Presiding Bishop’s statement on the Coronavirus pandemic


10 March 2020

In this time when we are all affected by the coronavirus, whether directly or indirectly, whether physically, biologically, psychologically, spiritually, and for many economically, it may be helpful to remember that we’re in this together.
Jesus came among us in the first place, to show us the way to be right and reconcile with the God who is the creator of us all, and right and reconciled with each other as children of this one god who has created us all, and therefore as sisters, brothers, and siblings, one of another.
Jesus came to show us how to be in a relationship with God and in relationship with each other, came to show us how to live not simply as collections of individual self-interest, but how to live as the human family of God. That’s why he said love the Lord your God, love your neighbor as yourself. Because in that is hope for all of us to be the human family of God.
I was in Cuba the last few days with Bishop Griselda and the good people of the diocese there as we received and welcomed them as a full part of The Episcopal Church. A while back when she spoke to the last diocesan synod before they became part of The Episcopal Church, she said, and I quote, “The reason we must become part of The Episcopal Church is so that we can be part of a big family.” She spoke by prophecy. We are all part of a big family. Bigger than our biological families, bigger than our immediate families, bigger than our congregations, bigger than our dioceses, bigger than our cities, our states, our nation.
We are part of the human family of God. Jesus came to show us that his way of love is the way of life. It’s God’s human family.
We are in a time when remembering that may be important for all of us.
We are in this together.
What affects some directly affects all indirectly.
We are part of a family. The human family of God.
Just over the weekend the head of the World Health Organization, said this, and I quote, “We have seen this coming for years. Now is the time to act. This is not a drill. This epidemic can be pushed back, but only with collective, coordinated, and comprehensive approach by us all.”
It takes us all. We are family.
And then one of the spokespersons for the European Union, speaking to the member states said this, and I paraphrase: We must share our resources and our information. It is not the possession of any one nation.
In each of those calls, and in the calls of many of our leaders, we have heard again and again, that we are in this together, we can walk through this together, and we will find our way in our life together.
So look out for your neighbors, look out for each other. Look out for yourselves. Listen to those who have knowledge that can help to guide us medically and help to guide us socially. Do everything that we can to do this together, to respond to each other’s needs and to respond to our own needs.
Walk together children, don’t get weary, because there’s a great camp meeting in the promised land.
Allow me to close with this prayer found on the website of Episcopal Relief & Development, where there are resources and where information can be found.
God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you.
This we pray in Christ our Lord. Amen.
God love you. God bless you. May God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.