The Blade/Herral Long
Toledo Area Ministries' annual summer tours of houses of worship features eight facilities in 2014, starting at a Conservative Jewish synagogue Tuesday, ending at an autonomous Church of Christ August 12, and having mainstream and nondenominational churches and different approaches to Christianity in between. “I'm really excited about the diversity of this year's tours,” said Donnajean Stockmaster, TAM's community connections director and interim director of Feed Your Neighbor.
The hour-long visits take place every Tuesday at 11 a.m. and are free, with no reservations needed—just show up at the place of worship. TAM, an ecumenical organization that connects congregations and nonprofit organizations for meeting needs, creating community, and working for justice, as its website says, offers the tours so people can learn more about the beliefs, buildings, church history, ways of worship, and work in the community of different congregations.
The first stop is Congregation B'nai Israel, 6525 Sylvania Ave., Sylvania, the only repeated visit from previous years.
On July 1, the West Toledo campus of CedarCreek Church, at 2600 W. Sylvania Ave., is the location; TAM has organized tours of three other CedarCreek sites in the past.
On July 8, Pastor Joshua James will show Lion of Judah World Outreach Center, 5732 Douglas Rd. Mrs. Stockmaster said the messianic Judaism worship space has been requested for years but has changed locations and name during that time, and “it's been one of my goals to get in touch with them and arrange the tour.”
July 15 is the day for Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1825 Glendale Ave., one of two Evangelical Lutheran Church in America locations on this year's tour.
First Alliance Church, 2201 Monroe St., which rebuilt from the ground up after a fire in 2009, is the July 22 tour subject. “Since the year after the fire, I've been seriously looking at First Alliance” for the tour, Mrs. Stockmaster said.
On July 29 the tour goes to Michigan so that visitors can see St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 1690 Sterns Rd., Temperance. “We've being trying for a couple of years to get our dates on that and finally it worked out,”said Mrs. Stockmaster.
Then on August 5, the meetinghouse of the Perrysburg Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 11050 Avenue Rd., Perrysburg, where worshipers are commonly known as Mormons, opens its doors to TAM tourists. Dennis Smith of Lima, the president of the Toledo Stake, which has 12 congregations in northwest Ohio, will be the presenter.
The final house of worship for the 2014 tours is Echo Meadows Church of Christ, 2905 Starr Ave., Oregon, which celebrates its 75th anniversary Sunday with a program after the worship part of the 10 a.m. service, and a catered meal at noon.