Midweek Update 3.10.21: Thoughts on Getting the Vaccine and More…

Will I Get the Vaccine?

Recently, I’ve had a couple of people ask me about what my thoughts are on the vaccine and if I will get it. Now I know many of you have already received the vaccine, and I also know some of you may not care at all what a/your pastor thinks on the subject. So take it or leave it, but I thought it might be worth sharing just some of my thoughts regarding the vaccine in case someone finds it helpful.

My mentality, since the pandemic really ramped up a year ago, has been two-fold:

  1. I’m going to do what I can to make sure I don’t unnecessarily contract the disease or spread it to anyone else. And…
  2. I’m going to do whatever I can as far as it comes to me, to help us get done with COVID as soon as possible.

That means I will endure the slight discomfort of wearing a mask if it means I or someone else don’t have to be placed on a ventilator. It also means when a new tool, specifically a vaccine, comes along that can help protect others and myself, and also bring an end to this pandemic as soon as possible, I’m going to get it as soon as I’m eligible.

I trust science–real, verified, peer-reviewed science and research that is. I know over time, an unnecessary rift has developed between science and Christianity. But I believe we shouldn’t view science as the enemy of faith. If I’m sick, I pray to God and ask for healing, but I also go to my doctor, whom God has gifted with knowledge and skills, to see if there is medication or treatment that I need. I believe God is God even over science and that it is God who gave human beings the cognitive ability to discern how the world works, even how things like viruses work, and how best to protect ourselves against them.

Yes, recommendations regarding masks and other preventative measures changed in the early stages of the pandemic. But that’s how science works, it seeks to better know and understand how life works, and as it gains more information, recommendations change. I recently saw someone (not from our church) post on social media a meme I think they meant to be half funny, but half serious. It said, “I trust Dr. Seuss more than I trust Dr. Faucci”. In my opinion, statements like this are ridiculous, unnecessary, and unhelpful.

I don’t believe scientists, epidemiologists, or virologists, are out to sabotage society, wreck the economy, or take away my rights. They are doing their job. And while I can do some educational research and read articles (that are verified sources and peer-reviewed by others in the scientific community), ultimately my knowledge is so limited in these matters compared to theirs.

So yes, because of all these reasons, as soon as I am eligible to receive the vaccine, I will be signing up to do so.

Now I know that there are other concerns that I don’t have to deal with that you may be considering. For example, I am not pregnant (shocker I know 🙂 ), nor have I had adverse or allergic reactions to vaccines or shots in the past. In these cases, it is absolutely best to consult your doctor about whether or not you should get vaccinated at this point.

I also know there are also cultural sensitivities within different cultural and ethnic communities that I have not been affected by, nor am I qualified to speak to. But others from within those communities have and are speaking to these matters.

So, there you have it, my honest thoughts about the vaccine. Take it or leave it. If you’d like to talk further about it, I’m happy to have a conversation :).

Blessings on the rest of your week,

Pastor Andy

Time Change–Spring Forward!

This time of the year is wonderful! We start to get some good weather days that remind us that Spring isn’t too far away, and the days start getting longer!

Just a friendly reminder, this Saturday night, we spring forward. So if you don’t want to miss church this coming Sunday, make sure to set your clocks one hour ahead on Saturday, March 13 :).

In-Person Children’s Ministry Resumes THIS Sunday!

Our children’s ministry, ages 4-5th grade, is going to resume in person on the second and fourth Sundays of the month beginning THIS SUNDAY, March 14th. We know that this is a meaningful time for our children to connect and grow, and we are so excited to be able to resume in person children’s church in person.

We are doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for everyone, including our children and their teachers. So, all children, like adults, will be expected to wear masks and social distance while attending. We have also moved our children into a larger gathering space for Children’s Church. We will dismiss children from the service to go to children’s church after the music portion of our worship service (before the message). Up until that point, children will be with the parents or grandparents.

We ask parents/grandparents/guardians and children who answer “yes” to any of the following questions or have any of the following symptoms, to attend church functions virtually and consult their doctor:

  1. “Are you feeling sick today?”
  2. “In the past 14 days, have you (Child or student) been exposed to anyone who is currently COVID-19 positive?” Close-Contact (Exposure – per CDC) = “S​omeone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, two days before test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated”.5
  3. “In the past 14 days, have you been tested positive for COVID-19?”
  4. “Do you have any of the following symptoms?”
  • Cough
  • Fever (100.4 F)
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste and smell