A Statement by the Interfaith Partnership Cabinet in response to public measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19
Civic leaders in the bi-state area are taking measures to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the region. On March 15, 2020, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, St. Clair County, IL, and Madison County, IL, issued orders prohibiting public events and social gatherings – which effectively includes faith-based services – for more than 50 people.
The Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis and the 34 communities of faith and conscience we represent affirm this decision, and encourage full compliance and cooperation.
The decision to cancel faith-based services and assemblies is not easy, but it is correct. The illness that has affected so many people around the world and has caused death to thousands saddens our hearts. We worry not only about the health of those who belong to our own religious traditions and denominations, but we also recognize our responsibility to act with others to halt the spread of this virus. We must prioritize public health for the sake of all.
As we continue to navigate the complexities of COVID-19, we encourage all congregations and communities of conscience to seek out ways of connecting in unexplored spaces and platforms, such as a greater utilization of technology and social media, and experimenting with smaller gatherings.
In addition to suspending gatherings of over 50 people and practicing social distancing, we also encourage all congregations and communities of conscience to attend to the needs of our neighbors by becoming centers for networking, to creatively connect with those who are alone and isolated, to assist those in at-risk populations with daily tasks such as shopping, and to facilitate sharing of resources with those who are vulnerable and in need.
We are stronger together, and we will get through this as community.
The Interfaith Partnership Cabinet, founded and staffed by the Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis, represents 34 religious communities of faith and conscience within the St. Louis area. It is led by Chair Rev. Dr. David Greenhaw and Vice-Chair Maharat Rori Picker-Neiss.