Covid-19 And What It Means To Be A Community Of Faith
This article originally appeared in the Blessed Tomorrow March 2020 Newsletter.
Synagogues, temples, churches, and mosques in the United States and around the world are redefining how to be a community in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Blessed Tomorrow Partners have released statements offering compassion and hope while answering such questions as, “Do we have to gather in the flesh?”
Worship activities are being canceled all around the world. Roman Catholic, Mormon, and Protestant Churches and Jewish Synagogues and Muslim Mosques are quiet and mostly empty these days. Because when people of faith come together, there are handshakes, hugs and kisses, shared meals, singing, and praying in close proximity. For a large number of Americans, worship is an important part of their week, and for some, their most important social circle. Technology – Facetime, Facebook Live, and other media platforms – are bringing worship into the homes of the faithful, but it cannot provide the social contact and care people require.
Faith communities are trying to protect public health, while continuing to provide necessary services and care to people in need. Contact systems, such as phone trees, are being utilized to make sure that people are not shut out or forgotten. People of faith are volunteering at food banks to deliver groceries and hot meals to people who are quarantined or physically vulnerable and at homeless shelters so that they can continue to stay open.
People of faith are called to console and encourage all who are anxious, and care for all who are socially, economically, physically, emotionally, or spiritually vulnerable. We must pray for all people, paid and unpaid, who care for the elderly and children, who work in healthcare, or the service industry. We must speak up on behalf of anyone who contracts novel coronavirus and for their families. We must ask ourselves, “What does Love require of me?” And there is no group of people better able to model and lead with compassion and love in the midst of the pandemic or in the midst of the climate crisis. Thank you for leading in Love in these difficult times.