All posts tagged: COVID-19

What will church look like as we return to the buildings?

Current Affairs / Rhode Island / Weblogs

My colleague (and friend) Jim Hazelwood, the Lutheran bishop of New England, posted a letter about the first steps in the COVID-19 recovery process. He’s been a key conversation partner with the Episcopal bishops in New England and what he shares here both represents a large part of my thinking and includes some helpful suggestions I hadn’t thought of. He writes particularly of the immediate stages of returning to the buildings as the state governments […]

NYT: Coronavirus Antibody Tests: Can You Trust the Results?

Current Affairs / Science

Before we can re-open things and start the recovery phase of this pandemic, we need to know if people have had COVID-19 and recovered, or if they are still susceptible. I’ve seen speculation about issuing people who’ve recovered some sort of digital certificate of immunity. Possessing the certificate would allow the bearer to enter buildings, return to work, go to church, etc. But there’s a problem. Apparently there are a number of inadequate tests being […]

Rhode Island COVID-19 and the Tuesday jump

Current Affairs / Rhode Island / Science

Yesterday Rhode Island reported its highest number of new positive tests for coronavirus so far. But is this a cause for worry that things are unexpectedly going sideways, or is it something else? “Dr. Drang”, an engineer and data expert, has noticed a consistent bump in the national numbers every Tuesday for almost a month now: The Tuesday jump – All this: These plots are for the daily figures, and you can see by the […]

Song of Plagues – wisdom for us in a time of pandemic

Current Affairs / Religion

Is there wisdom in scripture for us in the midst of a pandemic? The library of books that we call “the Bible” is filled with literature written in all sorts of contexts over thousands of years. For the Bible’s “song book”, the Psalms, that’s especially true as they were written as laments or praise, supplication or complaints, depending on the experience of Hebrew people at the time they were composed. A moment like we’re experiencing […]

Masks: Individual vs Collective Responsibility

Current Affairs / Rhode Island

I saw a comment online yesterday that helped me to better understand the resistance to wearing masks in public in the midst of this present pandemic. (Such reluctance isn’t unique to this moment – there was an anti-mask league in San Francisco in the 1918 pandemic that led to an unnecessary increase in infection and death in the city back then.) The point of the mask, as I’m sure you’ve heard, is that my mask […]

We’re Testing the Wrong People – The Atlantic

Current Affairs / SOSc

What do we need to do before we can safely reopen the economy? Here in Rhode Island we’re apparently the only state with testing capacity that is at the recommended levels for making that move. But are we using the capacity we have in the best way so as to inform our decision making? A essay by the vice provost of U of Penn (who’s an oncologist/bioethicist) and by an economist from NYU argues that […]

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, […]

“Fasting in Earnest”, an insight from Lucas Mix


My friend Lucas Mix, one of my companions in the Society of Ordained Scientist has put our present quarantine into context in a way I’ve been trying to express, but to this point failing. He writes: Many “shelter in place” for fear of sickness and death. Christians have another reason. We will enter quarantine, trusting in God, but we must not leave quarantine. Currently, we cannot care for the sick without spreading the virus. When […]

The Wisdom of the Great Depression Elders

Current Affairs / Religion

Jesus, our Savior, be known to us in the community in which we live. Help us to trust that our true wealth is found in our relationship to you and to each other. Give us today the bread we need. Help us to trust that tomorrow will have enough for us. Calm our hearts so that we might be your people in a world that needs peace and a blessing. We ask this in your sacred and saving name. Amen.