COVID-19: “We must be a part of the healing process”

Residents of Osorno, Chile, await their turn for COVID-19 vaccination in the Lutheran Church in Osorno, a local vaccination center. Photo: Rev. Miguel Ángel Nuñez

CHILE-

LWFThe Lutheran Church in Osorno, a congregation of the Lutheran Church in Chile (ILCH) is sharing its building as a way to “serve a community in search of healing.” On 15 February the church opened its doors to the Osorno Health Department as an official Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination site.  

Pastor Miguel Angel Nuñez of the Osorno Lutheran church said the congregation offered its facility as a contribution to the national campaign to eliminate COVID-19 and as a testimony to Christian hospitality. 

“We have an imperative as Christians and we cannot keep the doors closed. We must be a part of the healing process in our country,” Nuñez said. 

The gesture was appreciated by Osorno city officials, who first contacted the Osorno board of directors, then inspected the church, to confirm that the facility’s design was acceptable for a vaccination center.   

The Head of the Osorno Health Department Jaime Arancibia, said the collaboration with the church is “a tremendous contribution” because it allows them to offer more sites for vaccination.  

Equally, Osorno Mayor Jaime Bertín thanked the congregation and said “they are making available a house of prayer at the service of the community, which will allow us to fulfill the task of vaccinating everyone.”  

“With this help, without a doubt, this will be accomplished in the best way,” he praised the church leadership.  

Rev. Alexis Salgado, Bishop of the ILCH, said this is also an opportunity for “ecumenical, state and local coordination,” referring to the fact that other churches have also made their facilities available.  

Salgado mentioned that with this effort “we begin to break down a psychological wall between society and the church which may be difficult for some people to enter.”  

He concluded that “if the church is not here to serve, then it is of no use.”  

By Red de Comunicaciones – LAC. Edited by LWF/A.Gray 

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