Usually, if one were to ask: “What do Roman Catholics, mainstream Protestants, Evangelical Christians, Jews, and Moslems have in common?” more often than not, the answer would be “Very little!” However, in recent weeks, that has been far from the case. These faith communities, who often differ, and sometimes differ vigorously over such matters as social issues, geo-politics, and points of theology, have been crossing what sometimes appears as impenetrate lines and coming together in common cause over their mutual concern for the plight of the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
A few weeks ago, Churches United of the Quad Cities, Temple Emanuel, and a number of local clergy initiated a drive to unite the various faith communities of the Quad Cities in their efforts to aid Haitian earthquake victims. A letter was sent out to all clergy and houses of worship, encouraging them to support the fund raising efforts of their particular national or international faith group and to report their efforts to the local coordinators of this project. The goal of the organizers was to gather the data which would demonstrate the impact of our Quad Cities faith communities on this important relief effort. It was their hope that by demonstrating how supportive of this cause have been our churches, synagogues, and mosques, they would be able to encourage both additional charitable giving of behalf of the Haitian people and greater interfaith respect and cooperation within our community.
To date, 46 faith communities have reported the results of their relief efforts. Together, they have raised almost $188,000.00. Congregational giving has ranged from $150.00 to $20,000.00 (see list below). These funds have been directed to at least 21 separate agencies and organizations (see list below).
While the majority of the participating congregations conducted direct fund appeals, either from their pulpits, in their newsletters, or by email, there were some congregations that went a step further in their efforts. There were those who put together health kits or meal kits, those who involved the children of their congregation in special projects, concerts, and there was one that hosted a fund raising Taco Fiesta (see list below).
The figures reported are minimal. There are many other congregations in our community that have raised funds on behalf of Haitian relief, but which have yet to report their efforts to the organizers of this project. There are also many in our faith communities whose giving cannot be tracked because they sent their contributions directly to their denominational funds or to social service agencies.
There has rarely been a time in our community when we have experienced such a coming together of our diverse congregations, affirming the positive values we share in common and the potential power of religion to better the quality of life for all people.
For further information, please feel free to contact either Rev. Ronald Quay, Executive Director of Churches United of the Quad Cities (309/786-6494) or Rabbi Henry Jay Karp of Temple Emanuel (563/326-4419).
QUAD CITIES FAITH COMMUNITY SUPPORT OF HAITIAN RELIEF EFFORTS
- All Saints Episcopal Community of Faith, Moline
- Asbury United Methodist Church, Bettendorf
- Bethel Wesley United Methodist Church, Moline
- Bettendorf Christian Church
- Bettendorf Presbyterian Church
- The Bridge Foursquare Church, Milan
- Broadway Presbyterian Church
- Christ United Methodist Church, East Moline
- Edwards Congregational United Church of Christ, Davenport
- Eldridge United Methodist Church
- Faith Lutheran Church, Eldridge
- 15th Avenue Christian Church, Rock Island
- First Baptist Church, Cordova
- First Baptist Church, Davenport
- First Baptist Church, East Moline
- First Baptist Church, Moline
- First Christian Church, Davenport
- First Congregational Church United Church of Christ, Moline
- First Lutheran Church, Erie
- First Lutheran Church, Rock Island
- First Presbyterian Church, LeClaire
- First Presbyterian Church, Milan
- First United Methodist Church, Geneseo
- Grace Lutheran Church, Opheim
- Grace United Church of Christ, Wilton
- Heritage Church, Rock Island
- Hope United Church of Christ, Moline
- Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities
- Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad Cities, Davenport
- Moline Mosque
- Orion United Methodist Church, Orion
- Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Bettendorf
- Our Savior Presbyterian Church, Le Claire
- Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Davenport
- Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Rock Island
- Sacred Heart Cathedral, Davenport
- St. Anne’s Catholic Church, Long Grove
- St. John’s United Methodist Church, Davenport
- St. Mark Lutheran Church, Davenport
- St. Paul the Apostle Church & School, Davenport
- St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church, Rock Island
- Salem Lutheran Church, Moline
- Temple Emanuel, Davenport
- Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Davenport
- Trinity Lutheran Church, Moline
- Union Congregational United Church of Christ
SUB TOTAL = $187,958.09
RECIPIENT FUNDS & ORGANIZATIONS
- American Baptist International Ministries
- American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
- Catholic Relief Services in Haiti
- Congregational & Denominational missionaries in Haiti & the Dominican Republic
- Disciples of Christ Week of Compassion
- ELCA Disaster Relief Fund
- Episcopal Relief and Development Fund for Haiti
- Foursquare Churches and Orphanage in Haiti
- Haiti: Caring With Crutches
- LCMC missionaries in Haiti
- Lifeline Christian Mission in Haiti
- Lutheran World Relief
- Metropolitan Community Church Denominational Emergency Fund
- One Great Hour of Sharing (UCC & Baptist)
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, PCUSA
- The Red Cross
- Union for Reform Judaism Haiti Relief Fund
- United Church of Christ Illinois Conference Haiti Relief Fund
- United Methodist Committee on Relief
- Waves of Mercy (funds raised to purchase and ship 31,900 pounds of rice to the Waves of Mercy mission site in Haiti)
SPECIAL FUND RAISING AND ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES
- Bethel Wesley United Methodist Church of Moline is collecting funds for the purchase of clothing and emergency items.
- Edwards Congregational United Church of Christ of Davenport is having their children make Haiti Pins to sell as a fund raiser, and two of their musical groups is planning a benefit concert for March 14 at 3:00 p.m..
- Faith Lutheran Church in Eldridge is putting together health kits that will be distributed
- First Lutheran Church in Rock Island is making health kits for Lutheran World Relief.
- First Baptist East Moline is putting together health kits and baby layettes that will be distributed.
- First Presbyterian Church of LeClaire held a Taco Fiesta fund raiser for Haiti.
- St. John’s United Methodist Church in Davenport is partnering with Kids Against Hunger in working to provide 100,000 meals in Haiti.
- Prince of Peace Church of Davenport is collecting crutches to donate to Haiti: Caring With Crutches
- St. Paul the Apostle School, Davenport, held a benefit concert at the River Music Experience, featuring the Meyers Brothers and others.
- Temple Emanuel & Tri City Jewish Center religious school students decided to dedicate four weeks of their weekly charitable giving to Haitian relief efforts.
- Temple Emanuel of Davenport’s Tikkun Olam (Social Justice) Committee is running a used book fair to raise funds for Haitian relief.