Faith, hope and love: How preventing COVID-19 with science-based practices affirms our beliefs
Running a weekly COVID-19 vaccine site at my church is a lot of work. It takes a village of staff and volunteers, and I'm incredibly grateful for ours. Kim and Patti lead the health care provider teams of nurses, pharmacists and administrators who make the clinic possible. Cathy coordinates our medical volunteers, including doctors, nurses and physician assistants who administer vaccine doses, as well as a team of nursing students. Pastor Avarilla, Flo, Emma, and Sherree help coordinate our non-medical volunteers, including setup, teardown, parking lot attendants, greeters, registrars, guides and waiting room counselors, in addition to many others who help us serve the community. We choose to continue this vital work for two reasons: First, we believe in loving our neighbors, and second, we believe in both faith and science.
God calls us to care for others, especially the at-risk members of our community. Protecting the most vulnerable among us means doing all we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our city, county and state. God's love always calls us to self-sacrifice, even at the cost of our own personal convenience. Acts of charity benefit our neighbors. We help provide food and rental assistance to those in need. We help connect uninsured adults to free health care services, including mental and physical wellness checks. We help educate children, teens and adults about the risks of COVID-19 and how to prevent it.
Our denomination's Article of Faith #14 on Divine Healing is simple and straightforward: "We believe in the biblical doctrine of divine healing and urge our people to offer the prayer of faith for the healing of the sick. We also believe God heals through the means of medical science." We believe that faith and science are not mutually exclusive. We believe that all truth is God's truth, and all science is God's science. We affirm that ensuring physical well-being is both a spiritual and scientific exercise.
We recommend mask wearing and social distancing in our facility and hope those we serve will continue those practices in other indoor spaces, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We also encourage our neighbors to get vaccinated at one of the two weekly clinics in our building.
In summary, we believe all of these best practices help prevent disease and protect our community.
We are people of faith and science, and this is how we love, with hope and faith.
About Rev. Bolerjack
Rev. Aaron Bolerjack is Executive Pastor at OKC First Church of the Nazarene and Adjunct Professor of History at Southern Nazarene University.