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GAIN Year End Report for 2011

Barbara Thomas, Chairperson


1. What has the Greater Annapolis Interfaith Network’s outreach and input to our community looked like in 2011?

2. Where is GAIN now and where do we want to take ourselves in 2012?


Our Members: We joyfully welcome our four new faith groups who join us for the coming year:  Congregation Kol Shalom, Joy Reigns Lutheran, First Start Church, Inc., and Asbury Boradneck UMC. We now number 21 faith groups--although we would love to see some of our members a bit more often! We wish to thank Sandy Solomon and Jerry Chambers for their years of service on the GAIN Executive Committee and welcome them back into the ranks of Board Members. And we are grateful to those who are filling their service roles: Rev. Barron Maberry (Vice Chair) and Dianne Crews (Rep to Exec).


Our Mission: GAIN seeks to support our member faith groups by giving voice to their interests and activities that foster community and just opportunities. GAIN thrives when our faith group representatives share their gifts and talents to champion initiatives that empower us, build understanding, and strengthen relationships.


To that end, in 2011 GAIN has sponsored or participated in a number of initiatives:

Interfaith New Year’s Eve Service: We kicked off the year by partnering with Eastport UMC to ring in 2011 with song, verse, prayer, and fellowship. We will gladly do the same to ring in 2012.


Interfaith Cafe Dialogues (January, April, and June):  This popular initiative brought seekers from many faith backgrounds in to share their beliefs and faith traditions. We will begin 2012 with another dialogue exploring projects GAIN might actively support.


Documentary Films and Discussions

(March) A Place for All: Faith and Community for Persons with Disabilities: Sandy Bishop of Our Shepard Lutheran Church in Severna Park brought GAIN together with community service groups and members to consider how we welcome those with disabilities into our faith communities.


(July/August) Viewing Plastic Planet and Food Inc. opened sharing on environmental themes and how we as individuals and our communities address them.


Chesapeake Interfaith Environment Group--Earth Day Event (May 1) We happily supported this effort led by a coalition of interfaith and community groups.


(October) 5th Annual Celebration of Faith and Good Works: Once again, spearheaded by Sandy Solomon, our many hands worked together to enable faith and civic communities to share their good works.


International Interfaith Facilitator, Harriett Nettles, shared her work on Muslim/Christian dialogue and gave all present an opportunity to share our passions and dreams. Together we wove a rich tapestry and deepened our appreciation for one another.



Looking ahead:

Our December 8 Board meeting will give us a chance to reflect on what we wish to continue, change, and create. Two growing leadings are

(i)   to involve our faith community Youth Groups in dialogue, projects or a parallel GAIN for youth and

(ii)  to identify a project that GAIN members can support together.


The opportunities are many, the needs are great, if the spirit is willing, then the doors will open. What 2012 will look like depends on YOU.


With great appreciation for the opportunity to serve as your chair for 2011 and 2012,

   Barbara Thomas






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