Wyoming Association of Churches Becomes Wyoming Interfaith Network
Rabbi Moldo- Chair of the Board-Elect
The Wyoming Association of Churches that incorporated more than forty years ago voted at its annual meeting this past Friday in Cheyenne to become interfaith and changed its name to the Wyoming Interfaith Network. Rabbi Larry Moldo, with the Mt. Sinai Synagogue and Congregation, was elected to chair the board of directors.
“Changing from WAC to WIN is good,” said Chesie Lee, the executive director of the organization, referring to the change in the acronym. “But it’s more than a change in the name. We will still focus on social and environmental justice in Wyoming. But the change will be peoples of all faith communities unashamed of our different beliefs, traditions and views standing strong together. WIN will encourage learning about and appreciating our differences, while supporting each other to maintain dignity, basic rights and freedom to practice our diverse faiths.”
“WAC has been considering becoming interfaith the last four years, ,” said Carl Carmichael, the past chair who will co-chair the group during the next few months of transition. “What brings us together is stronger than what divides us. Being just a Christian ecumenical organization was not enough because we are all children of our creator, regardless of our particular faith communities. This newly revamped organization gives us a bridge to connect to each other and work together for justice. This is a historic and momentous occasion. I am proud to be part of this interfaith organization.”
“As a Jew I already know what it means to be interfaith,” said Rabbi Larry Moldo. “I live it every day where the dominant culture is Christian. I served on the committee to help make the bylaws appropriate for an interfaith group. In one of the final meetings I found out that no one else had stepped up to be the next chairman and that the bylaws did not allow Carl Carmichael to serve another term. I indicated a willingness to accept the position with the full support of the Board of Directors of Mount Sinai Congregation and my family.
“There are many things that are appropriate to strive towards simply because we are human (and hopefully humane) beings. I have found it a bit easier to accomplish great things when people work together and continue to have respect for each other, even when we disagree. The existence of WIN is an amazing development. I look forward to extending the connections between the various faiths throughout Wyoming which can be used to mobilize help when needed, enhance understanding at all times, and aid in helping religious minorities feel even more enfranchised.”
The Wyoming Interfaith Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit ecumenical faith-based organization with the mission to foster and to promote spiritual growth, stewardship of the land and social justice. We began in 1976 as the Wyoming Church Coalition replacing the Wyoming Church Council that had formed in the 1960’s. In 2017, we changed the name to the Wyoming Interfaith Network and the by-laws amended to broaden membership.
Membership is based on a commitment to come together with others, putting aside our differences, to advance our mission. Three teams work to implement the mission through education and advocacy. The three teams are Spiritual Life Team, On Sacred Ground Team, and Peace & Justice Team.
The Wyoming Interfaith Network teamed up with The Wind River Native Advocacy Center to host a Cultural Diversity training seminar on June 7th 2016. Here is a short video showing the works they are doing in the state of Wyoming.