Email your letters to

Email your letters to

LETTER: Restrictions placed on church gatherings are ‘beyond unreasonable’

‘Sorry Dr. Bonnie Henry, you and the government of B.C. have over reached into ecclesiastical affairs’

If restaurants, bars, liquor stores, and gyms allow 100 people at a time, airlines where well over a 100 are packed into a small area without six-feet “social” distancing allowed to fly in and out of B.C., why in the world is there a ban on churches of 50 or less social distancing and following “the rules” not allowed to gather together?

As one who had lost his family through a life of drug and alcohol addiction back in the mid-1970s and was wonderfully saved when I heard the simple unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ – the only “support group” that worked for me was getting anchored into a true and living support group for all kinds of sinners – called the Church. Do these recent restrictions want me to go back to my former “support” groups called bars and liquor stores which remain open?

The restriction placed on churches is beyond unreasonable and I for one would call upon all God ordained leadership of churches to open their doors and hearts and start shepherding the small flock God has called you to minister to in person.

I am one who speaks from 46 years of true Christian ministry working on the streets of Toronto, Montreal, Harlem in New York City, Cabrini Green in Chicago and many years in the Republic of Ireland – and most recently pastoring a small fellowship of God’s people in upstate New York for 14 years before relocating here in Abbotsford. Since being here I often find myself compelled to visit East Hastings and walk among and mingle in person with those for whom Christ came to save. All that is wonderful but my life-line is the local fellowship that I attend and gather together with God’s people according to our Lord’s exhortation: “Do not forsake the assembling of ourselves together…”

I assure you that it was very dangerous for Christians in the first century church to gather together for fear of imprisonment, torture, and death – much like it is in places like China, Russia, North Korea, Islamic countries – yet the true believers of Jesus Christ continue to gather together in underground churches – not the state-run government controlled “churches” – as they meet with their Lord who assured those who would be His followers, “Where two or three are gathered together there I am in the midst.”

We gather corporately according to His Word to worship and praise Him who loved us and demonstrated that love on the Cross. How can we forsake such an awesome privilege, but also a responsibility. We love Him because He first loved us. Surely He is worthy of our obedience regardless of the cost.

Sorry Dr. Bonnie Henry, you and the government of B.C. have over reached into ecclesiastical affairs where the government has no business.

Russ O’Neill

• Send your letter to the editor via email to Please include your first and last name, address, and phone number.

• READ MORE: Chilliwack Progress Letters


Just Posted

A drone’s-eye view of the Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge. (Screenshot/Shutter Speed Network)
Kent Council advocates for a wider Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge

Council voted unanimously to send letter of concern to transportation ministry

Tourism Abbotsford has launched the ‘Let’s Go Do Something’ campaign to encourage visitors to check out all Abbotsford has to offer. (Tourism Abbotsford photo)
Tourism Abbotsford launches ‘Let’s Go Do Something’ campaign

Visitors encouraged to check out all Abbotsford has to offer this summer

Emil Anderson Maintenance is mowing the shoulder along Lougheed Highway in Agassiz, asking motorists to use extra caution around slow-moving vehicles on Tuesday and Wednesday. (Graphic/Emil Anderson Maintenance)
TRAFFIC: Slow-moving mowers working on Highway 7 shoulders in Agassiz on Tuesday, Wednesday

Mowing takes place Tues., Weds. between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Temperature records were broken for June 21, 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
Record-breaking heat shimmered across Fraser Valley for second day

Tuesday should be a bit cooler says forecast from Environment Canada

Artists featured in the BLM Social Justice Art Project at UFV are (clockwise from top left): Michelle Msami, Dona Park, Rain Neeposh and Faria Firoz.
Black Lives Matter art exhibit opens at UFV in Abbotsford

Show features the work of four artists and runs until Sept. 15

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Most Read