WASHINGTON, DC—On Easter Sunday, Rev. Jim Wallis clarified the crucial role that faith leaders play during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than encouraging the danger and harm of parishioners by holding in-person church services, the majority of faith leaders are taking faith and love virtual to inspire hundreds of millions of people, to feed and support our neighbors amid this season of need and uncertainty, and to advocate for the most vulnerable.
On MSNBC’s AM Joy:
“[Faith leaders] have three roles: 1) to put our moral authority behind the doctors and scientists to maintain and discipline physical distancing, 2) to show how physical distancing must not lead to social isolation and 3) to focus on the most vulnerable. We will not pack our churches in some foolish way, infecting our neighbors and neighborhoods with this disease. We will stand by the resurrection and choose life over death. That is our vocation.”
“Very few churches are having services in defiance of the law… This current crisis isn’t about religious liberty, it is about public health. It’s about not infecting our neighbors… Truthfulness is very important in this crisis and the lack of truth we are seeing from very high levels of leadership in this country is making people sick.”
“Easter was never meant to be a time to go back to normal; but was, and still is, intended to make all things new… What if all that we are learning about our systems and attitudes and relationships in this modern plague that is wrong, brutal, unjust and unjustifiable were to be made new? That this public health crisis would prompt a resurrection in our hearts and minds, reminding us that we will not go back to ‘normal.’ In a post-COVID world, we must come together to choose decisions and actions that make things ‘new.’”
Easter is not a day, but a season. It is the perfect time to use a pastoral and prophetic lens to better understand our global chaos and to move forward. For media requests, please contact Meredith Brasher at firstname.lastname@example.org.