September 19, 2013 For immediate release
INTERFAITH COUNCIL OF CONTRA COSTA COUNTY HIRES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR REV. WILL MCGARVEY
The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County is pleased to announce the appointment of the Reverend Will McGarvey as the Executive Director of the organization. McGarvey, who will serve the Council on a part-time basis, as he also serves part-time as Pastor at Community Presbyterian Church in Pittsburg. The Interfaith Council represents 107 diverse faith communities throughout Contra Costa County. Its mission statement reads:
“We as people from a diversity of religions, spiritual traditions and sectors of society, gather to manifest our unity as we promote the spirit of community, service and cooperation through the work of the Interfaith Council.”
McGarvey has served as the Interim Director of the Council since September 2012. Under his leadership, the Council has deepened its commitment to interreligious conversation and launched a new Youth Leadership Initiative. McGarvey has also been active with East County United, one of the Council’s local interfaith groups. He serves as a Teaching Elder (Minister) member in good standing of the Presbytery of San Francisco, which has congregations in San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Serving as a Presbyterian Church (USA)-United Church of Christ union congregation, he has ecumenical contacts throughout Northern California. He also led the congregation as it became the first New Sanctuary Movement Church in Northern California, helping a local family get their deportation order overturned in the courts. He has been involved in a variety of interfaith celebration services, and offered witness to our different faith tradition’s support of rights for all immigrants.
“Will brings a deep passion and commitment to interfaith work that is unparalleled,” said Rev. Leslie Takahashi Morris, who serves as co-chair of the Council and also participated as a member of the search committee which recommended McGarvey to the Board. “He approaches the many religious traditions represented in our county with respect and a genuine curiosity. And he has a long history as an activist against religious intolerance in the Bay Area. Will speaks out and reminds us that the purpose of religion is to bind together and not to tear apart.”
“Will never loses sight of the individual while in conversation or mediation with those of different faith traditions” said Rev. Margaretmary Staller, co-chair of the Council and member of The Interfaith Peace Project in Antioch. He has a deep knowledge of the many faiths involved in the council membership and has developed many programs to support these interfaith relationships.
The search for the permanent director took place from June through August of this year and included an open call for applications. Rev. Takahashi Morris serves the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek. Also on the search committee were Loel Bartlett Miller of Sufism Reoriented, and Rev. Norm Luecke of First Congregation Church of Martinez (UCC). Rev. McGarvey was affirmed in a unanimous vote of the governing board of the Council at its September meeting. He will be installed in the new position at the Annual Meeting of the Interfaith Council on Sunday, November 3rd at 6:00 pm at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church (49 Knox Dr. in Lafayette). For more information, go to interfaithccc.org