This morning, Wednesday, May 20th, at a press conference, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Rev. Dwight Lee Wolter, pastor of the Congregational Church of Patchogue on Long Island, to an Interfaith Advisory Council that is charged with, among other things, looking into the reopening of houses of faith. We will keep you posted on the progress of the Interfaith Advisory Council.
The press has already been contacting me asking about opening for worship, funerals, and weddings. But let us not forget about how to enforce social distancing with six year old kids in a Sunday school, mosque or synagogue. And how about changing diapers in the nursery, or singing by the choir or congregation (singing has been likened to coughing as regards germ/virus spread). Don’t forget to ask about using books of scripture and song. What do we do about our food pantries and soup kitchens? At our church we have (until we closed it abruptly with the onset of the pandemic) a free hair salon and mobile shower unit. Will they ever reopen? Under what conditions?
I was asked by a television team today what my number one issue on the agenda will be. My answer was, “To remain civil and allow each other to have doubts, unanswerable questions, and other reflections of living in a pandemic the likes of which no person on the Governor’s Advisory Council was even alive to experience the last time it happened in America.”
Whether you are a religious person or not ~ pray for and with us. May God have mercy on us all as we strive to do our best. And may God ~ however we conceptualize, define, understand or misunderstand God ~ may this God guide our feet as we trod this rocky path that leads us home.
Peace & Health,
Dwight Lee Wolter