Pastors' View: Pandemic makes clear how much our actions affect others


It is especially clear during the COVID-19 pandemic that we are inextricably connected to each other. Because of this, what each of us does unavoidably affects other people, sometimes profoundly. Our behavior now may literally mean life or death for another. It is vital we all do what we can to ensure that we do not cause harm to others but rather that we behave in ways that are as beneficial as possible for the community during this hard time.

The faith tradition we represent accepts these things as foundational facts in the world. \u0009

Freedom is another important principle now used often in discussions about our behavior. Freedom is also a founding tenet of our country. Our faith tradition holds freedom in high regard while at the same time affirming the foundational truth that people are deeply and unavoidably connected. The only true and worthwhile freedom leads us to do what is right for ourselves and, just as much, for each other.

Our connections and freedom now summon us to maintain physical distance, wear face masks that cover our noses and mouths, avoid crowds, and wash our hands thoroughly and often. These are vital practices for everyone in the community. We ask that all of us do them. We also ask that officials who hold the power to do so require these practices. \u0009

Doing them recognizes the relentless fact that the virus takes no notice of our politics, religious beliefs, opinions, wishes, personal inconvenience, or the serious hardships we are going through. It is simply a parasite that may devour us once we are exposed to it. All we can do against it now is mask up, wash our hands, and avoid crowds. Doing these things will limit the number of cases and limit suffering.


Ignoring these practices will only ensure more and longer individual and societal suffering. Please join us in taking good care of one another and of our country. \u0009\u0009\u0009\u0009

Bridget Jones is pastor at Bethel Lutheran Church in Superior, Will Mowchan is pastor at Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Superior, Michelle Rowell is pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church in Superior, Dennis Paulson of Duluth is a retired Lutheran pastor, Carolyn Mowchan is pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Duluth, and Victor St. George is pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Superior.

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