COVID-19 VACCINE EXEMPTION INFO

Five Questions About Obtaining A Religious Exemption

(please read this section thoroughly before requesting letter below)

 

By law, employers are required to consider vaccine exemptions and accommodations.  There are two types of "exemptions" you may seek.  One is a Medical Exemption.  That occurs when your doctor deems that taking the vaccine would not be the right choice for you, taking into account your specific heath and medical situation.  For more info, you will have to seek medical advise directly for this type exemption.


The other type, which is probably why you are reading this page in the first place, is a Religious Exemption.  To seek a Religious Exemption from taking the vaccine, it is up to you (not a church) to explain and articulate exactly why taking the vaccine would be contrary to YOUR sincerely held religious beliefs.  You will need to make a "demand" to exercise your right of religious exemption.  Depending on your employer's administrative organization, that may mean you simply fill out their "Religious Exemption Form", or that you submit a letter explaining why your sincerely held religious beliefs would be violated by taking the vaccine.  Even if you fill out their form (which may only give 1-3 lines to explain your religious objection), we recommend you write a letter to attach with it anyway.  


It is NOT the employer's prerogative or duty to be convinced of your specific position, but only that you indeed have the position you are claiming as part of your religious devotion.  In America, you still have the right to freedom of religion and it's free exercise.  But at the same time, the employer has the duty to provide a safe work environment.  So, while the big push from almost everywhere currently seems to be intended to convince employers (and everyone for that matter) that unvaccinated persons are the problem in creating a safe place, you will need to be prepared to make some accommodations to help maintain a safe environment.  See below.

 

The short answer is "No".  But what the church can do is provide a supplemental statement in which we verify that you are a part of our in-person or online congregation, and that we affirm that your sincerely held religious belief is indeed compatible with, and supported by the church.  This letter can add to your Exemption Demand, but it is not a substitute for it.  Large employers have demonstrated that they won't accept church position statements, no matter how well articulated, to validate the employee's personally sincerely held belief.  The employee must demonstrate that.  See below if you'd like a Church Letter to supplement what you give to your employer.

You can find on-line sample templates to help you, but it's important that you don't just copy and paste (for example, check Pacific Justice Institute, Liberty Counsel).  Support your statement with Scripture references.  If you're objecting based on what you understand the Bible to say, then use Scripture.  It will strengthen your position.  Your statement must be yours.  You should include three specific parts:


(1)  A statement that you are a Christian who believes in, and builds his life, on the teachings of the Bible.  It's not a bad idea to also include a statement of your religious history, i.e., "I've been a practicing and devout Christian for ___ years," or something to suggest that you actually are a genuine Bible believer - not a convenient convert so you can seek a Vaccine Exemption.


(2)  You need to clearly state why taking the COVID Vaccine would compromise, or assault, your sincerely held religious belief.  This is where the real heart of your demand is expressed.  For most of the people we've talked to, the strong religious objection lies in two areas.  (a)  Firstly, the vaccine is at best unproven insofar as it's effectiveness and the possible side effects that sometimes are caused by the vaccine.  It's important in your explanation to actually cite scripture references, for example, that state that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and that we are commanded to not introduce something into it that has the potential to cause defilement or damage (1 Cor. 3:16-17 and 2 Cor. 7:1).  (b)  Secondly, the development and testing of the vaccines, as readily acknowledged by the manufactures of the vaccines, all included the usage of aborted fetal cells.  Thus, many feel that receiving the COVID vaccine would make themselves complicit in supporting abortion, which is in direct conflict with their religious convictions.


(3)  Finally, you need to state which accommodations you are willing to make in order that the employer can feel that he is maintaining a safe work environment.  For example, state that you're willing to wear a facemask, do regular testing, etc., if you are indeed willing.  You will be expected to make some concessions to help insure the employer can substantiate that he has made every effort to create a safe and healthy work environment.  If you're not willing to make these accommodations, expect that your Exemption Demand will probably not be taken seriously.



If you are a part of our in-person or online congregation, you can CLICK HERE to apply for our Calvary Blythe Supplemental Letter that you can submit along with your Exemption Demand.  We will review your application, and try to respond within 3-5 days with the requested, personalized letter ... or ... will advise if we are not able to provide it for some reason.


As stated earlier, the church letter is  supplement, not a substitute for your own personal Exemption Demand letter.  Including a letter from the church can possibly give you a little more clout by validating that your personal sincerely held religious belief is fully compatible with our Church's understanding of the Word of God.  There will also be a button below that you can use to apply for the letter to be emailed to you.  CLICK HERE to see a Supplemental sample letter like the one the church may provide.

If your exemption demand is denied then there is a way that you can appeal the decision with the employer, and, if needed, additionally file an appeal with the  U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or with your State's equivalent board.  If that step is unsuccessful, you will likely have to involve an agency that is equipped to take things to the next legal step.  CLICK HERE to see the "Religious Exemption Denial Steps" from the Pacific Justice Institute, which gives you specific direction in the event your exemption is denied.

 

Our COVID-19 "SHUT DOWN" & REOPEN HISTORY SUMMARY

3/17/2020 - 5/30/2020

05 Update: A Time To Connect & Continue 0924-2020

04 Update: A Time To Stand 

0801-2020

03 Update: A Time To Reopen 

0526-2020

02 Update:  A Time To Watch

0502-2020

01 Update: A Time To Refrain

0317-2020

On 3/17/2020, our in-person gatherings were discontinued in compliance with the Health Dept. orders and in compassion for our community and the perceived risks of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Through this time, our church family has sought to keep well connected during this time of via web-based services, studies, etc.  


As things have begun to open again, we officially reopened our ministry on 5/31/2020 - "Pentecost Sunday"!   We now have in-person service Sunday Mornings for a somewhat abbreviated service and Kid's Ministry, on Wednesdays for a Ladies AM study and Pastor's PM End-Times Prophecy Study, on Thursdays for a Ladies PM study and Recovery Ministry.  (see below)


Sunday service is at 9:45 AM in the Chapel.  Kid's begin with their parents in either the spread-out sanctuary, or in the Manna Cabana where the live video feed of the service is - wherever the parent is - and then are led into the Kid's Chapel after the initial songs of worship.  There they enjoy a pre-packaged snack and have an interactive lesson. This is for Kids who are 4 yrs. thru 6th grade.  Children younger than 4 years, for the present, stay with their parent in the Manna Cabana or the Nursery/Toddler facility.


In a addition to our in-person services, we will also continue Facebook Live Streaming of Sunday Services, Daily Devo's, and some of our weekly Bible Studies. 

 

CLICK HERE TO GO TO OUR FACEBOOK PAGE!

Thank you for your continued support of Calvary Chapel Blythe as we flex and adjust, and keep ministering through these new, often rough, uncharted waters.  Don't stop being the church.  You are needed to be the salt and light of the world now more than ever!