Moderator's message on Covid-19 vaccination

Read the message from Moderator Right Rev Hamish Galloway sent to the Church on 14 October 2021.

Kia ora and warm greetings

This week we have a massive push for vaccination with the Government initiative - Super Saturday: Get vaccinated | Unite against COVID-19.

Where does the PCANZ stand on this? While we have no official policy the biblical text has plenty that can help us in our decision making.

Firstly, there is the central tenet of love for neighbour. In this case, our thinking needs to be very focused on what will help keep our neighbours safe.

Secondly, there is the biblical call to respect those who govern us. In this case political parties from a variety of sides of the political spectrum are united around the need for as many as possible to get vaccinated. And they are strongly supported by the vast majority of people working in the medical and scientific sectors.

I urge you to consider these 2 elements of biblical faith very carefully in your decision making.

I have made my choice - for the sake of my neighbours (children, grandchildren, parishioners, golf club members, people I pass in the supermarket, people with underlying conditions or who need hospital beds for non-COVID related issues) I have taken seriously the advice of political leadership and I got vaccinated as soon as I could!

There is another biblical tenet that is so important at this time – the call to pray for our nation. I know that has been ongoing in the churches during this COVID season but it would be great for that to become a very concerted effort this week – a SUPER SUNDAY – Let’s Pray!

I have also found the lastest statement of the InterChurch Bioethics Council helpful and have attached that for your consideration.

Right Rev Hamish Galloway
Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand