Religious freedom is a very timely topic in our life together (in fact it will be the topic of our NT-NL Synod, ELCA Leadership Convocation at Briarwood Retreat Center/Briarwood Leadership Center this October 19-21). It is important that we hold to our values as a nation regarding the establishment of religion. It also does not give the right to religious leaders to ignore public health responsibilities.
Thank you to Rev. George Mason (NT-NL Synod assembly speaker in 2017) and Rabbi David Stern for taking leadership in authoring this letter to which I am honored to add my name.
Those joining in signing include many of the leading interfaith religious leaders in the Metroplex. This is a diverse group of pastors, rabbis, imams, and others (including Dr. Robert Smith, director of Briarwood) who see the importance of clarifying this in the time of COVID-19. We want to come together for worship but it must be done carefully and thoughtfully.
For guidance from myself and the other ELCA TX/LA bishops based on the White House guidelines issued April 16th please see this link.
Our political and civic leaders are daily in my prayers and I encourage you to do so as well. We pray for God’s wisdom to guide them whatever their personal beliefs and to be guided first and foremost seeking the good of the community. #NTNL #InMissionTogether