WHAT IS THE SCIC?
The SCIC is the oldest and largest interfaith council in Southern California. In 1953 the council was first established as an ecumenical council – meaning that it was an organization comprised of only churches representing the various denominations of the Christian faith. But in 2004, with a historical vote made by the community, the council changed from ecumenical one to an interfaith council.
We continue, today, to pride ourselves in creating communities of compassion among people of different faith and cultures.
WHAT DOES THE SCIC DO?
We pride ourselves is creating communities of compassion among people of different faiths and cultures. We do this with a three prongs approach: Service, Education and Celebration. All our programs fall under these three main categories.
Under SERVICE, we have numerous programs such as:
- Interfaith Build with Habitat for Humanity
- Feeding the Homeless
- Long Beach Religious Leaders Association (LBRLA) Meeting: These monthly gatherings bring religious leaders together on a monthly basis to talk about issues that are facing our society and how we can better serve those in our interfaith communities.
- CROP Hunger Walks: Brining people together from the interfaith community to raise money to fight hunger in our local, national and international communities.
- SCIC Beach Clean Up
- Cancer Awareness & Prevention Workshops: We have a dynamic Board of Directors that includes clergy, lay people, teachers, professors, chaplains as well as physicians. They too offer beneficial programs utilizing their background and professions, such as Cancer Awareness & Prevention Workshops.
Under EDUCATION, our programs include, among others:
- Religion 101 Seminars where we are invited to organize educational seminars at faith communities and educations institutions focusing on educating the people about the various faith traditions. It is a response to many of our community members who tell us that they want to know the basics of the great religions of the world, but don’t have time to study them in depth.
- SCIC Interfaith Days – Another program where we are invited to participate in the worship services of the faith communities by brining together a panel representing 3 individuals from different faith traditions (such as Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism) talking about a certain topic – like compassion – from their faith perspectives.
- Heart to Heart: Connecting with the Divine: The “Heart to Heart: Connecting to the Divine” program of the SCIC is an opportunity for members of the interfaith community to come and observe and/or partake in the worship service of another faith community outside of one’s own.
- SCIC Interfaith Cafes: Interfaith Cafés are small group discussions for members of the interfaith community, including youth (9th-12th graders) and faith leaders about how faith both impacts our daily lives and allows us to relate to, and appreciate, those from other faith traditions. These cafes are an opportunity to learn what it really means to be a Christian, Muslim, and Baha”i etc. from the practitioners” perspectives and allows for people to just sit and talk with one another.
Under CELEBRATION we have numerous programs such as:
- Cooking with the Cantor: An evening of celebrating the Jewish culture with delicious food!
- Divine Dining & Faithful Feasts: An evening of celebrating different faiths and cultures through food, song and poetry.
- Festival of Music Benefit Concert
- Interfaith Unity Awards Dinner
- MLK Interfaith Celebration
- Interfaith Unity Bike-a-thon: The Interfaith Unity Bike-a-Thon brings together people of many different cultures and faiths to enjoy a day of social bicycling, comraderie and great food. Donations help to support the South Coast Interfaith Council and its supporting organizations.
Through these various programs, we are confident that we are helping create communities of compassion among people of diverse faith and cultures.
HOW IS THE SCIC FUNDED?
We are predominantly funded by individuals in the community. In fact, 90% of our funding comes from donations made by people in our local interfaith community. We are confident that through the work we do we are truly touching the lives and hearts of people and that shows in the support they show us and we are grateful for that.
We are a grassroots organization and believe in the power of collaboration. As such, we proudly collaborate with many other community and national organizations such as the California Community of Equality & Justice (CCEJ), Habitat for Humanity, Archdiocese of Los Angeles and many others on programs and initiatives that promote peace and understanding among people of different faiths and cultures.
We invite you to be a part of this great organization and share your kindness today!