Interfaith Works and the Montgomery County Faith Community Advisory Council are forming a new public-private partnership, creating a new entity to assist Montgomery County faith communities in meeting residents’ needs. The new initiative will be known as Interfaith Network of Montgomery County. The partnership will build on the strengths of both entities to amplify their impact.

The Faith Community Advisory Council (FCAC) was created by County Executive Ike Leggett to respond to the needs and concerns of faith communities and work collaboratively with government, non-profits and community organizations to create a just and healthy Montgomery County. Through its working groups, the Council has focused on providing faith community responses to address vital community issues, including hate-motivated incidents, disaster relief and health care.

Interfaith Works (IW) was founded 45 years ago by a group of congregations representing differing faith traditions who were united in their commitment to combat poverty in Montgomery County. That work continues today, with Interfaith Works helping more than 16,000 Montgomery County residents annually through prevention, stabilization and empowerment programs. Interfaith Works is supported by more than 160 congregations representing a broad spectrum of faith traditions.

Together, FCAC and IW will create the Interfaith Network of Montgomery County (INMC), a member-based, public/private partnership that will bring 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.

“Montgomery County is a remarkable place,” said Kasey Kaseman, Montgomery County Interfaith Community Liaison. “It is home to three communities recognized as the most diverse in the United States. This new entity represents a recognition that diversity enriches our county and that faith communities play a unique role in fostering acceptance, respect and resilience.”

“It was logical to join forces, given our missions, shared values and deep involvement in faith communities,” said Shane C. Rock, Interfaith Works CEO. “The Interfaith Network of Montgomery County will help expand the impact of our efforts with coordinated support across the many faith communities that enrich and strengthen the fabric of our county.”

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

For more information on the Interfaith Network of Montgomery County, see the organization’s website: www.iworksmc.org/interfaithnetworkmc.