New Carlisle City Council has changed its meeting invocation from a prayer to a moment of silent reflection.
Council approved the decision late last month after City Manager Randy Bridge suggested the move following a motion to delete the invocation from the agenda.
“You have like 35 seconds of quiet, and then if you want to bow your head, you can pray to whatever god you want to,” he said.
Council approved keeping the invocation, but changed the wording on the agenda to ‘a moment of silent reflection” by a vote of 5-2.
“The prayers that are offered in the invocation at this meeting are Christian prayers, and not everyone is Christian,” said Councilmember Linda Nowakowski.
Councilmember Amy Hopkins said the prayer doesn’t hurt anything.
“I kind of disagree a little bit,” she said, “I don’t think it hurts anything to have it.”
Mayor Mike Lowry said he doesn’t have a problem with the prayer, but doesn’t think it should hold up the meetings.
“In the times that I’ve been mayor, and as council has changed, there’s been less and less people that want to do the prayer,” Lowry said. “I don’t have a problem with the prayer, but I don’t think it should also be something where it’s holding up a meeting just to find someone to do the prayer.”
Councilwoman Peggy Eggleston, who made the motion to amend the rules to delete the invocation from the agenda, said the city has people of all backgrounds.
“New Carlisle is not made up of strictly Christian people… I think forcing a Christian prayer, I mean it doesn’t represent all of the citizens of the city,” Eggleston said.
Lowry said this week he had little comment on the issue, despite it being a big topic of discussion on social media.
“I know prayer is important to people and I have no problem with that, but the big takeaway should have been the financial takeaway,” he said. “At the end of the day, our jobs are to run the city and make sure it’s running properly and efficiently.”
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