Perhaps more than any other southern city, Huntsville is a city home to diverse spiritual and cultural traditions. The Cooperative of the Interfaith Mission Service believes this is a strength of Huntsville and works to ensure Huntsville continues to be an accepting home to a diverse array of spiritual families and different cultures. Using this spiritual and cultural diversity as a strength, we have facilitated a broad table for spiritual pilgrims to come together and learn from one another and achieve common goals. While the Interfaith Mission Service has an over 40 year history in the Huntsville area, it is the future that we are most excited about. As Huntsville stands poised for growth and is continually recognized as one of the nation's best places to live, we believe this is in part due to the deep spiritual wells that exist across this town and surrounding areas. The Cooperative works to make sure that a spirit of acceptance and non-judgment are deeply ingrained in our community.
Ministry Area 1: Direct Service – providing immediate, hands-on responses to hunger, poverty, and homelessness.
The FOODline pantry ministry coordinates among 15–20 congregations that have food pantries to provide emergency food to families in immediate need
Through a network of congregational vans and buses, our Medical Transportation ministry gives the homeless access to medical care by transporting them to the Community Free Clinic on Wednesdays.
Support Our Schools provides food for the weekend to Title I school children by sending food home in their backpacks on Friday. Volunteer tutors also help the children academically.
Ministry Area 2: Faith & Spirituality – providing congregations ecumenical and interfaith opportunities to grow in wisdom and respect for other faith traditions.
Interfaith Dialogue on the Road – Presenters to congregations, schools, and civic groups seeking to understand the core beliefs and practices of the world’s major religions and to explore opportunities for interfaith dialogue.
Hometown Pilgrimage – For the past four years, these free annual visits to various Huntsville congregations give adults and youth a chance to learn about religious beliefs and to observe and experience worship services of different faith traditions in a welcoming environment.
Day of Service and Unity – Following the events of September 11, 2001, congregations of the cooperative strive transcend our grief and express unity, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists worked side-by-side on projects that benefited the community.
Countering Islamophobia Through Education (CITE) – Small groups share a meal and discuss the short film, “Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think.”
Ministry Area 3: Race & Culture – promoting harmony by addressing specific issues of racial inequality and cultural barriers of discrimination and prejudice.
One Huntsville monthly diversity dinners give citizens of diverse ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds a chance to build friendships and exchange information.
The Racial Harmony Coalition was formed to determine if there were racial disparities in the areas of healthcare, education, housing, business ownership, crime, and the effect of poverty on children and families in our community.
Ministry Area 4: Social Justice – informing the community on public policy issues and asking, “Do policies reflect the model of justice and mercy our congregations adhere to?”
JustFaith© ― a 30-week program ― instills in participants a passion for justice and prepares them for the work of social ministry.
Social Justice Topic Studies offer small groups a way to engage a particular topic in a deliberative style rather than debate or advocacy.
Faith and Public Policy. Several of our congregations have organized, supported, or conducted workshops that focus on the intersection between faith and public policy.