Last summer the session created a team to address issues of racial inequity in our community of Elkhart and to consider how our church might love all our neighbors better! When the team initially gathered they wrestled with a name for this group. They settled on the Christian Action Team for Racial Equity because in the words of Jim Pyle, they didn’t want to just talk about issues of race, they wanted to take action and do something concrete to love all our neighbors and to improve racial equity in our community! Without dismissing the great contributions this team has made to our conversations about race and equity issues, last Saturday Jim Pyles got his wish. The Christian Action Team for Racial Equity took action to make a huge difference in our community.
The effort got its inspiration back in January when the team invited the Mayor of Elkhart, Rob Roberson, to a team meeting to talk about race relations in Elkhart. Toward the end of the conversation they asked Mayor Roberson, “How can we help? What can we do to address racial inequity in our city.” Mayor Roberson said the most pressing issue was to help get the vaccines to the black and brown community. I spoke with the mayor on Saturday and I think he was a little surprised by the passion of our team for this request. He said Bruce Carter was calling his office within days to talk about a strategy.
The team began drawing together representative from the City of Elkhart, Elkhart County Health Department, the Northern Indiana Hispanic health coalitions and The Elkhart County Minority Health Coalition. Bruce Carter reached out to area pharmacies and secured the commitment of Walgreens to run some walk in clinics in the south part of the city in places where underserved residents might be comfortable coming for their vaccines.
The first of these clinics happened last Saturday at the Tolson Center. I stopped in at the beginning of the day to lend my support. What I saw was remarkable. There was a long line of people that had started forming an hour before they opened. Walgreens had 17 volunteer medical technicians setting up their vaccination stations, having given up their Saturday to participate in this event. There were at least eight Presbyterians who were assisting with parking, check in and directing people through the clinic. 366 people received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine during the day. Bruce Carter reports there was good representation of black and brown residents along with members of our community that are most vulnerable and underserved by vaccination clinics. I think this effort was a wonderful success.
Sometimes we look at enormous problems in our world and wonder what can I do? I’m just one small person, and this is a great big problem. I think it’s amazing what a few people can do, particularly when they join hands with other small groups of people and pool their resources and ideas. Presbyterian polity is actually built on the belief that God moves among us and works in and through us when we are together, working hand in hand and heart with heart. I think God has done a blessed good work through a few of our good people this past weekend, and I am thanking God today for the Christian Action Team for Racial Equity and their faithfulness to God’s calling to “Love all our neighbors!”
By the way, the team is planning more walk in clinics:
May 1- Roosevelt Community Center– “Taste of Black Excellence”- Walgreens with J&J
May 2- St James AME- after service at 1:00 PM- ECHD with Moderna
May 9- New Vision Church- Elkhart County Health Department with Moderna
Share This Post:
Dear friends, I have always thought everyone should have a dog because when you…
Hello everyone, Here is a devotional from Pastor Sally: Dear friends, Sometimes things are…
Dear friends, I feel a sense of accomplishment today. Some of you may…