Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Citing city code, city asks group
to stop serving meals to homeless

A group of people were told their trek to Overton Park in Lubbock, Texas,
to serve homemade meals to the homeless violated city codes.

They had finished serving the meals when two city officials informed the group of its violation.

Muddying the water is the exception given to places of worship under the ordinance. Churches can serve food without a permit in a non-approved kitchen to their congregations, but once they extend the invitation to the general public, they must have a permit and an approved kitchen.

But when is a group of people a congregation?

The group, which is not an official ministry of a church, hands out Bibles and prays before the meal.

“If you want to get technical,” offered Chad Wheeler, a pastor with Carpenter’s Church who joined the group at the park, “Jesus says that whenever two or more are gathered in my name, I am with them. I would say this is as much a church service as any place.”

Read the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal report here.


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