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Chilliwack

Free Reformed Church


45471 Yale Road, Chilliwack, BC, V2R 3Z8

Dear Mr. Ballard,

I wanted to respond to your email dated Nov 25th, 2020 asking for our comment on the recent orders given by the
Provincial Health Official regarding the banning of public worship (dated Nov 19 th, 2020).

Our church has the highest respect for our government, and we pray for them regularly because of their difficult task.
We understand that they have faced extreme challenges over the last several months and are trying to do what they
believe is best. As a congregation, and even as individuals, we aim to be law-abiding citizens in every way possible.

However, our constitution guarantees us the freedom of conscience and religion which includes peacefully gathering
together to worship our God. Our constitution is the highest law in our land. Our convictions compel us to worship
our God in the public gathering of his people and we must act in accordance with our conscience. If hockey games,
restaurants, retail stores, schools, formal meetings up to 50 people and most for-profit activities are permitted to
continue when they do not have constitutional protection, why should churches receive less freedom than these other
activities? Please see the recent article from Vancouver Sun which asks similar questions.1

We also take the health of our members and the community very seriously. We have implemented many health
precautions and re-evaluate them as new protocols are introduced by our health authorities. However, we are
concerned about every aspect of our health, including physical, emotional, and spiritual components. Focusing on one
of them, at the exclusion of the others, undermines our personhood. We are very active in various ministries to those
in our communities who are experiencing hardship by providing food and support as we are able. We connect with
local and international ministries in showing our love and care for all people.

I want to thank you for the opportunity you have given to respond to this issue in this manner. We are a peaceful and
quiet people who simply want to live in service to our God. This is particularly true on Sunday, which we call the
Lord’s Day, so kindly ask if you would not engage us on that particular day. That would be greatly appreciated by us.

On behalf of the council of the Chilliwack Free Reformed Church,

John Koopman, Pastor

1
https://vancouversun.com/opinion/brian-bird-banning-religious-gatherings-defies-common-sense-and-
perhaps-the-constitution