In Support of COVID-19 Vaccination: A Statement by the Franklin Interfaith Council

“Love your neighbor as yourself” is a key principle of the religions we practice.  We believe it’s what God calls us to do.  But while it’s an easy phrase to remember and recite, it can be challenging to actually live it out in our daily lives. 

We are in the middle of a pandemic.  To state the obvious, it has been a stressful, scary, exhausting, grief-filled year and a half, and it’s not over yet.  The advent of the Delta variant is ramping things up again.  In the middle of our own stress, can we stop to consider what our neighbors might need from us?  How might we, practically, treat them with love?

One way to answer that question: 
Please get the Covid 19 vaccine!     (if you are eligible)

Here are some reasons we would like everyone who is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • It drastically reduces the possibility of you contracting the virus and spreading it to others.
  • Even if a vaccinated person does get a breakthrough infection, they get a MUCH milder case, as the vaccine is highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death.  
  • Since vaccinated people are less likely to contract the virus and pass it on, it protects the people around them, particularly children and the immunocompromised who are not eligible for the vaccine. 
  • More vaccinated people means fewer hosts for the virus, thus less virus present in the community.
  • Fewer people infected with COVID means fewer people dying, fewer people hospitalized, and therefore less risk for healthcare workers, and fewer people missing work and school.
  • Since the vast majority of people hospitalized with COVID are unvaccinated, if everyone chose to get vaccinated, that would free up ICU’s, doctors, and nurses to treat people with other conditions.

If you are fearful about the vaccine, talk with your doctor.  Read up on the science behind the vaccine on the websites of the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov), the World Health Organization (who.int), Massachusetts Department of Health (mass.gov/covid-19-updates-and-information), or other local governments.  We hope that everyone will use their God-given powers of reason, discernment, and understanding to make an informed decision to get vaccinated and care for their neighbors as well as themselves. 

Signed by the following Franklin Interfaith Council representatives:   

Rabbi Tom Alpert, Temple Etz Chaim
Susan Borchard, Franklin Federated Church
Rev. Eric Cherry, Minister, First Universalist Society in Franklin
Mary Diehl, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Rev. Maggie Geller, Deacon, St. John’s Episcopal Church
Rev. Dr. Jacob W. Juncker, Pastor, Franklin United Methodist Church
Rev. Brian Manning, Pastor, Saint Mary Parish
The Rev. Kathy McAdams, Rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church
Rev. Dr. Marlayna Schmidt, Interim Pastor, Franklin Federated Church


For those who may be interested in knowing more about the ways The United Methodist Church is providing care and support through the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the video below to learn more.

If you would like to contribute to UMCOR’s COVID-19 Response Fund, click here.

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