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From Our Bishops

Letter to the Diocese from Bishop Andrew

Dear friends in Christ,

When the girls were very young, the task of taking them for vaccinations usually fell to me. The lead-up to the visit was always fraught with worry and upset. I did my very best to try and allay their fears, lower their anxiety and attempt to help them imagine that the whole thing would be over quickly. The promise of a milk shake, licorice or ice cream helped to sweeten the deal and soften the moment, kind of.

There was one memorable visit that is told and re-told around our dinner table on special occasions. It’s the time when the fear of the impending jab, the approaching needle, led to one of our kids to start groaning and moaning, which elevated the other to yelp and cry. No matter how hard the doctor tried to calm them, their voices got louder and louder. The sound of them was like that of a Klingon death knell. A nurse from the front desk poked her head in to make sure everything was okay. The reason why I have an earring in my left ear is directly related to that moment long ago. That is a story for another day.

Vaccinations are top of mind for all of us these days. With the delivery of more doses, and the approval for use of more vaccines, the hope of widespread inoculation is possible. Last week I was presented with the opportunity of being vaccinated. Our parents have recently moved from St. Catharines into a retirement home in Toronto. As primary caregivers to my folks, my brother and I were given the chance to receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

I admit I had mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I am a firm believer in the science of vaccines and their efficacy. On the other hand, there are so many frontline workers and more worthy candidates who should be considered before me. On the other hand, to support my parents in a time of change and transition is important. On the other hand, I don’t want to usurp the place of another.

In the end, I decided to roll up my sleeve and receive the vaccine, not so much for myself, but for the safety of others. I hope and pray that when the opportunity is presented to you, you too will consider doing the same. Roll up your sleeve for the sake of your neighbour. As St. Paul reminds us… So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6.10

By the way there were no signs of Klingons, and the ice cream tasted really good.

Yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil

Bishop of Toronto