ILLINOIS CHRISTIAN LEADERS ADVOCATE CARE FOR HUMAN LIFE

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information: The Reverend Walter Carlson, [carlson.walter@gmail.com]

ILLINOIS CHRISTIAN LEADERS ADVOCATE CARE FOR HUMAN LIFE. May 5, 2020

The Leadership Team of the Illinois Conference of Churches (ICC) believes sheltering-in-place guidelines save lives during the Covid-19 pandemic. We support careful, evidence-based steps to re-open the economy.

We believe that the health and safety of our wider community rises above individual autonomy in this unprecedented global emergency.

Limiting public excursions for anything but essential purposes and exercise and the wearing of masks in public while practicing social distancing are practical ways of showing respect for the communities where we live and serve.

But we don’t like it.

Those we love and serve are hurting.

We grieve the myriad losses our communities are experiencing, not the least of which is the loss of life. Even in the midst of this crisis, more have died in this country from the coronavirus than in the Vietnam War. Business owners, closed now for weeks, wonder how long and if they can hold on. Teachers and parents are struggling with teaching from home. Our front-line workers have held the line steadily with grace and courage. While some families are enjoying down time and togetherness, economic and social stresses are tearing others apart. Our state must rely on science-based directives so that we will properly protect the people who live here.

While the CARES Act, unemployment benefits, and other programs are helping some, many people fall through the cracks. Small businesses, the homeless, the seriously disabled are struggling. There is evidence that the fault lines of race and economic disparity that have always divided our communities may widen. The pandemic has caused many problems for Black and Brown people because of employment as essential workers. Many are not eligible for the stimulus money or unemployment. Health care is not an option for part time workers while pre-existing medical conditions plague Hispanics and African Americans.

While we do not know what science will indicate about coming back together for worship, movies, concerts, and even haircuts, we are hopeful that human kindness, not to mention the grace of God, will flourish just as wildly as springtime is blooming across our state.

We are in prayer for our beloved state and her people, particularly mindful of those whose lives and livelihoods are most endangered.

The Leadership Team of the
Illinois Conference of Churches, representing
approximately seven million Illinois
Christians in 13 denominations.