j. In the event an eligible member of the clergy believes that the clerk has not complied with the terms of this policy, the clergy member has the right to have the matter reviewed by the Board.
k. Any private citizen, including those who do not belong to religious congregation or who hold no religious beliefs may request the Clerk to be added to the list of persons delivering invocations.
5. No invocation speaker shall receive compensation for his or her service.
6. No guidelines or limitations shall be issued regarding an invocation’s content, except that the Board shall request by the language of this policy that invocations in the form of a prayer, when considered collectively, should avoid having “sectarian references” become too frequent and no invocation should proselytize or advance any faith, or disparage the religious faith or non-religious views of others.
7. The Clerk shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that a variety of eligible invocation speakers are scheduled for the Board meetings. In any event, no invocation speaker shall be scheduled to offer an invocation at consecutive meetings of the Board, or at more than three (3) Board meetings in any calendar year. If the scheduled invocation speaker fails to appear, then the Board shall solemnize the proceedings with a reflective moment of silence.
8. Neither the Board nor the Clerk shall engage in any prior inquiry, review of, or involvement in, the content of any invocation to be offered by an invocation speaker.
9. To clarify the Board’s intentions, as stated herein above, the following disclaimer shall be included in at least ten (10) point font at the bottom of any printed program or schedule of events on the separate introduction page published by the Board:
“Any invocation that may be offered before the official start of the Board meeting
shall be the voluntary offering of a private citizen, to and for the benefit of the
Board. The views or beliefs expressed by the invocation speaker have not been
previously reviewed or approved by the Board and do not necessarily represent
the religious beliefs or views of the Board in part or as a whole. No member of
the community is required to attend or participate in the invocation and such
decision will have no impact on their right to actively participate in the business of
10. Shortly before the opening gavel that officially begins the meeting and the agenda/business of the public, the Chairperson of the Board shall introduce the invocation speaker and invite those who wish to show respect for the traditional observances and/or the Board to stand.
11. This policy is not intended, and shall not be implemented or construed in any way, to affiliate the Board with, nor express the Board’s preference for, any faith or religious denomination. Rather, this policy is intended to acknowledge and express the Board’s respect for the diversity of religious denominations and faiths represented and
practiced among the citizens of Roanoke County.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this policy shall become effective from and after January 1, 2013.