Resources and Reflections for Religious Leaders

As we weather the coronavirus crisis together, the ICJS is committed to collecting interreligious resources to help religious communities and leaders think creatively and to have space to reflect on the choices they are making to adapt to these singular times. Please check back here for regular updates and new posts.

May 28, 2020
Symbols of jewish holiday Shavuot Torah and wheat field

Thoughts on Torah

By Melissa Zieve *This speech was presented at the Bolton Street Synagogue celebration for Shavuot in 2019. When Andy asked me to be one of the ten people to share […]
May 22, 2020
Rev Dr Al Hathaway

Serving in a Valley

“We’re all in this together” is a phrase thrown around a lot lately. While COVID-19 has affected us all, it has not affected us all equally. This pandemic has revealed and increased disparities that have long been present in Baltimore. The Rev. Dr. Alvin C. Hathaway, Sr.—a native Baltimorean and Pastor of Union Baptist Church (UBC)—joined ICJS’ weekly Congregational Leaders’ call on May 21 to discuss how to advocate for and serve those communities hit hardest amidst this pandemic. 
May 19, 2020
Reverend Vinny Marchionni, SJ

Mourning Lost Opportunities

Over the last two months, religious leaders have worked tirelessly to convert their congregational life to online platforms. Social distancing mandates and digital services have fundamentally transformed the religious practices that many hold dear. As this new normal becomes more familiar, we also need time to reflect on how we are processing this new congregational life. It is vital that we take time to acknowledge the toll these changes have taken on leaders and mourn what we’ve lost amidst this pandemic. To that end, the Reverend Vinny Marchionni, SJ, of the Maryland Province Jesuits, joined ICJS Congregational Leaders’ call on May 14 to reflect on his own experience of ministerial loss. 
May 12, 2020
Cantor Ben Ellerin

Adapting Sacred Music from Home

Yassine Daoud, ophthalmologist and lay leader / preacher in various Baltimore area- Muslim communities, discusses with other congregational leaders how his preaching and thinking about theology differs from "normal" times, the particular difference in this season of Ramadan, and how his medical and theological identities intersect.
May 6, 2020
Yassine Daoud zoom capture

Thinking about theology and preaching in the midst of a pandemic

Yassine Daoud, ophthalmologist and lay leader / preacher in various Baltimore area- Muslim communities, discusses with other congregational leaders how his preaching and thinking about theology differs from "normal" times, the particular difference in this season of Ramadan, and how his medical and theological identities intersect.
April 27, 2020
The Rev Jim Hamilton and Rabbi Ariana Katz

Building Better Support Networks In and Around Congregations

All congregations and religious communities are made of relational networks of care and concern, but the present pandemic has caused many of those fibers of connection to fray. The April […]
April 20, 2020
Rabbi Charles Arian

Social Distancing and Officiating Funerals: Pitfalls and Promising Practices

April 17, 2020 Speaking to fellow religious leaders from various traditions on ICJS’ weekly “Congregational Creativity in a Time of Crisis” zoom meeting, Rabbi Charles Arian of Kehilat Shalom in […]
April 5, 2020

Practicing Rituals in the Time of Covid-19

Beeswax pillar candles set on a kitchen counter. A handmade ceramic pitcher made by her father when he was in high school. These simple items from Rev. Michele Ward’s kitchen serve to locate her weekly ritual when she pours water into a “baptismal font” (aka a small mixing bowl) to offer the “assurance of grace” to her congregants at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church who are watching on Zoom.
March 27, 2020

Congregational Creativity in a Time of Crisis

In this time of Covid-19, religious leaders have been using their creativity and energy to find new ways to connect with their congregations for worship, study, and care.
April 28, 2019

April 2019: White Supremacy Threatens Interfaith Community

January 28, 2019

Sacred Rules For Peaceful Dialogue

October 20, 2018

October 2018: Statement on the Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting