community faith leaders gather to bless new interfaith chapel
new location provides easier access to comfort and support
Dayton Children’s officially opened the interfaith chapel with blessings from representative leaders of the Dayton region’s faith community. The chapel’s new location on the first floor next to the main lobby provides easier access to all families, visitors, patients and staff who are in need of a space for sanctuary, peace or reflection.
Rabbi Karen Bodney-Halasz of Temple Israel, Father Anthony Cutcher from St. Peter Catholic Parish, Dr. Darshan Sehbe and Darseen Kaur Sehbe from Dayton Gurdwara: Sikh Center of Dayton, and Father Benjamin Speare-Hardy from St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church and the West Dayton Caravan of Churches provided blessings during the dedication. “We are so thankful for the gracious blessings these leaders shared with us,” says Reverend Darryl Fairchild, manager of chaplain services for Dayton Children’s. “Everyone is welcome here and will find support, no matter what their beliefs. The chapel serves as an oasis of quiet in a chaotic world, especially for those who are going through stressful times.”
A key feature of the interfaith chapel is a prayer wall, designed to allow visitors to share a prayer, word of encouragement or note of gratitude. Those notes can be displayed on the wall or slid into small nooks to remain private. Inspirational reading materials and some prayer supplies are available. For example, prayer mats are offered at the welcome center and a Qibla points the direction for Muslim prayer.
“Our mission is the optimal health for every child within our reach. We know that optimal health looks different for each person and can’t be achieved without emotional, religious or spiritual support, depending on the child and family’s specific needs,” says Deborah Feldman, president and CEO for Dayton Children’s. “That is why it was so important to us to relocate the chapel to a space that is accessible to all who walk through our doors.”
Dayton Children’s is extremely fortunate to have generous philanthropic support for this new chapel, including the Fred M. Luther Charitable Trust, as well as Geoff and Beverly Hyman and family who supported the prayer wall in honor of Beverly’s parents.
The interfaith chapel is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, offering a space for quiet reflection, meditation or individual prayer at any time.