This past spring during Lent, the congregations of Faith Lutheran. St. Hilary, New Hope Baptist and Temple Israel participated in a four-evening discussion surrounding the theme of racism. We began each evening with a meal together and shared prayer. The bulk of our time was spent in table discussion, which fostered our desire to build relationships among the members of our congregations, even as we tackled the difficult realities of racism.

Our time together was a great source of inspiration, learning, joy and love.

From the series came several subcommittees that are now continuing the work of the congregations on the topic of racism, and planning is under way for another series next year.

We want the larger Akron community to be aware of this collaboration and the abundant grace that has come from our getting to know each other, though we are people of different faiths, races and cultures. We find this to be especially imperative in light of recent events in Charlottesville and the horrific display of bigotry and hatred by individuals representing white supremacy.

We invite you to join our congregations in the good work that we have been begun or to explore the many other efforts in our Akron community to increase conversation and understanding among peoples of many races, religions and cultures.

In this way, we all can truly “do something about this” and together build a community and country where every human being is afforded the dignity and respect they deserve as a child of God.

The Rev. Steven Brunovsky

St. Hilary Parish

Pastor Jean Hansen

Faith Lutheran Church

Pastor David Nelson

New Hope Baptist Church of Akron

Rabbi Josh Brown

Temple Israel

Flawed giants

The history of the world includes both the famous and infamous who were, as are all mortals, flawed but who accomplished much. President Lincoln recognized this in delivering his second inaugural address, President Truman and George Marshall recognized this in designing the Marshall Plan, and Gen. Douglas MacArthur recognized this in the rebuilding of Japan.

We need to revive this spirit in our nation and its leaders if we are to overcome the current divisions in our nation.

Revisiting history by tearing down monuments to famous but flawed men and rewriting history by obliterating their names will further divide us.

Robert A. Dill

Stow

Lawyer and hero

After winning the Democratic nomination for the Akron Ward 5 Council seat in 1993, the local courts unfairly removed me from the ballot.

One man took umbrage with this injustice and took my battle to the Ohio Supreme Court. He did this at his own expense, as I had no money to pay him. He won the case, and I became the Ward 5 councilman.

Donald Storm Varian Jr. fought for people regardless of their station in life. He was a true champion and will always be my hero.

Ernie Tarle

Akron