Amid a new spike of COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma, the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma wants to spread the good news that the vaccine is safe, effective, and that getting vaccinated is part of what we are called to do, following Jesus who calls us to “love your neighbors as yourself.” This is part of a national vaccine campaign by the Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, who started “I got mine.” Campaign link here. During his video Presiding Bishop Michael Curry elaborates on why he got his. “I got the polio vaccine as a little child. Right now, adults can get the COVID vaccine to help to protect our children. That’s what the Bible means when Jesus says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma represents 68 congregations, 5 Episcopal Schools, two college chaplaincies, two senior care centers, and a conference center and camp. Our faith is rooted in loving our neighbors as ourselves. To follow through with that, we have launched a series of videos featuring members of our Diocese discussing why they got the vaccine.
Our first video features Dr. Steve Orwig, a Physician, and the Director of the IONA School of Formation. Dr. Orwig describes in the video what encouraged him to get the vaccine, “for a physician, the most important thing I was looking for was that they do a phase 3, double-blind, randomized, clinical trial that had an adequate number of patients. When I looked at the results of the trial, I was satisfied. They showed dramatic results that the vaccine was very effective and safe,” Dr. Steve Orwig said.
Our second video features The Rt. Rev. Bishop Poulson Reed, sixth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma. Bishop Poulson expressed how getting the vaccine is how we love our neighbor as ourselves, “I think of that really central command that Jesus gives us, which is to love our neighbor as ourselves, and this is something that Jesus would have us do, to protect those that we can, even if it comes with a little bit of inconvenience for us,” Bishop Poulson Reed said.
Our final video featured clergy member, The Rev. Kay Boman-Harvey, Deacon at All Saint’s Episcopal Church in Miami, OK. Rev. Kay talked about how we are fulfilling our baptismal covenant when we get the vaccine. “If we get the vaccine, that means we are helping to protect those children who can’t get the vaccine themselves, and I think that is a paramount part of our commitment to God,” The Rev. Kay Boman-Harvey said.
The purpose behind this campaign is to encourage people in Oklahoma to get vaccinated as part of what Jesus is calling us to do. To love, support, and care for our neighbors just as we would ourselves.