The Worship Action Coalition (formerly known as Roundtables) is an effort initiated by GHC3 with a commitment to helping all faiths return safely to their places of worship. The action coalition brings together faith leaders and religious thought leaders to discuss challenges and find real solutions. To that end, we have held several roundtables with prioritized input from leaders whose communities are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes and identifying faith organizations that could be influential in addressing vaccine hesitancy.
While the initial aim of the Worship Action Coalition was to create best practices for worshipping in-person safely, we are now focused on 1) the role of clergy as trusted sources of information on COVID vaccines, and 2) congregations at disproportionate risk for COVID-19 as locations where members and the surrounding community can get vaccinated, and 3) how both clergy and houses of worship can participate effectively in addressing health disparities. Together, we’re learning about the challenges and working to find real solutions.
The input we receive during our roundtables is used to develop comprehensive Back 2 Worship plans. Some of the feedback includes:
“We need information about cost, safety, and efficacy at our fingertips to encourage people to get the vaccine.”
“There should be more information about vaccine ingredients. It would be of concern to the Muslim community if ingredients were porcine deratives.”
“Can we ensure that we will not harm anyone by potential exposure to COVID-19?”
“If we can’t ensure people’s safety, we won’t return until we can.”
Faith leaders observed that precautions such as wearing masks, barring singing, no physical contact (hugging, holding hands) diminishes the value of in-person prayer.
Participants showed interest in more roundtables to “look for more opportunities to work with different faiths” and determine universal, generally applicable solutions.