MeckMIN, formed as Mecklenburg Ministries in 1987, had as its original mission “to be an interfaith advocate for compassion and justice within our community.” Early member congregations were Roman Catholic and Protestant, white and black, Jewish, Unitarian Universalist, tall steeple and rural. In 1995, the first Muslim masjid was welcomed. We now represent the many faith traditions present in Mecklenburg County. In addition, countless individuals have been plugged in through their congregations or on their own. Since our founding, MeckMIN has navigated pitfalls that are typical of nonprofits. We’ve done this during dynamic times in our region's history, which has seen our community evolve from largely Christian into an area richly diverse in culture, gender and sexual identity, religion and more. MeckMIN has been on the front lines of these changes, working to build bridges across our differences.Today we brand ourselves as MeckMIN, our long-time nickname coined by one of our founders, the late Sydnor Thompson Jr. We are not so much a ministry as an interfaith network of houses of faith and individuals working to foster understanding, compassion and justice. We do this in a number of ways including our Food for Thought monthly lunch program on social issues; In Our Own Backyard summer youth camp; free weekly noon meditation, and the annual community-wide Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. We hope you will join us in our efforts to foster understanding,compassion and justice. There are prayers to share,conversations to have and hatred to be eliminated.
BEHIND OUR LOGO
The MeckMIN logo is composed of two “M's” that are mirror images of each other, symbolizing that across all of our differences, we all want the same things: Someone to be a friend; Someone to care; Someone to grieve with us; Someone to love us; and to find a path where we find higher meaning and purpose in life. When we come together across our differences, we create light. The two M's form the base of a candle with a flame flickering above. The flame signifies the mission of Mecklenburg Metropolitan Interfaith Network — as of all faith traditions — to be a beacon, to shine a light on pressing social justice issues, and to give hope to the community by working together.
"We believe in the power of interfaith dialogue to help us find common ground that will lead us to higher ground."
Interfaith is not about creating a melting pot where all religious identities are simply merged, shapeless and generic, into one. Nor is it about proselytizing others to a particular religion or culture. It is a recognition that although all religions are not the same—and there is dignity in their differences—there is also a commonality among faiths. Only through dialogue can we discover and nurture that commonality. Poverty, hunger, racism, war—these are just some of the issues that concern all of humanity. These are the challenges of the human family that require focused attention from all religions and spiritual traditions. Religion cannot help when people of faith are not in conversation with each other. Dialogue is crucial for the tremendous changes humanity needs to move forward. Dialogue among faiths is essential for the benefit of all. The human touch opens hearts, but dialogue opens minds. Silence may not kill, but dialogue definitely heals.