The Rt. Rev. Thomas Brown, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine has mandated that clergy be vaccinated against Covid-19. Hat tip to Maine Public Radio for their reporting.
Brown’s letter to clergy follows (or in PDF format here):
A Letter to Clergy Serving Congregations in Maine
From the Bishop of Maine, Thomas J. Brown
August 23, 2021
Dear friends in Christ,
As we move into the end of summer, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to challenge us. Millions of people around the world have died and countless others are sick—some with ongoing symptoms from which they may never recover. Just as many of us had hoped we would be relaxing into some sense of restored normalcy, the delta variant is raising the epidemiological stakes. We all want it to be over, and it just isn’t, yet.
It’s clear that vaccination of our population is the best path to the pandemic’s end, and as spiritual leaders, we have a moral obligation both to protect others and to set a Christlike example to the larger world. I am therefore directing all members of the diocesan staff, and all of you — clergy serving pastorally or sacramentally in any congregation in the Diocese of Maine — to be vaccinated unless you have been directed by a physician not to do so. Please click on this form to attest to your vaccination status.
I make this directive having consulted with the Standing Committee, and it follows from the Presiding Bishop’s public statement on the matter.
In our baptismal covenant we promise to seek and serve Christ in all persons, love our neighbor, and respect the dignity of every human being. Now is the time to respect each other’s dignity, safeguard each other’s health, love our neighbors by getting vaccinated, and to pastor our communities accordingly. It is also time to encourage everyone in our congregations and communities to be vaccinated.
Let me close by saying what you’ve heard me say throughout this pandemic: you are terrific and I love you. Together, we give praise to God, and with God we move onward to help heal the world.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Right Reverend Thomas J. Brown, Tenth Bishop of Maine