The Recorder - My Turn: All of us in faith communities need to act responsibly

Published: 11/13/2020 12:33:34 PM Recently, a two-week long Crossroads Community Church retreat in Fitchburg, tightly packed with ch...



Published: 11/13/2020 12:33:34 PM

Recently, a two-week long Crossroads Community Church retreat in Fitchburg, tightly packed with church-goers who were not required to either mask or socially distance, has been linked to more than 150 Covid cases; 18 (12 percent) of which have resulted in admission to hospitals or intensive care units.

Last March, the small church I attend replaced actual worship with virtual services. In June, I was prohibited from attending my 44-year-old nephew’s funeral because only a handful of family members were permitted to attend. Last night, I joined dedicated, front-line Orange Food Pantry staff and volunteers, all masked and distanced, to work out protocols intended to protect ourselves and those we serve from infection as we provide this essential service during the coming winter.

Caring and responsible people make substantial sacrifices and work conscientiously to get it right. Fitchburg town officials need to require all houses of worship to follow the law and adhere to the recommendations of scientific and medical experts.

All of us in faith communities need to act responsibly and with consideration for our congregants and for the wider community, those who may unwittingly and innocently become secondary casualties. Responsible churches teach that God loves us and works through us, but we need to do our part. I am deeply grieved by the suffering of the members of the Crossroads Community Church. God does not guarantee us — or our loved ones who interact with us — immunity when our actions are foolhardy and reckless.

I am concerned that this irresponsible behavior extends beyond Crossroads.

Crossroads might reopen Nov.r 8. How will the safety of the congregation — and those beyond — be assured? Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale says, “They understand the importance of getting a handle on this.”

I hope Crossroads’ leadership has developed the willingness and capacity to “understand.” Many of the mayor’s constituents apparently do understand. They are “concerned about the potential ripple effect.” Those of us who live just west of Fitchburg are concerned about it, too.

Thomas E. Ziniti is a resident of Orange.



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Newsrust: The Recorder - My Turn: All of us in faith communities need to act responsibly
The Recorder - My Turn: All of us in faith communities need to act responsibly
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