Good morning everyone.
As we wait to hear what the Government has planned for the immediate future and what it may mean for Festival One, our churches, our families, our jobs and life in general, I got an email from Reuben Munn, the senior pastor at our church that gave real perspective. With his permission I’m sharing it with you. (I’ve adapted the names used to fit with Festival)
“I wanted to say something about our ethos as Festival One, and how this relates to the issue of vaccination. Within our community, we acknowledge that there are a range of different views on covid vaccinations. People have a variety of reasons for either getting vaccinated or not, and there is a range in how strongly people feel about the issue. That’s ok. We don’t all have to think the same way on this issue in order to be united as God’s people.
At a personal level, Jayne and I have been vaccinated. But no matter what choice people make in regard to vaccination, it is important that as Christians we show love, understanding and grace toward one another on this issue. In a world of increasing tribalism and social division, it is vital that the church models a way of approaching differences that is based on love and humility. This is a central part of our witness to the world. As Jesus said, “they will know you are my disciples by your love for one another.”
At Festival One we have always sought to reflect unity-in-diversity—we are a community united around our common confession of Jesus as Lord, while having diverse perspectives on many issues of life and faith. That is fine, as long as we hold our views graciously and treat those who hold a different opinion to us with the utmost respect. We have done this over the years in relation to many issues, and we will do the same with covid-related issues. The Bible calls us to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Col 3:12). That is a timely reminder for us today. This means showing sensitivity toward those who hold a different perspective to us on vaccination.
Grace and peace.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Make sure you hear Reuben’s seminar at Festival One 2022.
Lots of love. G