Tuesday, May 21, 2013
A group of volunteers from Elmbrook Church are heading to Oklahoma to help with disaster relief after a mile-wide tornado killed at least 91 people.
There is no way to describe how great it feels to help someone in need. In 2010 I had the chance to travel with a group of men and women from Elmbrook Church where we worked with an organization called Samaritan’s Purse to help rebuild houses for people in New Orleans. While I may claim to excel at caulking homes after that trip, the truth is the biggest life lesson I took away from that trip was helping others, and seeing their appreciative faces and receiving loving hugs was a far greater reward than I could ever receive on any vacation at a beach. I haven’t had a chance to make another trek across country to help others in the wake of natural disasters. But I’ve received the updates about groups deploying to areas throughout the country…
Friday, December 28, 2012
Slain Wauwatosa police officer had tremendous impact on the community as a youth group leader and as an up-and-coming law enforcement member.
Jennifer Sebena had a major impact on the lives of high school students at Elmbrook Church. She reached out to them, mentored them through ins-and-outs of high school and comforted them during tough times, like the deaths of classmates. But as the students are mourning the loss of a young woman who they would normally turn to, they are leaning on each other instead. “She always would be able to help us with anything that we had,” said Kristen Overstreet, 18, a senior at Arrowhead High School. “She could relate to anything that we said, which was really, really helpful. We knew that she is not just making it up or isn’t going judge us because she has been through a lot of it.” Sebena, 30, was shot and killed early Christmas Eve while on …
Friday, December 21, 2012
Lawyers filed a formal petition with the United State Supreme Court on Friday asking the high court to consider the Elmbrook School District graduation case.
Lawyers filed a formal petition with the United State Supreme Court on Friday asking the high court to consider the Elmbrook School District graduation case. “If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the school district’s appeal, it has the potential to become one of the most significant church–state cases in many years,” said Luke Goodrich, Deputy General Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is working on behalf of Elmbrook School District. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in July that Elmbrook violated the Constitution's First Amendment when it held public high school graduations at Elmbrook Church amid religious imagery including a large cross over the stage and Bibles in the pews where attendees sat. The 7-3 …
Monday, October 8, 2012
The high court has granted Elmbrook's request for a 60-day extension to file its appeal of a federal appellate ruling that it violated the Constitution when it held graduations in a church.
Friday, October 5, 2012
With new lawyers on board, Elmbrook asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday for more time to file its appeal of a ruling that school district violated the Constitution by holding graduations in church.
(Updated Oct. 8) The U.S. Supreme Court has granted Elmbrook's request for more time to file its appeal of a federal appellate ruling that it violated the First Amendment when it held high school graduation in a church. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan signed the order on Thursday granting the request and setting the new deadline for filing the appeal as Dec. 20, Kristi Foy, Elmbrook's staff attorney and director of human resources, said Monday. Foy said she expects the lawyers Elmbrook hired (see original story below) will take nearly the full extra 60 days to file their appeal documents. __________________________ With several high-profile legal groups now lined up to take Elmbrook's church-graduation case pro bono, the school …
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
School Board votes 5-2 to continue to fight suit, which claims district violated the Constitution by holding commencements at Elmbrook Church.
The Elmbrook School Board will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the lawsuit over whether the district violated the U.S. Constitution by holding graduation ceremonies at Elmbrook Church. In a 5-2 vote on Tuesday, at a meeting at which only one member of the public showed up to express an opinion on the issue, the School Board opted to appeal the July federal appellate court decision that found the district had violated the First Amendment when it held previous graduation ceremonies in the church. Board members Glen Allgaier, Richard Brunner, Jean Lambert, Meg Wartman, and Tom Gehl voted for the appeal. Board members Kathryn Wilson and Robert Ziegler voted against it. The district will now evaluate offers from law firms, looking for …
Monday, August 20, 2012
The Elmbrook School Board still considering whether to go to the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to overturn a July ruling by a federal appeals court that said past graduations held in Elmbrook Church were unconstitutional.
The Elmbrook School Board is still mulling whether to continue to fight a lawsuit over whether the district violated the U.S. Constitution by holding graduation ceremonies at Elmbrook Church. A federal appeals court in July ruled — by a 7-3 margin — that the district violated the First Amendment when it held previous graduation ceremonies in the church. In its ruling, the court said it was not broadly rejecting governmental use of church spaces, citing legal precedent for churches to be used as polling sites. But it said in this case Elmbrook Church's cross and other religious materials in the presence of the public school graduation ceremony violated the Constitution. Elmbrook officials have been meeting with their attorney since the July…
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Elmbrook Superintendent Mark Hansen said he is "disappointed" with a court ruling rejecting Elmbrook Church as a graduation venue. See the district's reaction and story comments and vote on whether you agree.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Holding public high school graduation ceremonies in a Town of Brookfield mega-church violated the Constitution, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.
(Updated 1 p.m. Tuesday:) Elmbrook School Superintendent Mark Hansen expressed disappointment Tuesday that a court ruled holding graduations at Elmbrook Church violated the First Amendment, and said Elmbrook will continue to use Brookfield East High's field house for future ceremonies. "While we are disappointed with the majority opinion of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, since 2010 the School District of Elmbrook has used its new field house at Brookfield East to accommodate graduation ceremonies for both high schools," Hansen said. "The district will continue to use the field house in the future. There is no further need for graduation ceremonies to be held at Elmbrook Church." The school district's legal counsel, Kristi Foy said …
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church gathered at Elmbrook Church Sunday morning to decry pastors' 'failure' to prevent homosexual marriage among other things, as part of their Wisconsin tour this week.
About a half-dozen members of the Westboro Baptist Church hopped out of a minivan around 9 a.m. Sunday at Brookfield's Elmbrook Church, sporting picket signs to promote their anti-gay, anti-"mega church" message and express their fear for Wisconsin's direction. WBC, a Kansas-based group known for picketing military funerals, has a history of protesting so-called "mega churches," Westboro church member Margie Phelps said Sunday. She disdained counter-protesters for their failure to "obey" God. "We're here to tell these false prophets that (they've) taught people to sin," Phelps said, referring to pastors of churches like Elmbrook, which are "doomed" for allowing "fag marriage." Another WBC member, Rebekah Phelps-Davis, said Elmbrook's …