Faith Leaders Across the State Encourage Utahns to Wear Face Coverings

SALT LAKE CITY (June 24, 2020) – Today Gov. Gary R. Herbert joined faith leaders across the state to urge all Utahns to use face coverings to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  

Interfaith leaders have issued the following statement: 

“Over the last several weeks we have seen alarming increases in COVID-19 infection rates in the state of Utah. The State Epidemiologist has identified the lack of masks and social distancing as key factors responsible for the increase. As faith leaders, many of us have seen the effects of this virus on vulnerable persons in our congregations. COVID-19 has caused so many disruptions in people’s lives including mental, physical and financial stress. 

We, the under-signed Faith Community Leaders, appeal to people of faith all over the state to wear masks and practice physical distancing, sacrificing a small measure of comfort for the sake of saving lives. We recall that the greatest commandment is to love God, and the second is like unto it, to love one’s neighbor as oneself. One cannot claim to love one’s neighbor while deliberately putting them at risk.

We pray for the end of this devastating pandemic. However, the reality is that our actions must accompany those prayers.  Please join us in continuing to take action to prevent the further spread of the pandemic by wearing masks in public and maintaining physical distancing.” 

Faith leaders who support are as follows:
Rev  Curtis Price – First Baptist Church, SLC
Rev. Monica Dobbins – First Unitarian Church
Rev. Fred Smullin – Morgan Valley Church
Rev. David Nichols – Mount Tabor Lutheran Church, SLC
Elder Randy D. Funk – First Counselor, Utah Area Presidency, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Bishop Oscar Solis – Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake
Bishop Scott Hayashi – Episcopalian Diocese of Utah
Rev. Greg Johnson- Executive Director, Standing Together (100 Evangelical Utah Churches)
Rev. Charles Robinson – St. Luke’s Episcopal Church Park City
Joelle Wight – Seventy, Community of Christ Church
Rev. Russell Butler – Christ United Methodist Church SLC
Rev. Mary Janda – Episcopal Priest (Retired)
Rev. Jerry Hirano -Salt Lake Buddhist Temple
Anna Zumwalt –  Zen Priest
Rev.  Steve Klemz – Zion’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
Rev. Monica Hall – Trinity Presbyterian Church Ogden
Rev. Marijke Rossi – Holladay United Church of Christ
Rev. Tom Goldsmith – First Unitarian Church
Imam Yasir Butt Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake
Rev. Shesh Tipton- Holladay United Church of Christ
Rabbi Sam Spector – Congregation Kol Ami
Rabbi Benny Zippel – Chabad Lubavitch of Utah
Rabbi Avremi Zippel – Chabad Lubavitch of Utah
Pamela Atkinson – Elder, First Presbyterian Church
Rev. Scott Delgarno – Wasatch Presbyterian Church
Josie Stone – Chair, Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable
Rev. Steve Aeschbacher – First Presbyterian Church
Rev. Trace Browning – All Saints Episcopal Church