Top 10 Reasons for Attending the Launch of the INMC

We are extraordinarily privileged to be living in Montgomery County with a County Executive and County Council committed to making us the most welcoming county in America.  Beyond welcoming they want us to celebrate our unique identities and traditions while also becoming inclusive.
The faith community is uniquely positioned to move across lines of difference and recognize our essential identities as sisters and brothers of one human family.  Our Executive Committee for the County Executive’s Faith Community Advisory Council has been leading three working groups and several committees with remarkable success.  We have hosted delegates from 37 countries wanting to know how we are creating social cohesion and public safety.
Now a grant and public-private partnership with Interfaith Works makes it possible to launch the Interfaith Network of Montgomery County.  Here are 10 reasons to become part of it.

Top 10 Reasons for Attending the Launch of INMC

1.  Hear County Executive, Ike Leggett, address the importance of INMC.

2.  Hear Police Chief, Laura Lanham, speak about their partnerships of faith communities.

3.  Hear the President and CEO of HIAS, Mark Hetfield, address the unprecedented humanitarian    crisis migrants, refugees and immigrants face today.

4.  Hear the President of Healthcare Initiative Foundation, Crystal Townsend, address current healthcare and hunger needs in Montgomery County.

5.  Hear the Associate Superintendent, Jonathan Brice, address current challenges facing MCPS.

6.  Enjoy a video celebrating ways faith communities are crossing lines of difference.

7.  Meet leaders at the largest Resource Fair ever assembled for faith communities that will empower programs including security, social justice, religious land use and religious education.

8.  Broaden understanding and appreciation for the extraordinary diversity of Montgomery County.

9.  Enjoy a wonderfully diverse social setting with delicious refreshment, live music and a slideshow.

10. Experience the power of inclusion overcoming division, love overcoming fear, relationships overcoming prejudice and hope overcoming despair.

Click here for more information

Securing Houses of Worship Workshop

The Securing Houses of Worship Workshop was attended by over 70 faith leaders, ushers, office staff, building and grounds and worship committee members. Pictures include the Rev. Dr. Carol Flett, Co-Chair of the Faith Community Working Group who coordinated it, and presenters, Chief Luther Reynolds of MCPD; Sgt. Brian Tupa, Special Operations MCPD; Brian Johnson, Director of Security for Jewish Federation and JCRC; Capt. Don Mandeville, bomb Squad CommanderMCFRS; and James McCelland, Emergency Management Specialist, DEMHS. It was hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville.

Interfaith Works Annual Congregation Meeting

Welcoming Our New Neighbors (WONN) was featured at the Annual Meeting of Interfaith Works (IW) because it illustrates the benefit of IW partnering with the County Executive’s Faith Community Advisory Council. WONN has over 50 faith communities engaged in welcoming and supporting refugee.

To date 12 families have been resettled in Montgomery County. An updated guide for families and faith communities was released and County Executive, Ike Leggett, representatives from Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church and the MoCo Muslim Foundation and others spoke to the importance of working across lines of difference in acknowledging our common humanity and serving one another.

Montgomery Unity Walk

In our confused, conflicted and violent culture, what could be better than crossing lines of difference, learning about different faith traditions and experiencing the love that lies at the heart of each of them?
The Montgomery Unity Walk received rave reviews. The only complaints in its evaluation were that more houses of worship were not engaged in it. In spite of weather reports predicting 80% chance of rain, hundreds of people came for the Resource Fair with 17 exhibitors in the Chinmaya Washington Regional Center.
The Chinmaya sanctuary was standing room only for the Opening Ceremony. It included an instrumental call to prayer, musical performance by the ADAMS BEAT (the first Mosque based choir in America), a message on unity by Swami Dheerananda and remarks by County Executive, Ike Leggett, and Council President, Roger Berliner.
Below is a statement by a Unity Walk participant;
 “I especially liked being able to go into different houses of worship, especially the Muslim Community Center and Buddhist Temple and learn about their prayers – so many similarities in all of these! We have to see the ONENESS IN ALL! I wish that more members of our community had participated. Thank you for this empowering and unifying event.”
On behalf of all present, the FCAC thanks all participating houses of worship, their volunteers, Fire and Rescue Services, Office of Community Partnerships and the Departments of Police, Recreation and Transportation for making it safe and enjoyable.

Uniting Our Community After Charlottesville

Please join U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Montgomery County Clergy and Community Leaders for a conversation on Uniting Our Community After Charlottesville.

When:

Thursday, August 31, 2017
2:00-3:00 PM

Where:
Room 104
John Hopkins University
9601 Medical Center Dr.
Rockville, MD 20850

RSVP to Ken Reichard
ken_reichard@cardin.senate.gov
410-962-4436

Prayer Vigil for 1st Anniversary of Flower Valley Apartment Fire

A Prayer Vigil, on the 1st anniversary of the horrific fire killing seven and displacing hundreds, was held at that site seeking healing and empowerment for the residents of Flower Valley.

Pictures include Sofia Mereydi Reyes, President of the Flower Valley Tenants Association, with Gustavo Torres, CEO of CASA and behind them are Rev. Dr. Carol Flett, and Rabbi Batya Glazer, Co-Chairs of our FCWG and among the first responders to the fire. Others are of Councilman Tom Hucker, Father Erick Lopez, Pastor Gary Nuss, Father Vidal Rivas, Imam Papa and myself. May our prayers and acts of support continue for these deserving residents .

Together We Are Strong. Together We Are Safe.

A panel of religious leaders and an immigration expert addressed the travel ban for predominately Muslim countries and how we can uphold our values and keep Montgomery County safe. It was hosted by the Islamic Education Center in Rockville. Panelists included Imam Ahmad Bahraini, Father Jacek Orzechowski, Rev. Kasey Kaseman and Kiyanoush Razaghi. It was moderated by Shane Rock and David Trone addressed the importance of supporting refugees and immigrants.

The Montgomery County Faith Community, mobilized through the Welcoming Our New Neighbors program, has over 60 faith communities working primarily within interfaith clusters. Together they have raised in excess of $400,000 and marshaled 330 volunteers in support of 25 refugee families. Housing and employment remain the top priorities with legal assistance, mentoring, teaching English and offering general support being ways others may help.

Highlights from Security Grant Orientation

The Security Grant Orientation drew faith leaders from 40 communities for learning how to assess their vulnerabilities, develop a master plan and apply for a grant from Montgomery County Government. It was hosted by the Islamic Center of Maryland and featured public officials from the Departments of Management and Budget, General Services, Police, Fire and Rescue, and Office of Community Partnerships. In addition, there were security professionals from the Jewish Community Relations Council and Kiernan Group Holdings. You may review the agenda here.

Security Grant Orientation Flyer Agenda July 11th

The deadline for applications is August 1 and you may access the application form with guidelines here.
https://mcgmd.wufoo.com/forms/s7g7fwn0892sva/

Attendees please complete this survey We Care What You Think

Resources from Presentation

Security Grant Presentation by Kiernan Group
Kiernan Group Holdings Checklist
Response to Bias & Hate Brochure

 


FCAC and Interfaith Works forge New Initiative

Interfaith Works and the Montgomery County Faith Community Advisory Council are combining their strengths to unite and magnify the impact of the interfaith community through the creation of the Interfaith Network of Montgomery County.  It is a public/private partnership bringing hundreds of faith communities together to build a healthy, resilient community where all residents feel respected, valued and supported.  INMC will focus on fostering dialogue and providing faith-community solutions to crucial issues, including poverty, xenophobia and bigotry.  

Funding for the Interfaith Network of Montgomery County will be provided by a County grant with matching funds coming from a membership base of faith communities, organizations and individuals. To find out how you, your faith community and/or organization may become founding members, click here

We will be hiring a full time Administrative Assistant this summer and a half time Program Director this fall. Together we will empower the working groups, teams and committees, displayed in this organizational chart (click here).

Our County Executive, Ike Leggett, in initiating INMC said, We are fortunate to have faith communities reminding us that we belong to one human family and working together for the common good.