The elders of Bundoora Presbyterian have written a letter to the State Government addressed to our local state member.
24th October 2021
To: The Hon. Colin Brooks
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
We hope you and your family are well and have survived the lockdown in good heart.
We, the elders of Bundoora Presbyterian Church, write in the light of the Premier’s and Health Minister’s comments that a distinction will be made between the vaccinated and unvaccinated in what they can participate in for many months to come.
We ask that you would make representations to them on our behalf for the earlier removal of that distinction in relation to church attendance. For believers attendance at church is not a discretionary recreational activity but part of their identity, an expression of a life lived in trusting and obeying the Lord Jesus Christ. While the unvaccinated amongst us are few the maintenance of the distinction in the size of the meeting they can attend [as is planned at 80% fully vaccinated] is a cause of grief to many. In our understanding becoming a Christian is to be welcomed into a family and to be committed to love one another, to love people of very different backgrounds and views simply because they are fellow believers. To be unable to meet together with brothers and sisters because of a difference in vaccination status wounds us and slows our recovery from what has been a disruptive and tiring time.
We acknowledge and are thankful that in the current plan when the 80% fully vaccinated target is reached there is opportunity for the not yet fully vaccinated to meet in groups of up to thirty at church. Though we wish it otherwise we understand that in the initial weeks of coming out of lockdown the health advice might be saying that it is important to limit the size of unvaccinated groups to slow the spread of the virus. But we also note that the NSW Government has recognised that attendance at church is different from voluntary recreational activities and that meetings that keep to their Covid Safe plan can be reckoned to be of low risk for transmission, and so has permitted both vaccinated and unvaccinated believers to meet together from the 80% double dosed mark, commencing for many next weekend.
To help our recovery and for the health of our congregations we desire that same liberty, to all meet together whatever our vaccination status. We are fully committed to maintaining Covid safety, as we have been for the preceding eighteen months, but we would find it hard to understand and difficult to support the maintenance of any distinction beyond reaching the 90% fully vaccinated rate in early December. Our hope, as expressed above, is that we would not have to wait until then for the requirement to check the vaccination of those attending to be removed.
We know you are concerned for the welfare of all the groups in your electorate and so ask that you would advocate for the early removal of that requirement, and for the Government to indicate that will be the case. It would be helpful to us now to be able to plan for and look forwards to that day when we can all meet together as one community.