Faith Groups and churches in the United States have joined together to launch Faith Counts (www.Faithcounts.net) an ecumenical organization designed to promote the value of faith in society. The main centerpiece of Faith Counts is a social medial campaign that emphasizes positive and significant stories of how faith has changed the lives of individuals and society.
Faith Counts, a nonprofit, nondenominational organization, is comprised of many religious communities who represent over 100 million Americans. “We are drawn to the Faith Counts campaign,” said Jasjit Singh, executive director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), “because it reflects our belief in the tremendous societal value of all faiths, and are excited about Faith Counts’ ability to reach, engage, and unite interfaith communities.” All faith communities are welcome and encouraged to join.
The ecumenical organization includes the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Seventh-day Adventist Church, Hillel International (a Jewish group), the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Franciscan University of Steubenville and 1st Amendment Partnership.
Speaking on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop William Lori said, “Religious faith is an integral part of our society and needs to be lifted up and celebrated. Faith prompts acts of kindness every day, in every community of our nation. It also connects us to God and to each other as members of the human family. We are so pleased to be a part of Faith Counts, which can make a real difference in the lives of so many.”
Elder Daniel R. Jackson, President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America said, “Millions of Americans of every religion are motivated by their faith to go and serve the most vulnerable among us. Their gracious acts can be seen in soup kitchens, hospitals, schools, homeless shelters and many other humanitarian causes. Faith Counts will serve as a gentle reminder about these and other positive and meaningful attributes of faith in society.”
Kerry Troup, spokeswoman for Faith Counts, adds, “We’re finding that, in spite of a growing sense that faith is not something to talk about, and a culture that marginalizes faith, people are actually hungry for our message about faith. Our hope is that people who see our work, regardless of what religion they are, will have a better appreciation for the value of faith, feel inspired to share these stories and ultimately feel good about expressing how faith makes them who they are.”
Faith Counts is a heart-warming and gentle effort to bring normally non-ecumenical churches and faith groups together in connection with the Catholic Church and other churches and religions in an ecumenical way. By proclaiming how faith affects lives, these religious groups find common ground, the foundation of all ecumenical relationships. Expressions of a generalized faith without a distinctive definition lead to a reliance on Rome for clarity and meaning.
“All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him.” Revelation 13:8