so here i am posting this linkage about Pastor Ryu and many other pastors'
fight to keep church services in New York
Whether you are or aren't a christian or becoming one,
let's pray together to keep the churches in New York standing strong with God being the front line of this fight!
here's the link: New York Times: churches push for law allowing them to remain in public schools
or just read it straight from my blog:
Albany Is Urged to Let Churches Keep Using Schools
By JOHN ELIGON
Published: February 2, 2012
With a little more than a week before New York City stops allowing churches to hold services in public schools, some lawmakers, churches and faith groups are desperately trying to push through legislation that would allow the practice to continue, while the affected congregations look for new homes and ponder uncertain futures.
Advocates hope that a measure in support of the churches will be approved by the Republican-controlled State Senate next week.
“Our view is that these institutions have been using school district facilities for years, and following the same rules as secular groups, and that they should continue to do so,” Scott Reif, a spokesman for Senator Dean G. Skelos, the majority leader, said in a statement.
In the State Assembly, where Democrats are a majority, the outcome is less certain. Michael Whyland, the spokesman for the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, who represents Manhattan, said the speaker was “still in the process of vetting the bill.”
The proposed legislation is a response to a federal appeals court ruling last year that upheld the city Education Department’s rule against allowing worship services in public school buildings. The ruling, by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, said that the city’s policy was not discriminatory, and suggested that allowing the services in schools might violate the separation of church and state, though the court did not make a definitive finding on that issue.
Proponents of allowing religious services in schools argue that the worship is held outside of school hours, that anyone is allowed to attend, and that the churches pay the same rent as other organizations, like the Boy Scouts, that use school property.
“You try to tell my people that they can’t rent from public schools because they hold a religious view,” Councilman Fernando Cabrera, a pastor who represents the Bronx, said angrily during a City Council hearing on Thursday to discuss a resolution urging the State Legislature to act. “There’s something very wrong with that.”
But civil libertarians and other lawmakers are pushing back, arguing that any efforts to overturn the court’s decision would encroach on the First Amendment’s establishment clause.
“The state is sponsoring and subsidizing that religious worship,” Councilwoman Jessica Lappin said during the Council hearing. “We are not talking about a Bible study class or an after-school French club. We are talking about regular, weekly worship that is the quintessential moment for many different faiths.”
The issue dates back nearly two decades, to 1994, when the Bronx Household of Faith, a Christian church, applied for a permit to use a middle school for its Sunday morning service. The city denied the application, and courts upheld the ruling.
But after a 2001 Supreme Court ruling that said it was unconstitutional for the school district in Milford, N.Y., to prohibit a church from using the building after-hours to sing songs, read Bible lessons, memorize Scripture and pray, the Bronx church reapplied for a license. The city again denied it. This time a court ruled in favor of the church, and it was given access to the school.
The city wrote a more restrictive policy that specifically barred only “religious worship services,” but a court allowed the Bronx congregation and others to continue using schools while awaiting an appeals court’s ruling. After the Supreme Court declined to review the appeals court’s decision in December, the city said it would resume barring worship services from schools after Feb. 12.
The Park Slope Presbyterian Church, which holds services at John Jay High School, is planning to rent space from another church, but will have to reschedule its service to the afternoon, when the building is available.
“Practically, I’ve got a congregation full of young families, and it seems to be a little easier to get your kids out for a Sunday morning service at 10:30 than on Sunday afternoons,” said Matt Brown, the church’s pastor.
And Inhyun Ryu, the pastor at New Frontier Church, which has been holding services at Public School 11 in Chelsea for about four years, said that, as a result of the city’s action, the church planned to worship in space belonging to a synagogue in Midtown. But renting the new space will cost about three times as much as the school did, Mr. Ryu said.
“Even though we will move to another space, we will keep praying and keep doing our best to change the legislation,” Mr. Ryu said.
Citation: Eligon, John. "Albany Is Urged to Let Churches Keep Using Schools." New York Times. (2012): n. page. Web. 3 Feb. 2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/03/nyregion/churches-push-for-law-allowing-them-to-remain-in-public-schools.html?src=tp&smid=fb-share>.
✎ From the ☾ moon that shines bright as a shooting star ☆