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Reception to Honor Reverend Tracey Lind

On Wednesday night we had made a reservation to watch a respected local Indian Cultural Folk Dance troupe perform in at the Solon Library at 7pm but we still resolved to attend at least part of, as our invite read, a "reception to honor Reverend Tracey Lind and her contributions" at Trinity CommonsCathedral where the Very Reverend Lind has served as the Dean for the past 17 years. Due to ill health, however, Reverend Lind is retiring and her last day will be this Sunday, January 29th.

The reception began at 5:30pm so we figured that if we left by 6:15pm we would give ourselves enough time to make it to Solon if even there was some traffic.

Things got off to a good start because when we arrived at Trinity Commons shortly after 5pm there were still some parking spaces and we snagged a good one and, once inside the Cathedral, we were greeted by Ms. Ginger Bitikofer, Associate for Congregational Life, who is a warm person and made usfeel at home.

In the area where the celebration took place, a slide show titled "A Celebration of Tracey Lind in Photos" created by Ms. Bobbi Reichtell played continuously. Thus we watched and we learned that Reverend Lind was an advocate and spokesperson for marriage equality, pro-choice issues, Bike Cleveland, and, most importantly, tolerance and respect for all; served as Co-Chair of the Greater Cleveland Congregation and was a past President of Campus District, Inc.; was very involved in the Trinity Commons Urban Farm; took part in Circle the City with Love just before the RNC; and served on City Club panels pertaining to Alzheimer's and Dementia as well as Building Bridges Between Islam and the West. Of course, these were just a few of her many accomplishments.

In our time there, we chatted with Ms. Jackie Warren who was providing background music via the piano and other people that we knew including Professor Greg Sadlek, the Founding Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at CSU and Sister Judith Ann Karam, who we have known for years.

We were very pleased that this event seemed to be getting a fine turnout; Mr. Sam Hubish, Communications Manager of Trinity Commons, told us that they were prepared for 300 attendees but certainly more would be welcomed. The program notes themselves indicated that a fine program was in store. It would be presided over by Rabbi Josh Caruso of Fairmount Temple and would feature such speakers as Dr. Ronald Berkman, President of CSU; Reverend Jawanza Colvin from Olivet Institutional Baptist Church; the Right Reverend Mark Hollingsworth, Jr., Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio; Ms. Wendy Hoke, President of the Campus District Board; and Cleveland City Councilperson Phyllis Cleveland.

We ourselves, expressed our gratitude and that of Ms. Margaret W. Wong to Reverend Lind; who was there with her spouse, Ms. Emily Ingalls;  for her service to the Cleveland community. In turn, Reverend Lind told us that she believed that our office had a lot of very important work to do obtaining justice for foreign-born people in light of the Trump administration's immigration policies.

No doubt about it, as Reverend Ann Kidder of the St. Christopher by-the-River Church in Gates Mills, told us, Reverend Lind had had "a long and wonderful and fruitful ministry" and as sorry as we were about her retirement, we were happy for her for the amount of love that she had inspired and acquired over the years.

We arrived at the Solon Library about 20 minutes (oh well, better to be early) ahead of time but there was no one in the meeting room where the Indian Dance Troupe was to perform but no one was there; this should have been an omen because it has been our experience that usually at such an event the performers arrive before anyone else.

Gradually people began to trickle in and a fair number of them at that. We liked talking to a person who told us that last year she sat with our friend, Dr. Richard Crepage at a One World Day gathering and that Dr. Crepage had told her about and what a treasure she found it to be because it showcased so many diverse cultural events in the Northeast Ohio area. In fact, she found out about this one from just as we had.

Sitting next to us was a woman whose parents immigrated to the United States from India. She was born here but she knew a lot about Indian culture and had thus brought her three young children to see the dancers.

At 7pm, there still were no dancers so the librarian told us that he would call and see where they were. Unfortunately, a few minutes later, he returned and gently told us that for some reason the dancers had cancelled. Someone then good-naturedly called out to the librarian, "you know what this means, it means you have to perform..."

Needless to say, he did not and most of us sighed, and smiled and said to ourselves, "oh, least WE were here!"


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.

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