Coalition of Religious Leaders of NJ Asks For Public Compassion as COVID-19 Death Toll Continues to Rise

During Governor Phil Murphy’s daily coronavirus media update this afternoon, he announced that the death toll increased by an additional 69 New Jerseyans since Monday, bringing the Garden State’s total number of coronavirus-related deaths to 267.

Murphy added that the five counties with the most positive cases of the virus are Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Union and Passaic.

This morning a joint statement was issued by the members of the Coalition of Religious Leaders of New Jersey.   The Rev. Bolivar Flores, the Vice President of the NJ Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers based in Jersey City, told Hudson TV that it is the hope of the religious leaders around the state that all New Jerseyans give of themselves to help others during this pandemic.  Rev. Flores says particular attention needs to be paid to the elderly, the homeless and those less fortunate.

Whether it is contributing needed medical supplies, or personal protective equipment (PPE), or just checking on a neighbor, we all have to do our part.  Rev. Flores suggests reaching out to your House of Worship, asking how you can volunteer.  He stresses that everyone needs to abide by the guidelines put forth by Governor Murphy and the Federal Government.

Keep your social distancing, stay at home as much as possible and do not think you are immune to COVID-19.

Below is the joint statement issued this morning:

Statement by Members of The Coalition of Religious
Leaders of New Jersey
As members of the Coalition of Religious Leaders of New Jersey and as interfaith religious and spiritual leaders we seek at this moment in time to affirm our concern for the common good of the people of New Jersey. Our deep concern is grounded in our moral and ethical sacred texts that teach compassion and caring for one another.
We are concerned for the well-being of the most vulnerable, the older adult, the poor, the homeless, the prisoner, the immigrant, the socially isolated, and those whose physical and mental health are at risk. We see all over New Jersey and beyond, how our faith communities continue to reflect and live out acts of kindness and caring. We are truly blessed with wonderful communities that are springing into action by providing outreach initiatives to care and attend to those in need and most vulnerable. From deep in our hearts we thank you for your willingness and sacrifices to provide for the least among us.
We encourage all of you to engage in sacrificial giving to meet the incredible human needs at this time of uncertainty. Our faith beliefs call us to reflect the spiritual nature of our Creator In sharing our love, time and resources for others in need.
With a deep sense of gratitude, we recognize those who in this time of crisis who have
responded with a deep sense of compassion and moral commitment to act. We are very grateful for our Governor, members of our federal and state legislatures, county, and municipal elected officials for their cooperative initiatives in addressing this crisis.
We will forever be in debt and hold a deep thankfulness for those in the medical community whose actions place their own lives at risk as they seek to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Much love and thanks goes to the police officers, First Responders of the Department of fire and emergency services, the civic and service workers, the educators, the grocery workers, the food deliverers, the retail associates and corporate offices who are adapting, leading and showing up so that we can all be safe and healthy. They work tirelessly for the good of all. We may not know their names, but they are deeply appreciated.
As Religious leaders we too are facing challenges that have deeply impacted the
life of our faith communities. For many of us at the center and heart of our faith traditions are the acts of coming together in worship, in service and in community gatherings. We are learning and adapting to ways we can continue our traditions and connect our members and others to the spiritual places that we cling to in times of crisis. This challenge will not negate our foundational tenets of faith to care for the common good. This is our prayer and commitment in this moment in time.
Be Kind to each other.
March 30, 2020

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