I first starting blogging in 2006. My first effort was entitled Yinkadene and it was on Xanga — anyone remember Xanga? I soon discovered that many people didn’t know how to pronounce the name, so in 2007 I stayed on Xanga, but switched the name to what I thought would be a more intuitive orthography, Yinkahdinay. As it turned out, heaps of people continued to call it “Yinky Dinky” or some other bastardization. I forgive you — all of you. And in case you’re still in the dark, the original name came from my time as a missionary in Fort Babine. It comes from the Babine language and it means “Native language.” I used it as a circumlocution for just speaking as myself.
In 2009, I moved to Hamilton to become the pastor of the Providence Canadian Reformed Church. Around the same time, I moved my blogging over to WordPress, but kept the Yinkahdinay name. That was over 12 years ago now.
Today I’m letting you know that the era of Yinkahdinay is over. This will be the last post on this website.
For a while now I’ve been working with web developer Rosalyn Poort to put together a new site. It’s just been launched. A big thank you to Rosalyn for the fine work she did on it. You can now find me online here. At the new site, I’ll continue my blogging journey and I hope you’ll join me!
This morning there was a Classis North in the Free Reformed Churches of Australia. For those who don’t know, a classis is an occasional meeting consisting of delegates from local churches in a certain region. At our classis this morning, we had a proposal from the church at Melville regarding church visitation and child protection requirements. Each year each of the churches is visited by a pair of pastors. They inquire as to the well-being of the church and its adherence to the agreed-upon Church Order. It’s a form of accountability within our church federation. Melville proposed to add a question to the visitation guidelines regarding the protection of children. This proposal was adopted. The decision reads as follows:
Classis decided to add the following question to the adopted Church Visitation Guidelines:
What policies and procedures does the consistory have in place to protect the safety and well-being of children in the various aspects of congregational life?
1. It will assist in ensuring that the church visitation is done for the edification and preservation of Christ’s Church (cf. Church Order art. 44).
2. It is important that all churches endeavour to do what they can to cultivate a safe and godly environment in which our children can be ministered to and instructed.
3. It would be good for the churches to encourage and assist one another in developing their own child protection policies and church visitations are a good avenue to encourage this.
4. Being regularly asked about matters pertaining to child protection will help ensure that these policies and procedures remain current in the local church setting.
5. Our churches do not live in isolation from one another, and the actions or failures of one church with respect to child protection can have a considerable effect on the rest of the FRCA.
There’s some crazy stuff happening in the state of WA. The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has been told that they’re not allowed to use certain WA public venues because their views don’t agree with the state government. The state government is Labor, led by Premier Mark McGowan. For non-Aussie readers, Labor is leftist, roughly similar to the New Democrats in Canada or the Democrats in the United States. For more, see this video clip interviewing Peter Abetz, the WA State Director of the ACL:
Yesterday was a really joyful day for our congregation. After over a year of disruption — a time during which we had suspended worship services or worship services where only part of the congregation could gather — finally we were able to gather together twice with the whole church. For this blessing, we praise God!
Things are now basically back to normal in Tasmania. There’s still hand sanitizer everywhere, of course. The odd time you’ll see someone wearing a mask (they’ve never been mandatory here). At the moment, there are some concerns about a few COVID cases in Brisbane. Brisbane is locked down for three days and there are restrictions on travel to Tassie from there. Aside from that, life goes on as usual. There hasn’t been a case of community transmission here for well over 300 days.
As I’ve said before, there were measures taken early on in the pandemic which put us in this good position. The state and federal governments put in hard border closures and aggressive lockdowns. There’s a rigorous system of hotel quarantine for incoming international travellers. This system hasn’t been foolproof, but it’s worked well enough to catch most cases. Here in Tasmania a state election has just been called for May 1. Premier Peter Gutwein is banking on his pandemic success to lead his party to another majority. The polls show that the odds are in his favour.
What about vaccinations? The urgency isn’t here that you find in other parts of the world. At the moment, just over 12,500 Tasmanians have received at least one dose — 2.3% of the population.
I still think of how things are so different elsewhere. Almost every day I watch the news from Canada and I feel for my native land. I especially think of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I noticed that in my old stomping grounds of Hamilton the city has just gone into another lockdown where churches can only have 15% of capacity. How frustrating that must be. We’re praying for you! May God soon grant everyone the kind of normalcy we’re blessed with here already.
In the February 22 article, “A Tasmanian survivor’s story on conversion practices,” our church was referenced as a body that admits to having “carried out SOGI conversion practices.” To clarify, our church does not provide exorcisms, electroshock therapy, or aversion therapy. We only hold out the same hope God offers to all people: forgiveness through Jesus Christ and grace to change. Let me further clarify by quoting my submission to the Tasmania Law Reform Institute: “…our church preaches and teaches what the Bible says, including what it says about sexual orientation and gender identity. We do this out of our ultimate commitment to God, our love for him, and out of love for the people around us. We counsel accordingly. We pray publicly and privately accordingly. According to the working definition the Issues Paper provides, we are involved in SOGI conversion practices. We make no apologies for that. Moreover, as stated above, this is non-negotiable for our church since we believe what the Bible says. For us to do otherwise would be unloving and disingenuous.”