MILLTOWN, NJ - An online petition has been started in response to the Milltown Board of Education's proposal to approve a contract with the Liquid Church that would allow the facilities at the Parkview School to be used on Sundays for a duration of two years.
Before the contract can be approved, the board would need to vote on the proposal. Eight classrooms as well as the parking lot at the elementary school that houses grades pre-k through third would be utilized on Sundays by the Liquid Church for their services.
The proposal has angered some parents in the district, which precipitated the formation of the online petition. The petition calls for the Milltown BOE to vote no regarding the contract with the Liquid Church. Currently, the petiton has 527 supporters.
According to their website, the Liquid Church isn't "your momma's church." It began in 1999 on a small scale with Pastor Tim and one bible class. Today, it has set up locations for its growing Christian congregation in Morristown, New Brunswick, Nutley, Mountainside and Somerset in additon to their online church, which allows members to view services via the computer.
The Liquid Church promises a different church from the traditional sense, incorporating rock music and a blue-jean clad pastor. Some of their work outside of the church includes providing meals for the homeless, mission trips to Hait and El Salvador as well as assisting New Jersey families affected by Hurricane Sandy.
A number of comments posted on the online petition voice resident concern over student safety as well as the impact the Sunday services would have on the community surrounding the Parkview School mostly due to the increased number of cars in the area.
On the Milltown Board of Education's webpage, there is an announcement inviting residents to attend a public forum at the Monday, November 2 meeting at 7 p.m. to discuss the rental of the facilities. The meeting will take place at the Joyce Kilmer School gymnasium.
Also on the webpage was a statement from Dr. Stephanie Brown to the community of Milltown. Dr. Brown is the Superintendent of the Milltown School District.
In the statement, Brown writes:
Please be advised, there is no recommendation from my office for future use of the Milltown Public Schools facilities on the present agenda. It is not my intention to recommend any new applications for facility use until after the Board has an opportunity to discuss the use of facilities and any changes to the Board policy affecting said use.
The Board looks forward to a positive exchange of ideas concerning this topic so that the policy reflects both the needs of the community and the obligations of the Board.
Generally, Milltown Board of Education meetings are held in the Joyce Kilmer School's media center. However, the upcoming November 2 meeting will be in the gym.