Strengthening our work through collective action
Did you catch our Year-end Update in December?
We host a lot of great conversations, but this one was particularly meaningful for me.
I’ve lived in Omaha since 2009. It’s my adopted home. I’ve been doing interfaith work in some form here since 2010. It’s not always easy.
She talked about having watched Tri-Faith from a distance for a while online, but not really getting involved until our Best Practices to Mitigate Risk When Delivering Faith-Based Services event last May. She said that Tri-Faith was her favorite part of 2020 — that it helped her get back into the Omaha community through learning, connecting, and meeting new friends via online events and the Interfaith COVID Task Force.
More importantly, she talked about the history of imbalances between various communities in Omaha, and that clergy from different faith groups have historically had a difficult time communicating, often because they operate so differently. She thanked Tri-Faith for creating a specific space for clergy — for understanding how to communicate with different faith groups, and for effectively gathering diverse clergy to address the ever-changing needs of our city.
When we asked ourselves this spring, “What role do we play during Covid-19?” this is something we hoped to accomplish.
Tri-Faith Initiative was the first in the world to bring together a synagogue, church, mosque, and interfaith center to share land, resources, and energy. Today, we are building on that model of collective action as we invite other congregations to partner with us on larger efforts.
I’m so proud of everything our Interfaith COVID Task Force has accomplished, thanks to caring and dedicated clergy like Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede. These faith leaders stood up for their congregants by urging Governor Ricketts to enact a mask mandate, a request that received more than 200 signatures. The task force also published guidelines for conducting faith-based services in English and Spanish, and a resource assistance pamphlet in English and Spanish as well.
Faith leaders and places of worship play such a critical role in protecting the most vulnerable in our cities. As the Interfaith COVID Task Force continues to grow and respond to the pandemic in Omaha, I feel so proud to work for an organization that so actively responds to its community’s needs. Together, we will continue to coordinate and strengthen our efforts to advance meaningful change — throughout this pandemic and beyond.
Email Tri-Faith Deputy Director Erik Servellon at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved with the Interfaith COVID Task Force convened by Tri-Faith Initiative.
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