Church Member Disappointed By Park Rule


I am amazed to hear that my church, Assembly of God, has been denied a permit to use the newly constructed (performing arts stage) at Green Valley Park.

I am a citizen of the Town of Payson and had the opportunity to vote in the officials who currently run our beautiful town. From what I understand, only organizations approved by these "higher ups" may use the new gazebo. I feel this is discrimination in the highest sense.

One reason the permit (was denied) was to (maintain a separation of church and state).

We just had the opportunity to have the Vietnam Wall displayed at Green Valley Park, in which a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace was performed by a bagpipe. A prayer was also a part of the service, and yet this permit was granted. Is it that the Wall generated a certain amount of money to the town?

Our church has rented the facilities of Julia Randall (School) to have youth services on Wednesday nights, and we were treated fairly. This is a government building and no one there was worried about the separation of church and state. Many churches in town have begun as a result of using the school facilities. I have always been proud to live in a town that was so fair to its Christian residents.

I am so disappointed to hear that our church has been denied a permit to use the gazebo for a Fourth of July picnic. Every year we have had a picnic and enjoyed the freedom to use the public Green Valley Park. I guess it really isn't so public, is it? You definitely do this town a disservice when you discriminate against church use of the gazebo.

Anne Skeens, Payson

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