Our Vision and Mission
Vision: “The Vision of the MultiFaith Council of Northwest Ohio is to be a significant force and model of multifaith collaboration by addressing critical issues that meet regional needs and by enriching the cultural fabric of the area”
Mission: “It is the Mission of the MultiFaith Council of Northwest Ohio to provide community leadership and facilitate programs that draw together diverse faiths and foster mutual respect, friendship and cooperation in service to the region”
Covenant: “I vow to consciously grow in the understanding and compassion that will encourage me to live peaceably with all of my neighbors”
The MultiFaith Council of NW Ohio was founded by Woody and Judy Trautman and an initial Board of Directors in 2001. It became an official non-profit in 2003. It has been a largely volunteer organization.
We seek mutual respect and understanding among all faith traditions, through overlapping strands of education, fellowship, and community service.
We believe that we need to work together to realize our shared humanity.
Since our launch we have had well over 200 education events, 16 banquets, and many small group encounters. We have active MultiFaith Men and Women’s Groups. Early on we built 6 MultiFaith Habitat for Humanity homes. We have an active MultiFaith GROWs program to encourage community gardening.
The MultiFaith Council of NW Ohio [MFC] started with interfaith programs organized by Woody Trautman in about 2000. These were programs of the Interracial Religious Coalition [IRC]. The Rev. Ed Heilman facilitated two 8 week courses on World Religions, offered to the community with both afternoon and evening sessions. These courses were attended by over 275 people. An interfaith banquet held at the Hindu Temple of Toledo, with table displays, multicultural entertainment, keynote speaker Dr. S. Amjad Hussain, and wonderful vegetarian food, was attended by an overwhelming 400+ people.
In 2000, the first interfaith Habitat for Humanity Build in the nation, the ‘Holy Toledo Build’ joined Muslims, Christians and Jews. This Build and a subsequent quad-faith Build with Baha’is inspired Woody to propose a truly MultiFaith Build with a dozen faith traditions building together. Judy joined the team in 2002 to join the Rev. Ed Heilman in organizing team-building workshops preceding the Build.
In January 2003, in the midst of preparations for the second banquet, the first MultiFaith Build, and the Trautmans’ MultiFaith wedding, IRC voted to spin off the interfaith/multifaith activities into its own organization. In July 2003 MFC held organization meetings to develop a vision, mission, and covenant. The founding committee developed a board, constitution, and by-laws and obtained non-profit status. MFC joined the North American Interfaith Network [NAIN] in 2003. Early association with the Rev. Dirk Ficca, then Director of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, provided MFC with developmental support. In 2015 the Parliament awarded MFC grant for social media and youth work.
MFC has completed six MultiFaith Builds with Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity, each bringing together 10-12 faith orientations to provide affordable housing for six families with 22 children.
The next outreach program was a study of faith-based environmental ecology and a several- year informal association with Toledo GROWs to help support faith-based community gardens.
MFC served on the steering committee of Erase the Hate, a community coalition to combat racism and other discrimination. As part of this steering committee, MFC sponsored five years of Erase the Hate Youth Contests in Video, Poetry, and Posters with concluding Youth Festivals. WGTE, The Blade, Toledo Museum of Art; and the Toledo University of Toledo collaborated in these projects. Mrs. Trautman chaired Erase the Hate for four years.
In 2008, Mrs. Trautman, as Communications Chair for NAIN, became acquainted with Karen Armstrong’s landmark TED talk in which she invited the world’s faith leaders to contribute to a Charter for Compassion. Quickly after the unveiling of the resultant Charter, Seattle declared itself the first Compassionate City. MFC started an initiative to become the first Compassionate Region. A Heroes of Compassion plaque was inaugurated which honors untold individuals and organizations that do exemplary compassionate action.
In 2014, Greater Toledo and NW Ohio was officially designated as the 39th Compassionate City and first Compassionate Region. The Mayor, Toledo City Council, the Lucas County
Commissioners signed the Charter for Compassion at Government Center. Letters of support were offered by the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments and the University of Toledo. A Compassion Convention was held at Seagate Convention Center with about 90 organizations doing compassionate action. The organizations were placed in sectors of like efforts, in order to foster collaboration. At the MultiFaith Banquet that weekend, Tom Williams of Louisville, welcomed us into the Compassionate City network which now comprises over 400 global cities. We continue to showcase exemplary compassionate action with our excellent data gathered during the Compassion Games. Yearly Compassion Forums focus on critical local issues requiring compassion.
Seventeen Annual Banquets have been held at the Hindu Temple of Toledo [2002&2011], Temple-Congregation Shomer Emunim , the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo [2004 & 2017], St. George Orthodox Cathedral OCA , First Church of God: Genesis Dreamplex , Collingwood Presbyterian Church , Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral , Congregation B’nai Israel , Masjid Saad Foundation , the Franciscan Center at Lourdes University [2012-15], Ahlul Bayt Center of Toledo , and St. George’s Antiochian Cathedral .
The Council has offered over 100 educational dialogs, discussions, forums, workshops, and films. It also facilitates annual MultiFaith family picnics, Peace Day Celebrations, Clergy/Faith Leader Breakfasts to honor World Interfaith Harmony Week, and smaller fellowship gatherings. The Men’s Group has been active for over ten years, with monthly discussions and quarterly service projects. An active Women’s Group and a Youth Discussion group have also formed.
In 2016, Founder Woody Trautman passed away at age 96. The council continues his legacy.
In 2017, Sara Tarana Jobin, then Resident Director of the Toledo Symphony, proposed that we offer monthly Universal Worship Services. Judy Trautman was ordained in 2002 to offer these services, but had only done a few in educational settings. The services are based on a Sufi mystic, Hazrat Inayat Khan. They offer readings and artistic expression from six to eight faith traditions. Now, in the second year, the Services have become a wonderful way to learn about each other in a deeper way. Lauraine Carpenter has continued to organize the music. We are so fortunate in this community of engaged diversity to be able to offer authentic voices in the Services.
Over the years, we have had a few hate incidents. MFC has been able to contribute to events to show solidarity and the unity that this community stands for. Recently a Solidarity Response Team has been formed.
In 2016, MFC contracted with an Administrative Assistant, Crystal Taylor. And our busy Compassion Advisor David Longacre receives a small stipend. The MultiFaith Council remains largely a lay-led and volunteer-based organization. It is supported primarily by individual and organizational donations and sponsorships.
Following a Strategic Planning Retreat in 2017, a Structures Committee did a major revise of the By-Laws to include term limits and succession plans.
Officers of the Board of Directors 2019-2021
2023 Board Members
Judy Trautman, Joe Zielinski, Charles Stocking, Abdel- Wahab Soliman, Joseph Moran, Michele Joseph, Barb Krochmalny, Brother Washington Muhammad, Dipti Vyas, Donna Rodriguez, Karen Christie, Beth Schardt.