GUIDELINES FOR CITY COUNCIL INVOCATIONS

Compiled by Rev. Dr. Peggy Price
For City of Huntington Beach

It is a great privilege for the YOUR CITY Interfaith Council to offer invocational prayer at the YOUR CITY City Council Meetings. We are serving the Council by setting the tone for the meeting and recognizing the presence of a Higher Power known by many names .. We represent the diverse faiths and religious beliefs (as well as non-religious) here in our community and respect that we all live side by side in harmony with one another.

It is to this end that we also uphold the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Therefore, as members of the YOUR CITY Interfaith Council we have the right and freedom to pray according to our beliefs in our own homes and in our houses of worship. When we pray publicly at city events or at other government functions, it is recommended that we follow these guidelines:

1. Council meetings begin at ??:00 PM. Please arrive 15 minutes early and present your name and title, either on a business card or on a written slip of paper to the police officer at the desk in Council Chambers.

2. Be seated in one of the chairs at the bottom of the stairway so that you can readily get up and walk to the podium. If those seats are taken, please stand off to the side wall.

3. As soon as the flag salute is complete, walk to the podium and ask everyone to join with you in prayer.

4. Please keep your prayer short – 2 minutes is plenty of time to get everything said.

5. Please remember that you are praying to set the tone for the meeting – seeking guidance, wisdom, counsel, compassion, civility, and right action for the people and council.

6. It is acceptable and permissible to use the name “God” or “(Holy) Spirit,” and other names commonly utilized by most religions. In respect to others please do not use names such as Jesus, Allah, Buddha, or other names that are exclusively utilized by one religion, When we use languages other than English, or other names of deities not commonly in use by most religions, we are excluding other religions.

7. It respect for other religions, please do not proselytize.

8. In closing your prayer you may say “in your name” or “in your many names” without using the name of your belief.

The YOUR CITY Interfaith Council thanks you for your willingness to set a prayerful tone at civic events. All of us do make a difference in our communities upholding the ethical and moral values we support and espouse.