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Good News Clubs in Schools

by Matthew D. Miller on September 21st, 2011
CEF USA Ministries sent out the following in an email earlier today:
In June, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the New York City Board of Education has a legal right to block churches from using public school buildings for worship services. The ruling by this federal appeals court overturned a previous decision by a federal district court which upheld the right of churches to use the public schools on the same basis as any other community group. This decision affects about 60 churches in New York City, but clearly has broader implications for the entire nation since it was a decision made by a federal court. Christianity Today published an online article about this recent ruling, which you can read here. The federal district court which ruled in favor of churches using the public school buildings relied on the 2001 U.S. Supreme Court Good News Club® case for its decision. The appeals court, which overturned this decision, claimed that the Good News Club case did not apply because there is a difference between worship and religious speech. While teaching Bible lessons, singing, and memorizing verses (and other activities of a Good News Club) are all forms of allowed religious expression, a church worship service is religious activity which is not protected by the U.S Constitution, the court said. This decision is expected to be appealed and could end up with the U.S. Supreme Court. How should we respond to this situation? First, we need to pray. Please pray with me that this decision will be overturned. Please pray that this case will not be used to infringe upon the equal access that we have to hold Good News Clubs in public schools in all 50 states. Second, we need to continue the focus we have on after-school Good News Clubs. We have enjoyed full freedom to hold clubs in public schools throughout the U.S. for the past 10 years. This court case is a reminder that we should not take this freedom for granted. We need to do all we can, in God’s strength, to reach into as many schools and reach as many children as possible while the door is still open.
One Comment
  1. Thanks for sharing this. I will pray for it.

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