At the closing of the General Assembly, I had the opportunity to launch a joint initiative between the Church of Scotland and Christian Aid, encouraging members to give a financial gift in thanksgiving once they had received full vaccination for Covid-19. It has been much on my mind as to how fortunate I have been to have received my two vaccinations; but had I been living elsewhere in the world, the story would have been quite different. In my year as Moderator, the plan is to visit Lebanon and Malawi. Just taking these two places as examples, the percentage of population vaccinated with only one vaccination is 4% and 0.8% respectively. That is against more than 60% of our population in UK.
The World Health Organisation have said no-one is protected until all are protected, therefore we are urging the UK Government to do all that it can to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available throughout the world. Alongside this we must also seek to limit the impact of the virus on health, livelihoods, and personal safety, for those in the poorest parts of the world. By supporting Christian Aid in their efforts to provide basics such as soap, water, and food, we can ensure that vulnerable communities stay safer as they wait for vaccination.
In this very tangible way, as we seek global justice, here is a practical opportunity to give real expression in 2021 to loving our global neighbours. I sincerely hope that you will join with me and together we will respond generously, as a mark of our gratitude for what we have received.
I urge you to share this message with your whole congregation. I would also like to share the following prayer from Christian Aid for your use:
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
God of Hope, Sustainer of all life,
We give You thanks for the Coronavirus vaccines, for the skill and wisdom of scientists, NHS staff and Key Workers.
By the power of Your Spirit, may we overflow with hope and joy as we see our friends, families and neighbours protected.
God of Justice, Protector of the vulnerable, may we be your well-washed hands and willing feet.
Move us to give and act, to challenge the injustices that anger You.
May we seek to protect all Your children, particularly those for whom the vaccine is out of reach.
With hope and trust we pray,
To donate please click on the following link:- https://giving.give-star.com/online/christian-aid/cos-just-vaccine-rollout
Rt Hon Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC
General Assembly of the Church of Scotland