An Interfaith Pastoral Letter
Embracing, Mourning and Thanksgiving: In Our Time of Fear and Anxiety The Greater New Haven Interfaith Coalition
If all the lights in the world grew dim, it will not hurt you. For the light in your heart still shines bright.
-Muslim Sufi poet, Rumi
Our faith traditions proclaim the unity of all life and our mutual interdependence. We are friends, neighbors, spouses, siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and children who feel daily the stress imposed upon us all by the COVID-19 pandemic. We mourn the loss of loved ones, friends and neighbors and strangers alike due to this health crisis and we are coping with our fear of its continuing threat to life. This health crisis and the impact of racism and other forms of violence and social injustice has separated us from one another in many ways. Some of us feel that we are alone in meeting the challenges of living in our environment of anxiety and fear.
These are very anxious times. However, there is a unity amongst us that we must not forget even as we grieve the loss of loved ones, former ways of living and face the future.
As members of faith communities in Greater New Haven, we, the Greater New Haven Interfaith Coalition wish to affirm that we are a community of mutual care and compassion. During this holiday season, even amid our sorrows and concerns, we express our gratitude for one another and the many gifts of life.
We affirm that there is more that unites us than divides us. We recognize that reaching out to and standing with one another is an important way of creating light at a time when many people are feeling that they are alone in the darkness of our time. We, therefore, encourage members of our greater New Haven community to offer support to your neighbors and to remember those whom we have lost.