Thursday, September 12, 2013

Prayer Adopted for Glendale, AZ City Meetings

At the urging of the mayor, the Glendale City Council voted in favor of two-minute prayer or invocation at each meeting.  Mayor Jerry Weiers said that it's a worthy policy because, as he said, “The fact is, the city needs help.”

For background, read 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco Ruled Prayer OK Lancaster, Calif.

Coming soon: U.S. Supreme Court Considers Public Prayer Case of Greece, NY

-- From "Glendale City Council OKs prayer during meetings" by Caitlin McGlade, The Arizona Republic 9/11/13

More than 30 municipalities statewide convene council meetings with prayers or invocations, according to research compiled by Glendale staff.

Glendale’s 20-point set of guidelines . . . bar[s] one speaker from leading consecutive meetings and from leading more than three times a year. In addition, it bars speakers from the same denomination to appear more than three times in a year. If no speaker is scheduled, council will observe a moment of silence.

Glendale’s program will allow speakers to deliver prayers or invocations at each meeting, free of council or staff review, as long as they they do not proselytize their faith or disparage others. The mayor’s office will keep a list of such speakers, who will be scheduled on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Mayor Jerry Weiers, along with councilmembers Norma Alvarez, Sam Chavira and Ian Hugh, voted in favor of the measure. Vice Mayor Yvonne Knaack, joined by councilmembers Gary Sherwood and Manny Martinez opposed it.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "City council discusses adding a prayer at meetings" by Darrell Jackson, Staff Writer, The Glendale Star 8/26/13

Councilmembers discussed policies from cities such as Benson, Florence, Litchfield Park and Winslow as well as Lancaster, Calif., all of which start their meeting with an invocation, as does the Arizona House of Representatives.

“We have a large diversity in this city and that is something we have to pay attention to,” Weiers said. “This is just a way to have a quick prayer and give us inspiration in a way that will not hurt the city and will not be required.”

“There have been a lot of councils that have done this for years and it has never been an issue,” Weiers said. “It is a voluntary thing and we have constitutional right to freedom of religion, and I don’t know why we wouldn’t do this in Glendale.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.