Pastor’s Column in Trinity’s June 2021 Epistle
Dear Friends in Christ,
I received my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in February (I was eligible because I help distribute food through The Traveling Table, a partner of our garden). I felt relieved and grateful and humbled. My chances of hospitalization due to COVID were drastically decreased and I felt just slightly freer. As I write this, I am preparing to get on a plane and meet my mom in California. I cannot wait to give her a big hug.
How receiving the vaccine would impact my relatively healthy 44-year-old body was not my only reason for getting vaccinated. It was important to do as a community member. This is always how vaccines work. When enough people are vaccinated against a certain disease, the virus cannot travel as easily, and the entire community is protected. That means even people who cannot get vaccinated, for various medical reasons, will have some protection from getting sick.
I will readily admit that prioritizing the common good is quite rare these days. It is also true that each one of us must decide what is best for our own health and bodies. And yet, the truth is that we need each other right now. I need you and you need me to what is best for all of us. Our individual futures depend heavily on how we love one another.
From the beginning, our leadership has been guided by the biblical concept of neighbor love, and that is true still today. Jesus, when asked about the greatest commandment, said it was “to love the Lord your God with all your heart.” Then he added, “And love your neighbor as yourself.” Sometimes the neighbor is our actual next-door neighbor. Often, according to Jesus, it is the stranger, maybe someone who is quite different. Neighbor love is rarely easy. But we love our neighbor because it gives life and joy. The goal is abundant life for everyone, a reflection of God’s love for the world.
Inside this Epistle, you will read the stories of a few other Trinity members who are loving their neighbor by helping others get vaccinated. Each of us brings a unique perspective. I hope you will see in their words and actions the presence of Christ as I do.
The Holy Spirit, who the church celebrated on Pentecost, is with us, loving and guiding us to a better future. Together.