“If the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”—2 Kings 5:13

Naaman, the commander of the armies of Israel under King Aram, had contracted leprosy. He implored the prophet Elisha to heal him. Elisha commanded him to dip seven times in the Jordan River, and he would be healed. Naaman was offended…

In recent days, our church has worked behind the scenes to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine is accessible to as many people as possible. Our Minister of Youth and Recreation—Mary Carol Anderson—collaborated with Pride Link to bring vaccinations to our campus for the LGBTQ community and any populations who have had difficulties accessing the vaccine. Frank Smith, our Minister of Neighborhood Partnership and Christian Fellowship was an encouraging voice for local healthcare to establish a vaccination site in Nicholtown. Our Pastoral Care Team—Kyle Matthews, Kendra Plating, Ryland Brown—and the rest of our staff have offered assistance to church members in registering for and transportation to vaccination appointments.

While we are not allowed to require persons to receive the vaccine, it has been my role to encourage our staff and encourage the congregation to get vaccinated. Our vaccinations contribute to the increased safety of our gathering, the promotion of the general welfare of our community, and the tenacity of our witness in the world. We truly want to love our neighbors as best we can.

Get vaccinated, wear a mask, stay socially distanced, and wash your hands. I’m wondering why so many have balked at such simple measures? If God had asked us to make some great sacrifice to care for our world, we would have done it. Maybe we’re more like Naaman than we think. Please…do these simple things and help heal our world.

—Jim

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