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Prayer policies for city councils school boards in South County

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POSTED December 18, 2012 7:04 p.m.


The following is a recap of prayer policies at South County public government meetings:

LATHROP CITY COUNCIL: It’s emblazoned on the wall inside of the Lathrop council chambers.

“In God We Trust.”

And while the Lathrop City Council makes no qualms about starting their meetings off with an invocation, they also don’t limit themselves to a single pastor or church either.

As part of the normal routine that takes place before the public portion of the meeting actually begins, a clergy member from the local community that either volunteers or is tapped for the duty delivers the brief prayer – something that only once in the last two years has become a point of contention.

Local resident Forest Burke – a self-professed Catholic – inquired as to why nearly all of those that led the invocation at the start of the meeting were of Protestant leaning. Burke said that if all of the faiths of the community couldn’t be represented, he favored changing the invocation to a moment of silence.

Then-Mayor Joseph “Chaka” Santos would eventually add a moment of silence following the Pledge of Allegiance – usually in honor of those serving Americans in the armed services both at home and abroad.

MANTECA CITY COUNCIL: Worship leader from various denominations - ranging from Sikhs to Protestants - are invited on a rotating basis to offer prayer as well as lead The Pledge of Allegiance.

RIPON CITY COUNCIL:  Ministers from various denominations in Ripon are invited to provide the opening prayer.



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