The Faith Community Working Group [FCWG] is a sub-section of the Faith Community Advisory Council of Montgomery County, within the County Executive’s Office of Community Partnerships. The purpose of FCWG includes but is not limited to the following:
- To deepen the understanding and appreciation for our diverse faith traditions;
- To coordinate, facilitate and enrich interfaith collaboration on programs throughout Montgomery County;
- To support, enrich and expand existing County government initiatives by including the faith communities’ perspectives and participation in programs that affect our communities;
- To assist and amplify the various faith community efforts toward establishing social justice and engaging in community service;
- to build community resilience against racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, radicalization and all forms of bigotry and hatred.
- To maintain open communication with the County Executive to enhance relationships among faith communities and participation in all aspects of Montgomery County life.
The overall goals of FCWG shall be accomplished through various sub-committees that will be created from time to time, as determined by its Chairs, in consultation with its members. At this time, the FCWG has the following sub-groups:
- Community Building: Brings together members of the many and diverse faith communities in Montgomery County to coordinate, facilitate and enrich interfaith relations, create relevant programming and events, and facilitate communication with MoCo agencies. These activities include counseling, mentoring and education. e.g. Friendship Picnic, the IFC Unity Walk, Education Committee, “Stop Dangerous Speech” program.
- Faith Leaders Response Team (FLRT): Brings together faith leaders from the diverse faith communities in Montgomery County to respond as a team to any act of hate, violence, or discrimination toward a faith community. MCPD & MCFR alerts the MoCo Interfaith Community Liaison when these acts occur, who then contacts the particular faith community, asking if they would like the FLRT’s presence and support. The FLRT meets quarterly to deepen relationships and to share their concerns and hopes for their particular faith community.
- Emotional & Spiritual Care Volunteers (ESCV): includes faith leaders, Social Workers and Counselors who have been specifically trained to provide pastoral care of victims of fire, violence or natural disaster, as well as the police officers and firefighters involved in an incident. ESCVs are deployed by the MoCo HHS and OEMHS. e.g. ESCVs serve as volunteer chaplain in a Red Cross Shelter; at a mass casualty incident, or at a scene of Civic Unrest or Mass Demonstration. Training, a Criminal Background check, and willingness to participate in quarterly Continuing Education are necessary for Certification, ID tag and purple vest.
Faith Community Working Group Members
Selection: Initial members of the FCWG were the participants of the inaugural event on May 25th 2013, who signed up for the various sub-committees, as well as all subsequent groups and individuals who expressed interest in participating. Current members may suggest additional potential members, which will be approved by the Working Group Co-Chairs, in conjunction with the Interfaith Community Liaison. Members are asked to actively participate in at least one sub-committee and commit to attending at least one meeting per month for Group business.
Membership Criteria: To qualify as a member in FCWG, the individual must work in a faith or faith-based community service organization headquartered in Montgomery County.