Ecumenical and Inter-Religious

Current Initiatives

In May 2014, the Work Group offered this discussion paper, Perspectives on Presbyterian Church (USA) Support for a Just and Peaceful Compromise of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Written in active dialogue with local Jewish, Palestinian Muslim and Christian communities, and various entities within the Presbyterian Church (USA), the paper recommends six bold actions supporting both Israelis and Palestinians, and includes responses from eight voices near to the issue.

In the summer of 2013, the Presbytery of Chicago signed a covenant between the POC and the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC). We are proud of this new declaration and will be seeking to strengthen the relationships between the people of the POC and the CIOGC. Read the Covenant between the POC & CIOGC

Building substantial and ongoing relationships with local faith based groups is a primary goal of the Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Work Group. Recent initiatives on the Presbytery level include establishing both Muslim-Presbyterian and Jewish-Presbyterian dialogue, developing an Interfaith Solidarity Network and maintaining involvement with the Illinois Council of Churches and the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago.

Muslim-Presbyterian Dialogue | Jewish-Presbyterian Dialogue | Interfaith Solidarity Network | Illinois Council of Churches | Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago


Currently, ERIWG has collected three different types of resources: books for dialogue, PC (USA) denominational resources and a list of available subscriptions to local faith-based and interfaith organizations.

Additional Materials

We are currently working on materials if your church or group is interested in hosting a book club or reading group. Below, you will find a list of books we would recommend for this. This list is ever-growing, and if you have a recommendation, contact Shelley Donaldson. In the coming months, we will also be posting reading aids to go along with these books:

McLaren, Brian. Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammad Cross the Road? New York, NY: Jericho Books, 2012.

From a Christian point of view, Rev. McLaren shares his experience with people of other faiths, and how those encounters and relationships have shaped him. He helps guide the reader in discovering how our Christian identity, doctrines, and beliefs call us to foster relationships with those of other faiths.

Patel, Eboo. Acts of Faith. Boston: Beacon Press, 2007.

The founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, Eboo Patel talks about his own experience growing up as a Muslim in America and how he has come to believe in religious pluralism.

Selmanovic, Samir. It’s Really All About God. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009.

The story Samir, who grow up in a culturally Muslim family in Croatia, converted to Christianity, and became a pastor in New York and California. He looks at the ways in which we serve God, we seek for God to serve us, understanding our own religion, as well as finding the grace in other traditions that help us grow as loving Christians.


On behalf of Presbytery Coordinating Commission, the Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Work Group, cares for the Presbytery’s relationships with other Christian denominations, with other spiritual and religious communities, and with ecumenical and interreligious organizations and bodies.

Although Chicago Presbytery partners with justice advocacy groups from time to time, the Ecumenical and Inter-religious Work Group’s purpose is to create and sustain mutually empowering channels of communication with other religious communities. Its primary purpose is relationship-building, not advocacy for specific ideologies, parties, or causes.

The EIRWG hopes that this website and its resources will help foster:

  • An appreciation of diverse religious communities in the Chicagoland area.
  • Mutual understanding of the concerns, values and believes among those communities
  • Sustainable relationships of strong communication and common service.


  1. Establish and maintain working relationships with other Christian denominations and religious and spiritual communities;
  2. Assist in promoting ecumenical educational and worship opportunities;
  3. Assist in promoting inter-religious educational and celebration opportunities;
  4. Provide timely interpretation materials on ecumenical and inter-religious groups to promote better relationships.

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