CANCELLED – ANULAT

Traducerea în Limba Română AICI.

I was looking forward to the conference call with the Mayor of Chicago!

I advised her office that due to the pending litigation, our attorney will be on the call.

I know the Mayor is very busy and wanted to respect her time and schedule!

I also assumed that she was going to do most of the talking from her previous statements where she would educate me about the situation.

Last night, instead of going to sleep, I spent some quiet time praying and waiting from the Lord on how to address the Mayor.

I started to write, on my own and without any professional help, something she refused to believe.

People who know me know that I’m telling the truth.

I sent the following letter via email and waited with anticipation to see what answers I might get.

I’ve been informed that after a conversation between the attorneys, the Mayor sent a letter and cancelled the meeting, as a result of our attorney being present and the letter that might present the conversation with legal complications.

Here is my sincere and in good faith letter to the Mayor of Chicago:

Hello everyone and good morning! May God bless you all!

  • Thank you Mayor Lightfoot for initiating the dialogue;
  • Looking forward to have a constructive meeting;
  • We appreciate your concern;
  • We would like to start from a position of openness, giving each other the benefit of the doubt and trying to understand each other’s responsibilities;
  • Now, I am teachable and love to be educated, and I know that there are always things that might be missing in the analysis that would influence our decisions;
  • So I would like to ask a few questions that are weighing heavy in my heart and had greatly contributed to the decision I made;
  • These questions are not political, had not been filtered by any parallel interests, they’ve been in my mind and heart for many days and I’ve put them down in writing late, last night;
  • I’m sending them to you in good faith! I know your time is limited and I don’t want to play hide and seek or gotcha games with anybody.
  1. In choosing numbers 10 and 50 to limit public services, what was the basis for those exact numbers, what was the rational? Have you any knowledge on how and who decided on that?
  2. As hard as I looked on the Governor’s chart with the steps for reopening the State, I couldn’t find the word church or worship meetings anywhere. Do you know why and if not, why were “gatherings” casually applied to church services?
  3. Per Governor Pritzker’s own statement, if churches are considered to offer essential services to the people, why would the churches be relegated to the category of entertainment venues and not food supermarkets, hardware stores and, dare I say, first responders?
  4. Were pastors ever consulted on how to apply these ordinances to churches and maybe offer advice on a relevant model for church reopening?
  5. If people – obviously more than 50, even more than 100 – can be in a hardware store or a food supermarket, roaming around, sometimes less than 6ft apart from each other (been there, saw that), why is a church putting its participants at a higher risk following the same or even more precautions?
  6. The Governor’s plan to reopen looks to us like an ever extending tunnel with no end in the foreseeable future. I am not going to address the 10-50 allowance which is useless for a 900 souls congregation such as ours. It is as telling me in a more non confrontational way “you are still shut down”! The idea is that, per his own estimation, churches cannot go to an acceptable level of normality in less than one year from now! How do you mitigate this with the open rebellion it will generate – sooner or later you would not be able to count the number of churches in open defiance – and how do you propose to deal with such a probable outcome?
  7. In negotiating so many competing factors – and trust me, I don’t envy you, I understand it’s tough – but still, was the spiritual being of the people, their spiritual needs and desires, anything about spirituality ever been considered?
  8. If you did/Or now that I’m bringing it up, would you be interested in listening to our perspective on this issue about spiritual needs?
  9. One last question: we’ve sanitized the whole building (we employed the services of a professional certified company to do that), we’ve practiced 6ft social distancing rigorously, we’ve provided complimentary masks and gloves, we’ve checked the temperature with touch less thermometers by fully and professionally equipped staff, we’ve installed hand disinfectant dispensers throughout the building, we’ve restricted participation for 60 years of age and older, 10 years of age and younger, we’ve restricted participation for people with underlying medical conditions or weak immune systems, people with symptoms as per CDC guidelines, people who traveled by public transportation in the last week and also people that work as first responders or in medical field, people that had contact with people diagnosed with cv-19 in the last month… we’ve complied with every conceivable measure and far exceeded the norms – yet it seems we have not reach a satisfactory standard. What is that standard? Could we have done something more? Do you know of something else that we don’t know about?

Mayor Lightfoot, I appreciate the opportunity and your time!

I approach this meeting with only one predetermination: to continue to hold public services and apply the same strict precautions with consistency and urgency! That is also a promise!

For us it is not a matter of more or less to negotiate! We could negotiate a lot of things! What I cannot negotiate is the very life of my congregation!

If I’m condemned to die, negotiating wether it is by firing squad, lethal injection or the electric chair, it doesn’t matter!

Mayor Lightfoot, we’re talking here about churches!

Churches need four things to survive: teaching, fellowship, communion and prayer!

Without physical presence and participation, these things lose their intended meaning!

As I mentioned in one of the interviews when asked about continuing our online service experience, I’ve told the reporter that church is not a video game! I’d rather see nations fight their wars on video games rather than in reality! It would save many lives! But church is different! Church is real!

We can help you avoid a disaster! The disaster will be general and open rebellion by churches across the State, ignoring any safety measures and guidelines! It is brewing and it is imminent! We can prevent that now!

We can take this initiative and offer churches this model we’ve exemplified last Sunday! We will be your advocates and push for its strict implementation in all churches!

We already have the status of essential services! We are already meeting with no opposition from the government!

The only point of contention is the 10-50 numbers which seem bureaucratic and arbitrary!

Let’s keep the 6ft bubble around each person with all safety measures and restrictions in place and let the available space dictate the number!

Then it’s on us, pastors and churches! We need a model, we have it! We need competence and resources, we have to prove ourselves!

It would be a disaster fighting in courts of law and of public opinion! We can prevent that now!

Mayor Lightfoot, I’m not a risk taker: I’ve never taken a ride in an amusement park, I’ve never been skiing, I’ve never been on a motorcycle, I’ve never gambled, I’ve never smoked and never drank…

I’m coming from Communist Romania as a religious refugee! A religious refugee!

I am the father of 10 beautiful girls, my wife and I enjoy 9 grandchildren, I’ve been blessed with the most wonderful congregation to pastor – I’ve been around quite a lot and visited many churches – I don’t want trouble!

But as I stood for my principles when threatened with more than just being incarcerated and hit with more and harder than just with words, and being under the non existent protection of a few letters on a piece of paper that was called the constitution of the communist Romania, I stand now under the sacred guarantee of the United States Constitution which specifically and intentionally prevents any interference and ordinances of the Government in the religious services and activities of the church!

We take this pandemic seriously, we care for our people more than anybody else and we already proved to be responsible and honorable people!

Let’s work together to provide churches with a plan to reopen immediately, responsibly and safely!

Again, I will personally make sure to cooperate with you in providing guidance to all the churches and pastors into a clear path for a successful reopening!

For you, Mayor Lightfoot, and for Governor Pritzker this will be a great achievement and will cement people’s confidence in government leaders that are persuadable when presented with sound arguments, compassionate and concerned about citizens’ wellbeing as well as rights!

Thank you so much!

Respectfully,

Cristian Ionescu

About Cristian Ionescu

Pastor Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church Chicago, USA

6 răspunsuri to “CANCELLED – ANULAT”

  1. Excellent and very wise response! Praying for protection and victory in the Name of Jesus!

  2. Frate Ionescu, fiti pe pace, Domnul este de partea dumneavoastră , asta este Cuvântul Sau : „Însă eu sunt totdeauna cu Tine,
    Tu m-ai apucat de mâna dreaptă;
    mă vei călăuzi cu sfatul Tău,
    apoi mă vei primi în slavă.
    Pe cine altul am eu în cer în afară de Tine?
    Şi pe pământ nu-mi găsesc plăcerea în nimeni decât în Tine. Carnea şi inima pot să mi se prăpădească:
    fiindcă Dumnezeu va fi pururi stânca inimii mele şi partea mea de moştenire.

    Căci iată că cei ce se depărtează de Tine pier;
    Tu nimiceşti pe toţi cei ce-Ţi sunt necredincioşi.
    Cât pentru mine, fericirea mea este să mă apropii de Dumnezeu: pe Domnul Dumnezeu Îl fac locul meu de adăpost, ca să povestesc toate lucrările Tale. (Ps. 73:23-28

  3. David prevailed against Goliath. We shall prevail too

  4. Domnul sa va binecuvânteze! Tot ceea ce faceți este absolut corect din punct de vedere Scriptural! Nu exista biserica fără prezenta fizica! Părtășia frățească este un stâlp al bisericii pe care diavolul vrea sa îl fure, asta este scopul ascuns al tuturor evenimentelor! Fapta lui Fineas a fost mult răsplătită de Domnul. La fel și fapta dvs va fi răsplătită, atâta aici pe pământ cat și dincolo, în veșnicie. Ați scris istorie pe 10 mai și veți rămâne în istoria creștinilor, dar și a necrestinilor! Râvna și îndrăzneala dvs vin de la Domnul, iar locul fricoșilor este …afara…Ne rugam zi de zi pt dvs și pt creștinii prigoniți de pe întreg pământul! Ei sunt multi, dar noi și Dumnezeu formam majoritatea și hotărârea Domnului este aceea care se împlinește! Domnul sa fie slăvit și El sa va întărească și sa va binecuvânteze!

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