InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington

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InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington
Motto Uniting Our Community Since 1978
Founded 1978
Type Non-profit organization
Services Interfaith dialogue
Key people
Reverend Clark Lobenstine (Executive Director 1979-2014), Rabbi Gerald Serotta, (Executive Director 2014 - present)

The InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington (IFC or IFCMW) is an interfaith non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C.. The organization was founded in 1978 and the Reverend Clark Lobenstine served as the first Executive Director from 1979-2014. The IFC brings together eleven historic faith communities to promote dialogue, understanding and a sense of community to work cooperatively for social and economic justice through the DC region.[1] The IFC has three programs, The Center for Advancing Justice (TCAJ), The Center for Building Community (TCBC), and The Center for Nurturing Understanding (TCNU).


In an interview with the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs in 2011, Executive Director Lobenstine said, "The Interfaith Conference was founded by the Islamic, Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Jewish communities and was the first organization to engage the Islamic community back in a metropolitan area in both interfaith dialogue and interfaith collaboration for justice in 1978. Since then Baha’i, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Latter Day Saint, Sikh, and Zoroastrian believers have joined. We now represent eleven faith-based communities. The founders before I started were clear that the Conference wouldn’t do service, but rather enact justice by building a just community as well as through interfaith dialogue. These principals continue to guide us still and our Center for Nurturing Understanding is focused on applying those ideals to young people."[2]

IFC Member Faiths[edit]


Advancing Justice

  • Collaborates with Greater Washington Interfaith Power & Light (GWIPL). IFC promotes stewardship for the Earth and helps diverse religious communities find their own religious response to climate change by providing opportunities for education and action.
  • Publishes the Emergency Food, Shelter and Health Care Directory, the region’s most compact, comprehensive guide of its kind, estimated to serve more than 300,000 people in need of critical services throughout metropolitan Washington.[3]
  • Addresses public policy issues, especially religious freedom, with a unified, moral voice that reflects IFC’s members’ diverse religious perspectives. Responds to hate crimes and other acts that tear at the fabric of our community.

Building Community

  • Organizes the annual InterFaith Concert. Each fall, this “Celebration of the Sacred in Song, Dance and Chant” features singers, musicians, and dancers as well as other luminaries from half a dozen traditions.
  • Sponsors the annual InterFaith Bridge Builders’ Awards, which celebrates the achievements of leaders in the DC region who have committed themselves tirelessly to building a more pluralistic society.
  • Supports the interfaith dinner dialogue program in neighborhoods throughout the region.

Nurturing Understanding

  • Resources educational institutions and promotes the study of comparative religions, especially through the Strengthening Teaching About Religion (STAR) book and its supplements. IFC regularly provides speakers, arranges field trips to houses of worship, and leads workshops for educators.[4]
  • Sponsors a multi-faith worship service to commemorate MLK’s Birthday each year.

The IFC is an affiliate member of the Washington Theological Consortium.[5]


External links[edit]