Please, we pray, wear your masks.

We write not as politicians or public health officials, but rather leaders of spiritual and religious communities. As we’ve entered the green phase of our COVID-19 lives and begin to slowly creep out from our quarantines, reopen our houses of worship, schools, and places of business, we notice that many in our community are choosing not to wear masks (and a small few respond with vitriol to the request to do so.)

We wear our masks to protect you. We wear our masks to support the immunocompromised and vulnerable in our midst. We wear our masks to protect the beloved members of our congregations and our families as we work with them. We wear our masks out of love for our grocery store workers, chefs, servers, and small-business owners who are trying to reopen and whose businesses may very well close for good if they have to endure another prolonged shut down. We wear our masks for all those helping us live our best lives during these strange and disrupted times.

Evidence is increasingly suggesting that masks are a very effective tool for stopping the spread of COVID-19. Though they are an inconvenience, they are not dangerous. This is not a political ploy, nor assent to unfair laws: it is a simple and powerful act of compassion. When you see us, masked on the street or in our businesses, also see the love and compassion we have for you. We ask, prayerfully, that you join us in expressing love and compassion for all.

Sonia Ammar, Sunbury Islamic Center

The Rev. DiAnn Baxley, United Church of Christ

Bishop Barbara J. Collins, Upper Susquehanna Synod, ELCA

The Rev. Jane Compton

The Rev. David Dearing, Chaplain, Riverwoods Senior Living Community

Rev. Sally Dries, United Church of Christ Pastor, Sunbury

Pastor Rich Fangmann, Zion Lutheran Church, Sunbury

Rev. Trevor J. Hahn, Trinity Lutheran Church (ELCA) -Danville, PA

The Rev. Jillian Hankamer, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Lewisburg

The Rev. William S. Henderson, Pastor, Christ’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lewisburg Pastor

Timothy Hogan-Palazzo, Saint Paul’s United Church of Christ, West Milton

The Rev. James E. Johnson, Lewisburg

The Rev. Ann Keeler Evans, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Susquehanna Valley

Chaplain Scott Kershner, Susquehanna University

The Rev. Ryan C. Kraus, Pastor, 1st Presbyterian Church of Lewisburg

The Rev. Lisa Kubilus Kraus, Pastor, 1st Presbyterian Church of Sunbury

The Rev. Justin Lingenfelter, Pastor, United In Christ Lutheran Church, West Milton

Joseph Lingenfelter, United Church of Christ

Rabbi Nina H. Mandel, Congregation Beth El, Sunbury

The Rev. Craig A. Miller, Assistant to the Bishop, Upper Susquehanna Synod, ELCA

The Rev. Kurt Nelson, Chaplain, Bucknell University, Lewisburg

Pastor Gary Nottis, St. Luke’s UCC, Lock Haven

The Rev. Dr. Dietmar Plajer, St. Paul’s UCC, Selinsgrove

The Rev. Alice Rauch, St. John’s UCC, Lewisburg

Morgan Richard, LMFT, Owner of Rooted Relational Therapy, Mifflinburg

Doug Richard, MAMFT, Owner of Rooted Relational Therapy, Mifflinburg

The Rev. Mary Schmotzer, Shiloh United Church of Christ, Danville

The Rev. Doug Schader Pastor, Paradise UCC, Milton and Trinity UCC, Turbotville

The Rev. Dr. Robert S. Stoudt

The Rev. Brad Walmer, New Covenant UCC, Williamsport PA

The Rev. Sarah L Weedon, Rector, St Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Lewisburg

The Rev. Daniel Wilt, Pastor, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church of Lewisburg

The Rev. Curtis H. E. Zemencik, pastor of Stone Valley Parish, Pillow & Dalmatia The Rev. Ann Zimmerman, retired ELCA

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