On Sunday, at the Cultural Christian Center megachurch in Brooklyn, New York governor Kathy Hochul asked the congregation to be her "apostles" in encouraging those who are hesitant to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Hochul, a Democrat and professing Catholic, was introduced to the megachurch of about 40,000 members by senior pastor A.R. Bernard as a "person of faith."
According to The Christian Post, she began her message by saying that the COVID-19 vaccine is God's answer to "our prayers."
"We are not through this pandemic. I wished we were, but I prayed a lot to God during this time, and you know what, God did answer our prayers," she said. "He made the smartest men and women, the scientists, the doctors, the researchers — He made them come up with a vaccine. That is from God to us, and we must say, thank you, God. Thank you."
Calling megachurch members the "smart ones" for getting vaccinated, Hochul urged the congregants to be her apostles in encouraging the vaccine-hesitant because they "aren't listening to God and want God wants."
"I need you to be my apostles. I need you to go out and talk about it and say, we owe this to each other. We love each other," the governor said.
"Jesus taught us to love one another and how do you show that love but to care about each other enough to say, please get the vaccine because I love you and I want you to live, I want our kids to be safe when they're in schools, I want to be safe when you go to a doctor's office or to a hospital and are treated by somebody, you don't want to get the virus from them," she continued. "You're already sick, or you wouldn't be there."
She also vowed to fight against racial injustice and lead with God's inspiration, noting that she believes the teachings of the Bible and public service overlap.
"I've been a public servant my whole life, and I believe there is a strong intersection between the teachings of the New and the Old Testaments and what we have been told to do, the lessons we've been given, delivered to us in places like this all over America, and if we're listening to those messages, it's calling all of us, but particularly those who've been called to serve as public servants, positions like governor and Congress member, assembly member, council member, all of us have an extra weight of responsibility," Hochul explained.
"Because as you heard in the earlier songs today, and they're so beautiful, and I thank them for lifting my heart and my soul listening to music, one of the messages was, God will keep His promise to you," the governor continued. "God will keep his promise to you."
"And here is my promise to you, my friends. I will use the inspiration of God in my life and fight for you every single day as your governor and beyond," she asserted.
Last month, Hochul became New York's first female governor after former Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned due to multiple allegations of sexual abuse. Prior to taking office, she served as the state's lieutenant governor.
Hochul also plans to run for governor in 2022 after Cuomo's term expires.