BOZEMAN — Hundreds of new COVID cases for the state of Montana every single day for the last couple of weeks, which is very concerning especially because a couple of months ago we were nowhere near those numbers, so what’s it going to take to change?
“I think it’s going to take more than the health officer and the board of health though. It’s going to take elected leaders of all parties. It’s going to take business leaders from all across the community. It’s going to take faith leaders,” said Gallatin City-County Health Department Officer Matt Kelley.
On Friday, Kelley challenged various leaders to take action in their community to help fight against our drastically increasing numbers.
“This is unprecedented. I’ve never experienced anything like this. So, this is a totally new ball game,” said Bryan Hughes, the senior pastor at Grace Bible Church.
A new ball game, but one this pastor is willing to play in and teach others to participate in.
“Whatever my views personally are on the virus and on the agendas and all that, it really doesn’t matter because scripture is clear. If I say I want to follow the example of Jesus and what the scripture teaches it’s been easy to navigate in that sense because this is what the authorities are asking us to do, so we’ll do it,” Pastor Bryan said.
Even CDC officials recognize the level of influence faith leaders have in their communities.
“I was on a national Zoom call with the head of the CDC and 700 church leaders from across the country. What impressed me is that he was taking the time to talk to faith leaders because he understood that we have a role in community health," said Jody McDevitt, the co-pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Bozeman.
Regardless of your place in the community, faith leaders say this is the time to unify.
“We all have to be thinking about the health of everyone as we take care of ourselves,” Pastor McDevitt said.