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Every month, I look for an opportunity to give back and show my appreciation to my host faith for those 30-31 days. Today, I found a way for not only me, but for all of us to reach out and help a community in need.
Meet the Jain Center of Greater Phoenix in Arizona.
The Jain center was built in the 2006-7 real estate boom when costs were high and completed in 2008. Given these years of high cost and economic downturn, we have a perfect storm for difficult times. Because of hard times on the 150+ Jain family members which represent the Jain sangh (congregation) here, the community is struggling to make payments on the construction loan. In other words, if something doesn’t happen soon, they face losing their temple. Sounds a lot like many Americans right now with the risk of losing their homes. Here is a link with more information.
What makes this particularly urgent is the fact that, according to my research, this is the only temple in the state of Arizona. There may be a few Jain community centers (couldn’t find any), but this temple is where ceremonies, rituals, and worship is performed and the housing of the Jina idols as well. The temple must be there for the Jain community. It isn’t like a church in this country where you might bounce from one to another and it’s a matter of crossing the street. If the Jains of Arizona do not have this temple, where will they go?
Personally, I don’t want them to face that question. We have a unique set-up here. Over the year Project Conversion has developed its own pluralist community we like to call, the Congregation. We come from many faiths and even no faith at all. We share our thoughts and struggles with religion and spirituality on a daily basis and I feel many of us have grown quite close because of that interaction. With over 900 members, we can make a difference and now, I’m asking you to do just that.
Consider this the Congregation’s first call for an offering.
The difference is that we aren’t taking up a collection for our own building fund or to pay a clergy…we are taking up an offering to help keep another religion’s temple and faith community alive.
Here’s the plan. You’ll love it because it’s simple. Here is the site link for the Jain Center of Greater Phoenix. This takes you to the donation page. You may also mail a donation to the following address:
Jain Center of Greater Phoenix
P.O. Box 64221
Phoenix, AZ 85082
This isn’t about Project Conversion making a difference, that’s why I didn’t set up some account so that I could mail a check with that name on it. This is about individuals putting aside differences and supporting another because it’s the right thing to do. My family is absolutely broke, but I’m sending in five dollars. Can you do at least that? Can each of you send five dollars to help take the burden off these people who just want a place of their own to worship?
“May the whole cosmos be blessed. May all beings engage in each other’s well-being. May all weakness, sickness and faults diminish and vanish. May everyone everywhere be healthy, prosper, blissful, and peaceful.” –Jain prayer for universal peace and friendship