Missoula is a town recognized for its diversity of culture, ideologies, and landscapes; this diversity applies to the various faith communities that are an integral part of the city’s identity. Within the city limits there are mainline Christian denominations, evangelical Christian congregations, Buddhist Sangha communities, Reform and Orthodox Jewish communities, Muslim communities, and a Greek Orthodox community. Many of these faith communities come together in interdenominational and interfaith cooperatives which work together for positive support, spiritual uplift, and constructive change in our town. One example is the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative, which brings together faith communities and local organizations in collaborative efforts aimed at serving human needs and addressing community challenges. MIC is presently engaged in completion of a multimillion dollar homeless family emergency shelter.
Another example is SALAM, or Standing Alongside America’s Muslims, which is an interfaith association working against the rise of Islamophobia and for the strengthening of supportive relationships between people of differing faiths. Missoula is also the home of FCAM, or Faith and Climate Action Missoula, an advocacy and awareness group which seeks collaboration to address climate change and environmental issues. Through these efforts and collaborations, Missoula’s faith communities work together to provide practical solutions to many of the challenges of society, including active support of the local homeless shelter, food bank, emergency outreach measures, reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals, and legislative initiatives aimed at supporting the marginalized.