"Faith in the City"
I have always enjoyed the writings of Kahlil Gibran and I am especially fond of The Prophet. On the topic of religion, he writes, “. . .Is not religion all deeds and all reflection? Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations? Who can spread his hours before him, saying, "This for God and this for myself; This for my soul, and this other for my body?”
Until very recently, I worked in a church setting so it’s been pretty easy to live by that philosophy. I am fortunate to know many people that work in the secular world, as I do now, that feel the same way. They have chosen occupations that allow them to live out their faith. They bring their faith and beliefs to their jobs in the way they treat people, in the way they perform their jobs, in the decisions that they make, etc.
Last month I had the pleasure of organizing the Community Stations of the Cross as I have for the last 10 years. I am always moved by the willingness of our community leaders to participate, many of them doing so on their own time since City Hall and the schools are closed on Good Friday. In Euclid we are fortunate to have leaders that embrace the faith community. They recognize the many benefits that churches bring to the community: feeding and clothing those in need, educating children and adults, providing activities for youth and senior citizens, mentoring, etc. They appreciate the values under which these religious organization operate.
In April of 2016, Mayor Gail invited all the churches in Euclid to what was called a “Faith in the City” breakfast. This breakfast was held at Our Lady of the Lake Church and was well attended. The purpose of that meeting was to enjoy fellowship and to have a conversation about how everyone could work together to create a strong, vibrant and engaged Euclid.
From that first meeting two years ago, the “Faith in The City” group was formed. This group tries to meet monthly. A different church hosts each meeting. Because we value our relationship and wanted to formalize it, we created a membership agreement which states,
“As communities of faith we believe that our beliefs are the rich source from which we draw our commitments to serve, support and benefit each other. We recognize that responding to The Lord requires us to strive together for the common good and the pursuit of justice for all. Only when our neighbors’ welfare becomes our own concern can we be truly faithful to God.
So consistent with our shared beliefs, we have formed the group called “Faith in the City” to promote understanding and cooperation among the Churches in Euclid so that through the work of The Holy Spirit greater understanding, acceptance, cooperation and friendship can be achieved.
We commit to working diligently together and building relationships with the City of Euclid and other community partners to make Euclid a “place of welcome” for all, demonstrating a spirit of genuine concern and a true love of neighbor.
These goals will be achieved though collaborative prayer and worship, reflection, participation in ecumenical meetings and activities, dialogue and cooperation which promote ecumenical works of charity.
We recognize that although we may not agree on all things, we can and should work together on those things that our varied faiths permit. Together we place our trust and hope in The Lord, that He will bless and guide our efforts and help us to grow in faith, love, peace, joy, wisdom and understanding.”
Current members include: Cathedral Worship Center, Celebration United Methodist Church,
Church of the Epiphany Episcopal Church, Covenant Baptist Church, East Shore United Methodist Church, Faith Baptist Church, Grace Community Seventh Day Adventist Church,
Imani United Church of Christ, Lake Shore Christian Disciples of Christ Church, Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, River of Life Ministries, St. John of the Cross Catholic Church and
Ss. Robert and William Catholic Church. In addition to supporting the City of Euclid, the ministers in this group provide support and encouragement for each other as well.
Faith In the City has been active in a variety of ways. Currently we are creating a Facebook Page and a calendar of events. Some of the events on our calendar have been created by our group or one of our churches and others are established events that we will support and participate in. You don’t have to belong to one of our member churches to participate in our events. Everyone is welcome. We enjoy working with and partnering with other organizations. One of the events that we are proudest of is the Peace March that was held last October.
Other events on our calendar include: MLK Event at Lakeshore Christian in January, Community Stations of the Cross at Our Lady of the Lake, Prayer Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence at Church of the Epiphany, The Big Clean sponsored by the City of Euclid, National Day of Prayer May 3 at noon at City Hall, Memorial Day Parade on May 28, The 200TH Street Stroll on June 2, Healthy Temples at Covenant Baptist in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic June 9 – 13, National Night Out Against Crime – August 7, location TBD, Potluck Picnic in September (date and location to be determined), Pet Blessing – Church of the Epiphany in October, Thanksgiving Prayer Service in November and the Euclid Holiday Celebration on November 30 at Shore Cultural Center.
We are grateful to Mayor Gail for convening that first meeting. Working together, we have Faith in the City.
I am the Executive Administrative Coordinator for Euclid Ward 2 Councilman Rev. Brian T. Moore.