Founding Leaders

The following individuals were instrumental in developing and founding MIC:

Megan Bailey, MSW – Social Worker, Missoula Indian Center, Traditional Native

Rev. John Lund – Lutheran Pastor, Emmaus Campus Ministries

Dr. Jan Newman, MD – Buddhist Community

Celeste Peterson, MD – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Laurie Franklin, PHD – Student Rabbi, Har Shalom

Jana Staton, LCPC, PHD – First United Methodist Church

Joseph Bischof – Executive Director, Ronald McDonald House

Leah Borow – Community Development Coordinator, United Way

Dr. Bob Deaton LCSW – ED, Holy Spirit Episcopal Church

Barbara Wickel – Public Affairs, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Nooriddeen Ferrara – President, Muslim Student Association

Josh Yakos – Lead Pastor, Clark Fork City Church

Jim Hicks – Senior Associate Pastor, Christian Life Center

Shantelle Gaynor – Missoula Office of Planning and Grants

Tammy Tolleson-Knee – MSW, University of Montana School of Social Work

Chris Flohr – Pastor, St. Paul Lutheran Church

May Huntley – Student, University of Montana

Thomas Kipp, MSW – Clinician, Missoula Indian Center

Gina Hegg – Realtor, Real Estate Roundtable and Community Roundtable

David Larson – Director, Missoula Christian Network

Ryan Tolleson-Knee, PHD – Program Chair, University of Montana School of Social Work

Brief History

MIC began in the summer of 2011, coming alongside 27 congregations, across religious traditions, to help them ask themselves the necessary questions to work together and with social agencies. MIC also conducted a needs assessment among 40 social agencies asking, “What are the needs and gaps, specifically that congregations can fill?” “Does Missoula need an effort such as MIC?” Also, “what are the barriers to collaborating with congregations?”

Results show that while there was strong support and readiness with in congregations, there was also a lack of knowledge, capacity, and trust toward collaboration.

Diverse Missoula congregations, United Way of Missoula County, The Office of Planning and Grants, University of Montana School of Social Work and social service organizations responded to these findings by seeking to develop a sustainable model for carrying this work forward.

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