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Faith leaders issue call to action for COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 6:38 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 19:38:51-05

TULSA, Okla. — The state’s current coronavirus crisis is prompting Oklahoma religious leaders to speak out. Many are asking the public to take the pandemic more seriously.

However, opinions on COVID-19 safety protocols vary. While some places of worship continue to hold in-person services, others have decided to go completely virtual, airing on the side of caution.

Trinity Episcopal Church in Tulsa decided to go virtual back in March. Father Lee Dominick said the health and well-being of his parishioners is his top priority.

“We do this out of love. And, if love is the guiding factor, not hatred, not misinformation, not hyped information, then we’re all on the right path,” Father Lee said.

In an online discussion hosted by the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, the director for Oklahoma City’s COVID-19 task force, Dr. Noel Williams, explained the dire situation.

“When we start to think about what’s ahead, we’re at the very tip of a precipice or a cliff and we’re about the fall off,” Williams said.

In a statement, Oklahoma Conference of Churches said, “Some version of ‘The Golden Rule’ exists in every religious tradition, demonstrating the importance of caring for our neighbor as an act of faithfulness. We can and should be guided by common concern to protect life, particularly during a pandemic when our behavior has a direct and immediate impact on the lives of those around us. In our current context, “Love Your Neighbor” means “wear a mask.”

Emanuel Synagogue Rabbi Abby Jacobson also took part in the meeting. Her synagogue's been completely online since the pandemic began.

“The health of my neighbor is worth it. The health of my neighbor is worth what it costs me,” Rabbi Jacobson said.

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