Pinellas businesses look forward to end of blue law on Sunday mornings

Divya Kumar
Tampa Bay Times

Greg Lore, manager of Clear Sky Beachside Cafe in Clearwater, was thrilled when he heard the county might allow alcohol sales starting at 8 a.m. on Sundays.

Lore said the restaurant, which offers a bloody mary bar, bellinis and mimosas among its other brunch offerings, said the cafe usually gets bombarded at 11 on Sundays after facing disappointed tourists, unfamiliar with the county’s lingering blue law, a remnant from Puritan colonists in the 1600s.

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Atheism and Humanism: Senator’s comments on Sunday Blue Law vote raises eyebrows

Valley News Live

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) The bi-partisan bill to repeal North Dakota‘s blue laws failed earlier this week in the senate by just 3 votes. But what’s drawing new attention is the comments made by some senators regarding religion and their justification for voting against the repeal. One even talking at length about atheism, then creationism. So what does this have to do with opening at store earlier on a Sunday?

North Dakota Senator Dick Dever voted “no” on the Sunday blue law. But before voting “no” Dever decided to go on a nearly eight minute speech. Continue reading

Our View: Support Sunday closing referendum

Williston Herald

With the failure earlier this week of a bill that would have repealed most of the state’s Sunday closing laws, it’s time for the public to take the matter into its own hands and support a petition to put the closing laws up to a vote.

We are pleased that Brandon Medenwald, a Fargo businessman, plans to do exactly that, and urge everyone to support the petition his group, North Dakota Open on Sundays, plans to have circulating this spring.

If the proposed petition gets 13,452 signatures, a measure to repeal those laws would be on the ballot for the 2018 general election.

House Bill 1163 had a wild ride this session, failing in the House in a close vote on Jan. 30, then being reconsidered and passing in another close vote the next day. There was hope that the Senate would also move to reconsider the bill after it failed 22-25 on Tuesday, but that sadly didn’t happen. Continue reading

Senate to tackle Sunday Blue Laws


There is no clear consensus on whether people here prefer to shop on Sunday mornings, further muddying the political waters as state legislators determine whether to repeal the long-standing “Blue Laws” that require North Dakota retailers to be closed until 12 p.m. Sundays.

If enacted, HB 1163 gives businessmen an option to open at 9 a.m. on Sundays. The law was amended in 1985 to allow grocery stores to open and in 1991 new state law allowed Sunday afternoon openings.

Many area business people do not favor opening any earlier on Sundays. In fact, most businesses beyond gas stations and grocery stores aren’t even open on Sundays in rural Richland County. And they will not change that philosophy, even if the Blue Laws change. Continue reading

As of March 2017, CESI has acceded to the European Sunday Alliance, a broad stakeholder coalition on decent working hours and work-life balance.


The European Sunday Alliance is a large network of national and European-level trade unions, civil society organizations and religious communities committed to raise awareness of the unique value of decent working hours in European societies. It joins forces with committed MEPs and offers a platform for exchange and discussion. Continue reading

Catholic Church Wants to Ban Working on Sunday

Total Croatia News

Another initiative from the Croatian Bishops’ Conference.

The Croatian Bishops’ Conference (HBK) has again launched an initiative to legally forbid working on Sunday. It called on Croatian citizens to support the initiative and contribute to the preservation of Sunday in its historical meaning, as a non-working day which is an opportunity for a family reunion, reports Večernji List on March 1, 2017.

“It is understandable that there are parts of the society, such as healthcare, security, transport and some services that are of general and public interest, which have to work on Sundays and holidays. But, there are also jobs and tasks which do not have to be done on Sundays. We primarily mean those activities in which the workers, due to weaknesses of Croatian legal protections, are forced to work without a weekly rest. They therefore spend Sundays away from their circle of families and children, while other people spend it as a day of rest”, said HBK in a statement released on Wednesday, at the beginning of this year’s Lent. “It is no wonder that for them, due to this obvious discrimination, working Sundays bring certain emptiness and gloom”, added the Bishops’ Conference.

The Croatian Bishops’ Conference therefore urges all parts of Croatian society, “the lay faithful Christians, Catholic organizations and movements, and all societal institutions and organizations that are committed to people and their dignity, to contribute with their actions to the preservation of Sunday in its historical meaning, as a non-working day which provides opportunity for a family reunion.”

Expressing support for the European Sunday Association, which brings together trade unions, political parties, civic organizations and Christian societies throughout the European Union, Croatian bishops pointed out that six years ago the association proposed on the first Sunday in March the public observance of Sundays as a “day of rest from work, a day for family gatherings, a day for cultural and social activities, as well as the Lord’s day”, when Christians remember the victory of Christ’s resurrection.

In 1997, Croatian bishops sent a pastoral letter in which they spoke of Sunday as the Lord’s Day and a day of rest for people. The Commission for Justice and Peace of the Croatian Bishops’ Conference has also repeatedly, in 2000, 2004 and 2012, advocated for the legal determination of Sunday as a non-working day in Croatia, for the promotion of the day as a family holiday, and especially as a liturgical day for “gathering around the table of the Lord”, concluded the Croatian Bishop’s Conference in the statement.


A Sabbath for the Earth and the Poor: The Challenge of Pope Francis

Colomban Missionaries Britian

The National Justice & Peace Network of England & Wales annual conference will be held 21-23 July and is entitled: ‘A Sabbath for the Earth and the Poor: The challenge of Pope Francis.’

It is being organised by NJPN in partnership with Church Action on Poverty, CAFOD, Caritas Social Action Network, Vincentians in Partnership, Operation Noah, and Columban JPIC. The venue will be: The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire.


“Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world.” (Laudato Si’ para237)

We live in a world where people and nature are more often valued according to their economic capacity or usefulness to humans, rather than their intrinsic value as God’s creation. In order to be liberated from this commodification, consumerism and utilitarianism, the Sabbath reminds us to rediscover a sense of awe and wonder, to see the beauty in creation and also in relationships, especially with the poor and marginalised.

The conference will seek to: help us understand current realities; find ways to live out and advocate for a different value system; and provide a space for creativity, celebration and contemplation.


Dr Ruth Valerio is Global Advocacy and Influencing Director for Tearfund, working to mobilise churches around the world to become agents for change and equip them for integral mission.

Fr Peter Hughes SSC. has spent most of his life as a missionary in Peru, working in some of the most impoverished communities in Lima. He is an advisor to the Instituto Bartolome de las Casas, working in programmes of leadership and social justice. A former executive secretary of the Department of Justice and Solidarity of the Council of Latin American Bishops, he continues to be a theological advisor.

Kathy Galloway is an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland and was leader of the Iona Community from 2002-2009. She is currently head of Christian Aid Scotland.  She is also a published poet, author and hymn writer.

Plus Poverty Hearings —hearing from those with direct experience of poverty.

CONFERENCE CHAIR: Susy Brouard, Theology Programme Advisor for CAFOD since 2002.

CELEBRANT: Fr Sean McDonagh SSC, world-renowned eco-theologian.


Church leaders unite against new Sunday trading laws

Tim Ross
The Telegraph

For the first time, senior Roman Catholic, Church of England, Church in Wales, Methodist, United Reform Church and Salvation Army figures issue a joint statement opposing the government’s plan to relax Sunday trading laws

Plans to allow large shops to open for longer on Sundays will damage family life and do nothing to boost the economy, an unprecedented alliance of Christian leaders warns today.

For the first time, senior Roman Catholic, Church of England, Church in Wales, Methodist, United Reform Church and Salvation Army figures issue a joint statement opposing the government’s plan to relax Sunday trading laws.

In a letter to The Telegraph, the six faith organisations warn that plans to let large chain stores open for longer hours would increase the “commodification” modern life.

Shop workers and customers will have less time to spend with their families and small local stores will suffer a loss of business, they say.

The warning comes after ministers announced they would give local councils in England and Wales the power to allow large retailers in their area to open for longer, in measures contained in the Enterprise Bill, which is passing through Parliament.

Under current rules, small shops can open whenever they want, but on Sundays, larger stores are restricted to a maximum of six hours in the period between 10am and 6pm.

Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, said relaxing the restrictions would enable local authorities to “help struggling High Streets”.

He has faced opposition from traditionalist Tory MPs and faith leaders have spoken out individually.

Sajid Javid


But the letter to the Telegraph marks the first time since the plans were announced that the leaders of the country’s major Christian denominations have joined forces to voice their opposition.

The letter is signed by the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Rev Alan Smith, who is the Church of England’s spokesman on economic affairs; the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Rev Peter Smith; the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan, and Methodist, United Reform Church and Salvation Army leaders.

“As leaders of Christian communities England and Wales, we oppose the government’s plans to further deregulate Sunday Trading laws,” they write.

“We are concerned that the further deregulation of Sunday Trading laws is likely to disrupt the rhythms of community life that are so integral to the common good. In a world of increasing commodification the space for shared time and activities, central to human flourishing, is becoming increasingly rare. Needlessly extending Sunday opening hours will only exacerbate this trend.”

The current Sunday trading restrictions offer “a balance” between consumer needs and the “health” of local communities, providing time for shopping as well as protecting “the common leisure time essential for family life and shared social activities”.

Their letter argues that there is “no evidence base” to show that relaxing the limit on large shops’ opening hours will lead to “substantial economic benefit” to Britain.

The move comes after the Telegraph last week published a letter from 150 council leaders and 40 MPs urging the government to push ahead with the relaxation of Sunday trading laws. They claimed that the economy would receive a £1.4bn boost from the change.

A study from Oxford University, however, claims the only clear impact will be to damage the businesses of small shops, who will lose customers to larger chain stores, the faith leaders say.

Fears have been raised that shop workers will come under pressure to work for longer on Sundays.

Two weeks ago, ministers announced a package of concessions designed to allay these fears, promising new protections to ensure shop staff can say “no thanks” to their bosses.

The measures included a new legal right for workers to refuse requests to work for longer on Sundays.

The faith leaders say they welcome the initiative but “remain unconvinced” that these protections will be “effective in practice”.