[Ecumenical News International] Five congregations demonstrating a special enthusiasm and exemplary work for interfaith relations have been named “model interfaith engaged congregations” by the National Council of Churches (NCC), according to a news release.
In June, the NCC’s Interfaith Relations Commission asked for nominations from its member communions and other communities affiliated with the Council of congregations that “have something important to share about interfaith engagement.”
As a result of the national initiative, says the release, the Commission is honoring Boston Avenue United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Community Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Tempe, Arizona; Episcopal Tri-Faith Ministries in Omaha, Nebraska; First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, in Eugene, Oregon; and St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.
Each congregation recognized for its engagement in interfaith relations will in turn serve as a mentor for other congregations seeking to enhance their work in this area.
“These recognitions advance congregational mission and health by empowering congregations to share their story with denominational partners, local media, and potential funders,” said Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, NCC associate general secretary, Faith & Order and Interfaith Relations.
The initiative, which will become an annual event, is also aimed at “encouraging creative interfaith engagement through inclusion of interfaith content in curricula, preaching, theology, vision and mission, and budget; and equipping leaders to affirm and celebrate all who have contributed to the recognition and providing an impetus for more people get involved,” according to Kireopoulos.