Share, email, print, bookmark SOURCE reports.

In January 2023, the Surgeon General of the United States, Vivek Murthy, published Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World. In this book, he describes loneliness as the most severe health problem facing our nation. His book names the serious challenges we face in an increasingly isolating and divided culture; it also lifts up many examples of communities finding creative ways to strengthen connections. He writes: “Loneliness and isolation represent profound threats to our health and well-being. But we have the power to respond.”

Inspired by his words, the Framingham Interfaith Community Association invites the entire community of Framingham to join us in exploring how the epidemic of loneliness affects our own city and how we can draw upon our creativity and caring to address it and create stronger community ties.

The first event in the series will be held Thursday, October 5 at 6 pm at Temple Beth Sholom, 50 Pamela Road. The gathering will be held outdoors, under the Sukkah, a temporary structure built to celebrate the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. A simple but festive meal of soup and bread will frame an introductory conversation about our own experiences of loneliness and the potential for deeper connection.

The second event will be held Thursday, October 19 at 6 pm at Greater Framingham Community Church, 44 Franklin Street. This gathering will begin with discussion by a panel of local leaders who will offer insights from their work supporting older adults, youth, and people living with mental health challenges. They will reflect on the particular ways the challenge of loneliness and the opportunities for connection are experienced in their communities. Their reflections will lead to table conversations.

Both events are free and open to the entire community. Registration is strongly encouraged. Please contact Rev. Dr. Debbie Clark at with any questions.