Multifaith Picnic Feasts On Diversity

July 13, 2009

Author: Florence Dethy

Source: The Toledo Blade

Joseph Zielinski is proud to be an American.

In America, he said, if you choose to be open to new ideas, to be open to new cultures, "we'll give you all you can handle."

And yesterday evening, in the spirit of camaraderie and brotherly love, almost 100 people of myriad faith traditions and cultural backgrounds gathered on the grounds of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo for the seventh annual Multifaith Family Picnic.

Mr. Zielinski, a 59-year-old self-proclaimed Trekkie, explained that the picnic is representative of popular Star Trek commander Mr. Spock's philosophy of "infinite diversity in infinite combinations," which was a major theme of the popular television series.

"Look around the tables here, there are people of five or six different faith groups, who, from a heritage standpoint, are from all across the world," said Mr. Zielinski, who is the co-executive vice chairman of the Multifaith Council of Northwest Ohio, which organized the event.

Indeed, all around the wooden tables, individuals, plates laden with kosher hotdogs, stuffed cabbage, potato salad, and more, chowed down, caught up with old friends, and made some new ones.

See also: Interfaith, Islam