Dear Church Family,
What a day we are living in.
In ministering and serving the church for near on 40 years, these would be the most challenging days in many ways. And I am sure some of the most challenging days for all of you, your families, jobs, businesses, church etc etc.
But I do believe that you and I were born for such a time as this! If the world gets darker remember, the brighter Christ can shine.
Most would have been aware that Bev and I in heading towards 40 years of ministry, we have been and are well aware that is certainly time to let the younger generation rise up and shine. Not that Bev and I were quietly going to ride into the sunset – nice thought though. And even though we have and continue to transition and delegate to the next generation the world wide situation has interrupted everyone’s plans and lives.
We are all aware that the situation in our country has polarised people like never before. Even in my life where many want me to speak up more while others want me to be quiet on such matters – and I truly understand and sympathise with all. Many see the issues at hand, political, others see them morally, some see them as not the churches issues, others disagree. Not just this pandemic and the restrictions it has brought but the recent issues of conversion therapy, sexual identity on birth certificates, the woke culture, the cancel culture, the hate speech bill that is coming and even the recent abortion laws. The list is long.
Since becoming a Christian, and Pastor my heart, as you know, has been and still is for Souls, His Kingdom, His church, etc , but many would know that over the years I have also endeavoured to speak out against injustice and tyranny. (speaking up for the underdog -lol ). When I see or hear of good people, many among us, losing their jobs, their businesses going broke, people dying without their loved one’s by their side etc, I cannot be silent.
Just so you know, I have been working (overtime) with other pastors, other organisations, (Christian and non-Christian) politicians in endeavouring to make a way forward. There is so much going on that I cannot share it all in this post / email. As you are possibly aware – I am not as radical as my good friend Bishop Brian, but I am not as passive as some other friends of mine. I am stirred at the current situation as many of you can tell, but please know that I never want to bring the church into dis-reproach, and as I have mentioned to some never wanting to cause any of you “grief”, with your families, neighbours etc,. Although we know the simple gospel message is enough to upset some.
As most would be aware, with yesterday’s announcement from the Prime Minster this could be a long haul – even the 29th of November is another month away.
And then if the “pathway” comes about our PM envisions, the church coming together is very different to what we have been used to. Restricted numbers, (50 then 100) and restricted access to unvaccinated people, (groups of 10 ) etc and for who knows how long.
I want you to know as I mentioned – that throughout the Body of Christ, there is a lot of dialogue in how best to or how best not to accommodate these restrictions. There is legal action also currently being taken, there is groups everywhere, and for myself I am endeavouring to get people together (but it can be like herding cats). I believe that we are stronger together – so please pray for me, for there are many opinions out there for sure. I know many would say we just need to obey the government, others would have other opinions, that when the government contravenes with the word of God and interferes with the freedom to gather together as we are called to do they have overstepped the line. I have been pleasantly surprised how many – (non-Pentecostal) churches across the board are rising up with not wanting to discriminate or turn anyone away from church with a “Free to be Church” movement.
So with all of that – a couple things.
Apart from working with the wider Body of Christ. Obviously as a leadership team we are constantly dialoguing on the way forward for us here at City Impact Church, how and if we can accommodate the restrictions, without compromising our values and beliefs. All the Campus Pastors are doing a great job on looking after you and encouraging you – and I applaud the job they are doing. I have asked them all to stick to the Gospel / Bible and not to speak / post / address any of the above situation – that many see as “political “ etc. So we are endeavouring to have the Sunday service / message will evolve only around sound Biblical teaching as the past few weeks have been.
Many would have seen my personal posts which is addressing more the nation, from more a “Apostolic “position – something that I did not want to do, and even now reluctantly do but the number of people from in and out of the church that it is bringing great encouragement to is important. Many are encouraged that a Pastor is talking publicly about the matter at hand, a topic that many pastors are publicly silent about yet it is something that everyone is talking about (like the elephant in the room).
I trust you all know, bottom line – my heart is for you, your kids, your grandkids – to live in a country where the gospel can be preached openly and freely.
Until we can meet again – we love you all, be blessed and built up in the Holy Faith,
Emanuel – God is with us!
Ps Peter and Bev