City Council wrestles with prayer protocol

Prayer at City Council Meeting stirs controversy
By Oregon Christian Post,

At the February 22, 2011, Damascus City council meeting, officials took public comment on whether to include an invocation at the beginning of each meeting. About 20 residents offered opinions from both sides of the issue.  The issue was picked up in The Oregonian.

Steve Hardy, pastor of Damascus Community Church, offered his opinion, said, “First Timothy Chapter two verses three and four, we are called to prayer for our leaders and elected officials … however, one our concerns in prayer is for unity of the city. If you make the decision to include a prayer, members of our pastoral board will more than likely participate but a decision to not include an invocation will also not stop any of us from praying for this city.”

Kathy Russell, a resident of Damascus urged for no invocation, said, “Mayor Spinnett has said to come to meetings and ‘make yourself comfortable.’ But an invocation makes me very uncomfortable. In addition, I think it’s time to turn to real business in this city.”

Mayor Spinnett, who invited the public discussion, advocated for an invocation, said, “The phrase ‘separation of Church and State’ is not mentioned in constitution but the intent is to protect the church from government not the other way around,” did not call for a vote on Tuesday evening.

For additional information about the recent Damascus City council meeting see here.

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