QC faith leaders call for community unity, civility as nation confronts Omicron variant

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A prescient plea for unity and love posted on the One Human Family QCA Facebook page Nov. 30, 2021.

Retired Davenport Rabbi Henry Karp issued a collective statement Thursday on behalf of the entire Quad Cities faith community, regarding what he called “a deeply disturbing situation” that took place Monday, Jan. 3 at the campus of Genesis West in Davenport.

Then, several people, waiting in a long line for COVID testing, acted out their frustration with displays of anger and even physical violence. “In response to this incident, and with concern that while confronting the Omicron variant, the social fabric of unity and civility in our community may be at risk of fraying, several Quad Cities faith leaders, coming out of a variety of faith traditions, have joined together to issue a ‘Call for Community Unity and Civility’,” Karp (a founder of One Human Family QCA) said.

The signed statement (with the leaders who approved it below) says:

We know how frightening the COVID Omicron variant can be, with its high infection and hospitalization rates.  We also know how frustrating it can be to wait in long lines to receive a COVID test.  We bemoan the fact that home tests and public testing sites are not more readily available in the Quad Cities.  Sadly, these are the realities that Quad Citians need to confront at this time.

We have joined together, out of many faith traditions, to call upon our fellow Quad Citians not to allow the fears and pressures of this time and this pandemic to tear our community apart. Each of our traditions calls upon us to recognize and value the humanity and dignity of all human beings. Our traditions, each in its way, urge us to “love your neighbor as yourself.”  Each calls upon us to treat with gratitude the gifts we receive from caring others, such as our local healthcare professionals who tirelessly work to save us and our loved ones from the ravages of diseases such as COVID.

We wish to echo the words of Dr. Kurt Andersen, the Chief Medical Officer of the Genesis Health System, who said, “We ask the community to please be kind to one another and remember that we have to be in this together as we try to get through the challenges of this pandemic.”

In times of crisis, such as these, it is all the more important that we as a community stand united, working together, helping, and caring for each other. By so doing, we can best bring this crisis to an end.

NAME & TITLE                                                                   FAITH TRADITION

Rabbi Linda Bertenthal                                                         Judaism

Rev. Elaine Caldbeck                                                             Episcopalian

Rev. Joyce Chamberlin                                                          Presbyterian Church USA

Chaplain Larry Conway                                                         Lutheran, ELCA

Rev. Jane Courtright                                                              United Church of Christ

Rev. Becky David                                                                   United Church of Christ

Pastor Stacie Fidlar                                                                Lutheran, ELCA

Rev. Lisa Olsen Gaston                                                          United Church of Christ

Rev. Robert Hamilton                                                            United Church of Christ

Rev. Richard Hendricks                                                         Metropolitan Community Church

Rev. Thomas Hennen                                                             Roman Catholic Church

Cantor Gail Posner Karp                                                        Reform Judaism

Rabbi Henry Jay Karp                                                            Reform Judaism

Rev. Donald Knowles                                                             Lutheran, ELCA

The Most Rev. Dr. Bruce D. LeBlanc, Bishop                      Transformational Catholic Church

Rev. Laura Evans Mahn                                                         Christian (Disciples of Christ)

Imam Qasim Siddiqui Mohammed                                       Islam (MCQC)

Rev. Katherine Mulhern                                                         United Church of Christ

Pastor Peter A. Pettit                                                              Lutheran

Rev. Santina Poor                                                                   United Church of Christ

Pastor Melinda Pupillo                                                           Lutheran, ELCA

Pastor Frank Samuelson                                                         Lutheran, ELCA

Rev. Becky Sherwood                                                            Presbyterian

Rev. Jael Lisa Simpson                                                          Metropolitan Community Church

Rev. Katie Styrt                                                                      Presbyterian Church (USA)

Rev. Kathleen Thomas                                                           Christian (Disciples of Christ)

Deacon Patty Tillman                                                             Lutheran, ELCA

Pastor Daniel Witkowksi                                                       Lutheran, ELCA

Rev. Jay Wolin                                                                       Unitarian Universalist

Bishop Thomas Zinkula                                                         Roman Catholic Church

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