Dear editor: I am fully in support of the Ministry of Health restrictions regarding worship in this time when escalating transmission of Covid-19 cases are threatening the capacity of our health-care system.
Individual rights, while fundamental and necessary, are always to be balanced with the needs of society. (Seat belt legislation comes to mind!) In these next few months, the need to reduce transmission of the virus takes priority over my need to worship in person.
Wide consultation with members of the Anglican Diocese of Kootenay (South Eastern B.C.) has shown that, although we dearly miss our in-person worship and are saddened by diminished Christmas traditions this year, we feel that foregoing these this year is a demonstration of Christ’s call to care for our neighbour, including parishioners in the vulnerable population.
We believe it is a small sacrifice on our part to care for our health care system at this time. Many of us know people waiting longer for medical treatments and surgery because hospitals are being stretched at this time. Foregoing gathering for worship for now is a sacrifice we are willing to make to ensure that people receive necessary medical care. It is irresponsible to overwhelm already exhausted front-line health-care workers. We do not think that the provincial health protocols are a violation of our individual rights.
We have become creative in offering on-line worship and in reaching out by phone and safely distanced visits to those of our members who live alone and may feel isolated. Yes, we agree our faith communities are essential to our mental health, but for now we choose to stay home and connect in other ways. God is not confined to our buildings. We pray mornings and evenings at home, study our Bibles at home, we worship and sing online or over the phone, we have coffee hour gatherings on Zoom. If by doing so we save even one life, we are content.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, Premier Horgan, and Health Minister Adrian Dix have been very respectful and affirming of the role faith communities are playing at this time in keeping people safe, calm, and connected with community. We respect the health guidelines in order to bless our society. This is not forever; it is for now.
The Rt. Rev. Lynne E. McNaughton Bishop, Diocese of Kootenay
Credit ONA for showing us path to better earth
Dear Editor: It was very good to read the news about the return of the sockeye salmon to Lake Okanagan (“Salmon make splashy return,” Dec. 12, The Daily Courier).
The sockeye salmon were reported as far as Mission Creek in Kelowna and even Six Mile Creek in the Okanagan Indian Band lands. I think we should all be grateful and thank the Okanagan Nation Alliance for spearheading and persisting in this restoration of a salmon run that was extinct.
This extinction was caused by the building by dams and channeling of natural waterways along the nearly one thousand kilometre salmon migration route to the Pacific Ocean.
Jim Taylor, in his insightful Saturday column points out that the salmon have right to exist. I am grateful that our Indigenous neighbours recognized this and did something about it.
Perhaps we should stop thinking of the salmon as a natural resource and instead think of them as an earthly treasure and fellow creature.
Taylor referenced the verses in Genesis — 1:26-30 — where humans are given dominion over the earth. This is a dreadful power. But as Stan Lee once said: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Yes, we can exploit the salmon to extinction, but the Okanagan Nation Alliance have shown that we can bring them back and restore them.
That is being responsible. I thank the Okanagan Nation Alliance for acting responsibly and giving us some good news in what has been a dreadful year. May we have more good news like this in the New Year.
Howard Hisdal, Kelowna
Angel stories great way to start paper
Dear editor: Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoy Rick Maddison’s articles for the Be an Angel campaign; please pass our thoughts along to him.
I always read his front-page stories before other parts of the paper. He finds a way to tell people’s stories with honesty and compassion; I am certain his messages inspire many readers to contribute to the cause.
Tom and Kate Brown, Kelowna
Golf club funds must be called scandalous
Dear Editor: According to the CBC, our taxpayer money was doled out to the Royal Ottawa Golf Club as part of our government’s program to provide help to the employees of needy companies.
It was such a success that this ultra exclusive club ended up with a $1 million surplus. This club is home to government dignitaries, ambassadors and assorted hangers-on who hardly need financial assistance.
It is highly likely that similar private clubs around the country benefited at taxpayers’ expense.
This is a monumental scandal which needs to be addressed along with many other instances of largess that was bestowed upon long-term care corporations and casinos.
Barry D Cochrane, Kelowna
An ode to joy? Yes, you can find one today
Dear Editor: Tis Christmas time, so please be jolly,
With twinkle bells and hanging holly.
Where we’d like to kiss each one of you,
But we’re hunkered down inside our shoe.
We’ve shut the gates and locked the doors,
Hold off the covid, avoid the horrors.
No fancy travel, just boring stuff,
The social distance is rather tough.
We’ll make it through, for that we pray,
We’ll meet again on that sunny day.
We won’t need holly to give us urge;
To give you the hugs that you deserve.
So hunker down and hold on tight,
We closing down on all the fright.
Just think how great next year will be,
When we hug our friends beneath the Christmas tree.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Murray and Nicole Allen, Kelowna