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Interfaith News

Statement of Unified Leadership at this Unprecedented Time

MULTIFAITH ADVISORY GROUP - Victorian Multicultural Commission 3 April 2020  

"We are all utterly committed to preventing the further spread of COVID 19. We all recognise how crucial are these next days and weeks.

This was the common mind of all members of the  Multifaith Advisory Group, meeting by Skype today.

Of course there are issues and many questions are coming to us all the time.  Our meeting today helped answer some and raised others. That is how it is at this complex time for everyone. 

But  our primary objective , reinforced today, is to ensure our faith communities are helping our whole community prevent the further spread of this virus.  

Many of us have personal and institutional links to places overseas where COVID 19 has caused and is causing great grief and anxiety. Our hearts break with the stories we know and the images of suffering we see. We are mindful that the many layers of Government and Community leadership are having to respond to a fast changing environment.   

Our faith communities  are raising questions about everything from burial guidelines to live-treamed worship in closed places of worship. Many of these are questions we and other leaders have never had to consider! Questions, in fact that we never ever thought we would have to consider in our wonderful State of Victoria! 

We recognise it will take time to answer every question and to integrate the best advice

We recognise our political and community leaders are in an extraordinarily demanding period, responding now to COVID-19 so soon after the devastating  summer bushfires. 

Our prayers and meditations , our community work for the common good will continue in support. That includes the safe provision of food, counselling and just a friendly phone call to folk needing encouragement and company.  While living this life we are now given, which is so different to what we planned for 2020, we want to convey, in this Statement, our unity of purpose .  

As faith communities of  Victoria we will do our best together in this window of opportunity.  

The bonds of friendship and trust we have built up over many years, in our multi- faith Victoria , have been beneficial at other times of crisis.  

We offer now our unified leadership at this unprecedented time."

 

 

A Prayer is offered by Religions for Peace Australia (RfPA).

A PRAYER DURING TIMES OF COVID-19

This prayer has been adapted from a prayer prepared by the United Church of Canada and may have to be adapted for particular faith communities.

 

In this time of Covid-19, we pray:

When we are uncertain, O God of many names, help us be calm;

When information comes from all sides, correct or not, help us to discern;

When fear makes it hard to breathe, and anxiety is the order of the day, slow us down, O Lord;

Help us reach out with our hearts, when we cannot touch with our hands and hugs;

Help us to be socially connected, when we have to be socially distant;

Help us to love as perfectly as we can, knowing that ‘perfect love casts out all fear’.

 

For the doctors, we pray; for the nurses, we pray

For the technicians and janitors and the aides and caregivers, we pray

For the researchers and theorists,

The epidemiologists and investigators,

For those who are sick,

And those who are grieving, we pray

For all who are affected,

All around the world … we pray

For safety,

For health,

For wholeness.

 

May we feed the hungry, may we give drink to the thirsty,

May we clothe the naked and house those without homes;

May we walk with those who feel they are alone,

And may we do all that we can do to heal

The sick … in spite of the epidemic, in spite of the fear

 

Help us, O Divine Being, that we might help each other

 

In the love of the divine Creator,

In the name of the spiritual Healer,

That is in all and with all,

We pray.

 

AMEN, MAY IT BE SO.