Calvert Interfaith Council is an unincorporated association of clergy and lay representatives from different congregations or houses of worship in Calvert County, Maryland. CIC is open to all faith communities in Calvert County.
1) To provide a means of communication with and among the various religious congregations of Calvert County.
2) To provide for continuing education of the clergy in areas of pastoral concern.
3) To coordinate common efforts of congregations on behalf of the poor and to provide better social services for those who are in need of assistance in Calvert County.
4) To facilitate interfaith gatherings and civic events which support the spiritual and social well being of the people of Calvert County, Maryland.
CIC Officers for 2015:
Chaplain Gerry Headley, Calvert Hospice
Vice President: Rev. Ken Phelps, All Saints Episcopal Church
Marianne Roberts, Jesus the Divine Word Catholic Church
Treasurer: Sue Bilek, St. John Vianney Catholic Church.
The next CIC meeting:
The next CIC meeting will be on Tuesday,February 9, 2016.
Location: The meeting will be at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Prince Frederick, Conference Room in the church basement.
Followship starts at 9:30 a.m. with coffee and refreshments. The meeting begins at 10:00 a.m.
Minutes from December 2015 meeting: CIC%20Minutes%2012-8-2015%20v1
Minutes from February 2015 meeting: MinutesFEB2015
Minutes from April 2015 meeting:minutes_April-14-2015
About CIC Meetings:
The meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month from 9;30 a.m. to noon. The CIC meeting is held at a different location each month. Clergy and/or representatives from various congregations volunteer to host the meetings at their places of worship. Details of upcoming meetings can be found on this website. Each meeting begins with the clergy or representative of the host (place of worship) sharing a brief (20 to 30 minutes) presentation on their faith tradition. This is followed by a business meeting to discuss and share information on relevant issues in our county. Refreshments are provided by the host place of worship.
International Day of Peace: The 2015 Day of Peace be celebrated again via letters to the editor, this year about the need for peace racially. He will draft and circulate a letter from the Interfaith Council, and urges individual congregations to do the same. Letters should be submitted to the Recorder by September 11. They will be submitted also to the local free papers such as County Times, Calvert Gazette, Chesapeake Family, and New Bay Weekly.
The following letter appeared in the Calvert Recorder on September 18, 2015:
Dreams of peace surround police, race relations
This Monday is the International Day of Peace. It is a day celebrated each year with the continued hope that we find means to live in harmony and happiness. Last year, the Calvert Interfaith Council and other congregations wrote to express the need for peace in the Middle East and at home. This year, I write for the need for peace on the home front.
Since the violence in Ferguson, Mo., we have seen incident after incident in which some police have used or been accused of using excess force. These incidents have come to light, not because there have been more of them, but because of the increased use of personal and police videos that have showcased these incidents. This increased coverage of questionable police practices has led many to the perception that some officers abuse their powers, especially when dealing with minorities. The perception of police violence has been reinforced by the application of paramilitary gear used by some police units to enforce the status quo. Excessive force has been underscored when some officers have drawn their weapons, not to protect life, but to gain control of a situation.
Yet, the American problem of racial violence is not just a police issue. The vast majority of our police force act out of respect for the law and the people. To be sure, these actions have been the exception and not the rule. In some instances, these have been a reflection of rookie mistakes and poor training. But our police reflect our own racial fears, and the perception they enforce is the reality of unequal justice for African-Americans and other minorities. What they reflect is the American acceptance of violence to use force to control any situation. We strike first when we are afraid, and we seem most afraid of those who are different than us.
When the “Black Lives Matter” movement began to take hold, I foolishly said to someone, “Well, all lives matter.” While that might be technically true, all things being equal, it ignored the fact that all things are not equal in our country. What you think of, or fear from, the police has a lot to do with your race, just as who you trust to look after you is a matter of faith. “Black Lives Matter” is an important movement because it argues against an ingrained perception in this country that black lives do not matter, and have not mattered, very much to most whites.
While I cannot testify with assurance of what it means to live in fear of “driving while black” or being under suspicion because of my skin color, I can tell you what peace should look like for all. As a white person, I have never had to tell my children to be fearful of the police. If they have been wronged in any way or feel in danger, they have trust in going to law officers for help. Neither I nor my children have had to fear how the justice system might treat us. We have always been able to live fully and without fear in our constitutional right to pursue happiness.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “There can be no justice without peace and there can be no peace without justice.” Peace will come with justice for all, and it starts by engaging others in a more peaceful means of enforcing justice. On this International Day of Peace, I propose that we will have reached a radical milestone in our country, when people of all races can exercise the pursuit of happiness without the fear of violence from fellow Americans.
Gerry Headley, Owings
The writer is president of the Calvert Interfaith Council.
Thanksgiving Service: Rabbi Arnold Saltzmann encouraged keeping the focus on racism for at least a year. Art may be the way to bring the community together – music, dance, painting – and involving children. Also silence. Rev. Headley offered to convene a committee to plan the service, with Rev. Joanna White offering use of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Prince Frederick for the Sunday, November 22 service.
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Please note the new e-mail address email@example.com
Calvert Interfaith Council
P.O. Box 878
Prince Frederick, Md 20678