About GSIA


Purpose: The Greater Springfield Association (GSIA) is a community of individuals engaged in ministry from many different faith traditions. We come together to identify human needs--including our own--in this community, and to respond appropriately to those needs, given our resources, skills, time and energy. For forty years, we've met monthly, September through June, at each others' houses of worship and at social service agencies for professional development and socialization.


GSIA aspires to:  

  • sensitize members to social issues and human needs
  • respond to significant human needs, both personal and communal
  • increase awareness of human services available in the community
  • provide opportunities for serious study
  • enhance the professional skills of religious leaders
  • engage in interfaith worship services, meditation and other activities
  • offer fellowship and personal support to members


History: The Greater Springfield Association was founded in 1978. Although there were interfaith clergy groups in Springfield prior to GSIA's founding, they had ceased to be active, and there was no organization embracing the wide diversity of religious traditions in existence at the time. GSIA was founded to serve the needs of religious professionals for fellowship and continuing education, as well as to involve them in answering the unmet needs of the community.


Helping Hands Homeless Shelter and Interfaith Caregivers are examples of responses that grew out of GSIA's discussions. 


On-going activities: GSIA traditions include monthly membership meetings for fellowship, devotions and learning; Annual Welcoming Banquet; GSIA Humanitarian of the Year Award; Interfaith Thanksgiving Service and Special Offering; Workshops and Seminars.


But, GSIA doesn't plan to stop there. We want to continue building a meaningful presence in Springfield. Therefore, in addition to our regularly scheduled programs, we are planning a number of activities to build on our 40-year history.


These include:

  • Building and strengthening our relationship with other religious organizations and institutions;
  • Participating in the planning of the third Sangamon County Habitat for Humanities interfaith build;
  • Conducting professional development workshops. 

GSIA is not just for clergy who minister to congregations, but also for members of various faiths and religious orders who engage in other forms of ministry. Membership is open to those from the City of Springfield and surrounding area. The membership year begins on January 1 and ends on December 31 of each year. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month excluding July and August. Dues are $20 annually.


We hope you'll join us.


Interested? Send a note to GSIA@gsia.info. Or, complete the form on the Contact​ page. We look forward to hearing from you.


The GSIA LOGO illustrates our belief that all faiths grow out of a spiritual sense of mystery and thus should be held with reverence and respect.

Representative List of Faiths in Springfield










Native American



Unitarian Universalist




2019 Board of Directors


  • President, Rev. Martin Woulfe, Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation
  • Vice President of Programing,Dan Frachey, Chiara Center 
  • Treasurer, Rabbi Barry Marks, Temple Israel
  • Secretary, Rabbi Michael Datz, Temple B'rith Sholom
  • Delores Martin, Springfield Baha'i Community
  • Rev. Wes McNeese, Interfaith Congregation
  • Rev. Jean Pennell, Congregational Church
  • Rev. Susan Philips, 1st Presbyterian Church
  • Stacie Reichensperger, H.S.H.S. St. John's Hospital
  • Chaplain Dawn Victor, Memorial Medical Center
  • Alyssa Welch, Islamic Society of Greater Springfield

Next Meeting 

March 5, 2019

(Noon - 1:30 PM*)


Program:  Discussion of Innovations in Worship


Host: Chatham United Methodist, 104 W. Chestnut Street, Chatham, IL


Lunch: Bring your own brown bag.


Parking: Ample Street Parking


*You are welcome to arrive anytime after 11:30 AM if you wish to socialize before the meeting begins.


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