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