While many believed that his conditions hearing was on Friday, February 26th, where the judge would determine whether or not James had to abide by release conditions that said he could not step foot on church property, it was not so. Rather, it was only the day that they filed/submitted the paperwork and applications.
Instead, his conditions hearing is set for Wednesday, March 3rd, with lawyer James Kitchen filing an application with the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench seeking the pastor’s release until his May 3 trial begins. Furthermore, according to some sources, the court will reconvene with lawyers on March 5 for a case management plan.
How he’s doing in prison
An update from Erin Coates, James’s wife, posted on Friday the 26th on Instagram:
James is okay. He received his canteen (extra snacks and hygiene products) so he’s a little less hungry. The lack of activity is starting to affect him, he’s very active in both mind and body so this is hard for him. He used to filling his mind with deep theological truth day-in and day-out. I asked him why our phone calls were so short and he had informed me that he only gets 2 15 blocks of time out of his cell.
When he has to shower he only has enough time to tell me he loves me and he has to go. This was the case this morning a quick “I love you.” And “the Psalms have been sweet to me”. And he was gone. This is so hard for me. I have unlimited access to him since he opted to work from home to care for us.
What you can do to help
First off, you can pray. Pray for James, for his family, and for unity within the church body as they go through this. Pray that Alberta Premier Jason Kenny opens up the churches and stops singling them out from among other businesses and establishments to remain closed. Also, pray that the conditions of his bail hearing would go well on Wednesday.
For Canadians, particularly Albertans, call your MPs and representatives. Be kind, and polite, but call them, email them, or send them a letter in the mail. Here is a list of MPs along with their contact information. While they can’t intervene in James’ case at this point, they can intervene in and impact current health policies and legislation that are restricting other churches in the province to 15% capacity.
If you’re in Edmonton or nearby, there is a rally planned for 1:00 p.m. at the courthouse. Please attend if you can.
To conclude with words from Erin Coates:
I’m so thankful for each and every one of you. I have seen the Universal Body love us in a way that makes my heart leap for joy, a taste of our time in heaven…but actually together!
Until then; Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him (Psalm 37:7), God’s time, though it tarry, and God’s deliverance, though delayed, when it comes proves always to have been best: ‘My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him’ (Psalm 62:5)—Octavius Winslow
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