A Message of Hope and a Call to Persevere


We are facing a moment unlike any we have faced in modern times. In response people across Rhode Island have shown courage, strength and compassion to each other and to our neighbors. We are still in the midst of this crisis, and sadly the end is not yet in sight. Yet because of the decisions being made by state leaders, along with the heroism of medical professionals, emergency response teams and workers in critical industries, we see a real and certain hope that our state will emerge stronger and more committed to the collective wellbeing of all Rhode Islanders.

Many have already done so much for those in need. Thank you to everyone. 

Some of you have put your lives in danger to care for us. Please know that we are grateful beyond our ability to express. 

Others of you are taking your roles as active, at-home supporters as well.  It is not easy for some of us to be still, but here you are doing so for the safety of us all.  Your contribution of solidarity, at home IS making a difference.

We ask all Rhode Islanders to join with those who are vulnerable, those who are ill and those who are grieving. May our compassion be our greatest common witness. As we navigate our way through this crisis it is our focus on the common good that will be our most noted proclamation.  Our actions will save our neighbor’s and our loved one’s lives. They will save the lives of the poor and the marginalized among us.

This month our faith communities celebrate our Holy Days in unanticipated ways. We hear again the memory of those who have gone before us and survived the challenges of their day. Our conviction is that Divine Providence does act in history, there will be a renewal, a restoration, and life will ultimately triumph over chaos and death.

Rev. James Hazelwood
Bishop, New England Synod, ELCA Lutheran

Mufti Ikram ul Haq
Imam of Masjid Al-Islam,North Smithfield RI

The Right Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely
Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island

Rabbi Sarah E. Mack
President, Board of Rabbis of Greater Rhode Island

Rev. Chontell Nelson Washington
Interim Executive Minister, Rhode Island State Council of Churches

Rev. Dr. Tom Wiles
Executive Minister, The American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...