IMPORTANT FAITH LEADER STATEMENT
The bishops and other leaders of our denominations have issued an official statement about COVID-19.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2020
Contact: Rev. Jane Field, email@example.com
A Joint Statement From:
The Reverend Deborah Blood, Maine Conference Minister, United Church of Christ
Bishop Thomas Brown, Episcopal Diocese of Maine
The Reverend Doctor Jodi Hayashida, Representative of the Unitarian Universalist Association, Maine Council of Churches
Bishop James Hazelwood, New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Reverend Cindy Kohlmann, Resource Presbyter, Presbytery of Northern New England and Co-Moderator, General Assembly, Presbyterian Church USA
The Reverend Alyssa Lodewick, President, Maine Council of Churches
The Reverend Karen Munson, District Superintendent for Southern Maine, United Methodist Church
We write as leaders of denominations and congregations throughout Maine who believe in the sacred worth of all people. Committed to the welfare of all Mainers, in towns, cities and rural areas, we hope to offer strength, hope, courage and wisdom in the challenge all face. Our Maine faith communities are places of cooperation, compassion and cohesion and we ourselves, while diverse in our faith, are united in supporting good decision making to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Knowing that social distancing is the best way to love our neighbors right now, we support social distancing to prevent and slow transmission of this virus. Our congregations are adapting their worship, learning to “gather” online and to stay connected without close physical proximity. We urge the people of Maine to care for one another by observing the most rigorous social distancing you can. Our human connections are no less sacred because of temporary physical distance. As we pass these days, we can find new ways to reach out and connect, expanding the circle of care to those who might feel cut off.
The common good expressed in all of our traditions by the Golden Rule, “treat others as you would be treated” and the commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself”, instructs us to seek good for all people. We are dismayed at incidents blaming various ethnic groups for the occurrence of COVID-19. We reject any such discrimination.
It is essential that all groups, faith-based and secular, that are committed to meeting needs of our most vulnerable neighbors have access to necessary resources. We recognize that the circumstances created by COVID-19 will have the harshest impact on those least able to endure or recover: the poor, the marginalized, the isolated, the hungry and homeless, those without access to health care, the elderly, the medically fragile. Please join us in providing support for organizations like food pantries, soup kitchens, health clinics, shelters.
Compassionate collaboration will see us through this crisis with grace beyond any of our individual capacity. This is our prayer. This is our commitment.