As Houston’s oldest interfaith service organization, our interreligious engagement efforts stand at the heart of our mission. When we were founded in 1969 as Houston Metropolitan Ministries, Houston looked very different than it does today in the 21st century. And IM has changed with the times. In 1992, we renamed ourselves Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston to reflect the changing landscape of our growing region; we will celebrate our 30th anniversary of this name in 2022.
In the Houston metro area, over 80% of adults affiliate with a religious tradition. We also recognize that 20% do not adhere to a particular religious tradition, and that 80% of this cohort is under the age of 50. We are a diverse community, and what we have found is that, regardless of how we define ourselves religiously or non-religiously, there is a spark within each of us to connect, to learn, to share, to serve. We at IM take this impulse seriously, as it has been an impulse that has the power to change our community for the good.
We also realize that misinformation and misunderstanding about other faiths is a constant source of fear and ignorance. We work to increase what we call “religious literacy,” to provide opportunities and resources for people to learn more about other religions. In doing so, we often find people learn more about other cultures, languages, customs, and countries of origin. In the end, what we learn about are each other’s stories.
Interfaith Relations and Community Partnerships (IRCP) works to build respect, understanding and service among people of different faiths, and those of no particular faith, as well as efforts to bring other nonprofits together in collaboration and service.
IRCP contributes to this mission by:
Connecting. We seek to be Houston’s “Interfaith Hub,” connecting faith communities and interfaith groups throughout Greater Houston for seminars, service and collaborations.
Engaging. IRCP is about outreach and communication, not only with established relationships but also those seeking new relationships. We attend a myriad of gatherings that engage the faith community and the community at large.
Educating. Acts of intolerance are often based in fear, and fear is based in ignorance. Dispelling myths and providing accurate information about different religions makes a difference in the community. We have a host of regular programs that you can learn about on this website, ranging from “Faith in Our City” to our Vital Conversations. We also provide speakers from different faith traditions and provide our own expertise when needed. We support senior caregiving efforts as well.
Mobilizing. Relationships and knowledge can lead to an effective response, and so we often convene groups looking to promote understanding and good. IM’s Great Hall is a perfect venue for dialogue, education and response, especially in addressing our region’s toughest challenges.