10th Annual MultiFaith Banquet
Celebrating 10 years of MultiFaith Friendships
Toledo, a Compassionate City
To celebrate the first decade of MultiFaith friendships, the MultiFaith Council of NW Ohio returned to the Hindu Temple of Toledo, site of the first annual banquet.
The banquet, held Sunday, March 27, 2011, launched a campaign to designate Toledo as a Compassionate City. Seattle, WA was the first to so designate in honor of the Charter for Compassion http://charterforcompassion.org/site/ Over 300 people of a dozen faith traditions attended the MultiFaith banquet.
The program included temple tours, faith displays highlighting compassionate work of the faith groups, a proclamation and letter of commendation from the mayor, a multicultural show of dancers and singers, a video of local faith leaders discussing compassion in their traditions, and a panel of practitioners of five faiths who told of compassion in their personal experience. Results of table discussions were posted to the website www.multifaithcouncil.org.
MultiFaith GROWS, program of the MultiFaith Council of NW Ohio
In partnership with Toledo GROWs community gardens and Our City in a Garden, MultiFaith GROWs encourages and supports faith-based gardens in the Greater Toledo area.
The dedicated website http://gardens.multifaithjourneys.org/ showcases over 25 faith-based gardens [Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist]. It lists community gardening events and links to a community gardening calendar. The resources section has links to gardening manuals and tips on weeds, planting, design, etc. Some of the resources are a part of Toledo GROWs and the Ohio State University Extension services.
MultiFaith GROWs hosts workshops on gardening tips. There is an annual Harvest Festival with a meal from locally grown produce and chickens. On May 14, there will be a Spring Lunch Potluck to feature early crops of salad greens. The workshops and festivals are part of a User Group which fosters networking and shared resources among the faith gardens.
The faith gardens illustrate shared values among the faiths. Messiah Lutheran Church has a free food giveaway on eight Saturdays in summer. Christ Presbyterian Church donates food to the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank and hosts two free dinners a month. The Islamic Center of Greater Toledo donated over 1500 pounds of food to the Seagate Food Bank last year. The Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania donate food to a soup kitchen. These are just a few of the examples of how the faith gardens demonstrate their faith principles.