On August 9, 2019, the 3rd Anniversary Memorial Service for the victims of the Flower Branch Apartments solemnly honored the seven who died, and sought to comfort those who grieve and live with continuing trauma.
In the candlelight procession around the building replacing the destroyed one, Rev. Kaseman was joined by the woman who first saw the fire and warned others. She said this was the first time she was able to walk around it. This demonstrates why the power of community and such services are important.It was encouraging to see elected officials and partners who were present three years ago from DHHS, the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, nonprofit staff and volunteers, and faith leaders (our ESCV team of 1st responders were called up at 3:22 am that day).
This is why we work collaboratively with government, nonprofits and interfaith leaders. We’re stronger together, and demonstrating our love makes a difference.
The Executive Committee of the Faith Community Advisory Council presented their stewardship reports on the Religious Land Use, Neighbors in Need and Faith Community Working Groups to County Executive, Marc Elrich. Special Assistants, Debbie Spielberg and BB Ortero, and Director of the Office of Community Partnerships, Diane Vu were also present. The Executive Committee ranges from Anglican to Zorasterian and seeks to represent the needs and interests of 767 faith communities in Montgomery County. Their mailing list exceeds 5,000 that grows through workshops ranging from security to advanced care planning; intercultural dialogues on racism and bias; partnerships with government and nonprofits working on hunger, healthcare and welcoming refugees; coordinating interfaith responses to acts of violence; and engaging faith communities in caring for our environment. The County Executive expressed appreciation for their service and asked them to help the County care for its homeless this winter, as its largest shelter has been closed due to an environmental health problem; work with faith communities in addressing the need for more affordable housing; and engage more faith communities in climate solutions.
The 4th year of the Multicultural Dialogues on Racism and Bias:
Seeing the Divine in the Other concluded with Rep. Jamie Raskin. Special thanks
is due the Rev. Dr. Carol Flett and her team of facilitators for sustaining
these life transformative dialogues. We are drawing from this experience as we
go deeper in dealing with systemic racism and empowering the Racial Equity and
Social Justice initiative with County government. It’s a gift to be living with
the diversity and people committed to this critical issue in Montgomery County.
The Inaugural Interfaith Service included leaders from seven faith traditions reminding our County Executive and Council Members that we are all members of one human family and we share a common mission in creating a more inclusive, equitable and beloved Montgomery County.
Pictures include Elected Officials with their families and faith leaders enjoying a glorious Inauguration Day at Strathmore.
The FCAC Executive Committee received Certificates of Appreciation from the County Executive and First Lady, Ike and Catherine Leggett, for their leadership in creating a more inclusive and compassionate MoCo. They joined all the County Executive’s Advisory Councils associated with the Office of Community Partnerships for a Farewell Celebration. 📸 By Chuck Lee
The Neighbors in Need Working Group in collaboration with the Montgomery County Food Council presents a Hunger Forum to inform and engage faith communities in effectively caring for the hungry.Special presentations by County Executive Ike Leggett and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) will premiere the Mapping of Faith Communities in Montgomery County.
In the face of growing polarization and increasing hate and violence it is important for faith leaders to stand together and affirm the spiritual values we hold in common. Here is a Declaration from the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington presented at a press conference co-sponsored by them, the Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and our Faith Community Advisory Council that was held at the Washington Hebrew Congregation. The one minute statement of our Interfaith Community Liaison and video is also here for your review.
“Education is your passport to integration”, wise words shared during yesterday’s Interfaith Dialogue with the Muslim Belgium Delegation. It was a pleasure to share and learn about each others similarities and differences. Thank you to the Civilizations Exchange & Cooperation Foundation (CECF) for bringing such a well rounded, diverse delegation to learn about interfaith relations in Montgomery County!
The Faith Community Advisory Council hosted an Open House event on June 19 at the Public Safety Headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD for their partners in creating social cohesion and public safety. This event thanked all members of MCFRS, MCPD, OEMHS and DHHS for their participation and dedication over the years to empower and support faith communities of Montgomery County.