The COVID-19 Crisis in the Episcopal Church in Navajoland
The Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan is joining the Episcopal Church in Navajoland to help raise resources to support their response to the COVID-19 crisis. Navajo Nation is the largest indigenous nation in the United States and is the hardest hit by the outbreak. Just this week, there were 121 new cases reported, bringing the total to 1,042 cases of COVID-19, with more than 41 deaths. Navajo Nation has more reported cases per capita than all other states except New York. In communities where access to running water, adequate healthcare, and household staples is severely limited, the church is stepping into the gap.
As a diocese, we in Northern Michigan are blessed with resources that are not widely available to all communities across the Episcopal Church. Our hope is to leverage the resources and relationships we have to support the efforts of our sisters and brothers in Navajoland. We are raising MATCHING FUNDS to make your contribution go further in combating the COVID-19 crisis on Navajo Nation. Please consider donating all or part of your stimulus check to support these efforts!
We are grateful to our supporting bishops and Dioceses:
Bishop Rayford Ray, Northern Michigan
Bishop John Smylie, Wyoming
Bishop Mark Lattime, Alaska
Bishop Alan Scarfe, Iowa
Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio, Cuba
Bishop Carol Gallagher, Massachusetts
Bishop Scott Hayashi, Utah
Bishop Bill Persell, Ohio
Bishop Jay Magness, Southern Virginia
Bishop Michael Smith, North Dakota
May we stand in the gap together…
Letter from Bishop David Bailey of Navajoland:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Thank you for your inquiries and your prayers as we all deal with this Pandemic. Our situation in Navajoland is that as of last evening we had 813 positive cases with 28 deaths – and continues to grow. Our ICU space is limited in our three major hospitals. Our grocery opportunities are limited with a large number of folks having to go 20 or more miles for food and doctors. Many of our homes don’t have running water so it makes washing hands even more difficult. We in the church are providing worship opportunities, for those who have access, on Facebook and our website, as well as worship packets for home use and a daily meditation and prayers. In addition, we are providing food and water to our elderly and any who may be by themselves.
The challenges for ministry are great but we’re responding with love and care. What makes the challenge more difficult is our loss of income because of isolation. Normally we would be experiencing visitations, partners, and winter/spring visitors who help us meet our financial needs. But, with the Reservation closed and people not able to travel, the financial impact for us is huge. In addition to your prayers (which we really need) one way that some of you could help is if you are fortunate to receive a Stimulus Check – and do not need it all – please consider sharing with us. It would go toward helping with immediate needs such as heat, food, water, shelter, pastoral care and on-going ministries. We are so appreciative of you having journeyed with us. Please stay safe and protect yourselves wherever you may be. Share the faith and the love of Christ through virtual connection until we’re together again.
God bless you and may His Grace surround you!
David E. Bailey
Bishop of Navajoland