Handbook for congregations helps the faithful increase vaccinations

ONEONTA, N.Y., Sept. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Mobilize Vaccine Turnout! is the title of a new handbook that will help congregations reach out to the unvaccinated, offering information and support for getting the COVID-19 shot. The 40-page guide, available as a downloadable PDF, is published by The Parish Paper, a monthly resource newsletter serving rural and urban congregations in many of the states hardest hit by COVID-19.

Right now everyone is concerned about low vaccination rates. Congregations are uniquely poised to help, as many of them are located in areas that are under-vaccinated or “socially vulnerable.” The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) identifies as “socially vulnerable” those communities that deal with low pay, job loss, family responsibilities, and racial disparities in health care.

Everywhere anger at the unvaccinated has reached a boiling point. This handbook takes a different tack, advocating compassion, curiosity, and a willingness to listen in talking with the unvaccinated.

The handbook takes a “whole-church” approach to the problem, offering how-to steps for health-focused workshops, community forums, and vaccine clinics, as well as community surveys and door-to-door canvassing. The handbook also explains in depth how to talk to friends and family who are vaccine hesitant.

“Jesus’ message is clear: ‘Love your neighbor,'” says Dana Horrell, Coeditor of The Parish Paper (http://www.theparishpaper.com). “For us at this moment, it means saying no to judgmentalism toward the unvaccinated. This handbook helps congregations take a more compassionate approach.”

“The handbook offers great tools for our organization,” according to Cheryl Lascher, a staff member at RISSE, a faith-based non-profit operated by Emmaus United Methodist Church in Albany, New York. “We are helping refugee families to accept the value of vaccination. This handbook helps with factual information and a variety of approaches.”

Mobilizing Vaccine Turnout! can be downloaded at http://www.vaccineturnout.com. Register for a webinar on how to use the handbook, set for Wed., Nov. 17, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ElSQ1-aCTDOfTX66lOcyYg

What Is The Parish Paper?
The Parish Paper (http://www.theparishpaper.com) is a monthly newsletter that provides research and insight for leaders in 6,500 congregations across the United States. Broadly ecumenical in scope, its primary readership derives from the Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, Presbyterian Church USA, United Methodist Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), American Baptist Church, and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Coeditor, Dana Horrell, Ph.D., is a United Methodist pastor serving in Cooperstown, New York. He is the author of Engage!: Tools for Ministry in the Community (Fortress Press, 2019). For webinars on vaccine access or hesitancy, contact him at [email protected] or 315-439-9154.

Media Contact

Dana Horrell, The Parish Paper, +1 (315) 439-9154, [email protected]

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SOURCE The Parish Paper

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