Open Letter: from a pastor to Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Adrian Dix

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Pastor Sam Chua of Westlynn Baptist Church in North Vancouver sent an open letter to Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix.

I suggest watching the video, but I have added the text here as well. The message is respectful, caring, cooperative and law-abiding – but also logical, pointed and challenging.

It is also particularly timely, now that Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson has denied (February 17) the province’s application for an injunction against three Fraser Valley churches which are not following public health orders prohibiting in-person services.

Re: COVID-19 restrictions on religious gathering

February 11, 2021

Dear Dr. Henry and Minister Dix,

I would like to begin this letter by expressing my deep appreciation for the work that both of you and your teams have done in serving British Columbians throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the virulent spread of COVID-19 in other parts of the world, our provincial healthcare system has not been overwhelmed, in no small part due to your tireless efforts.

My sincere gratitude for your labours is echoed by members of my congregation and our church’s entire leadership team. Our church prays for you regularly – that God would give you wisdom and strength and bless your endeavours – for the sake of all British Columbians.

Before sharing our concerns, let me say that our church leadership team has always strongly supported your public health goals. We have endeavoured to obey all public health orders.

We have been livestreaming ‘virtual’ services during the months when in-person gatherings were not permitted. Indeed, our church has gone above and beyond the government’s COVID safety regulations because we care deeply about the safety of our congregation and the broader community.

In March 2020, before the government required us to do so, we elected to shut down our services in response to COVID deaths at a nearby seniors’ home.

Once in-person gatherings were permitted, we adhered to the government’s 50-person limit per venue, pre-registered and performed health checks on attendees, and implemented seating plans in which every household or family sat together but was socially-distanced well apart from other households.

In addition, our church leadership instituted a mandatory masking policy for all in-person gatherings before the BC government issued its mask mandate.

We say all this not to praise ourselves but simply to help you understand – despite our expressions of grave concern below – that we are genuinely thankful to God for the important work of our Provincial Health Officer and our Minister of Health, and we wish to cooperate with you in seeking the health and well-being of all British Columbians.

Our core function as a church is not just worshiping God as a congregation, but also loving our neighbour and serving our fellow citizens to help allay the great suffering wrought by the COVID pandemic. In order for the church to fulfill its duty to God and our fellow citizens, there must be some opportunity for church members to gather (under suitable COVID safety protocols).

The BC government, however, has disallowed virtually all in-person religious gatherings and has made no visible effort to develop safety protocols to facilitate such gatherings.

Moreover, following your issuance of public health orders between November 19, 2020 and February 5, 2021, we have noticed a number of unfair disparities and inequalities arise as between your treatment of religious in-person group gatherings and non-religious group gatherings.

Your orders prohibit in-person religious gatherings for most purposes, including corporate worship, while simultaneously permitting in-person gatherings in many non-religious settings even though the COVID transmission risk in those other settings is not demonstrably lower:1

(a) Pubs, coffee shops and restaurants are allowed to gather and serve groups of patrons liquor, coffee and/or food if they follow specific straightforward rules to reduce the risk of COVID transmission (e.g., six patrons maximum per table from a single household; wearing masks when not at a table; groups are separated from other groups by 2 metres, etc.), but churches cannot gather in person to serve a simple Communion “meal” under any conditions.2

(b) Exercise studios and gyms are permitted to gather patrons to perform low intensity exercises – even without masks – if such gyms limit the total attendees, ensure that sufficient physical distance is maintained, amplify instructors with microphones and lower music volume “in order to reduce singing or shouting,” clean and ventilate the premises, and post special signs and floor markings.3

In contrast, worshippers cannot gather for congregational prayer, even if they follow all the same rules as gyms and, in addition, wear masks.

(c) Perhaps the strangest discrepancy is that religious organizations that provide food to people in need, or run support groups, are permitted under the current health orders to have up to 50 individuals on-site.4

Indeed, our own church distributes food to the needy. While doing so, we can host up to 50 persons. Inexplicably, the same persons cannot gather for worship even under the most careful COVID-safety protocols. This glaring disparity has not gone unnoticed and begs the question: why are such gatherings, within the same building, and many times in the exact same space, considered COVID-safe – whereas religious services are not?

In November, Vancouver’s Catholic Archbishop, J. Michael Miller, indicated that there had been no reported cases of COVID transmission in Catholic churches and noted, “In light of this record within the archdiocese, it is puzzling, to say the least . . . why our facilities can be used – and we are delighted that they are – for meetings such as AA in the basement, while not even limited worship can take place upstairs in the church.”5

(d) Even if religious gatherings were somehow more dangerous than the abovementioned (permitted) group activities – which they are not – the Ministry has made no effort to provide new COVID guidelines that would facilitate safe in-person religious group activities.

In contrast, the Ministry has prepared updated COVID safety plans to allow in-person non-religious activities to continue to operate. For example, when you prohibited certain high-risk group fitness activities during your November 19, 2020 COVID-19 update, you promised to finalize and post new COVID safety guidelines for a “narrowed” set of lower risk group fitness activities.6

The promised guidelines were issued in less than a month (December 14, 2020).7 Furthermore, Dr. Henry, you indicated that you had “tasked a group” of experts to study indoor exercise activities to determine what indoor exercises could be safely performed and how.

In contrast, the Ministry has now had more than two-and-a-half months to develop and post new COVID safety guidelines for religious organizations. It has not done so.

BC’s health orders treat religious and non-religious group activities differently, but not because their respective public health risks are demonstrably different.

How is transmission risk any different when multiple tables of people are listening to a live band playing in a pub, separated by two to three metres (as permitted in your orders8), compared to when multiple families are listening to a pastor lead a church service, separated by two to three metres (as currently prohibited)?

Likewise, I cannot see how a group fitness class of 25 people can exercise in a room more safely without masks (as permitted in your orders9) – despite their increased respiratory rate – than a congregation like ours, which wears masks at its gatherings and merely sits quietly.

If it be argued that singing in church poses a significant risk, I think it is only reasonable to ask whether merely a few minutes of singing once a week – even accompanied by wearing face masks (as our church has practiced) – is as dangerous as multiple, random groups of people exercising in a communal space, every day, all week long, and without face masks.

Would our congregation be eligible to meet together if it refrained from singing, or if it added some light physical stretching on Sunday morning, and followed the exact protocols of a local gym?

Furthermore, when our church members meet together to prepare food distribution for the needy, you trust them to follow safety protocols (and they do), but then why can’t they be trusted to follow safety protocols equally well when meeting for other structured activities?

Thus far, our argument has not expressly invoked Charter rights; rather, our argument is based on widely-accepted notions of fairness and the equal treatment of all citizens. Nevertheless, we noticed that the latest version of the public health order entitled ‘Gatherings and Events’ (dated February 5, 2021) acknowledges, for the first time (in paragraphs 9 and 10), that your public health orders implicate the constitutional guarantees in s. 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (“the Charter”).10

But insofar as paragraph 10 attempts to defend the limits you have imposed, by calling them “proportionate, precautionary and evidence-based restrictions to prevent loss of life, serious illness and disruption of our health system and society,” we respectfully disagree.

As explained above, the public health order permits organizations to perform non-religious group activities, while denying religious organizations the right to do activities that have similar, or even lower, risk profiles for COVID-transmission.

We respectfully submit that it is fundamentally unfair for the Ministry of Health to prohibit religious groups from engaging in activities having a risk profile that is as safe as (or safer than) group activities that the Ministry has already approved.

As illustrated in the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s Public Health Guidelines for Group Low Intensity Exercise, the risk of COVID-19 can be substantially reduced by following a COVID-19 safety plan that tailors the proposed activities based on multiple levels of infection control measures.11

The Ministry of Health should help religious organizations to prepare a thorough COVID-19 safety plan for their proposed activities (e.g., along the lines of the approved safety protocols in your public health orders). Religious organizations should then be responsible for appointing persons who will structure and supervise the proposed group activities in accordance with the safety plan.

The BC government has explicitly (and commendably) acknowledged in B.C. Regulation 204/2020 that religious organizations provide essential services in BC. 12

But if religious organizations are deemed to be essential, it begs the question: how is it that non-essential services can operate with the government-approved safety protocols throughout the week, all day long, whereas a church cannot provide a core part of its essential services under any safety protocol, even if it occurs only once a week and for a short period of time?

To be crystal clear, we are not asking for any special treatment – we simply want to operate under the same rules as you have already approved for other in-person group activities.

Alternatively, if you believe the COVID-safety protocols for the already-approved group activities are inadequate (e.g., for in-person worship services), please provide us with updated guidelines to follow. Or simply tell us how we can tweak our previous safety protocols (see above) to make them better.

We are not seeking to be exempt from any reasonable, proportionate and scientifically grounded safety measure; on the contrary, our church is committed to following best practices for safety.

We hope you will agree that the Ministry should not discriminate against religious activities, organizations or individuals in the dissemination of safety protocols, or ask religious persons to bear a disproportionate burden compared to other citizens by asking them to completely forgo activities that could be rendered safe through such protocols.13

Dr. Henry, as a medical expert, we are asking you to please give us the tools we need to reopen our church.

Ironically, the BC government’s restrictions on religious activities inadvertently communicates to the public that religious activities are less valuable to society than nonreligious activities, thereby contradicting the government’s own recognition, in B.C. Regulation 204/2020, that religious activities are “essential” and have “the purpose of benefiting the community.”14

Throughout this COVID-19 crisis, our own church has seen a rise in individuals from the community coming to seek our help with various issues including anxiety, depression, poverty, domestic conflicts, job security, addictions, and a host of other problems – and we have done our best to serve them.

Faith organizations do much good work that the public never hears about.

For example, a 2016 study of churches in Toronto tried to quantify the benefit and showed that ten Ontario churches with a combined budget of $10 million dollars produced an economic value to the city that was close to $45 million dollars.15

Yet the current restrictions undermine churches’ ability to serve their communities. Moreover, the BC  government’s unequally-applied public health policies are inadvertently contributing to a growing level of prejudice, negativity, suspicion and distrust in our society that is directed towards not just Christians, but religious people in general.

What public perception is fostered by the fact that religious organizations have had stringent limitations imposed on them that severely undermines their ability to operate, while pubs, restaurants, businesses, gyms and group exercise classes continue to operate?

It potentially suggests that the government sees religious organizations and individuals as less trustworthy or as less likely to follow COVID-safety protocols, or even that religious persons, far from being valuable allies in the fight against COVID-19, are part of the problem.

Despite the fact that our church has followed public health orders, we have had individuals coming onto our church property, peering through the windows, pulling into our driveway and asking if we were meeting, among other things.

In December, we were reported to the District of North Vancouver for alleged violations based on the number of cars in our parking lot – which is shared with nearby apartments. A bylaw officer called us midweek to question us and then another bylaw officer showed up on Sunday to verify that we were in compliance. I assured her that we were not over the 10-person limit for livestreaming and invited her to enter our building to see for herself, however, she opted to stand outside and observe us from a window.

Now, some religious people have become frustrated at the apparent injustice and have taken matters into their own hands by choosing to break the rules. Although I can sympathize with their frustrations, I, along with many other religious leaders, do not condone such behaviour and have not led our members to do the same.

Nevertheless, if the BC government continues not to provide any means or conditions whatsoever under which devout believers can manifest their faith, it will fuel further unnecessary and unproductive confrontations between the government and those who believe the government is preventing them from obeying God’s will.

Escalating the conflict will cause the relationship between faith communities and the government to deteriorate but will not help anyone in the battle against COVID-19.

Dr. Henry and Minister Dix, public health should not be in conflict with religious freedom or equality. You need not make an “either/or” choice between the two. Both objectives are essential. Both objectives should be earnestly pursued by both religious organizations and the government.

Our church wishes to do whatever it takes to avoid jeopardizing the health and safety of others while fulfilling our duty to serve our God and community faithfully as a congregation.

Likewise, we respectfully submit that the government should champion, not jettison, religious freedom and the equality of all religious persons – whether they gather in churches, gurdwaras, mosques, synagogues or temples – while pursuing the critical good of public health.

May God keep our land, glorious and free. A Mari Usque Ad Mare.

Pastor Samuel Chua
Westlynn Baptist Church

1 Province-Wide Restrictions, <https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparednessresponse-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/restrictions> (last visited February 7, 2021) (“In-person religious gatherings and worship services of any size are prohibited.”). See also Order of the Provincial Health Officer, Gatherings and Events, February 5, 2021 <https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-shealth-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/covid-19/covid-19-pho-order-gatherings-events.pdf> (last visited February 7, 2021).
2 Order of the Provincial Health Officer, Food And Liquor Serving Premises And Retail Establishments Which Sell Liquor, December 30, 2020, <https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-caresystem/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/covid-19/covid-19-pho-order-nightclubs-food-drink.pdf> (last visited February 7, 2021)
3 B.C. Centre for Disease Control, Public Health Guidelines for Group Low Intensity Exercise, December 14, 2020, <https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-healthofficer/covid-19/covid-19-public-health-guidelines-low-intensity-exercise.pdf> (last visited February 7, 2021)
4 See Part C of Order of the Provincial Health Officer, Gatherings and Events, February 5, 2021, at <https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-healthofficer/covid-19/covid-19-pho-order-gatherings-events.pdf> (last visited February 7, 2021)
5 See CTV news report dated November 22, 2020 at <https://bc.ctvnews.ca/catholic-archbishop ofvancouver-criticizes-b-c-s-new-covid-19-rules-for-religious-services-1.5200090> (last visited February 7, 2021)
6 See Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, Presentation “COVID-19 BC Update, Nov 19,”
video at <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P00avsC7KPo> (time: 26:18 to 30:33)
7 See footnote 3 above.
8 See Section B, paras. 8-12 and 24-25 of Order of the Provincial Health Officer, Food and Liquor Serving
Premises and Retail Establishments Which Sell Liquor, December 30, 2020, available online at:
<https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial healthofficer/covid-19/covid-19-pho-order-nightclubs-food-drink.pdf> (last visited February 9, 2021)
9 See Public Health Guidelines, footnote 3, at p. 6 (“Masks can be encouraged to be worn during exercise, but not required”)
10 Previous versions of this Order did not contain any acknowledgement or reference to the Charter, as found in The Constitution Act, 1982, Part I <https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/laws/stat/schedule-b-to-the-canada-act1982-uk-1982-c-11/latest/schedule-b-to-the-canada-act-1982-uk-1982-c-11.html#freedoms>
11 See footnote 3 at pp. 3-6.
12 COVID-19 Essential Services (Last updated: December 10, 2020), as found online at:
<https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-
provincial-support/essential-services-covid-19#non-health> (last visited February 9, 2021)
13 See COVID-19 Ethical Decision-Making Framework, December 24, 2020, B.C. Centre for Disease Control, B.C. Ministry of Health, at p. 5, regarding “Distributive Justice” and the “Just distribution of benefits and harms, risks and burdens” (“Public health measures… [s]hould not place unfair burdens on particular individuals and/or segments of the population”), posted online at: <http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-ProfessionalsSite/Documents/COVID-19_Ethical_Decision_Making_Framework.pdf> (last visited on February 11, 2021)
14 See footnote 12 above.
15 Philip Milley, Economic Value of a Church, Canadian Centre for Christian Charities, summary at: <https://www.cccc.org/news_blogs/noteworthy/2016/07/15/economic-value-of-a-church/>

Sam Chua (MDiv, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), serves as the lead pastor of Westlynn Baptist Church. Sam was born and raised in Burnaby and has a heart to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached in every part of the city. He is married to Esther and they have three children: Nathan, Evie and Charis. Prior to entering pastoral ministry, Sam worked in industry as a computer engineer and then as a graduate student researcher at the University of British Columbia.

33 comments for “Open Letter: from a pastor to Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Adrian Dix

  1. Rosemary Leo says:

    Thank you Pastor for being a God-given voice in these times. Your kindness and gentle approach speaks volumes. We will pray that our medical authorities will have ears to hear. God bless you richly.

  2. Eric Warawa says:

    Thank you for producing and sending this video. I believe that we are seeing a very clear sign of intolerance and discrimination against churches. When you see photos and hear stories of people still crammed into a small plane, shoulder to shoulder, but we are unable to sit in social distanced groups in a large church, it is clear that the only god the current restrictions bow to is the god of money.

    It may take a group of Christian and other religious lawyers to petition the courts to regain our freedoms which are supposedly protected, or we may have to just live out those protected freedoms and be called before the courts to defend our actions with the current laws.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_religion_in_Canada

  3. A Pekovich says:

    Without accepting in any way some of the few errors in Pastor Chua’s report, I would wonder what his response would be to the main argument (as I see it) in Dr. Henry’s instruction: given that a significant Lower Mainland religious community was inadequately supporting its worshippers in safe worship and gathering, and caused large numbers of outbreaks and spreader events, how would Pastor Chua suggest that Dr. Henry mandate certain kinds of worship by certain religious or cultural groups be permitted and others denied, strictly on the basis of religion, as shown by past performance?

    I can see no win for Dr. Henry in that one – such a variation in permissions would instantly be the subject of a slam-dunk suit for discrimination based on religion.

    All churches and religious institutions must close because of the actions of a few. There is no option. And if such a regrettable pandemic occurs again, let all of us take instruction from scripture to be better keepers of our brothers’ and sisters’ actions, so that we may not suffer this separation from worship again.

    • Eric Warawa says:

      Just like any restaurant in operation, officers have been making Covid enforcement patrols to ensure compliance. Those found in non-compliance are fined and those in compliance are left alone. The same situation can and should be enacted with churches. The police are already attending churches and laying fines, we just aren’t receiving any operational benefits like money producing businesses.

  4. Pauline Sanderson says:

    Thank you Pastor Sam for your thoughtful and well argued letter. Churches are indeed essential services and should be understood as helpful and supportive advocates of public health care. We have already proven that we can meet safely and adhere to all health protocols given to us.

    We are seeing big cracks in the fabric of our congregations where people are suffering from isolation and mental health issues that could certainly be allayed by at least being able to meet and care for others, and for us to perceive better the instances where people are suffering.

    When we are allowed to gather again not everyone will return at once, perhaps only 30 percent of original numbers, but those who desperately need to will be well-served by being able to re-gather, albeit six feet apart from their fellow parishioners.

  5. Angela L. says:

    Can someone point to where the Ministry has deemed places of worship to be essential services as Pastor Chua mentioned? If they’re essential, they should be allowed to open. I thought the problem was that places of worship were not recognized as essential. (See also Dr. Tyler VanderWeele’s report out of Harvard on the correlation between church attendance and a lower rate of “deaths of despair.”)

  6. Robert says:

    A well written and thoughtful presentation. It begs the question about the logic of those in charge as to the application of the rules. Is it a matter of religious opposition or a lack of full consideration of the situation? Praying for the appropriate resolution.

  7. Albert Janzen says:

    Thank you for speaking out, not only on behalf of your own church, but for all other churches and even for other faith groups too who are being unfairly treated.

    I especially appreciate your respectful approach because that is even more important than even the best rationale we may think of, although that too is very important and you have laid out a first class argument for the government to consider.

    I simply cannot envision Jesus speaking to those in civil authority with a superior attitude or using snide remarks as I saw in another letter to the government on this issue because then we have already lost a good part of the moral basis of our position.

    However, what you have written and how you have written it is something which I think God will bless and use to show the government authorities the true character of our Lord Jesus as we read about Him in our Bibles.

    There is really no good case for civil disobedience even from the Bible and the last thing we should want is that when the pandemic is over that the authorities will remember that churches were a pain in the neck when they were over their heads trying to lead the whole population here safely through the pandemic.

  8. Joanne says:

    Thank you Pastor Sam. This letter is so well written, it’s very respectful and you make excellent points. Now we must pray Dr. Henry and Adrian Dix take the necessary steps so that churches can reopen. Easter is just over a month away, I don’t want to miss another Easter service in church.

  9. Christine G Oliver says:

    Alberta’s churches are all open. What is happening to us in BC? Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry MUST open up our churches immediately. This is a direct abuse of religious freedoms. They have to be forced to cancel all restrictions against churches and families. Stop the insane lockdowns. Enough is enough. Do we have to have more lawsuits and protests to get the message across to them? Stop the madness they are causing immediately.

  10. Wes Daase says:

    Well written and well said. My prayer is that this well articulated letter will not only be received but adhered to. Thank you for eloquently voicing our concerns, pastor Sam.

  11. Rennae says:

    Thank you for your bravery and directness address the unfair treatment of in service gatherings. My adult children (19 & 23) are upset about not being able to attend church in person. They were extremely happy that you have addressed our government. Thank you!!!

    Rennae Peters

    • Faye Schlitt says:

      So well written, explaining a great need that has not been addressed. Religious freedom and fellowship is so essential in not forsaking the assembling of the peoples (body of Christ). Thanks for writing this very necessary concern.

  12. Lily Reich says:

    Wonderful job of communicating how many people of faith in BC feel.

  13. Rosemarie Rogers says:

    Thank you and God bless you Pastor Sam.

    I really appreciated how respectful this Open Letter is, that you are requesting directions in order to open churches as churches are essential services for God’s people. Pastors need to be proactive during this difficult time as God has entrusted Pastors with His flock. Thank you for taking time to write such an eloquent letter.

    I pray that Dr. Henry and Mr. Dix respond favorably, that churches and government will find a way to work together. I will continue to pray that it is so.

  14. William Seto says:

    Very well communicated Sam and much appreciated as we have all felt during this Covid crisis.

  15. Heidi says:

    Thank you for advocating on behalf of those of us who would love for nothing more than to resume practicing our faith in person with our faith community! How are we any less safe than any other establishment being open, if we respectfully adhere to all the same protocols? The gym being a good example. Hey, I don’t even mind singing with my mask on!

    It is high time the Ministry of Health seriously make these equitable changes.

  16. […] At the meeting the thoughts expressed in this survey were repeated by those in many of the other faith groups represented. Time and again leaders in the meeting expressed that they want to be treated with fairness in the same way that the government has treated restaurants and gyms. This issue was well expressed by Pastor Samuel Chua’s open letter to Dr. Bonnie Henry: https://churchforvancouver.ca/open-letter-from-a-pastor-to-dr-bonnie-henry-and-minister-adrian-dix/ […]

  17. TEA FTK says:

    Pastor Sam, thank you so much for putting the time, effort, heart and prayer into this. So thankful that it’s finally been said so well. Praying for you, your family and church . . . indeed, His whole Body and the whole world in this time . . . may Christ be glorified and may all come to know His unsurpassable love, grace and truth!

  18. Anthony Roy says:

    Pastor Sam: Great job! Writing these types of articles is a real art. The tone must be just about perfect to persuade. Thank you very much for your obvious work. God knows who protects his flock and tills his fields. Yours in Christ, Tony.

  19. Cindy Hite says:

    Well said Pastor! I sent an email to the Vancouver Sun the other day voicing similar concerns but not written so eloquently. Thank you for your voice!

    “I just wanted to voice my concern over gyms. I am really confused as to what is considered a ‘low intensity group exercise.’

    As a church-goer who has not been able to attend my church for over a year now, I am stupefied as to how it is that gyms can remain open?! Not only am I surprised they are still open, but also that masks are not mandatory?
    I can’t even go to church, sit there quietly, sit at least six feet away from others, wear several masks if I had to, to listen to my pastor fill my heart with God’s word that would help maintain my mental, spiritual, psychological and physical health during Covid time? Is this not considered a low intensity group exercise of a different kind? A spiritual workout that should be a consideration?

    None of this makes sense to me! You can guarantee there would be no arguments or punches thrown at a church service.”

  20. Corrine Opperman says:

    Wow, great job! Thank you for taking the time to write this very thorough, very well researched letter. I will be praying your letter will help get us ALL back in church very soon.

  21. Christine Van Domselaar says:

    Thank you Pastor Sam, for taking the time to research, and write such a respectful, yet challenging letter. Your efforts are greatly appreciated, Christine

  22. Thanks Pastor Sam . . . Perhaps the first casualty of atheistic-totalitarianism is Logic! Appreciate your well written and gracious letter of “civil disagreement.”

  23. Judy says:

    Pastor Samuel, Thank you so much for your well thought out, documented, and presented argument on behalf of not only the church but the whole religious community.

  24. Brian B says:

    I volunteer at a local store to monitor the # of customers, and when not doing so I would love to attend Church on Sunday. These rules are crazy. Thank You SIR. Blessings.

  25. Rhoda Perron says:

    Well said. Considering the pandemic has gone on for over a year now, and churches have been following the rules very well in BC but are also financially struggling as a business. I think his email is justified! He made many good points! Some may not know that Alberta has churches open with protocols in place. If they can do it, why not BC!?

    Church is essential for some people! Interesting that a church near me can have Tai Chi class and non-profit groups meet, but not church, even with restricted numbers.

  26. Vincent Ng says:

    Appreciated Pastor Sam’s boldness in speaking for the local church communities.

  27. Kathy says:

    Pastor Sam,

    I have listened to your letter twice. So very well spoken.

    Thanking you for taking on the challenge of putting your letter together and presenting it. Your insightful thoughts hopefully will help bring about a positive change in regards to worship services.

    God Bless

  28. Wow! What a well-written treatise about a truly pressing issue.

  29. Bob Burkinshaw says:

    I watched the video and agree that this is a very strong statement that is delivered in a very thoughtful, respectful and caring manner. I hope that the government and health authorities take it seriously.

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