The Interfaith Opportunities Network (ION) is a lay organization of congregations and campus ministries in Western Massachusetts. The organization has been quietly at work since its founding in 2005. Our founder, Joan Lindeman, died in 2020. Originally founded to promote understanding among the “Abrahamic” faiths (Muslims, Jews, and Christians), ION now also includes Buddhist and Baha’i congregations.
ION Mission Statement (2018)
The Interfaith Opportunities Network is a lay-led interfaith network based in Hampshire County seeking to strengthen bonds of mutual respect and understanding. We desire to learn from others’ faith traditions, rejoice in the many things we have in common, and appreciate our differences. We respond as inspired by our shared concern for peace, justice and the earth.
ION Groups: ION currently consists of 18 faith congregations and 5 campus ministries. Each affiliated group has one or two representatives to ION. ION representatives:
- Encourage interfaith understanding in their congregation or ministry
- Facilitate communication between their faith community and ION
- Attend ION meetings & help ION make decisions
- Spread the word about ION-sponsored events to their community & other interfaith activities
Projects. Although ION usually works by promoting interfaith understanding and shining a light on events of interest to our congregations, it has at times taken on larger interfaith projects in our community.
- Neighbors Together: Helping Open Hampshire Mosque. In 2017 ION helped raise over $40,000 to help pave their parking lot so they could open shortly thereafter.
- Standing Together: Restoring Goodwin. In 2019 ION helped raise another $40,000 to help Goodwin Memorial AME Zion Church restore their building.
- 400 Years: Truth and Healing for the Next Seven Generations. In 2020 ION is part of an interfaith project to learn, connect and act for justice around the 400th anniversary of the first landing of English colonists on Native homelands in the Northeast.
If you would like to have information about upcoming interfaith activities circulated to our ION groups please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org