The Network of Religious Communities(NRC) is an ecumenical, interfaith nonprofit organization with roots back to 1857. The archives contains minutes of the predecessor organizations along with directories, annual reports, newsletters, media, social justice projects and more. The current goal of working together for justice, peace and the common good in our region and in our world along with the historical interests in educating children and adults make this collection timely for all readers and researchers.
The collection includes 5 loose leaf notebooks and over 160 bankers boxes with paper files containing the minutes, annual reports, newsletters, correspondence, and constitutions and by laws of the Buffalo Council of Churches, Council of Churches of Buffalo and Erie County and Buffalo Area Council of Churches. This organization is frequently described as the Council of Churches (in Buffalo).
The Network of Religious Communities (NRC) is a consolidation and expansion of the former Buffalo Area Council of Churches (1857) and the Buffalo Area Metropolitan Ministries (1975). Members include denominations/faith coordinating bodies, religious organizations and congregations serving Western New York and the Niagara Peninsula of Southern Ontario, Canada. Individuals supportive of the mission and purpose of the Network may become an auxiliary members. The archival collection of the NRC begins in 1863 and includes materials such as Board Minutes, Annual Reports, Annual Awards programs, Special Projects, Newsletters, publications, and other materials that document the NRC and its predecessor organizations, Erie County Sabbath School Association/Erie County Sunday School Association, Buffalo Federation of Churches, Buffalo Council of Churches, the Inter Church Council of Church Women, Council of Churches of Buffalo & Erie County, Buffalo Area Council of Churches, and the Buffalo Area Metropolitan Ministries. The collection also contains ephemeral materials such as nationally produced record albums, locally produced television programs, photographs and other various items.
This collection consists of 30 banker's boxes with paper files, notebooks and photographs containing the minutes, correspondence, annual reports, projects, newsletters, financial reports, and constitutions and bylaws of the Buffalo Area Metropolitan Ministries (BAMM).
Although the history of this interdenominational group of women dates back to 1911, the earliest paper in the collection is a 1928 flyer from the Annual Meeting of the Interchurch Council of Women. The minutes start in 1938. Most of the collection consists of documents: meeting minutes, rosters, annual reports, area workshop descriptions, newsletters, one book (written by a founder, Laura Gerould Craig), retreats, task forces and scrapbooks. The physical collection includes papers, a book, slides, audiotapes, newspaper clippings of constituent organizations except the Interchurch Missionary Union.
Since 1954, beginning with the Council of Churches of Buffalo and Erie County, media has played an important role in disseminating the messages of this ecumenical organization with educational, spiritual and informative television and radio broadcasts. There are 31 banker boxes (16 X 12.5 X 11 inches) of TV program recordings created by the Council of Churches and the Network of Religious Communities. They consist of BETA SPs (which have been digitized), DVDs, and VHS formats. The collection also includes several boxes of nationally produced LPs that were used during programming. Content includes local, national and international topics. An inventory of programs (2000-2021) can be found in this finding aid.