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By now you have heard that there are a couple of churches in BC that have defied the provincial health order against physical gatherings to hold in person services.  One of the pastors interviewed referred to his charter rights.  What the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms actually states is that everyone has freedom of conscience and religion, and everyone has freedom of peaceful assembly.  Both of these are subject to reasonable limits prescribed by law.

As Christians, we follow a more fundamental charter as proclaimed by our Lord Jesus Christ.  We are to love our God and to love our neighbour as ourself.  Acting in faith comes out of love and responsibility for neighbour.  For this reason, our Anglican Church holds firmly that until such a time as it is deemed safe to come together physically, we will abide by the collective wisdom of our scientific and medical community.  We do so because as we grieve those who have died in this last year, we are even more motivated to protect all who are still vulnerable to exposure. 

Love encourages us to keep connected with our family of faith in every other way possible, and to be kind and brave in our wider community.   Yesterday I was walking past one of our diocesan parish churches and found the above seasonal sculpture outside.  It was a reminder to me to strive to be wise and cheerful outside of the building.