Brockton Interfaith Community (BIC)

This profile was last updated in 2014

Source

This information was submitted by the Brockton Interfaith Community (BIC).

Meetings and Membership

“The Brockton Interfaith Community (BIC) was founded in 1991 as a group of faith communities that made a covenantA covenant (or brit) is a mutual promise or compact between two parties. In the Jewish and Christian traditions, covenant is of deep significance in describing the mutual relationship of God and the people of faith. The major covenants in Jewish scripture... to work together to identify and solve problems in the Brockton community. Faith communities representing ProtestantProtestant is a term used for the range of reform movements that broke with the Roman Catholic Church during the period called the Reformation. There are many branches of Protestantism, including the Lutherans, Anabaptists, Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists..., Roman Catholic, and Jewish congregations, are members of BIC, while Greek OrthodoxIn general, orthodox means having a “correct opinion or outlook” and is a term used by people in many religions who claim authority for traditional views and forms of their religion. and Muslim faith communities often participate in BIC projects. BIC is multi-faith, mult-racial, multi-lingual, and strictly non-partisan. The driving force behind BIC’s community action is the members’ commitment to their faith traditions and to the community of Brockton. All meetings begin with an interfaith worship service. In all of its activities, BIC strives to deepen the religious commitment within its member faith communities and to strengthen the ethical and moral character of the Brockton community. BIC is affiliated with the Organizing and Leadership Training Center, along with sister organizations in Boston, Lynn, Fall River/New Bedford, Worcester, and Springfield.”

Community Involvement

“The heart of BIC is community organizing through congregations and parishesA parish is the geographical neighborhood or area served by a church or pastor.. BIC organizes around issues such as youth, education, housing and development, healthcare, employment, and congregationalThe congregational form of Protestant Christianity has traditionally affirmed the autonomy and authority of the local congregation in calling and ordaining its ministers and organizing its affairs. In the 17th century, the English Puritans introduced cong... development. Lay people and clergyClergy are the body of ordained men (and in some cases women) who are authorized to perform the priestly, pastoral, or rabbinical duties of the community—as distinct from the laity whom they serve. from the different faith traditions meet together, identify local problems and needs in their own neightborhoods, and devise strategies for solving them. For example, BIC members were concerned about the safety of neighborhood playgrounds, so they negotiated with local officials to paint the crosswalks nearby, while members cleaned them up. BIC also assisted the local police by identifying crack houses in their neighborhoods. Other successful efforts inclue securing grants to keep city pools open in the summer and requesting the implementation of a drug education program in the local schools. In its most dramatic victory, BIC members researched the lending practices in the Brockton area of one of the largest banks in Massachusetts and discovered that the bank discriminated against low-income individuals in its lending practices. After all the member congregations threatened to withdraw their funds from the bank, the bank reevaluated and changed its lending practices. Local politicians and officials are regularly invited to attend BIC meetings and asked to defend their policies and actions.”