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INTERFAITH COUNCIL OF CONTRA COSTA COUNTY

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: The Interfaith Council, as the Council of Churches, was originally organized for the primary purpose of providing chaplaincy ministries in various county institutions on behalf of local congregations. The Council became interfaith in 1997, widening its membership to include congregations and faith organizations that represent the growing pluralistic population of Contra Costa County. The council remains committed to supporting the religious and communities in our county. Program areas have expanded to include Health and Faith in Action, Social Justice, Interfaith Understanding Programs, the Interfaith Climate Action Program and our new Youth and Young Adult Leadership Initiative. To see our recent ICCCC Announcements, go here. For ICCCC Statements, go here. There are 108 congregations and organizations holding membership and affiliation from a wide range of faith traditions, including Jewish, Buddhist, Baha’i, Unitarian Universalist, Islamic, Hindu, New Thought, Sikh, Sufi, Unity, Latter-Day Saints, Religious Science and other Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christians. We are also a Cooperation Circle of the United Religions Initiative, whose global headquarters are in San Francisco. The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County (I4C) is an autonomous local organization solely governed by its own Executive Committee, elected by the membership at the Council’s annual meeting. The Elected Council meets monthly except July and the Governing Board meets monthly except August.

Results: The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County is an autonomous local organization committed to supporting the religions and communities of our county. For more information about the Winter Nights Family Shelter, please go to http://cccwinternights.org Please note our new address! Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County 404 Gregory Lane, rm 1 Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 925.822.3744 office 925.933.6030 mobile

Target demographics: families living without shelter, youth in Juvenile Hall, seniors in convalesent centers, and those in need

Direct beneficiaries per year: 90 members of families with children who were homeless. Dozens of young people at the Juvenile Detention Facility. Many congregations hosted Interfaith understanding events.

Geographic areas served: We as people from a diversity of religions, spiritual traditions and sectors of society in Contra Costa County, work to manifest our unity as we promote the spirit of community, service and cooperation through the work of the Interfaith Council.

Programs: Winter Nights Family Shelter, Rev. Julius Van Hook who serves as the Interfaith Juvenile Chaplain at Juvenile Hall and the Boys Ranch, Singing Messengers, and a myriad of other programs including the Social Justice Alliance, the Interfaith Climate Action Network, Health and Faith in Action and other county programs. We also partner with the Multi-Faith ACTION Network in advocacy to address the systems the make people poor and keep people poor. The Juvenile Detention Chaplaincy, under the direction of the Rev. Julius Van Hood, ministers to young people in the facilities in Martinez and Byron. The Social Justice Alliance advocates partnership to focus on issues of racism, welfare reform, housing, hunger, discrimination, immigration and other areas of need. The Homeless Summit of SoJA operates the Winter Nights Shelter.and other areas of need. Youth & Young Adults will discover venues in which to bring young people together from a variety of traditions in order to build bridges and strengthen faith and self-esteem. If you are a High Schooler or Youth Leader that wants to get involved in this ministry, please contact Rev. Will McGarvey. The Singing Messengers, under the direction of Ms. Marjorie Musante, sends musical teams into nursing homes across the county, with three separate programs each year.

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Pamela J. A.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've had experiences with the Interfaith Council for many years and they have all been GOOD! A major gift they have given our communities is the creation of the Winter Nights Family Shelter which brings together faith communities to provide shelter, food and support for families with no roof over their head.
In addition, I know that I can look to the Interfaith Council for leadership in troubled times. And if I need to connect with someone of a different faith community, Interfaith Council is my starting point.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

How heartening that we live in a County that has such a strong interfaith presence! I had never come across individuals so committed to making a difference in their community, creating a climate of acceptance and celebrating diversity. Members of this Council -- organizations, churches, non-profits and individuals -- are working hard to make sure that no one is left behind. Thank you, ICCCC!

Loel Miller, Secretary, ICCCC and Member, Sufism Reoriented
Member, ICCCC since 2009

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Interfaith contra Costa County Council (icccc) is a trusted friend, a real booster, an objective dispenser, and a body that cares for humanity. In 2007, when our Islamic Center got burnt in hate crime, it was Icccc that stood by us. In 2013, when one female member of our community got stabbed, it was iccccc that was there like a shadow. Together we have walked many times for the hungry and the homeless; together we have held vigils for the destitute; together we have raised our voices against mass shootings, and against hate crimes. Be it the defusion of hate, or providing shelter to the homeless, we have worked together. Icccc's motto is to discover goodness in others. It is a bridge between different faiths. Its dynamic leadership, under Will McGarvey and Terence Clark, is amazingly effective. As President of an Islamic Center in Antioch, and currently a member of the Council, I feel honored to be of some use to those who need our help through icccc.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

It is so fulfilling to have this Interfaith Council doing the broad, diverse, relevant and desperately needed work they are doing in Contra Costa County. Their work brings people together to counteract the chaotic and polarized society and world we are in today to bring hope where often one asks "will it ever change, is there hope?" A multi-faceted agenda delivers food to the needy, provides solidarity against hate, celebrates diversity in all its magnificence, educates the oneness of religion bringing people together to find new friends in community and understand each other not as "others". I am proud to be a member of this organization and to serve through its leadership. All counties across the U.S. can look to I4C for a model on how to go about providing leaderdhip, planning and action for meaningful and lasting change.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Diverse membership of many faiths: all faiths are welcome. The council promotes more understanding between by knowing each others faith traditions.

1 satya2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great organization. They do a great job promoting, sharing and spreading Love, Peace and Bliss-Anandam. T I am honored to be part of it. Love.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In this time of profound divisions, distrust, and hate in our society, the Interfaith Council continues to work effectively to bring people together despite their disagreements, to make the world a better place. When the daily news has left me depressed about our future, the IfCCC reminds me that we have the capacity for compassion and cooperation.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a group of peacemakers who strive to serve our communities, promoting peace and understanding between people of various faith traditions- much needed work specially in the environment of mistrust, bigotry and tension we live in. The council represents over 100 organizations representing various faith traditions, striving for social justice, equality and serving the needy such as its "Winter Nights" program to provide shelter to homeless families during winter months.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a resident of the Rossmoor Community in Walnut Creek, CA.

Our Diversity Consciousness group recently hosted Rev. Will McGarvey from the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County for his presentation and workshop on Nonviolent Communication. We were very interested in his segment on intervention in tense situations involving harassing behavior and hate speech. We had an immense turnout and a very receptive and appreciative audience, who were unanimous in their praise of the timeliness and rich content of this excellent presentation, especially the hands-on exercises on the intervention process itself.

The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County should be recognized for its outstanding leadership in community outreach and enrichment of diversity at a time in our world when people are becoming increasingly isolated, polarized, and victimized by negative messages.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a Council Member of the ICCCC and have found this organization to be incredibly effective, not just in creating goodwill and communications between faith groups, but also in it's proactive approach to solving some critical problems in our county. Winter Nights is a very effective programs in sheltering the homeless. Gatherings are set up to stand with our neighbors is also another example of the Council's effectiveness. I have leveraged my contacts through the Council to set up a series of interfaith dialogues at my temple, which has been extremely successful.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great organization run by great people from different religions and congregations around the county. Doing lots in the community to bring people together.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

"The Difusing Hatred" workshops put on by the ICCC are so timely and practical and available for churches, schools, service groups, etc. Last year's celebration of International Peace Day was celebrated with learning how to speak together in peace when we have different views
bringing a sense of harmony and healing to all involved. So many dedicated workers!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County does very important work to make our county an inclusive community. Most important is maintaining an interfaith dialogue among clergy and lay leaders from over 100 faith organizations, representing many different faiths. This is crucial in this time of xenophobia, Islamophobia, and other religious intolerance. In addition to this vital interfaith dialogue, ICCCC also supports a Juvenile Hall Chaplaincy and runs a Winter Nights Shelter program providing shelter and meals for homeless families at a series of host congregations. The Social Justice Alliance, of which I am a member, oversees the Winter Nights Shelter, where I am a regular volunteer, and also takes on social justice advocacy issues. Finally, there are the Singing Messengers, with three groups visiting senior living facilities around the County each week to sing old favorites for the residents.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

The council is actively engaged in promoting understanding and harmony in our county- and beyond. Its membership includes over 110 congregations representing various faith traditions from Christians(various denominations), Jews, Muslims (and its various sects), Hindus, Sikhs, Bahais and Sufism etc. The programs it sponsors address the homelessness (Winter Nights program), social justice, youth detention facilities, ring of solidarity around places of worship, "Know your Muslim neighbors" and "Diffusing Hatred" programs. The council embodies what is so good about our respective faiths, bringing out the very best within us.

4 Carolyn103

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Interfaith Council of CCC is important to me because it supports understanding among the faith communities and promotes peaceful resolutions to conflicts. The world is in real need of understanding and tolerance among different faith communities- the work of this council is an important step in bringing the power of many peaceful voices speaking together to be heard over the roar of violence and conflict.