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WAVERLY — The City Council on Monday agreed to consider an atheist activist’s plea for a secular invocation at a study session next week.

It came after Justin Scott, organizer of Eastern Iowa Atheists, spoke at Monday’s Waverly City Council meeting and again asked it to consider substituting his regular theistic prayer for rotating invocations, including from nontheistic voices.

“I am curious if any discussion was had over the invocation process?” Scott asked the council during the public comment period at the beginning of the meeting.

Mayor Charles Infelt usually delivers a prayer to open the council meetings, though no such prayer was delivered Monday and it was absent from the council agenda.

Scott first approached the Waverly council April 3 to ask about delivering a secular invocation, which Infelt seemed to initially deny.

But in comments to The Courier later on, Infelt said he thought it might be a possibility and said Scott or someone else would be welcome to do so.

On Monday, Scott said he wanted to move forward with concrete details.

“If the City Council would like any help drafting a plan to develop a process, I would be happy to help,” he told the council. “I want to do this as a friend. We want to be a part of this (city council) experience.”

Scott left the meeting after making his comments, and a couple of hours later in the city council comments portion of the meeting, Ward 5 council member Tim Kangas said he wanted to continue the discussion.

City administrator James Bronner said he would add it to the council’s study session agenda April 24. Council study sessions are open to the public.


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