May 18, 2020

Petition to Reopen

By Tim

Previous: Some More Thoughts About Civil Disobedience

Previous: Some Thoughts about Civil Disobedience

After much prayer I started a simple petition online at:

The goal is simple. I believe each local church should have the right and freedom to choose when to reopen safely. Many small churches can reopen safely.

It is time for state officials to work with local communities to reopen our churches in a manner that takes into account local conditions and protects public health. I believe we are safest when we work together at the local level to take actions that reflect the conditions in our community. (Will the state officials let this happen or is this part of a long chess game or politics? We’ll find out soon).

I had the discussion about our church reopening with our Chief of Police who said “I cannot tell you it’s okay to go against the [Governor’s] order, but just that we are not going to interfere with your decisions”. The country sheriff as emailed me back “we will not infringe upon anyone’s right to to the 1st Amendment”.

I also talked with our city Mayor about our church reopening who said “The city council will be considering a resolution supporting local reopening. I am also advocating more autonomy over these decisions at the local level as we move forward.”

I’d like to think these conversations sparked the recent a Zoom meeting we had with our local Mayor, Chief of Police, and many of our city Church Leaders. I do think it was a productive meeting about when churches reopen to do so safely with wisdom. I made my case that we would continue to be meeting at Athletic Park and Calvary Chapel would be gathering in person (this did encourage a few pastors to meet outside too).

I do not want to be viewed as being hasty in calling the church to civil disobedience. However I believe the Scriptures are clear this is a matter and we will use the legal system for the protection of the church if needed. This is the place where I believe we are now where the legal system is not only there to protect us from criminals, but from any rogue elements or policies.

Our City Council will consider a resolution (tonight) Monday, May 18th at 5:30 PM asking Governor Walz to allow the City of Fergus Falls to reopen safely.

I am prepared to fight for what I believe God is calling us to do and we WILL get through this, and if we are wise, God will be glorified, the church will be strengthened, and we will all come together soon. We are working with the YMCA to reopen soon and hopefully the following weekend. Prayers appreciated!

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