Adam R. Taylor 6-30-2020
Clergyman of the Orthodox Church wearing a protective medical mask during Sunday church service. March 5, 2020, Vinnitsa, Ukraine

How did wearing a mask become a partisan act rather than a public health imperative? Tragically, even wearing a mask has fallen prey to our culture wars and political polarization.

In many ways, Seele and countless others who forged the Black church’s response to HIV/AIDS laid the foundation for an effective and powerful faith-based response to COVID-19.

Rishika Pardikar 6-25-2020

Chinese and U.S. flags flutter in Shanghai. REUTERS/Aly Song

Communication between scientists in China and scientists in the U.S. has essentially shut down, eliminating opportunities for the U.S. to learn from China’s response to the virus.

Alexander Jusdanis 6-22-2020

Photo by Andy Mai on Unsplash

Karen decided to leave monastic life. She found a rent-free cabin a few hours away in Colt Run Holler, W.Va. She moved in with just $100 and an old Ford Bronco. Alone in the woods, she became a hermit.

Greg Garrett 6-10-2020

During this time of COVID-19, people are dying alone, away from their families and from priests or pastors who might ease their passing. You could no more shoehorn a dozen people into a hospital room than you should cram them unmasked into any enclosed space these days. A pastor or chaplain might be forced to visit the room remotely, to FaceTime last rites, so to speak.


How do you balance the sometimes competing demands of religion and democracy? Religious and legal scholar Melissa Rogers talks with Rev. Jim Wallis on about the fine line that is sometimes hard to distinguish when examining our duty to our religion and our government.

Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

Rituals surrounding death provide solace and comfort. Ceremonies, such as funerals, hold our challenging and complicated emotions and provide space for us to acknowledge and accept the reality of death. But when we are not able to be physically held by those outside of our own home or partake in our religious rituals and death traditions, how do we process the death of those we love? Even as states reopen and larger groups are permitted to gather, some people are still apprehensive about convening. In this unfamiliar and uncertain moment, how do we mourn?

Andrew J. Wight 6-03-2020
NGO workers go by boat to the native community of Santa Teresita in Loreto region, Peru, to help with COVID-19 preparations. Photo courtesy Living Water International

At the end of May, the Amazon basin region had almost 134,000 confirmed cases and 6,883 reported COVID-19 deaths according to a Catholic Church aggregation of published official government data from the region. There were nearly 115,000 cases in the Brazilian Amazon basin alone.

A healthcare worker in protective gear treats a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient at the El Centro Regional Medical Center in El Centro, California, U.S., May 27, 2020. REUTERS/Ariana Drehsler

COVID-19 is culling the herd of humanity. Beneath the conversation about herd immunity lies a silent and unstated conversation about who will survive. Why are black and brown communities being hit so hard? Why are we more likely than whites to die if admitted to the hospital? Who gets access to health care of any kind, and with regard to COVID-19, to inequitably distributed tests? Who gets a ventilator and who does not?

Christina Colón 6-01-2020

A man passes graffiti on a building a day after protests over the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

In more than 60 cities across the country, people stopped on June 1 to remember the more than 100,000 people who have died from COVID-19 as part of a National Day of Mourning and Lament.

Ed Spivey Jr. 6-01-2020

Illustration by Ken Davis

HERE AT SOJOURNERS, we’re all about hope: Finding signs of hope, praying for the gift of hope, living a life that embodies hope. Heck, I’ve even designed bumper stickers with that word, some of which are still on cars, expressing hope—albeit a weathered and faded hope—from the parking spaces where they’ve been for weeks.

But sometimes our hopes crumble in disappointment. As scientists work feverishly to develop drugs to counter the coronavirus, many alternative treatments trigger our sense of optimism and raise our hopes, only to be dashed when they prove ineffective, unproven, or laughably ridiculous to most sentient beings except Sean Hannity.

The promise of hydroxychloroquine, for example, was touted by Fox News for a month before it was finally debunked as ineffective and, in some cases, fatal. But now that the president claims to be using it, I’m glad I worked on the pronunciation: Hydroxychloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, hydroxychloroquine. (See? I’ve been practicing.)

A similar, more pronounceable chemical compound—chloroquine phosphate—also showed promise. Mainly used for cleaning aquariums, its medical efficacy was suggested by its ability to clear glass of slimy buildup that appears much more tenacious than any virus. (Despite being exposed to the chemical for years, those little deep-sea divers show no ill effect.)

The nation must be given the chance to mourn, lament, and remember the dead.


As we pass the horrifying milestone of 100,000 American deaths to the coronavirus, we’re using the hashtag #Lament100k to urge people to pause — to lament.

Yet history repeats itself – leaders are sacrificing lives to ensure an "uninterrupted food supply." These meat and poultry plants, just like cotton fields once were, have been deemed "critical infrastructure" to the nation's economy.

Soong-Chan Rah 5-29-2020

A view of One World Trade Center and lower Manhattan from The Green-Wood Cemetery, during the outbreak of the coronavirus in Brooklyn. May 27, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The need for lament could not be more urgent. The painful reality of the loss of more than 100,000 American lives requires the response of lament. However, a genuine corporate lament seems to have eluded many Americans, even those in the church. Lament is a biblical practice that has been long-neglected in the American church.

Megan Janetsky 5-28-2020

Staff at Casa del Migrante prepares food for migrants still houses at the shelter during the pandemic with a facemask on. Photo courtesy Casa del Migrante

“The big, big risk in Tijuana is that somebody comes, and if they're sick, where do I send them? There is no option,” he said. “The general hospital won't take them unless they're a certain level of sick, they have to be severely sick, so there is no structure here.”

Christina Colón 5-27-2020

The body of a deceased person is prepared to be transferred at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Brooklyn. April 28, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The United States surpassed 100,000 deaths related to the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.

It’s a staggering number representing nearly a third of the 353,011 COVID-related deaths worldwide. In the U.S., more Americans have died of the virus than in the Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Gulf wars combined.

Jim Wallis 5-27-2020

A small group attends a graveside service at the State Veterans Cemetery amid the coronavirus outbreak in Middletown, Conn., May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

As we passed the horrifying milestone of 100,000 American deaths to the coronavirus, we’ve started using the hashtag #Lament100k to urge people to pause — to lament. Of course, the sentiment falls short. As a friend said to me, we can’t abbreviate all these lives; we have to try to feel all one hundred thousand of them.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro adjusts his mask as he leaves Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil. May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

Even while Brazil is a COVID-19 global hot spot, some pastors flout social distancing. 

Matthew L. Watley 5-20-2020

B-24 Liberator bombers nearing completion on the assembly line at the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation plant in Fort Worth, Texas. 1942.

What is needed now, as always, is real moral leadership.