Thousands of churches across the United States rent space from schools on the weekend to hold their services. These portable churches are subject to the same policies and prices as any other organization that would lease space in a school building. Now the NYC Department of Education is trying to single churches out as the only kind of organization not allowed in.
A recent Cover Story in USA Today http://tinyurl.com/3m2ll5f described how Portable Church Industries helps renting churches set up for service and move out without a trace. These churches aren’t becoming a part of the school, they are simply inhabiting the space for a short amount of time. These portable churches are not seeking preferential treatment or reduced rental rates. They want only to be treated like any other organization, and are willing to pay fair market rates for use of the building. Even though these churches leave no trace, and even though they have asked for no discounts, NYC Department Of Education has a judge trying to make the case that churches have an unfair advantage because they prefer to meet when the school space happens to be available. Are movie theaters unfair because they are available in the mornings, but not in the evenings? I think not.
When schools rent to churches, it is good for the school, good for the church, and good for the environment. The school collects rent that supplements it’s budget. The church is more accessible to the community that live near the school. The environment benefits from reduced driving on Sunday morning. From a macro economic standpoint, we should applaud churches who will rent empty buildings instead of bulldozing large areas for a new building. Allowing the school building to perform double duty eliminates the need for another building with another parking lot.
Here is a quote from USA Today, “The city’s Department of Education, which has been trying for a decade to oust the congregations and end the weekend worship practice, won the latest legal round in June. As the case winds its way through more appeals, an injunction allows about 60 congregations to remain in place and the permit process to continue.”
Sign this petition and send a message to the NYC Department of Education. Tell them it’s time to stop discriminating against churches!
Portable Church® Industries
Ph: 248-585-9540 x 331 | Fx: 248-585-9582