WHILE HEROIC HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS are on the front lines, putting themselves at risk as they care for patients being ravaged by the novel coronavirus, faith leaders and their congregations are playing an indispensable role providing spiritual healing and comfort, while also helping to care for the physical needs of many.
The cruel irony of the COVID-19 pandemic is that the need to maintain community and hold each other close is colliding with the imperative that we stay apart from one another physically. Pastor Day McCallister of First Church Somerville and Rabbi Wes Gardenswartz of Temple Emanuel in Newton offer vivid testimony on this week’s Codcast to all the ways that faith communities are overcoming that barrier.
Gardenswartz said the temple’s daily prayer service usually drew 15 to 20 people to the synagogue. “Now that we’re streaming it online, we get more than 200 people following it,” he says. “The ironic impact is that more people are connected spiritually in this age of physical distancing than were connected spiritually before because it fulfills human needs for meaning and purpose, especially at a hard time.”