An Open Letter to the Faith Community on Covid-19

Dear members of the faith community of Louisiana:

Many of us have been grappling with the decision of whether to hold or attend in-person worship services tomorrow.

We heard from Governor Edwards’ office this morning. With the latest update, the spread of Covid-19 appears to be far more extensive throughout Louisiana than was understood even yesterday.

Health professionals and the Governor’s office are deeply concerned about worship services creating a circumstance to help fuel the spread of this disease. This is especially dangerous because so many of our worshipers are of the age most at risk of dying from Covid-19.

Louisiana currently has the third-highest rate of Covid-19 cases in the country. That is likely to get worse, not better, as testing becomes more widespread.

The disease likely has been spreading without detection for several weeks, which means it currently is present in every parish across the state.

We urge you to consider prayerfully that, if you hold or attend a service on Sunday, there is a strong possibility that one or more of your worshipers is carrying the virus. This is a strong possibility whether or not they are sick or showing any symptoms.

Under these circumstances, in-person services are very likely to help fuel the spread of the virus.

The chart below shows us how the experience of other countries – South Korea and Italy, particularly – offer wisdom to act responsibly and faithfully as a community.

What we’ve learned from those countries is that action that feels “bold” in the moment, such as the steps Italy took, may not be enough to slow down the spread of Covid-19.

What’s required in the early phases is action may even feel drastic. South Korea took those actions and it saved thousands of lives.

Thank you for considering our thoughts on this matter.

Yours in faith,

Together Louisiana

Together Louisiana is a statewide network of more than 250 religious congregations and civic organizations across Louisiana, representing more than 200,000 people. It is one of the largest grassroots organizations in the history of Louisiana.

One thought on “An Open Letter to the Faith Community on Covid-19

  1. 5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

    6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter INTER INTO THY CLOSET, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

    8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

    9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

    10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

    11 Give us this day our daily bread.

    12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

    13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

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