Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Our roster of events has disappeared with the exception of
A Discussion About Hate Crimes and How to Combat Them
that will be done virtually. In place of promoting special events I am asking people of faith to be taking all steps necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19. We are facing a world pandemic that requires us to be well informed, making adjustments never before contemplated, and taking constructive action.
Fortunately we have been working collaboratively for years with remarkably resourceful professionals heading the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Department of Health and Human Services, and Montgomery County Public Schools. In addition, I serve in the Office of Community Partnerships and our team is working in partnership with public officials in doing everything possible to keep Montgomery County as healthy as possible.
Evidence of this collaboration is found in the
COVID-19 House of Worship Tip Sheet
that contains access to the best websites in our world, nation, state and county. We will be updating it and invite your input. We anticipate including how faith communities may contribute volunteers, food and supplies for the most vulnerable. With our schools closed March 16 - 27 means children will not be fed as usual nor be taking home food for weekends.
Governor Hogan is prohibiting all in person activities, classes and worship services in excess of 250 people. Some of us are in compliance but most of us are yet to make that adjustment. Here are links for connecting people in small groups for worship (virtual gathering) such as
video streaming camera
; and online software like
One obvious lesson to learn from the pandemic is that we are essentially interdependent. We are encouraged to reference our sacred texts in relationship to this reality as we address our members. COVID-19 does not belong to any foreign country nor ethnicity nor race nor religion nor age. We need to relate to it as a human condition deserving our prayers and actions to overcome it.
Shalom, Om Shanti, Sat Sri Akal, Salaam, Namaste, Peace