Interfaith Relations

Adrija Chaturvedi, 9, holds a candle during the Greater Rochester Community of Churches Interfaith Prayer Response to the Tsunami Catastrophe at the University of Rochester’s Interfaith Chapel Sunday January 16. (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle staff photo by Karin von Voigtlander)


Interfaith dialogue and support has been an important piece of the GRCC Faith in Action Network focus for 50 years. We have been actively involved in the organization of and participation in a wide variety of interfaith initiatives and continue to support local interfaith ministries.  Check out these opportunities to become involved in deepening understanding and building relationships.

RINA: Rochester Interfaith Network Alive

GRCC has been working with leaders of the Rochester interfaith community, including Gordon Webster, Bishop Prince Singh, Muhammad Shafiq, Bernard Grizard, Rabbis Alan Katz and Peter Stein, to explore new and innovative ways to engage actively and build on Rochester’s long-standing, successful history of interfaith dialogue, cooperation, and communication.

   Dine and Dialogue, sponsored by RINA, occurs once a quarter at rotating sites within Rochester’s faith communities.  If offers an opportunity to share a meal, connect with others across the faith spectrum, and learn of events, initiatives, and responses to critical needs in our area and the world.


The Commission on Christian Jewish Relations meets the first Monday of the month (except to avoid holidays) from 12:00 noon to 1:15 pm at the Jewish Federation, 441 East Avenue, Rochester.  An atmosphere of trust and a desire to listen deeply is paramount among those who meet to share their faith perspectives on everything from current events to sacred texts and practices of faith.   Contact Debbie at GRCC for more information.

The Commission on Christian Muslim Relations meets the first Wednesday of the month at 12:00 noon at the Islamic Center of Rochester, 727 Westfall Rd.  The relationships around the table are built on trust and a desire to connect at the deepest levels of understanding about a wide variety of topics from current events to faith perspectives.

TIAR:  The Interfaith Alliance of Rochester

The social action arm of interfaith work in Rochester, TIAR is organized for the purpose of providing a voice in public policy matters for the many millions of Anericans who share ethical principles such as the Golden Rule.  The group works toward a public good that offers dignity and wholeness to all people, and they strive to bring constructive and healing witness to public and political life in the greater Rochester area.  More information can be found at their website:


The Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue at Nazareth College

GRCC Faith in Action Network is a strong supporter of the work and activities of the Hickey Center,, whose mission is to  promote understanding and appreciate differences through education and dialogue in an increasingly global landscape.  GRCC actively participates in programs such as these:

    The Next Generation – Global Citizenship Immersion: Building Skills and Knowledge for a Diverse World .  Each year, high school students are invited to a week-long summer workshop to explore world religions and interfaith dialogue.  Concentrating on a youth interfaith encounter approach, the program includes seminars, interactive workshop sessions, group discussions, site visits to local places of worship, and community service.

   Train the Trainers – Interfaith Immersion: Leadership Skills, Communication and Conflict Management with Spiritual Journeys to Places of Worship.  This week-long, non-credit certificate course is offered each summer, designed for professionals, business people, religious leaders, social workers, and all those who are engaged in dealing with the other.

   Sacred Texts and Human Contexts Conference.  Held each year, this conference brings top scholars and learners together to delve into a topic of importance.