July 13, 2010

Habitat to Celebrate Kickoff of First Interfaith House

GAITHERSBURG, MD (July 6, 2010) - On July 18, 2010 the Lutheran Church of St. Andrew is hosting an Interfaith Ice Cream Social and Talent Showcase to celebrate the kickoff of Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, MD $B!G (Bs Interfaith House. The Interfaith House is a collaboration of local congregations coming together to help fund the rehabilitation of a vacant, foreclosed home in Silver Spring, MD. Teams of 10 will be volunteering every Friday and Saturday starting July 17th and working through September. The house will then be purchased by a low-income family in need of a simple, decent, energy efficient, and affordable home.

This Interfaith House will be the first time a group of faith organizations will sponsor and build a Habitat home together. In order to provide an educational experience as well a humbling community service project, congregations are encouraged to send a small group of volunteers to be paired with volunteers of another faith group. This way, they will indeed be working side-by-side towards a common goal, all while learning from each other in conversation throughout the day. Current sponsoring congregations are: Silver Spring United Methodist Cooperative Parish (Marvin Memorial United Methodist Church & Woodside United Methodist Church), Bethesda United Methodist Church, Gaithersburg Presbyterian Church, St. Camillus Catholic Church, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church joined with Church of the Resurrection, St. Dunstan Episcopal Church and St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. (Updated as of 7/02/10)

Rachel Cornwell, lead pastor of Silver Spring United Methodist Cooperative Parish expresses her excitement of the power behind this build. $B!H (BThe Interfaith House is especially exciting because it gives us the chance to work with our neighbors of other faiths, all of us knowing that while we have different beliefs, we have similar values and we share the hope for a community in which everyone has access to adequate housing. $B!I (B

In the spirit of cooperation that the Interfaith House promotes, the Ice Cream Social and Talent Showcase will highlight and thank the congregations who have contributed their time and money to this project. The event also aims to present the Interfaith initiative to those communities not involved. A suggested donation of $10 per guest will benefit the rehabilitation of Habitat $B!G (Bs first Interfaith home. The event will begin at 4:00pm with ice cream and fellowship, followed by the talent showcase beginning at 5:00pm. During the event, Habitat volunteers will discuss future volunteer and fundraising opportunities. Additionally, a new Habitat homeowner will share how their new home has changed the life of their family. The social will provide a comfortable environment for different faith groups to celebrate each other $B!G (Bs gifts while supporting HFH-MC $B!G (Bs goal of eliminating substandard housing in Montgomery County.

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