Programs & Initiatives

Program titles and descriptions are shown below. Click on a linked title for more information.

Church Women United
Enlisting church women in a movement across denominational lines; engaging in celebrations, service and study. Activities in 2000-2001 included World Day of Prayer Services held at 32 congregations throughout the area, the annual World Community Day and Advent celebrations, forums on HIV/AIDS at the PanAm 2001 Exposition, book reviews, and clothing drives for children.

Food For All
Food for All’s mission, to find and implement solutions to the problem of hunger in Western New York, is accomplished by organizing local community support around state and federal legislation that directly affects the lives of the poor and the hungry; conducting nutrition outreach activities designed to improve access to food stamps and the summer meals program for children; providing hunger advocacy workshops to religious groups and community human service agencies; and advocating for the poor through the Food for All Public Policy Network and the public media.

Food Pantry
Our emergency food pantry provides emergency food for over 15,000 hungry persons each year. During the first seven months of 2001 the pantry experienced a 28% increase in the number of persons served. The pantry operates by referral from social service and religious organizations, is open from 9:30 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, and is staffed by volunteers from area churches. Food is received from local congregations, various governmental programs, and purchased from the Food Bank of WNY.

Interfaith Coalition On Energy, W.N.Y.
I.C.E. was established in 1990 to encourage and assist religious institutions of all faiths to reduce their energy consumption and costs, thereby conserving natural resources and making more funds available for community service. Through energy audits, consultative services, a newsletter, and educational programs, I.C.E. provides information which will assist congregations and religious institutions in selecting and implementing appropriate energy conservation measures.

Interfaith Women
Celebrating the diversity of faith traditions. Committed to dialogue and collaboration, fostering mutual understanding. Regular meetings are held on the Third Wednesday of each month at the Network of Religious Communities Building, 1272 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo. For information call 716-688-2608 or 716-694-4492

Interreligious/Ecumenical Meeting Place
The Network House continues to be a place where religious, denominational, and community groups can meet. It presently provides a home for several denominational offices and service programs in addition to the Network programs.

Radio/TV Programming
Currently the Network produces, with local talent, five regular TV programs and four radio programs which are broadcast over Buffalo area stations and cable systems. This is the largest such ministry in the United States today. The programs include: Storytime Puppets on Adelphia and TCI Cable, Challenge for the 21st Century on Channel 7, In Process on Channel 4 and Adelphia Cable,Kaleidoscope on Channel 2 and Adelphia Cable, and Crossroads on WJYE FM Radio.

Regionwide Interreligious Conversation
The Region-wide interreligious conversation creates open dialogue regarding our area’s history and future as a community. Its purpose is to develop an inclusive vision that crosses social, geographic, religious, racial and ethnic boundaries. We are completing the third round of congregational conversations.

Riefler Ministry Enablement Fund
Through the generosity of Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Riefler the Council of Churches was able to establish an ongoing invested fund which enables the Network to annually distribute over $30,000.00 to local congregation and religious organizations attempting new and creative community ministries. In 2002 the Riefler Fund provided grants of over $41,000.00 to 18 community ministries and in 2001 grants of over $38,000.00 to ten ministries.

Scout Chaplains
Providing chaplains for each week of summertime Boy Scout Camping. In addition, we provide special retreats and guidance, as well as oversight of the religious award process of scouting.