MCPS Superintendent Says Students Safety is Top Priority

It is very important to know and share the facts related to the terrible incident at Rockville High School. Some are responding in racist and political terms that are at odds with moral standards and the core values of Montgomery County.

Learn from this video and share it broadly. People of faith have a special calling to be praying and acting in terms that heal, reconcile and unite our human family. MCPS Superintendent Says Students Safety is Top Priority.

The Co-Chairs of our Faith Community Working Group have had a series of meetings with MCPS officials related to alleviating the fears of students and parents, responding to bullying, increasing cultural competency, teaching world religions, combating hate, organizing parent academies and encouraging faith communities to support MCPS programs that unify and encourage teachers, students and parents.

Subsequently, a page has been added to the MCPS website that features key resources, including Guidelines for Respecting Religious Diversity, annotated Interfaith Calendar and a statement from the Board of Education related to the recent hate incidents.   The page will be continually updated with content useful for faith communities.

Our Faith Community Advisory Council is proudly co-sponsoring the “United We Learn: Combating Hate through the Arts“.  View the video, listen to our children and consider ways to promote this program within your faith community.  Focusing on children and working in partnership with our highly dedicated and competent school officials, staff, teachers and students is a great antidote for the news from Washington.

Reaffirmation of Jewish Solidarity Press Conference

In response to the bomb threats suffered by Jewish institutions, Montgomery County Executive, Ike Leggett, engaged the Faith Community Advisory Council (FCAC) to bring faith leaders to a press conference at the Jewish Community Center in Rockville. Elected officials including Senators Cardin and Van Hollen; Representatives Delaney and Raskin; County Executive, Ike Leggett and Council President, Roger Berliner, addressed the press and several hundred people. (County Executive Remarks Video)

The FCAC Executive Committee presented a Statement of Solidarity with Jewish Community Statement of Solidarity with Jewish Community that was read by Imam Faizul Khan and the Rev. Dr. Abhi Janamanchi. You may view the video of the presentations by Rev. Kaseman, Interfaith Community Liaison, and Rabbi Steinlauf, Director of Social Justice and Interfaith Initiatives for the Jewish Community Relations Council, Co-Chair of the Faith Community Working Group and member of the Executive Committee.

We condemned the horrific acts, acknowledged that today not only the Jewish community, but the Muslim and Latino communities are being scapegoated and all minority communities live in trauma. We said, “silence and inaction are not options” and expressed our love for our Jewish sisters and brothers and recommitted ourselves to stand in solidarity and work together in creating the more beloved community.

 

County Executive Remarks for Reaffirmation of Jewish Solidarity Press Conference

FCAC Statement of Solidarity with Jewish Community

Mymcmedia: Local leaders say ‘Hate must stop now’ amid recent threats toward faith-based organizations

 

 

 


 

The FCAC Executive Committee meet with County Executive, Isiah Leggett

The Executive Committee of the County Executive’s Faith Community Advisory Council met with the County Executive, Isiah Leggett, to report on the work of their Faith Community, Neighbors in Need and Religious Land Use Working Groups. Highlights included having 47 faith communities working with refugees, developing partnerships between different faith communities of different traditions to reduce fear and increase cultural competencies, training Emotional, Spiritual Care Volunteers for responding to emergencies, reducing hunger, reducing bullying in schools, providing Interracial and Interfaith Dialogues on Racism, enlarging the Faith Leaders Response Team and promoting the Montgomery County Model for creating social cohesion and public safety.

Sharing Resources and Outreach Program to Express Solidarity

The Welcoming Our New Neighbors program is engaging 30 faith communities in welcoming and resettling refugees. 123 faith leaders, government officials, refugee resettlement agencies and nonprofits met to share resources and initiate advocacy programs. The immoral, un-American and counterproductive ban imposed by President Trump is traumatizing for families in Montgomery County and abroad.

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Resources for supporting refugees and advocating for policies reflecting our values are available Welcoming Our New Neighbors. An outreach program has been implemented to affirm our solidarity with mosques that includes attending Jummah Prayer on Fridays.

Pictures reflect the diversity and spirit of a compassionate and dedicated community of faith.

 

Be in Solidarity with Our Muslim Neighbors

It’s tragic that our president is using fear to rally our fellow citizens to discriminate against people of particular countries and of the Muslim faith. We need to oppose this tactic and demonstrate our solidarity in personal terms.

One meaningful way is to attend Friday prayer services in a Mosque in your neighborhood. Click Muslim Communities in Montgomery County to find a list of locations and contacts for times of service. Some faith communities are carrying cards and letters from their children, youth and adults. Others have formed partnerships including exchanged visits.

Response to Executive Action & Resources for supporting Refugees

 

 

Refugee Resource Meeting

The Welcoming Our New Neighbors program is engaging 30 faith communities in welcoming and resettling refugees. Yesterday in excess of 100 faith leaders, government officials, refugee resettlement agencies and nonprofits met to share resources and initiate advocacy programs. The immoral, un-Constitutional and counterproductive ban imposed by President Trump is traumatizing for families in Montgomery County and abroad.  An outreach program has been implemented to affirm our solidarity with mosques in Muslim community.

Pictures reflect the diversity and spirit of a compassionate and dedicated community of faith.

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Special Holiday Edition

The Montgomery County Faith Community has been busy in 2016!

What Did We Accomplish
Stayed Connected with over 4000 people, 500 diverse faith communities and 50 government, non-profit and social organizations.
Brought Diverse People Together For
  • welcoming refugees,
  • responding to acts of hate and violence,
  • helping those facing racism,
  • reducing hunger,
  • improving healthcare,
  • empowering faith communities and
  • celebrating our unity!
THANK YOU for Your Support!
We want to continue making Montgomery County the most welcoming county in America and creating the beloved community where every basic human need is met and every human right respected.

With hate and fear on the rise, we must also rise with compassion, courage and conviction. We ask for your support.

To Donate Online Now, please click www.MontgomeryCountyInterfaithMD.org
You can also learn more about our work and needs by joining our @MCFaithCouncil Facebook page , attending our events and visiting our website.
Checks may be written to the Fund for Montgomery County marked Interfaith and sent to Fund for Montgomery PO Box 828, Germantown, Maryland 20875
Thank you,
FCAC Executive Committee

Interracial/Interfaith Dialogue on Racism: Seeing the Divine in Each Other

120 registered two weeks in advance for the latest Interracial/Interfaith Dialogue on Racism: Seeing the Divine in Each Other. Evaluations showed people wanted to stay beyond the 3 hours; they were taken back by how invisible white privilege is to white people; they found it difficult to believe the discrimination people of color face everyday; they value a safe place for sharing personal stories; they want to maintain the dialogues; and they want to work together in addressing racism.

Working Together for a Better Community Town Hall

The Town Hall, Working Together for a Better Community, was co-sponsored by the Office of Human Rights, Faith Community Working Group, MC Police Department and NAACP. It followed up progress made since the earlier town Halls in July and pointed out what needs to be done today. Chief among the outcomes were the Police Department being engaged in over 500 meetings with community groups, partnership between faith communities and NAACP, Black Ministers Conference and one another, and the Interracial/Interfaith Dialogue on Racism: Seeing the Divine in Each Other.

Stand Up for the Montgomery Way Rally

Our County Executive asked the faith community for leadership and we delivered with hundreds of people and leaders from 10 faith traditions. Standup for the Montgomery Way was the theme for a rally affirming our values of inclusion and justice for all in the face of division, bigotry and hate.

We opened with an awesome National Anthem from People’s Community Baptist Church; next came the Muslim Call to Prayer followed by Buddhist and Christian prayers; and on from there came inspiring remarks by US Labor Secretary, Tom Perez; Senator Elect, Chris Van Hollen; Congressman Elect, Jamie Raskin; County Executive, Ike Leggett; County Council President, Nancy Floreen; Police Chief, Tom Manger paired with Rev. Dr. Carol Flett and our Faith Leaders Response Team and Emotional, Spiritual Care Volunteers; Superintendent Dr. Jack Smith paired with Lubna Ejaz and our Education Committee; and many more.

Here are pictures of the throng committed to living out the values at the core of our faith traditions and embodied in the resolution passed last week by the County Council and signed by the County Executive reaffirming community safety and trust, and denouncing racial bias, discrimination, hate speech, hate crimes and harassment.

Together we find strength and courage for facing the challenging days ahead.