Statement by the Coalition of Religious Leaders in New Jersey

April 6, 2020 | GNJ News

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

Signed By:

Rabbi Matthew Gewirtz
Congregation B’nai
Jeshurun; President Coalition of Religious Leaders of New Jersey

Rev. Timothy Levi Atkins-Jones
Pastor, Mt. Bethany Baptist Ch.

Rev. Darrell Armstrong
General Baptist Convention
of NJ

V. Rev. Peter A. Baktis
Orthodox Church of America

Bishop Tracie Bartholomew
NJ Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Imam Qareeb Bashir
Islamic Center of Ewing

Rev. Dr. Tanya Bennett
Greater NJ Annual Conference, UMC, Board of Church and Society

Very Reverend Archimandrite Ambrose Bitziadis-Bowers
Ecumenical Officer, Greek Metropolis of NJ

Rev. Charles Boyer
Executive Director Salvation and Social Justice

Rev. Dr. Deborah Brincivalli
Presbytery Executive
West Jersey Presbytery

Elder David L. Buckner
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Mr. Marcus Burnett
President, NJ Council of Churches

M. Ali Chaudry, Ph.D.
Islamic Society of Basking Ridge

Imam Hamad Chebli
Islamic Society of Central New Jersey

The Most Reverend James F. Checchio
Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen

Joan M. Diefenbach, Esq.
Director, NJ Council of Churches

Rev. Leslie Dobbs-Allsopp
Interim Executive of the Elizabeth Presbytery

Rabbi Menashe East
Interfaith Council of Morris County

Rev. Rusty Eidmann-Hicks
Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ

Rev. Bolivar Flores
Vice President of the NJ Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers

Rabbi Daniel Geretz
Maayan of West Orange

Rabbi Arnold Gluck
Temple Beth El, Hillsborough, New Jersey

Fr. Timothy Graff
Archdiocese of Newark

Rabbi Andy Green
Tri-County Board of Rabbis

Rev. Rob Gregson
Unitarian Universalist Faith Action

Mr. Michael Gruber
NJ Community Outreach Director, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Bishop Carlye Hughes
Episcopal Diocese of Newark

Rev. Jack Johnson
Coordinator, Coalition of Religious Leaders

Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale
Reformed Church of America

Dr. Harsohena Kaur
Sikh Research Institute

Mr. James King
NJ Catholic Conference

Rabbi David Levy
AJC – NJ Regional Director

Rev. Sara Lilja
Lutheran Episcopal Advocacy Ministry of New Jersey

Rev. Dr. A. Roy Medley
General Secretary Emeritus American Baptist Church

Rev. Miriam Mendez
Executive Minister American Baptist Churches of NJ

Rev. Nelson Murphy
Interim Associate Conference Minister, Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ

Rev. Freeman Palmer
Conference Minister of Central Atlantic Conference, United Church of Christ

Rev. Jeanne Radak
Presbytery Leader, Newton Presbytery

Mr. Raghu Rao
Hindu Faith Community

Rev. Dr. Joshua Rodriguez
NJ Coalition of Latino Pastors & Ministers

Rev. Raul Ruiz
President of NJ Coalition of Latino Pastors & Ministers

Rev. Scott Russell
Ecumenical and Interfaith Officer, Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey

Bishop John Schol
Greater NJ Conference of the United Methodist Church

Rev. Louise Scott-Rountree
Clergy Affairs Manager, Office of the Mayor of Newark

Imam W. Deen Shareef
Convener of the Council of Imams in NJ

Ms. Ardaman Singh
Garden State Sikh Association

Ms. Harinder Singh
Co-founder Sikh Research Institute

Sutinder Singh
Executive Board of the American Sikh Council
Gurdas Singh
President American Sikh Council

Reverend Barbara Smith
Executive Presbyter, Newark Presbytery

Bishop Dennis J. Sullivan
Diocese of Camden
Rev. Dr. Amaury Tanon-Santos
Presbyterian Synod of the Northeast

President Bradley Thatcher
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin
Archdiocese of Newark

Rabbi David Z. Vaisberg
Senior Rabbi, Temple B’Nai Abraham