City Council Approves Policy on Prayer

Temple City to bring back invocation before meetings.

Written by RAYMOND TRAN / Published March 4, 2011

Temple City will soon offer prayers before its meetings now that an official invocation policy has been approved.

The City Council on Tuesday, May 4, 2010, unanimously voted to approve Resolution 10-4667. The resolution brings back a practice once abandoned: holding invocations before city meetings.

Councilman Carl Blum, a proponent of the new policy, referred to John Zubrick when the item came up for discussion. Zubrick, who recently passed away, was a long-time active member of the community.

“We’d received a letter, a while back, from John Zubrick, encouraging us to reinstate the invocation policy,” Blum said.

The councilman officially requested his colleagues consider the idea on April 20.

“It’s not limiting. It’s recognizing that there are all kinds of religions out there, people of faith, of non-faith,” he said.

Even with an invocation policy, Blum added, “We need to be sensitive.”

While nonsectarian or nondenominational prayers are legal, Temple City’s new policy does not guarantee protection from lawsuits.

“Anybody’s policy could be subject to challenge,” City Attorney Eric Vail said.

Vail added, “It is a place to start. It is something to say that we’re operating on the current scope of the law, in the event we are challenged.”

As for speakers, the City Council has two options, according to City Manager Jose Pulido.

One option is to have City staff line up invocation speakers. Another option is to have city council members select the speakers themselves.

“It’s not just limited to clergy,” Mayor Pro Tempore Tom Chavez said.

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