March 14, 2020 submitted by the Hingham Hull Religious Leaders Association
To the Editor,
Despite so much talk about how divided we all are, rarely have we been in a time like this one where our interdependence is so evident. From neighborhoods to nations, the COVID-19 pandemic clarifies our interconnections. Currently we are all in a state of heightened awareness about trying not to infect each other or be infected; we are called upon to avoid gathering together and yet to watch out for each other; to take care of ourselves and yet share vital resources.
In many ways it is too bad that the phrase of the hour has become "social distancing." As social creatures, human beings have trouble thriving when they cannot be together. This reality becomes especially evident in spiritual matters. Faith communities have always had the capacity to inspire, to comfort, to educate, and to remind us that no person "is an island."
The Hingham Hull Religious Leaders Association is mindful of the spiritual challenges that can complicate how we navigate this pandemic. Some houses of worship have advised people to make their own decisions about whether or not to attend services. Others have replaced physical gatherings with virtual gatherings for the duration. Numerous special events have been postponed or cancelled. Cleaning has become even more rigorous. But while safety and physical health are paramount, so, too, is spiritual nourishment. It is our sincere hope that during these unusual times, people will reach out in creative ways for worship, for spiritual renewal, and for mutual support. Our mission will be to reach back and to emphasize that even if we are not face-to-face, we can still be together.
Stephanie Kelsch of Second Parish, Sara M. Holland of Hingham Congregational, Elizabeth Reardon of St. Paul and Resurrection alongside all of Hingham Hull Religious Leaders Association