Congregational Partners Brochure 2006

Congregational Partners formed in 1997 “in direct response to one of the recommendations of the Religion and Spirituality Cluster of the 1996 Mayor’s Task Force on Race Relations.” The Task Force determined that in order to improve the lives of residents in Kansas City, it was necessary to build interfaith and interracial congregational partnerships. These partnerships were designed to bring about racial harmony through dialogue and common community service. The mission of Congregational Partners was “To assist congregations of different denominations, faiths and ethnicity to build relationships of trust and unite to serve our metropolitan community.” The organization achieved its mission by assisting faith communities in building these partnerships across boundaries of race and religion. Congregational Partners also assisted in the planning and coordinating of activities within the partnership, and the building of a relationship covenant, which outlined the plan for collaborative community outreach. They provided regular support and evaluation to ensure long-term, sustainable success.[1]

While Congregational Partners began as an individual 501(c)3 non-profit organization, it was later adopted by Kansas City Harmony. Janet Moss was hired by the steering committee to head faith relations. Congregational Partners strived to build relationships among congregations of different races, extending also to synagogues and mosques. Participating members would engage in volunteer activities together, providing opportunities to come together in service, and simultaneously set examples for the community regarding inter-faith and inter-race relations. After Congregational Partners was no longer a focus of Harmony, the 501(c)3 was transferred to the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council.[2]

[1] Harmony NCCJ. Congregational Partners: Calling All Faiths to Action that is Good for our Community. Kansas City: Harmony NCCJ, 2006.

[2] Moss, Janet, interview by Geneva Blackmer. 2019. Congregational Partners (March 17).