Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Hoosiers of Many Faiths in Community

Mission & Purpose

CIC  –  Hoosiers of many faiths in community.

VISION

A community that pursues peace through interfaith understanding and cooperation.

MISSION

To strengthen community in central Indiana and beyond by:

  • Supporting existing connections between and among faith communities;
  • Fostering additional interfaith opportunities through social, cultural, and educational interactions; and
  • Connecting interfaith communities through volunteer service and civic engagement.

“Religious communities are, without question, the largest and best organized civil institutions in the world today, claiming the allegiance of billions of believers and bridging the divides of race, class, and nationality.

They are uniquely equipped to meet the challenges of our time; resolving conflicts, caring for the earth, the sick the needy, and promoting peaceful coexistence among all people.”    –    Religions for Peace


PURPOSE

through coop­er­a­tion: abundance

Coop­er­a­tion

For many peo­ple, the label “inter­faith” has meant gath­er­ing people of different faiths to dis­cuss and com­mem­o­rate diverse religious prac­tices and shared val­ues. In Central Indiana, interfaith engagement has included inter­faith prayer ser­vices and cel­e­bra­tions.  CIC respects and supports this rich heritage of activities.  But the CIC also hosts programs that explore our religious differences as well as similarities. It seeks to understand religious conflict as well as religious peacemaking.  Embracing similarities and respecting differences, the CIC forms part­ner­ships designed to solve our com­mon social prob­lems.  Even more, we believe that the very diversity of Central Indiana’s religious communities offers an abundance of resources for confronting our collective social challenges.

Strength­en­ing Part­ner­ships– Five Approaches

Cre­ative Inno­va­tion: Our loca­tion in the Indi­ana Inter­church Cen­ter puts CIC in daily con­tact with many of the city’s exist­ing reli­gious and inter­faith orga­ni­za­tions. New ideas for part­ner­ing ini­tia­tives bub­ble up from fre­quent infor­mal con­ver­sa­tions and from the for­mal dis­cus­sions and informal gatherings that CIC spon­sors in the build­ing.

Net­work­ing Hub: CIC has estab­lished an elec­tronic infra­struc­ture that stream­lines col­lab­o­ra­tion and part­ner­ships between reli­gious groups and the com­mu­nity. CIC’s own web­site pro­vides valu­able infor­ma­tion about events and ini­tia­tives around Cen­tral Indi­ana. It gives poten­tial part­ners easy ways to iden­tify shared inter­ests and oppor­tu­ni­ties for work­ing together.

Audi­ence Engage­ment: CIC tech­ni­cal vol­un­teers and Ameri­Corps asso­ciates help groups in the com­mu­nity engage a wider range of people by employing relevant practices of social media and other communication technology.

Education: The CIC takes a lead­ing role in orga­niz­ing and launch­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive ven­tures, includ­ing dia­logues and dis­cus­sions of cru­cial issues fac­ing Cen­tral Indi­ana and the world. This includes a) build­ing com­mu­nity rela­tion­ships by facil­i­tat­ing con­nec­tions through events as sim­ple as din­ner with a fam­ily of another faith, b) con­nect­ing Indi­anapo­lis with larger com­mu­ni­ties through con­fer­ences of national and inter­na­tional scale, and c) orga­niz­ing sus­tained ini­tia­tives based on Indy’s diverse com­mu­nity inter­ests and reli­gious groups.

Research & Records: CIC serves as a research insti­tu­tion that pre­serves and dis­sem­i­nates lessons learned through the region’s inter­faith rela­tions. This involves research­ing sim­i­lar efforts in other com­mu­ni­ties and telling the story of inter­faith coop­er­a­tion in Cen­tral Indi­ana. This con­nec­tion with out­side audi­ences has planted the seed for future expan­sion of our net­work of edu­ca­tional and problem-solving partnerships.

Service

The Cen­ter for Inter­faith Coop­er­a­tion is ded­i­cated to build­ing the capac­ity of part­ner­ing orga­ni­za­tions to ful­fill their mis­sions more effec­tively. CIC is guided by the advice of its part­ners in the com­mu­nity. It does not divert resources from exist­ing orga­ni­za­tions or projects. Nor does CIC attempt to force groups to take on activ­i­ties or join col­lab­o­ra­tions in any way that com­pro­mises the integrity of their faith and traditions.

For more infor­ma­tion about Cen­ter for Inter­faith Coop­er­a­tion contact:

Char­lie Wiles at charlie@centerforinterfaithcooperation.org or call (317) 318‑5304