September 03, 2021 | COVID-19 Response | Pastoral Care by First Church
When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, he replied that we were to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and the other, equal one, is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Part of loving ourselves is to take care of our health, which also means we are to care about the wellbeing of all our neighbors. In this persistent and cruel COVID-19 pandemic, God has given each of us the opportunity to do just that! The Director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins called the development of the vaccines the result of “a lot of science” and a “lot of prayer too”.
On August 21, 2021 Madison and Dane County Public Health reported recent data showing that not yet vaccinated people have a 2.3 times higher chance of getting COVID-19. Saying this in another way, the risk of infection is 230% higher for those not fully vaccinated. We, the leadership of FUMC, firmly believe that COVID-19 vaccination is a real-life way we can show our love and care for ourselves and others. For those of you who are not vaccinated, we encourage you to get fully vaccinated. By getting the vaccine we can help protect our entire community, especially children who are not yet eligible for vaccination and members/attendees who are at more risk of a bad outcome if they become infected.
We are trying to make coming to in-person worship as safe and nurturing as possible for everyone. For those of you already attending in-person worship we pray that you consider vaccination as part of your preparation for worship. For those of you planning on future attendance we also pray that vaccination before attending in-person worship is part of those plans. We know that many in our congregation are already vaccinated, as are each of our pastors and staff. We all look forward to seeing you in attendance at FUMC, and hope that you will consider this message our heartfelt request to complete your COVID-19 vaccination if you have not already done so. Blessings to you all.
Sharing God’s love with all of you,
Rev. Dr. Mark A. Fowler Carol Oliver Erin R. Hastey, M.A.
Lead Pastor Lay Leader Council Chair