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Pastor's Message - Chris Kibble

There are so many things that have the potential to divide a church. But I have to say that I never thought health issues would be one! Many of those who support vaccination against Covid -19 and many of those who take an opposite view have deeply held convictions that support their respective cases. But is there an ethical element to the debate, I wonder? May I suggest the following:

  • First, there is the priority of love: 1 Corinthians 13: 4,5 says that ‘love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs’. And Romans 14:19 says ‘let us, therefore, make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification’.
  • Second, in Luke 6:37, Jesus said ‘do not judge, and you will not be judged’. Practically, we should guard against assuming that a position that is different from ours was formed out of selfishness or ignorance. It would always be wise to assume that a person with another view has developed their opinion on what seems reasonable to them.

So, whilst the Council has decided to implement some practical measures which reflect concerns expressed in the recent survey (see below), we can still respect each others’ views. Let’s look forward to the time when all this is in the past and we can enjoy warm in-person fellowship together! 

Special Announcements

Sunday service: on Tuesday, September 7, the Council decided that when we reopen:  

  • Only vaccinated attendees, including the worship team, may worship in the sanctuary.
  • Unvaccinated attendees may worship in the Fireside Room along with any vaccinated attendees who would like to join them. Our Farsi group will worship in another part of the campus.
  • Masks will be required for all.

There are obviously implications for the worship team and the technology, both of which are being addressed.  

Mid-week meetings at the church: This information has just come through (September 8) from the Premier’s office.   ‘Effective September 13, people aged 12 and over will be required to show proof of vaccination to get into certain events, services, and businesses in BC If you’re 18 or older you’ll also need to show a valid government photo ID.  

A number of faith-based organizations have requested clarification on the proof of vaccination requirement and mask mandate. All worship services (and receptions following services) are exempt from the mask mandate and the requirement for proof of vaccination. In addition, any public meetings held in faith-based settings that have a worship component such as youth groups and pastor meetings or essential services like NA/AA group meetings, warming, and cooling centres, or providing food to people in need, are also exempt from the mask mandate and proof of vaccination requirement. However, an organized event such as a reception, celebration of life reception, or other events that do not have a worship component, does require attendees to provide proof of vaccination and wear masks’.

Larry Schram interprets this as saying that small groups meeting at the church are probably exempt. 

Adult Lounge:  Due to the replacement siding project, the water line to the Adult Lounge had to be disconnected.  The washrooms in the CE Wing are available. 

Noteworthy Information

Survey results: please see the summary below from Don Hill

  • 64.8% thought that we should allow only fully vaccinated to attend the services
  • Of those who felt we should allow everyone to attend, 30.2% wanted to keep the unvaccinated in a separate area as well as 44.2% wanted them to wear masks.
  • 79.5% felt that we should recommend everyone to wear a mask.
  • 66.4% felt that we should sign up for contact tracing
  • 60% said that they would attend the BBQ
  • 51.7% felt that we should not allow the unvaccinated to attend the BBQ
  • Of those who felt that we should allow the unvaccinated to attend the BBQ, 58.1% felt that they should not be involved in food preparation, and of the same group 91.1% felt that they should not be asked to bring their own food.

Please address any questions to Don.