A celebration of faith partnerships
In bringing people together, regardless of religious affiliation, Habitat for Humanity becomes an agent of peace and reconciliation. Putting God's love into action is a ministry of inclusion.
An Interfaith Build is an opportunity for congregations from all religions to build on their faiths and collaborate and share their love of God with each other. In this way, the Interfaith Build allows for the celebration of faith partnerships through a Habitat for Humanity construction project. It also creates an opportunity to encourage those of faith to pray for and become advocates for those in need of shelter.
Habitat's mission involves building communities as well as homes. Habitat's interfaith initiative offers residents the opportunity to extend a hand to their neighbors of other faiths, inviting them to work together to rid the world of poverty housing. Aside from new homes built, the positive interaction among members of different religions encourages mutual trust, inspires hope and ensures the sustainability of interfaith collaboration.
Why should you get involved?
An Interfaith Build is a concrete way to put your faith into action and share God's love. The project is a service to God that allows you to practice your religion outside of the walls of your faith institution. Faith organizations previously involved with an Interfaith Build report they have experienced revitalization through their congregation, as well as an increase in members after participating.
What is needed?
Donations to purchase materials for the house are needed prior to the start of construction. Volunteers are needed to help build the house and to provide lunches for the volunteers. Habitat will provide the building site, house plans, and construction management for the duration of the project.
Participation in the Alachua Habitat Interfaith Coalition is greatly encouraged. Meetings are held on a monthly basis at a coalition member's facility. This opportunity creates the chance to build relationships with other faith congregations in the community.
How to get involved
Please inform your missions and outreach committees, and your congregation leaders of this unique opportunity. You might consider asking other congregations to parter with you to help boost your donations and volunteer base. For more information, contact Jocelyn Peskin at 352-363-6495 or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or to find out when and where the next meeting will be held.
Faiths in action: changing hearts and minds
Continuing their experience of working together to facilitate the Habitat for Humanity mission of building safe, decent and affordable housing, the Alachua Habitat Interfaith Coalition completed Interfaith Build #5, a rehab project in 2015-16, taking an existing structure and renovating it. The improvement of a single home leads to increased value and level of opportunity in the surrounding neighborhood. Common improvements made on a rehab house include replacing roofing, insulation, and ductwork, as well as improving the quality of water and electric utilities.
Interfaith Build #5 partner faith organizations include:
- Celebration United Methodist Church
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- First United Methodist Church
- Gainesville Muslim Community
- Greenhouse Church
- Jewish Council of North Central Florida
- Kanapaha Presbyterian Church
- Parkview Baptist Church
- St. Joseph's Episcopal Church
- Trinity United Methodist Church
- UF Interfaith Ambassadors
- UF Islam on Campus
- Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
- United Church of Gainesville
- Wesley United Methodist Church
- Westminster Presbyterian Church
The sixth Interfaith Build is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2016.