 Alta Arden Expressway, Sacramento. Click here for Kim Quang Temple.
  3. Lions Roar Dharma Center (Tibetan Buddhism) - 3240 B Street, Sacramento (Off Alhambra between 32 and 33rd Streets). Click here for Lions Roar Dharma.
  4. Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group (SBMG) - Wiseman Drive, Sacramento. Click here for Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group.

Good morning,

There was a period in my life in the summer of 1968 that I was sure it was all over. In April Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated followed in June by the killing of Robert Kennedy. It seemed to me in my twentieth year that the world had crossed the line.  

But out of that came a period of new growth never seen before on this planet. Now it seems like we are at the next cusp. There are continuous extreme bouts of violence. There is a polarization between beliefs that is deeply entrenched.

Yet a friend of mine reminded me that we are in the flames of the phoenix. All must burst into the flames of letting go and knowing all the old rules are falling by the wayside.

Each of us are here at this time because we are spiritual warriors called to step up. Each of us are providing in our personal approach to life a part of the compass that will take us forward and upward to the next step.

Trust we must for our co-pilot is the Divine which is instilled within us. We are reminded often how brave and courageous it is to show up day-to-day.

We are also reminded we are not alone. Standing on each side of us is another spiritual warrior. Let us lock hands and take the next step – one step at a time! Here we go!

Rev. Dave Lyman, Senior Minister, Interfaith Explorers

Can you believe I’m here again? What’s with this thing called “time?” Sometimes it passes way too slowly and I wish it would hurry up, but mostly it passes at the speed of light and I can’t believe how fast it passes! But regardless, I’m grateful I’m still here to experience all that life holds for me. This sounds like a diary entry – well, maybe it is! But enough of this…what has my interfaith journey been like this month? Busy – busy –busy – trying to put together programs, going to programs and organizing field trips. So here is what’s been happening and will happen.

May 22: I just attended the “Power of One” Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento awards and fund raising program (see Interfaith Adventures section for my write-up) 

May 28: We will have done our field trip to Lions Roar Dharma Center by the time you get this newsletter. When you go, I encourage you to write your thoughts about your experience and e-mail them to me so I can put your story in the next newsletter. Thanks!

June 10: We will go on our field trip to Kim Quang Vietnamese Buddhist temple to: tour grounds and do a walking meditation in the temple.

June 15: Interfaith Explorers Wednesday night interfaith program. For months I was working to bring our SLC Y.O.U. youth and the youth from Congregation Beth Shalom together so they could get to know one another. I asked then that they put on a joint program on June 15. But it was determined recently that due to COVID restrictions, busy youth schedules and time constraints it will not happen - at least not at this time. We will stay hopeful, however, that this might materialize one day.

So, instead, we will present a panel of interfaith women who will answer some questions and chat about their faith traditions. Our adept moderator will be Rev Dave Lyman, who has lots of experience with this sort of thing. Our guest panelists will be: Durriya Syed – a Muslim practicing the Islamic faith; Karen Fujikawa – a practicing Hindu, Kedi Davidson – from the Baha’i faith and myself to represent Christianity (Presbyterian, Catholic and Unity – I’ve practiced them all!). The program will be hybrid; with in-person attendance in Spiritual Life Center’s sanctuary and it will also be live-streamed so you can watch from home. My hope is that you will hear the beautiful similarities between faith rituals and faith values. When we see that others are on the same wavelength as we are, it is easier to connect with them, realize we are all ONE, and call them our brothers and sisters. I hope you will join us that night however you can.

June 25: Interfaith Explorers field trip to Vedanta Society of Sacramento - see information in the Regional Events section. 

Aug 13: Vedanta Group Yardwork – No group yardwork in June or July; next one - August 13 – more info later.

So as you can see we’ve been busy but it’s been a good busy! I want to say that if you participate in interfaith programs and field trips, it gives you a greater in-depth understanding of what it’s like to work for a more peaceful world. As a participant you ARE saying “yes” to being that peace by just showing up. As a participant you ARE making a difference! So Dave and I hope to see you soon at one of our events.


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Newsletter Story Contributions Welcome
If you have a story of connecting with people of other faiths or cultures, please submit your story by the second week of the month to: We are all building bridges of connection for peacemaking and we want to hear your stories.

SIGN UP: June 10 Interfaith Field Trip - Kim Quang Vietnamese Buddhist Temple: grounds tour and walking meditation in Temple. Click here to sign up.

June 15 Interfaith Explorer Wednesday Night Program - Interfaith Panel of Women: Muslim, Hindu, Baha'i, and Christian chat about their faiths with moderator Rev. Dave Lyman.

SIGN UP: June 25 Interfaith Field Trip - Vedanta Society of Sacramento: Garden of Saints yard tour, Lotus Pond, Bookstore, Temple, Refreshments. Click here to sign up.
Mission Statement for Interfaith Explorers
Interfaith Explorers builds bridges by providing
interfaith education and events of different faith
traditions in the greater Sacramento region.”
 Spiritual Life Center | Interfaith Explorers