Easter service in park wasn’t bothering anyone

The new policy that prevented the community Easter sunrise service at Chestnut Ridge Park needs to be reconsidered. The rationale for the new policy is to keep the casino open to the public. For the last 20 years or so, there have been an average of 200 people at our 7:30 a.m. Easter Sunday service. All were citizens enjoying the park that they pay for with lots of their hard-earned tax dollars.

On this Easter Sunday morning, March 31, between 7:30 and 9 a.m. a total of eight people (all runners using the bathroom or getting a drink) used the casino. None stayed for more than a couple minutes. So, for the sake of eight people, 200 or so were barred from the casino. In past years, runners came and used the bathrooms during our service, which was no problem for us. Most of the time they used the side entrance so they could come and go without even being seen. Some even stayed for the celebration. We don’t care who shows up or what they are wearing.

Our service is intentionally “open to the public.” It is not private. I think a better policy would be to not allow exclusive use of the facility during times when the facility is actually being heavily used. Next year we might just have a “flash mob” and all show up in our gym shorts singing the hallelujah chorus! We are citizens, too. We, too, are “the public.”

The Rev. Douglas Sukhia

Pastor of Armor Bible Church

Orchard Park