Bringing Vaccinations to the Community
Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Louis’ Central West End is known for serving the community through its food ministries. And now it’s also known as a COVID-19 vaccination site.
Trinity’s nave was transformed into a clinic on Sunday, April 11, to provide the Johnson & Johnson vaccination to anyone who came through their red doors – no appointment necessary.
“When people have the opportunity, they should take advantage of it,” said Michael Holland, one of 36 people to get a shot at this one-day event.
“This is a trusted spot,” said the Rev. Barbi Click, a deacon in the Diocese of Missouri and Trinity’s food ministry manager. She said a lot of the people who regularly come to their Sunday hot lunch program don’t have cell phones or access to WiFi, making it difficult to register for a state-run vaccination site.
The opportunity to offer the shots to the community came through Deacon Barbi’s relationship with Lynn Schmittgens, a pharmacist and owner of The Medicine Shoppe in Affton. Schmittgens is a member of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Oakville and a regular volunteer at Trinity’s Sunday hot lunch program.
Schmittgens said it’s been a difficult and often frustrating process to get doses of the vaccine at her small pharmacy. But now that she has the vaccines, she wants to bring them where they are needed the most.
“Why? It’s what we do,” Lynn explained. It’s why we’re here. We’re health care providers. We’re Christians.”
The Rev. Jon Stratton, Trinity’s rector, said just as Jesus took his ministry to the people, events like this are important to the people of our communities. “This community has been disenfranchised,” Stratton said. “The state’s distribution of the vaccine has been unfair.”
Trinity Episcopal Church serves thousands of people every year through their food pantry and Sunday hot lunch program. Stratton says his parish wanted to find a way to bring the shots to those who were already coming for the food. He credits Deacon Barbi’s ability to build relationships in the community for the success of these ministries.
“It’s all about relationships,” Deacon Barbi said. “It’s always all about relationships. We’re just doing what God calls us to do.”
Sunday, April 11, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccinations at Trinity, CWE
Sunday, April 11, 2021