As a leader of the Compassionate Community team and co-chairman of the MultiFaith Council of Northwest Ohio, which has strong links to Toledo Area Ministries, I express our concern to the faith communities that were destroyed or damaged by fire recently (“Losing a church to fire is a blow to community,” commentary, Jan. 11).
Several of our Muslim members have urged me to speak of solidarity with St. Mark Baptist Church and Richard’s Temple of Deliverance Church of God in Christ, both of which suffered devastating fires this month. Islamic community members have only just recovered their Islamic Center of Greater Toledo from arson in September, 2012. Their grief at seeing their destroyed prayer space is still fresh. A senior member of the Islamic Center was so moved that he made a donation to St. Mark Baptist Church.
The fire-damaged churches are dealing with displaced worship, grief, and the practical matters of insurance and options to rebuild or repair. We hope that the larger faith community will help with contributions in any way that they can.
More important, the Toledo area faith community is keeping the affected congregations in our prayers and meditation. We do not all worship in the same way, but we are all moved by their loss.
JUDY LEE TRAUTMAN
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