Friday, February 14, 2014

Declaring Revere Casino ‘Not A Done Deal’ Clergy Call for Prayer on Sunday

(REVERE, MA - February 14, 2014) Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim leaders in Revere have called upon their respective communities to gather at the sanctuary of Immaculate Conception Parish at 1 PM on Sunday, February 16, for an ecumenical prayer gathering expected to draw hundreds of Revere residents.

“This is a gathering for all people of faith who are opposed to the casino” says Tim Bogertman, Associate Pastor of First Congregational Church in Revere.  “It will be a time to pray, speak, and encourage others to stand against this disastrous casino plan that will negatively impact the lives of people living here.”

Friends of Revere ( – a diverse group of pastors, priests and ministers representing various traditions, denominations and congregations in Revere – have called for Sunday’s gathering because they are deeply concerned about the impact of a casino in their community, what they describe as “a direct threat to the families and children who live in Revere.”

Pastor Nely Esturban of Betel Church in Revere says, “I want peace for the city of Revere.  Let me tell you why – I love my kids, I love my city, and I don’t want to bring about the destruction of my city.  We don’t need a casino here.”

In conversation with hundreds of congregants and parishioners, the ministers claim the casino is far from decided in the minds of people in Revere.  “I thought the casino was a done deal,” explains Father George Szal of Immaculate Conception Church, “but then I began speaking with my parishioners and more than half of them are opposed to the casino.  This is not a done deal at all.”

Members of Friends of Revere continue to lead their congregations, mosques and synagogues in what has been several weeks of prayer for positive future development in Revere, and they have also been preaching about the harmful effects that a casino will have in their neighborhood.  Rabbi Joseph Berman, a founding member of Friends of Revere, explains his opposition to the casino in straightforward terms, “Casinos prey on the most vulnerable members of our communities, and they increase poverty, addiction, and crime.”

“Sunday’s ecumenical prayer gathering at Immaculate Conception is a time to declare that God has something better for this town than a casino,” says Pastor Bogertman, “and all are welcome.”

Source: Tim Bogertman,,