Mission & Purpose
CIC – Hoosiers of many faiths in community.
A community that pursues peace through interfaith understanding and cooperation.
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
through cooperation: abundance
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.
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 [email protected] or call (317) 318‑5304