100 Faith Leaders Tell Governor To Not Rush To Open N.J.

Governor Phil Murphy,

Thank you for the amazing leadership you have demonstrated during the COVID-19 crisis in New Jersey. In all of your press conferences, you have shown great courage, provided us with clear information, and helped give us a glimpse of hope that New Jersey will rise as a powerful state. Thank you for celebrating our essential workers, highlighting people sacrificing to support our vulnerable populations, and for all the recognition of those who have lost their precious lives.

We also have a hard job to do during this challenging movement. We have taken the bold steps to keep our congregations closed to save the lives of the people we love. We are willing to continue to make sacrifices to keep our staff on payroll, provide for families with the right spiritual guidance, and continue to support our communities even if all our congregations are not in the best financial state. We are called by God to work and care for all God’s people and ensure their safety.

In the next few weeks, you will face a lot of pressure to open back up our state and return to business as usual. The demands will come from the President of the United States, the business community, and people who have yet to recognize the COVID-19 virus as a highly contagious killer. We want to encourage you not to rush to open our state. We want you to make the best decision in the interest of all of the people. As you make your decision, please take into consideration the vulnerable seniors, our innocent children, the Black and Latinx community and, the hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans with pre-existing conditions. We encourage you to resist political expediency and make the best decision, rooted in the people’s interest.

We stand with you during these tragic times, and we implore you not to rush to open our state. Please make the best possible decision to protect lives, ensure residents have vote-by-mail ballots, and New Jersey families are kept safe. If you do this, history will forever remember your leadership in the State of New Jersey.

In the Spirit of Safety,

Minister Archange Antoine, NJ Clergy Coalition for Justice

Charlene Walker, Faith in New Jersey

Rev. David Ford, Sr., St. Matthew Baptist Church

Imam Saffet Catovic, Islamic Society of Central Jersey

Pastor Anna Gheen, Princeton Theological Seminary

Emma Worrall, Princeton Theological Seminary

Katie Rosenson, Princeton Theological Seminary

Rev. Crystal White, New Hope Baptist Church Metuchen

Rabbi Larry Sernovitz, Nafshenu

Pastor Reverend JerQuentin Sutton, Lebanon Baptist Church

Seminarian Tamesha Mills, Princeton Theological Seminary

Counselor Rose Lugtu St. Aedan Church, Jersey City

Seminarian Andrea Johnson, Princeton Theological Seminary

Rev. Howard Bryant, Union  Presbyterian Church

Vicar Erich Kussman, Saint Bartholomew Lutheran Church

Shalom Stewart, Princeton Theological Seminary

Rev. John Berry, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

Pastor Dale Selover, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Vicar Chavaleh Forgey, Christ Lutheran Visalia

Seminarian Harlan Redmond, Princeton Seminary

Rev Carmine Pernini Zion, Lutheran Church, Rahway

Mrs. Nancy Waltermire, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Pastor Chelsea Miller, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Seminarian Nii Addo Abrahams, Princeton Theological Seminary

Rev. Girard Walmsley, Hope Memorial Baptist church

Pastor Serena Rice, Abiding Peace Lutheran Church

Victoria Chow Prince, Peace Lutheran Church

Seminarian Kamaria Byrd, Princeton Theological Seminary

Rev. John Francis Maher, Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church

Elder Claudia Heffner, Fanwood Presbyterian Church

Rev. Al Curley, Princeton Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Miles Hopgood, Abiding Presence Lutheran Church

Pastor Fred Sharp, Concord Missionary Baptist Church

Seminarian Bobbie Person, Princeton Theological Seminary

Pastor Tracey Brown, Ruth Fellowship Ministries

Rev. Ronald E. Verblaauw, Rutherford Congregational Church

Seminarian Lauren Hoak, Princeton Theological Seminary

Pastor Barry Wise, Greater Mount Moriah Baptist Church

Rabbi Jennifer Schlosberg, Glen Rock Jewish Center

Minister Leugenia Edwers, Abundant Life

Rev. Annie Allen, Ramapough Lenape Nation

Rev. Dr. Joel Daniel Hubbard III, Park United Methodist Church

Pastor Anthony Mitchell, Union Chapel AME Church

Rev. Karen G Johnston, The Unitarian Society

Rabbi Elliott Tepperman, Bnai Keshet

Seminarian Neal Spadafora, Princeton Theological Seminary

Rabbi David Greenstein, Congregation Shomrei Emunah

Rev. Rebecca Truland, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Carol Whaselsky, St. John Paul II Parish

Pastor Paul Miller, Church of the Savior

Imam Sh. Said Elkasabi, Islamic Center of Union County

Rev. Marques-AquilLewis, New Ephesus Baptist Church

Rev. Fain Webb, The Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Mary

Rev. Dr. Derrick Dumas Moderator – Middlesex Central Baptist Association/First Baptist Church

Rabbi Ilana Schwartzman, Beth Haverim Shir Shalom

Seminarian Wing Yin Li, Princeton Theological Seminary

Rev. Claudette J.Jones, Union Baptist Church

Rabbi Joel N. Abraham, Temple Sholom

Rev. Andrew Smith Grace, United Presbyterian Church

Pastor Edmundo Lopez, Church of God

Pastor Chris Parker, Clift of the Rock Ministries

Imam Nizam Zaman, Muslim Center of Middlesex County

Rev. Heyward Wiggins, Camden Bible Tabernacle

Rev. Dr. Sammy Arroyo, First United Methodist Church of Hightstown

Sister Veronica Roche, Sisters of St. Joseph

Pastor Joseph Hambrick, Sharptown UMC Church

Pastor Ronald Thompson Townley, Presbyterian Church

Rabbi Andy Green, Congregation Beth El, Voorhees NJ

Adeeb Jaaber, Masjid Darul Islam

Rev. Michael Poole, First Lutheran of Montclair

Pastor Shelley Smith, Ferry Avenue United Methodist Church

Rev. Robert Morris, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

Pastor Christa Compton Gloria, Dei Lutheran Church

Rev. Trisha Thorme, Holy Apostles’ Episcopal Church

Pastor Jane McCready, Faith Lutheran Church

Pastor Moacir Weirich, St. Stephan’s Grace Community

Imam Mustafa El-Amin, Masjid Ibrahim

Rev. Ronald Thomas, Fountain Baptist Church

Pastor Mary Forell-Davis, Good Shepherd Lutheran in Weehawken

Rabbi Renee Edelman, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

Deacon Susan Gerrard, Nativity Lutheran Church

Rev. Kathryn S. Irwin, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Nutley

Pastor Jean Maurice, Temple Of Unified Christians Brick Church

Seminarian Yujin Chu, Princeton Theological Seminary

Pastor Alexander C. Bright, Disciples for Christ Church of God

Rev. Preston Thompson, Ebenezer Baptist Church

Rev. Timothy Adkins-Jones, Bethany Baptist Church – Newark

Rev. Aleyah Lacey, Mount Teman African Methodist Episcopal Church

Pastor Derrick Etienne, Latter Glory Church

Rev. Rob Gregson, Unitarian Universalist Faith Action NJ

Bishop Fred Rubin, Community Refuge Church of Christ

Rev. Sharae Ford, St. Matthew Baptist Church

Seminarian Wes Ifan, New Brunswick Theological Seminary

Deacon Todd S. Hawkins, New Hope Memorial Baptist Church

Rev. Ann Marie Alderman, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills

Rev. Vernon Williams, Fountain Baptist Church

Pastor Jerry Sanders, Fountain Baptist Church

Rabbi Ariann Weitzman, Bnai Keshet Reconstructionist Synagogue

Rev. Maristela Freiberg New Jersey Synod/St. Stephan’s Grace Community

Seminarian Olivia Sandel, Princeton Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Ronald Owens, New Hope Baptist Church

New Jersey Clergy Coalition for Justice is focused on policy issues that bring social, economic and political justice to oppressed and disenfranchised groups of people. We help organize and build coalitions of faith leaders and community leaders to advocate for Justice in New Jersey.

Faith in New Jersey is a multi-faith and multi-racial network of faith leaders and faith communities working together to advance an immigration, racial, economic and social justice agenda at the local, state and federal level.

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One response to “100 Faith Leaders Tell Governor To Not Rush To Open N.J.”

  1. I see the Catholics are absent from the list. I get constant reminders from the Diocese and my parish about signing up for electronic contributions. I wonder if there is a connection?

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