Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/03/2013 05:39:07 PM PST

RIALTO – Pastor Trish Valdez of Lost and Found Ministries took part in a long-standing City Council tradition when she opened the Feb. 12 meeting with a prayer for wisdom on behalf of elected leaders and other decision-makers.

“We thank you in the name of Jesus. Amen,” Valdez said at the end of the brief invocation.

The council that night approved a resolution defending the practice of public prayers before meetings.

The seven-page resolution says the city since its incorporation has followed a practice of selecting a member of the local clergy to provide invocations at council meetings.

It goes on to cite several court cases, including Marsh v. Chambers, in which the Supreme Court in 1983 rejected a challenge to the Nebraska Legislature opening each session with prayer from a state-funded chaplain.

Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote:

“The opening of sessions of legislative and other deliberative public bodies with prayer is deeply embedded in the history and tradition of this country.

“From colonial times through the founding of the Republic and ever since, the practice of legislative prayer has coexisted with the principles of dis-establishment and religious freedom.”

The resolution in this city says invocations will not be recognized as an agenda item so that they are not considered part of public business.

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