Faith Leaders Across State Encourage Utahns To Wear Face Coverings

Jun 24, 2020, 4:57 PM | Updated: Jun 25, 2020, 10:36 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In a news conference Wednesday, Governor Gary Herbert quoted a letter from a group of interfaith leaders in Utah. The faith leaders are encouraging Utahns to wear face coverings to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The group of leaders included members of First Baptist Church SLC, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake, Episcopalian Diocese of Utah, and many more.

The statement read:

“Over the last several weeks we have seen alarming increases in COVID-19 infection rates in the state of Utah. The State Epidemiologist has identified the lack of masks and social distancing as key factors responsible for the increase. As faith leaders, many of us have seen the effects of this virus on vulnerable persons in our congregations. COVID-19 has caused so many disruptions in people’s lives including mental, physical and financial stress.

We, the under-signed Faith Community Leaders, appeal to people of faith all over the state to wear masks and practice physical distancing, sacrificing a small measure of comfort for the sake of saving lives. We recall that the greatest commandment is to love God, and the second is like unto it, to love one’s neighbor as oneself. One cannot claim to love one’s neighbor while deliberately putting them at risk.

We pray for the end of this devastating pandemic. However, the reality is that our actions must accompany those prayers.  Please join us in continuing to take action to prevent the further spread of the pandemic by wearing masks in public and maintaining physical distancing.”

It was signed by:

Rev  Curtis Price –  First Baptist Church  SLC

Rev. Monica Dobbins  -First Unitarian Church

Rev. Fred Smullin – Morgan Valley Church

Rev. David Nichols – Mount Tabor Lutheran Church SLC

Elder Randy D. Funk – First Counselor, Utah Area Presidency, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Bishop Oscar Solis – Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake

Bishop Scott Hayashi – Episcopalian Diocese of Utah

Rev. Greg Johnson – Executive Director, Standing Together (100 Evangelical Utah Churches)

Rev. Charles Robinson – St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Park City

Joelle Wight  Seventy – Community of Christ Church

Rev. Russell Butler – Christ United Methodist Church SLC

Rev. Mary Janda – Episcopal Priest (Retired)

Rev. Jerry Hirano – Salt Lake Buddhist Temple

Anna Zumwalt –  Zen Priest

Rev.  Steve Klemz – Zion’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

Rev. Monica Hall – Trinity Presbyterian Church Ogden

Rev. Marijke Rossi – Holladay United Church of Christ

Rev. Tom Goldsmith – First Unitarian Church

Imam Yasir Butt – Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake

Rev. Shesh Tipton – Holladay United Church of Christ

Rabbi Sam Spector – Congregation Kol Ami

Rabbi Benny Zippel – Chabad Lubavitch of Utah

Rabbi Avremi Zippel – Chabad Lubavitch of Utah

Pamela Atkinson- Elder, First Presbyterian Church

Rev. Scott Delgarno – Wasatch Presbyterian Church

Josie Stone – Chair, Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable

Rev. Steve Aeschbacher – First Presbyterian Church

Rev. Trace Browning – All Saints Epistocal Church

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Faith Leaders Across State Encourage Utahns To Wear Face Coverings