A Kelowna church congregation will continue to worship together, despite receiving a ticket by police. (Pixabay)

A Kelowna church congregation will continue to worship together, despite receiving a ticket by police. (Pixabay)

‘We are making a stand’: Kelowna church will continue to gather, despite RCMP fine

Since the pandemic began, Harvest Ministries has not stopped gathering

A Kelowna church congregation will continue to worship together, despite receiving a ticket from police.

Earlier the Capital News reported that Harvest Ministries International in Kelowna was issued a $2,300 ticket for violating COVID-19 public health orders, for the second time.

Mounties visited the church twice, once on Dec. 6, taking an educational approach, and again on Dec. 19, when they issued a ticket to the ministry representative.

READ MORE: Second large gathering at Kelowna church results in ticket

Senior staff member and pastor, Heather Lucier, who confirmed she received the ticket from RCMP on Dec. 19, said it was expected, and changes nothing.

She explained their non-denominational 100-person congregation gathers two nights a week, split into two 50-person, socially-distanced groups.

Since the pandemic began, Lucier said they haven’t stopped gathering.

“Truth of the matter is, we haven’t stopped. Because we believe it’s our constitutional right to do so.

“We have let our people know that biblically, the bible says don’t neglect gathering together. That’s the high law that we follow. And if there’s an issue… if we have to choose, we’re choosing biblical law.”

Harvest Ministry has been around for about 18 years, and in Kelowna, since 2018. Lucier said the church is just one part of a global humanitarian effort.

She said if bars and restaurants can be open, so should they be allowed to welcome people in, adding the church should be considered an essential service.

“Suicide rates are going up, depression rates are going up, and people are looking to the church. And it’s time for the church to make a stand. And so we are making a stand,” Lucier said.

She explained they’re not protesting for the sake of protesting.

“This is what we’ve done, this is what we always will do. So we’re just continuing on. We’re just doing what we’re called to do, as pastors and leaders. We’re having our church open.”

The Kelowna RCMP called Lucier’s statements “very disappointing,” adding officers will continue to actively investigate and take necessary enforcement action on reports of non-compliance with the provincial health orders.

READ MORE: Westlake Drive reopens after truck fire

READ MORE: B.C. surgery wait list getting shorter after COVID-19 disruption

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusReligion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Corsac the cat is up for adoption at Critteraid.
Critteraid hosts three adoption Sundays

More than 40 cats looking for their forever homes

Abigail McCluskey is in the Netherlands training to compete in the World Cup next month. She joins 12 Canadian speedskaters for the international competition later this month. (Dave Holland CSI Calgary)
Penticton speed skater in Netherlands for World Cup

Abigail McCluskey will be skating the long track in the international competition

Summerland Middle School
COVID exposure at Summerland Middle School

The person who tested positive was at school Jan. 11

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

(Vernon Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Vernon Search and Rescue responds after family gets UTV stuck on SilverStar trails

The family activated their SOS beacon around 3 p.m. once they realized they could be facing a night alone in the mountains

Dastkar, a new furniture store in Vernon, features handmade, unique furniture carved from wood and inlaid with brass in the Chiniot style. The business located on 43rd Avenue was started in December 2020 but is currently unstaffed due to COVID-19 staffing shortages. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon’s hidden handmade furniture store

Owners of Shahi Pakwan Indian restaurant opened the South Asian furniture store in December 2020

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Most Read