The work of the Virginia Interfaith Center is supported through the generosity of individuals, congregations, religious institutions and foundations. In addition, we partner with other nonprofit organizations with whom we share common concerns and participate strategically in coalitions.
Congregational Partners: VICPP partners with hundreds of congregations throughout the Commonwealth. If you would like to get your congregation more connected with VICPP, sign up HERE to be a congregational liaison. Click HERE to learn more about the roles and support for congregational liaisons. VICPP gives special thanks to the congregations listed below that have offered financial support for the work either this year or last year.
Temple Rodef Shalom
Islamic Center of Virginia
Church of God in Christ
Coastal Virginia Unitarian Universalists
United Church of Christ
Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church (Richmond)
Williamsburg United Methodist Church
Judicatories and other national, regional or state faith groups: VICPP also partners with most judicatory bodies in Virginia. VICPP gives special thanks to those judicatory bodies and other national, regional or statewide faith groups that have provided financial support either last year or this year.
Baptist General Convention of Virginia
Catholic Climate Covenant
Church World Service
Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia
Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (national advocacy office)
Faith in Action
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington
National Capital Presbytery
Potomac Association of United Church of Christ
Presbytery of Eastern Virginia
Presbytery of the James
Presbytery of the Peaks
United Methodist Board of Global Ministries
Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church
Virginia Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy advocates with and through a network of Congregational Partners. Partners are churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, seminary and undergraduate faith groups and other social justice organizations committed to partnering with each other and with the Virginia Interfaith Center for more effective public ministry and advocacy.
The Virginia Interfaith Center provides Congregational Partners with:
Resources, training and strategy for effective advocacy.
Skilled staff or board members for preaching and teaching.
Opportunities to communicate and collaborate with other congregations and faith communities across the state.
Regular legislative updates and alerts via email.
Representation in the halls of the General Assembly (and occasionally Congress).
Opportunities to communicate directly with legislators, including our annual Day for All People interfaith advocacy day (January each year).
Assistance in coordinating public or community forums.
Congregational Partners are encouraged to do at least one activity per year in each category:
Invite staff or board members from the Virginia Interfaith Center to teach and/or preach in your faith community.
Convene an advocacy study group related to your tradition’s scriptures or important texts.
Host a community forum (and invite elected officials) on a critical social issue.
Collect an offering of letters from members to legislators on one of Virginia Interfaith Center’s priority issues.
Send members to the Day for All People interfaith advocacy day in Richmond (in January).
Help organize or attend marches, rallies, or other courageous public actions.
Attend VICPP’s annual awards dinner and fundraising event (December).
Make the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy a line item in your faith community’s budget.
Collect a special offering for the Virginia Interfaith Center.
Congregational Partners – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the pledge to which a Congregational Partner commits? “Advocating for social justice in the ‘halls of power’ is a part of our mission and we partner with the Virginia Interfaith Center to help us do that.”
What is the advantage of joining the network of Congregational Partners? Congregational Partners join their voices with people of faith from across the state. Together, our faith communities represent a powerful, moral voice for social change. Participation in the network also provides faith communities with access to Virginia Interfaith Center’s wide range of advocacy resources, from education curriculum and legislative updates to advocacy training and leadership development.
How do we determine what issues to work on? The Virginia Interfaith Center relies heavily on our faith communities to help determine our advocacy issues. We encourage faith communities to discern issues by communicating with their local communities and reflecting on their religious traditions. The VICPP Board and Chapter leaders then develop a strategic agenda, usually focusing on one top-tier issue and a few additional issues. The Center has previously worked on issues related to hunger, homelessness, economic justice, the environment, sustainable agriculture, education, healthcare, criminal justice reform and human rights.
Does becoming a Congregational Partner require that we support every position the Virginia Interfaith Center takes on individual issues? No. Becoming a Congregational Partner simply means that a faith community affirms our shared calling to advocate for a more just and sustainable world. How you and your faith community carry out a ministry of advocacy in your local context is up to you. When the Virginia Interfaith Center takes a position on a particular issue, it is a recommendation that we hope individuals within your faith community will consider and engage with.
Does participating as a Congregational Partner require a financial commitment? Yes. A part of being in VICPP’s statewide network of Congregational Partners is a regular financial contribution, at a level that make sense for your budget. Congregational Partners can make VICPP a line item in your annual budget or special mission allocations, collect a special offering for VICPP, or host a fundraiser that benefits VICPP’s advocacy. Congregational Partners are also encouraged to let VICPP know of endowments or other funding sources in your community to which we can apply for funds, and attend or sponsor our annual VICPP awards dinner fundraiser in the fall. Your contribution makes a difference!
Is VICPP a lobbying organization? VICPP is a 501c3 organization that works on economic and racial justice issues. The organization educates and equips its leadership and volunteers to speak directly to government officials as one method of doing advocacy, but the work is always done in a nonpartisan manner and the advocacy work is well within the limits established by the Internal Revenue Service. The network of Congregational Partners empowers and supports faith communities and individuals to seek social change through a variety of means, including education, direct action and religious witness.
Will becoming a Congregational Partner affect our tax status? No. Becoming part of the network will not affect your tax status. 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from certain political activity like, for example, endorsing candidates for political office. VICPP does not take positions on candidates, only on issues. Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations are permitted to engage in public education, hosting of candidates’ forums when all candidates are invited, encouragement of voter participation, and endorsement of initiatives, among other activities. For more information, contact the VICPP office at (804) 643-2474.
Please link to the following congregational resources to assist you in your advocacy and social justice ministries.
Advocacy Toolkit: A general toolkit on how you can lift your voice in the public sphere.
Interfaith_Seder1: A sample service for conducting an interfaith Seder service focused on welcoming all.
Pentecost Prayer for Unity and Just Peace: Offered by the World Council of Churches
MayDayInterfaithVigil-2.docx Interfaith Prayer Service offered for our May Day event
Issue Concern Resources
Expanding Healthcare in Virginia: A toolkit for advocating for Virginia to expand healthcare for low-income families.
Welcoming Immigrants Toolkit. A guide for how congregations can assist and support immigrants in Virginia.