by Rev. Isaac Lawson
Imagine what life in our Greater Hartford region could be like if our religious institutions actually possessed the moral force to make it a more just and equitable place? The Christian Activities Council (CAC) embarked upon this imaginative task in September 2016 when it convened the inaugural Greater Hartford Sponsoring Committee meeting. Less than three years later, nearly 300 diverse people of faith attended the Greater Hartford Sponsoring Committee’s Winter Organizing Assembly.
On Tuesday, March 12, Jews, Muslims, Universalists, Friends, and a vastly ecumenical group of Christians all filed into Congregation Beth Israel on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford for the Winter Organizing Assembly. In attendance were clergy, lay leaders, trained core team leaders, and those who were simply curious.
In her address to the multi-faith group seeking to work together to address issues that impact the quality of life in Greater Hartford, Rabbi Andi Fliegel, of the hosting congregation, passionately declared, “The differences between us that too often keep us apart, spread thin and powerless, will no longer divide us!” To identify issues that “keep us up at night,” core team members coordinated and held over 30 small-group “house meetings.”
At the end of the evening, those gathered boisterously and enthusiastically voted to name the organizing group the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance (GHIAA).
“We came away from this gathering believing that this newly created alliance of diverse faith communities has the breadth, depth and commitment to make meaningful, impactful and much needed improvements to a variety of critical social and educational issues in Greater Hartford,” said AHCC member and event attendee Marie Dalton-Meyer. “The energy and commitment of the participants were palpable and inspiring. We look forward to the next level of engagement by AHCC members.”
Since the meeting, institutional-based core teams have begun launching house meeting campaigns in their congregations. This summer, the body will gather again to affirm a slate of concrete, winnable issues to present at GHIAA’s official launch on Monday, October 28, 2019. If you’re interested in more information or in getting involved with GHIAA, contact Rev. Mia Douglas, Director of Discipleship, at 860.216.9823 or firstname.lastname@example.org.