RI Clergy Support COVID Worship Restrictions

RI Clergy Support COVID Worship Restrictions

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Editor's note: Bridge Conference Ministers the Rev. Marilyn Kendrix and the Rev. Don Remick have signed the following letter:
 
​We, members of the clergy in Rhode Island, represent many faiths, but all of our traditions speak passionately about the sanctity of life. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all people of faith share an obligation to take positive action to prevent transmission of this deadly disease and to take personal responsibility for our part in slowing its spread. To do so, we all must make changes in our personal behavior and we must make changes in the way that our communities gather in worship.

We wish to affirm that people of faith take the pandemic seriously. We embrace scientists, public health professionals and epidemiologists – many of whom themselves are people of faith – to be our partners in fulfilling the mission that God has called us to fulfill: to bring health and healing to our world, and to save lives.

We appreciate the way that the administration of Governor Raimondo has sought our advice and consideration in developing executive orders and advisories to keep Rhode Islanders safe. We concur with guidelines that mandate masks, social distancing, and reducing the numbers of people attending worship services. While there are rituals and sacraments that are dear to us that can only be performed in-person, we concur with directives encouraging access to services over the internet wherever possible, especially for those who are most vulnerable to the virus.

We fervently pray for relief from the pandemic that has taken so many lives and created such hardships for families and for those brave individuals on the front lines of medicine, social services, and public health and safety. Our prayers are with you. We call on all Rhode Islanders to join us in adhering to guidelines intended to keep us healthy and to save lives.

Rabbi Barry Dolinger
President
Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island

Rev. Douglas Harris
Interim Executive Minister
American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island

Mufti Ikram ul Haq
for the Rhode Island Muslim community

Rev. Howard Jenkins
President
Rhode Island Ministers Alliance

Rev. Marilyn B. Kendrix and
Rev. Don Remick
Bridge Conference Ministers
Southern New England Conference
United Church of Christ

The Rt. Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely, SOSc
Bishop
The (Episcopal) Diocese of Rhode Island

Rev. Elizabeth Lerner Maclay
Senior Minister
The First Unitarian Church of Providence

Rev. Chontell Washington
Interim Executive Minister
Rhode Island State Council of Churches
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