Several dioceses within the Episcopal Church of the United States have begun mandating that all its clergy receive the vaccination for the novel coronavirus, with threats of terminations for noncompliance for pastors and pastrixes who can’t produce a medical exemption.
You’ll recall we wrote a post two months ago titled With a Median Congregational Age of 69, The Episcopal Church is Literally Dying explaining that the average churchgoer is a white senior citizen, and with few younger congregants, their fate is all but sealed.
The Reverend Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is seemingly all-in on the idea, previously writing “Vaccines can help us save lives and make life livable. We can get ours for ourselves, but if not for ourselves, for our children who do not have a vaccine yet.”
Bishop Thomas Brown of Maine has put this into action, explaining why he insisted on it for his priests in a press release :
“The Church’s role in public discourse is to remind us of what it means to do as Jesus teaches: to love our neighbors as much as ourselves. In this case, it means prioritizing the common good and our community’s health…This directive (mandatory clerical vaccines) is grounded in our baptismal covenant in which we promise to seek and serve Christ in all persons, love our neighbor, and respect the dignity of every human being. This is a way for us to put those baptismal promises into real-life action.”
Bishop Lawrence Provenzano of the long Island Diocese, whose churches encompass Brooklyn and New Jersey, has followed suit, likewise explaining “We have an obligation as the Church to do everything in our power to ensure the safety and well-being of the people we are called to serve. Getting vaccinated is a way to express our love of God and our love of neighbor in the midst of this crisis.”
These leaders have until September 15 to be vaccinated, and more dioceses are expected to follow suit.
The Episcopal Church is the 14th biggest denomination in the United States, claiming nearly 1.8 million active members but only 547k attend church on a weekly basis. They are also one of the most progressive, being fully inclusive of LGBTQ rights and abortion, and down the line are basically all two-fold sons of hell.
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