Local Church Honors Those Building Bridges in Rochester

December 01, 2017 11:30 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- A local church hopes to promote a better future in Rochester by highlighting those who make a difference.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is honoring two community members with their "Bridge Builder" award.


Cara Widman, the director of public affairs for the church says the criteria involves those people building bridges "Through their unsung you know heroes and by working with organizations or by themselves where they were trying to make a difference." 

One of those is Rabbi Michelle Werner with the B'nai Israel Synagogue.

She is being honored for starting the Rochester Area Interfaith Leaders Association and the Muslim/Jewish women's dialogue group.

"It’s when people close themselves off that only the hatred and the pain gets in," said Rabbi Michelle.

The second award went to Tierre Webster, who was nominated for his work with Next Chapter Ministries.

It provides holistic ministry for those re-entering the community from jail or prison.

"It’s been the work of others that have helped me to, agree with me with a need or a deficit, a gap in service whatever. And folks have come together and said yeah we too have a passion about that,” said Tierre.

While their backgrounds may be different their goal is the same, as they both try to make Rochester a better place to live.

"When you talk about being an inclusive community, it really is going to take folks that are willing to say not say oh we think differently, so let's put that a side but we think differently so let's build off. Let's utilize that to our advantage," said Tierre. 

"When we learn about the other, we actually really learn about ourselves. And when I look inside myself, when I work to have an open heart then I can receive the love that's out there," said Rabbi Michelle.

In the end it creates a domino effect.

And even though you may not have a lot of skill, money or time, you can still do something.

"Little acts of service and kindness can then grow and develop into changing lives and you never know how," said Cara.


Roxanne Elias

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