Revelstoke Baptist Church. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Revelstoke Baptist Church. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

‘We’re not on the same page’: Revelstoke faith leaders react to churches defying COVID restrictions

Most churches have moved online

While a handful of churches across the province have been fined in recent months for ignoring COVID-19 regulations, several Revelstoke faith leaders said they stand behind the restrictions.

On Dec. 17 alone, three churches in Chilliwack were handed fines totalling $18,400 for conducting in-person gatherings despite public health orders forbidding them.

Another church near Calgary was fined this month after an inspector found only two of approximately 75 attendees were wearing masks and people were sitting side-by-side.

“We’re not on the same page as those churches,” said Pastor Jordan Eadie, Revelstoke Baptist Church. Eadie said he fully supports the restrictions to help stop the spread of the deadly virus.

However, Eadie acknowledged it’s a difficult time for churches.

Previously, when a member of his congregation was in distress Eadie would meet them face to face. Current public orders have made that much more difficult.

“A lot of people are struggling spiritually right now,” said Eadie.

“When not in-person, it’s hard to gauge what’s going on.”

While it’s important to follow and support public health orders, Eadie said churches are essential.

“They are a hospital for the soul.”

The Revelstoke Baptist Church has offered weekly services online since March.

A motion was brought forward to Vernon city council, asking council to lobby the provincial government to have places of worship labeled essential, potentially allowing them to remain open in some capacity.

Pastor Josiah Olson of C3 Church in Revelstoke said COVID-19 has forced his faith-community to be more creative on how to connect with members. For example, the church recently purchased tablets for Mount Cartier Court, a long-term care home, for the seniors to watch services online.

And, because they can’t meet in person, Olson asked his congregation to go for a walk and pray, last week.

“It’s important for us to create a space for engagement. Isolation does not fair well for people,” said Olson.

He said, although in-person services are banned, churches are not closed.

“We do not exist for ourselves, but for the community. We are more than a place to gather.”

Lay minister Clara Maltby from the Revelstoke United Church said she was disappointed with the forced closure of places of worship, whereas big box stores remained open.

“For some members, the church is as important as schools are to students,” she said.

“If we could have stayed open, whatever the requirements were, we would have met them.”

Maltby said she worries when restrictions loosen, members might not return. Instead, preferring to watch the Kamloops service online.

While Maltby said she appreciates virtual services as they reach more people, in the end YouTube doesn’t cut it.

“Spiritual experiences are exemplified in person. With prayer there is power in numbers.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Religion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Mary Clayton testing her ski and avalanche gear. As communications director, Clayton helped create Avalanche Canada into the success it is today. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Inspiring women: It was a men’s world – until Revelstoke’s Mary Clayton broke into it

She helped create Avalanche Canada into the internationally recognized organization it is today

John Hordyk said it isn’t fair to just look at COVID-19 deaths as many survivors are experiencing long-term impacts, himself included. (Photo by Rachel Muise)
Not getting better: Revelstoke man diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome

‘I hope the damage isn’t long term, but it could be permanent’

A member of the Vernon Search and Rescue winch helicopter team pulls a skier who broke her leg at the gorge backcountry area east of Sicamous into the helicopter on Friday March 5. (Shuswap Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Search and rescue helicopter helps injured skier out of Shuswap backcountry

The Salmon Arm woman broke her leg, but was helped out of the bush thanks to radio communication.

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Isaac Gilbert is running for council in the by-election for Jake Kimberley’s vacated seat. (Submitted)
First candidate for Penticton council by-election makes himself known

Isaac Gilbert is making a second run at council after receiving 19.63 per cent of the vote in 2018

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A Coldstream resident who found an owl struggling on her property in March 2021 is now spreading awareness of about the knock-on effects of rodent poisoning. (Kathy Renaud photo)
Okanagan owl ‘fighting for her life’ after ingesting rat poison

Coldstream resident warns against the use of rodenticide due to risk of secondary poisoning in raptors

Most Read