Dear Governor Noem,
We, the South Dakota Conference United Church of Christ Board of Directors and Ministerial Staff, write to you with deep care and concern for our neighbors and communities. We ask for your partnership and leadership in helping to promote the health and well-being of all South Dakotans during this ongoing Covid-19 public health crisis. We ask you to use your power and authority as Governor to issue a state-wide mask mandate for all public spaces immediately.
As Christians, the over 8,000 South Dakotan members of our 73 United Church of Christ congregations in the state, are led by the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew’s Gospel, clarifying for us that the greatest commandments for our lives are to love God with our whole being and to love our neighbors as ourselves. All other laws and commandments rest on these two as their foundation. Today, we love our neighbors by wearing face masks.
In this time of Covid-19, the current guidance from medical experts including the CDC and the South Dakota Department of Health, recommends wearing face masks as a mitigation tactic for community spread of the virus. Wearing a mask is an action of care for others, even more than for ourselves. It is the moral thing to do.
Governor Noem, we need your leadership. Please help us to better care for one another.
Please, issue a face mask mandate for our state. It is the right and moral way to lead.
The South Dakota United Church of Christ Board of Directors
Rev. Brigit Stevens, Executive Conference Minister
Rev. Ellis Arnold, Associate Conference Minister
Rev. Darrell Goodwin, Associate Conference Minister
Rev. Samantha Houser, Associate Conference Minister