What It's Like To Be A Faith Leader Amid The Stress Of The Pandemic | Connecticut Public Radio
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What It's Like To Be A Faith Leader Amid The Stress Of The Pandemic

Dec 24, 2020

Faith can play an important role in times of uncertainty - offering comfort and hope.  Since COVID-19 hit Connecticut, many churches, synagogues and mosques have closed across the state.  Faith leaders have moved worship online - and found new ways to bring people together.

It has not been easy.  Leaders across religious traditions are under tremendous pressure guiding their congregations through grief and trauma - while helping their communities build resilience.

In a conversation recorded earlier this month, guest host Diane Orson talks with a pastor, a rabbi and an imam who have walked into a pandemic - and it is not a joke.   They speak about what it has been like for clergy, where they turn when they’re feeling stressed, and whether their own faith has wavered.

GUESTS:

  • Rabbi Stacy Offner - Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison, CT
  • Reverend Dr. Frederick (Jerry) Streets - former Chaplain of Yale University, Senior Pastor of Dixwell Congregational Church in New Haven, CT, and member of faculty at Yale Divinity School.
  • Imam Refai Arefin - Islamic Association of Greater Hartford (also known as the Berlin Mosque) in Berlin, CT

Again
by Rev. Dr. Frederick J. Streets

We will laugh again, without caution.
We will smile again, without constraint.
We will embrace again, without defense.
We will speak again, without muted sounds.

We will, again, side by side, look at the stars.
Again, we will gather in places and spaces unsoiled by our anxiety and fear.
We will freely breathe deeply, again.
We will dance again with our cheeks close enough to hear our whispering to one another.
We will mourn again, openly.

We will greet each other again closely, without suspicion.
Children will hug us again.
And we will hug children, again.
We will invite solitude, again.

We will imagine again without desperation.
We will again feel the joy that hope brings.

We will play together again.
We will sing together again.
We will cheer together again.
We will pray together again.
We will feel each other’s hands and arms,
Again, tomorrow.

Tomorrow, again

Cat Pastor contributed to this show.